Tour de Mountains 2015:
Better than ever, plus a river excursion
We are excited about the enhancements we've made to Tour de Mountains 2015. Here is a quick rundown.
100 miles, 10,000 feet: For the hardcore cyclists looking to tame a BEAST of a ride, the 100-mile loop has been re-routed and now includes 10,000+ feet of climb. This is not just any century ride. Be prepared for a challenging and exhilarating experience.
A ride for novices: We wanted to accommodate all cyclists who are looking to enjoy our mountains, so we've added a shorter, 16-mile ride. The hills aren't as many and the distance as long, but you will see spectacular scenery and get a good taste of what mountain cycling is all about.
We've left our sweet 35-mile ride the same. And the metric century, a 66-mile loop, has been tweaked to permit more riders to accept this challenge. Go to Routes for details.
Enjoy a breakfast of ham biscuits, fruit, cookies, coffee and drinks before the ride. SAG support is with you start to finish. Every 10-15 miles expect stocked rest stops manned by smiling volunteers. Whenever you finish, hot pizza will be waiting. The Wellness Center's hot showers are available and a great way to wind down from the ride.
You could be a winner: Be sure to register for the drawing of prizes for participants (list of prizes to follow).
In honor of our first pedal-paddle weekend (details in the next paragraph) you are invited to buy a chance on a Sun Dolphin Aruba SS 10-foot kayak. This sit-in kayak was designed to move through the water with ease and is perfect for short or long trips. The cockpit is non-confining and surprisingly roomy. High-quality adjustable backrest and adjustable foot pegs top the list of features. Great for rivers and lakes. Chances are $10 each. All drawings will be held Saturday.
Make is a pedal and paddle weekend: The New River competes with our Blue Ridge Mountains as the top outdoor attraction for visitors and this year we are offering an optional Sunday canoe or kayak excursion. We have partnered with New River Campground and Canoes and are able to offer riders a great Sunday rate on the river: $30 for a canoe; $20 for a kayak. Five and 10-mile trips are available and take 2-2½ hours and 4-5 hours respectively.
The canoes easily accommodate two people. The kayaks accommodate a single person. The five mile route contains Class I and Class II rapids. The 10-mile trip is not only longer but more challenging with Class III rapids. Click to learn more about rapids. (opens in new window). Click (opens in new window) to learn more about New River Campground and Canoe.
The number of available canoes and kayaks is limited. We advise two-week advance registration to assure availability. Make your plans and complete the registration for an exceptional weekend.
Happening the Ride Weekend:
There's a free concert in Crouse Park Saturday evening from 6-8 p.m. Located two blocks behind the Courthouse, bring a lawn chair or blanket to spread out on the grass and enjoy the Paula Dellenbach and Fox River, an area bluegrass band.
Located just across from the Courthouse, the Alleghany Jubilee features live bands playing traditional mountain music for listening and dancing every Saturday beginning at 7 p.m. Check the Chamber of Commerce website calendar for more local events, places to shop and just about anything you might want to know about Sparta and the surrounding area. More information is also found on the Host Town page.
Sparta, Alleghany County and the surrounding area offer accommodations in a number of motels, bed and breakfast inns, and vacation rentals. The Alleghany Inn has been a faithful Ride sponsor and is located less than a mile from the start of the Ride. Their helpful and courteous staff and first-class accommodations will please any visitor. Follow this link for a complete list of available accommodation providers.
If you are looking to camp for the weekend, we can think of no better place to enjoy outdoor accommodations than our river excursion partner, New River Campground, Canoes and Kayaks. Check their website make your reservation soon. For more outdoor accommodations, consult the Alleghany County Chamber of Commerce listing of available campsites.
The Alleghany Wellness Center is open to 5 p.m. on Sunday and will be available for those returning from the river excursion to shower and change. Or ask your lodging provider about extending your check-out time. Our friendly travel hosts will do their best to accommodate you wishes.
Any time is a good time to ride: Some anytime pleasure rides have been added to the Routes link. Check them out and plan your own visit to our mountains for a pleasure ride.
A fundraiser for the Alleghany Wellness Center, this annual event will support a variety of programs including spin classes. The Alleghany Wellness Center is a community supported nonprofit agency whose mission is to provide the people of Alleghany County and the surrounding areas the opportunity to achieve and maintain healthy lifestyles through health education, medically supervised programs and facilities for physical activity and recreation.
Sparta and surrounding Alleghany County are North Carolina's eastern most Blue Ridge Mountains on the border with Virginia. The area is convenient to the North Carolina Piedmont via I-77, SW Virginia and SE Tennessee. Bordered by the Scenic New River on the north and west riders can enjoy mountain and river vistas.
The community offers motels, bed and breakfast inns and vacation rentals for riders who wish overnight accommodations or want to expand the ride into a weekend in the mountains. Sparta's old downtown and two shopping centers provide needed provisions.
The Tour de Mountains is a ride, not a race, but regardless of the ride length you chose, this is the Blue Ridge Mountains and there will be challenging climbs. Being in good physical condition is the key to an enjoyable ride. If there is any doubt regarding your fitness level, consult your physician before participating.
Watch for gravel. Some backroads are paved with gravel over tar and there will be loose gravel on recently paved roads.
Watch for animals. You may encounter untethered dogs. Carrying dog repellent is advised. Be alert for deer and turkey crossing the road.
All routes are over paved roads. Wide mountain bike tires designed for off-road riding are not necessary and will increase the difficulty of the ride.
For the safety of our riders, we do reserve the right to make necessary route changes to accommodate any unforeseen construction, etc.
A cell phone may be helpful in case of emergency.