Bridges & Biscuits - Roanoke Road Cycling
This 26.3 mile road route is a local classic known as the “4 crossings” ride as it goes over or under the Blue Ridge Parkway four times. We thought it would be fun to include one of our favorite breakfast places, Scratch Biscuit Company as the start of the ride. This is a “lollipop” loop so you have the flexibility to plan for a pre or post ride breakfast.
Know Before You Go
The route has 1290 feet of climbing and is considered to be an advanced beginner ride. While the route does utilize bike lanes and a large section of the Roanoke River Greenway, you should be comfortable riding with traffic. It is surprising how quickly you go from city streets and neighborhoods to country roads in Virginia’s Blue Ridge. You’ll have views of horse farms, rolling hay fields and mountains to enjoy not far from the greenway.
Scratch Biscuit Company is easy to find, located in Grandin Village at 1820 Memorial Ave SW, Roanoke, VA 24015. Their lot is very small, please plan to park on a side street.
On the Route
One important item to note: this route is not suitable during the morning commute as Yellow Mountain Road is a popular short cut from the county to the city. We recommend not riding this route between 7:00 am and 8:30 am Monday through Friday.
The ride starts in Grandin Village and uses a bike lane to get to the Roanoke River Greenway next to Black Dog Salvage. You can stay in the bike lane and make a right at Black Dog or pop up on the greenway just at the Memorial Bridge. A visit to explore Black Dog Salvage, also known as Salvage Dawgs on the DIY Network, on the way out or on the way back is highly recommended. Keep an eye out for the sculpture garden as you pass through Vic Thomas Park.
You’ll ride until the end of the Roanoke River Greenway at the water treatment plant parking lot. Here you can look for a gravel path over to the neighborhood surface street or pop up on the sidewalk for about a hundred feet. This is preferable to the main road as it is divided and difficult to navigate.
You’ll ride through a city neighborhood then the roads change to the county and houses get more spread out. You’ll go under your first bridge just before the right turn onto Rutrough Road. Rutrough Road parallels the parkway and rolls gently; watch for deer near the road, they are plentiful near the parkway.
A couple of miles and five turns later you’ll find Bandy Road and another parkway crossing. This time you’ll be over the parkway and there’s a nice view of Roanoke Mountain on the right. From here the houses become few and far between and the road starts to twist and turn around horse farms, streams and hay fields.
Once you make the turn from Yellow Mountain Road onto Garden City Boulevard you have the choice to get on the Garden City Greenway, (the extra wide sidewalk on the right) or stay on the road for the descent. You will most likely be moving at the same speed as traffic at this point, so we recommend staying on the road until you reach Bandy Road. Here the Garden City Greenway becomes more of a traditional greenway away from traffic.
There is a signal activated pedestrian crossing at the intersection with Riverland Road. You’ll cross here to be back on an extra wide sidewalk that serves as the Greenway extension around the shopping plaza and back to the Roanoke River Greenway. From here you’ll retrace the route back to Grandon Village and Scratch Biscuit Company.
Check out the route profile and download the GPX file on our Ride with GPS account.
Be sure to tag us on Instagram @bikeVBR and @visitVBR if you head out to explore this ride!