Our Piedmont Tour begins in Culpeper and works south to Carlottesville. This tour is over scenic country roads through rolling hills, horse farms, vineyards and civil war battle sites are just some of what you will experience each day on our tour through Virginia's Piedmont region. This Self-Guided back roads bicycle tour is moderate because of some climbs, a few of which are steep, as well as stretches of country roads over rolling terrain.
Arrive in Culpeper and settle into your lodging. On your schedule you will meet with the Virginia Bicycling Adventures representative for a tour orientation. After which, relax and explore the village of Culpeper which was laid out by George Washington in the 1750s. It is a delightful place to just stroll the main streets which are lined with shops and restaurants or the surrounding neighborhood to view the period architecture. The Culpepper Museum provides a wealth of revolutionary and civil war history. The visitor's center is a good place to gather additional information on the area. Close the evening with a relaxing dinner in one of several restaurants in town.
After breakfast your ride begins with a series of hills, but about halfway into the ride you will be on rolling country roads through woods and farms that comprise the Piedmont below the Blue Ridge Mountains. The area is rich in Civil War history with over 150 engagements having occurred, many of which were of strategic importance, large scale and hard fought. Ride distance is 40 miles and is rated moderate. After a short drive to Orange you will be at you lodging for the night.
Your ride today is through scenic countryside below the Blue Ridge Mountains to the west and Clarks Mountain to the north. You will ride through Rapidan, a village that changed hands fifteen or more times during the Civil War, where you have several interesting photo opportunities of period buildings. The terrain is quite level as your route winds through farmlands and open fields. You should plan a very pleasant picnic lunch stop along the shore of Lake Orange. This ride is 35 miles and is rated easy. After returning to Orange you will drive to your B&B in Charlottesville and along the way you can visit Montpelier, which was the lifelong estate of James and Dolley Madison.
This ride will take you through some of the best bicycling areas in the Piedmont Valley. Although somewhat hilly, the sheer beauty of the ride is well worth the effort. Leaving Charlottesville, you will pedal towards the base of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Turning away from the mountains, you will pass many fine mansions and have opportunities to divert to visit some of the numerous wineries for which this region is well known as your route leads you back to Charlottesville. The area is rich in history associated with Thomas Jefferson including the beautifully designed campus of the University of Virginia and Monticello, considered by many to be an "architectural masterpiece". The ride is 46 miles and is moderate due to the rolling terrain, a few hills and some stretches with heavy traffic.
On your last day's ride you will bike from Charlottesville northwest along the base of the eastern side of the Blue Ridge Mountains while pedaling through several small towns and villages. The terrain is rolling country roads that have several 200 foot elevation gain climbs with sweeping views of the Blue Ridge Mountains. You return to Charlottesville generally following a river between Fox Mountain and the Blue Ridge Mountains. This ride is 44 miles.
After a leisurely breakfast and a relaxing walk through historic Charlottesville, visiting the campus of the University of Virginia, visiting Monticello, walking the city center pedestrian mall or just contemplating the past week, you can leave on your own schedule.
- The cost of the Piedmont Tour as described is $1,062 per person/double occupancy; the single supplement is $500. A non-B&B tour can sometimes be arranged with a cost of $739 per person/double occupancy; the single supplement is $325.
- This tour is rated moderately difficult because of rolling country roads and the length of the rides.
- Your accommodations will be in excellent B&Bs or equivalent hotels due to availability. After booking accommodations, we can furnish links. Your package includes five full breakfasts and two dinners. You will have arrival orientation, comprehensive route instructions, supporting maps, and emergency support.
- This tour can be booked to start the first Sunday in May and to end by the last Friday in October and is generally scheduled to start Sunday evening and end Friday morning; however other start and end days are workable as well, but during certain times of the season, particularly during the foliage season and on most weekends, room accommodations can be difficult and can carry a premium. With adequate lead time, these can often be overcome.