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My favorite rides - Tuggles Gap

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The ride to Tuggles Gap leads you to beautiful places like this along the Blue Ridge Parkway
The ride to Tuggles Gap leads you to beautiful places like this along the Blue Ridge Parkway
Bruce McCrary

There is a rural route near our home known as Highway 8, or ‘number 8’ as we call it. This road is one we see quite a bit of in not just our rides but our everyday lives as well because we have to travel it to get just about anywhere. I’ve also worked at two different motorcycle dealerships that were located just off of it, but that were nearly one hundred miles apart.

The part of this road that we are most familiar with stretches from Albemarle, North Carolina in the south to above Christiansburg, Virginia in the north. But our favorite stretch of 8 runs from just north of Winston Salem, North Carolina to the Blue Ridge Parkway in Virginia at a place called Tuggles Gap.

As you leave the city of Winston behind you riding north the road meanders through rolling country side and farm land as it winds its way toward the mountains. The views along it are serene and sometimes breathtaking and any of the connecting roads along the way are always an interesting diversion. North of Stewart, Virginia the road reaches the foothills and becomes more rolling and curvy until reaching a small little town called Woolwine where it begins a serious climb up the mountain that ends at the BRP in Tuggles Gap. This is where it’s the most fun and challenging.

The ride up (or down!) the mountain is one tight, twisty turn after another and is seldom, if ever, level and flat. It can be a handful for many and a challenge for most. Pure sport bikes and motards rule the road, but a couple of old folks on a cruiser and sport tourer have been known to drag a floor board or peg now and again. Honestly, it’s so much fun that many have been known to ride up it, turn around and go back down, then go back up it again before continuing on their way.

At the top of the mountain is what appears as a biker hang out called the Tuggles Gap Restaurant and Motel. It’s an older place with a lot of atmosphere and some history where the locals come for coffee and pie. But on most every warm week-end you’ll find the parking lot full, the motel booked and a line to get in the restaurant as riders stop for a break while riding the BRP or Hwy 8. Truly, this is a place and area worth riding to and visiting.

Comments

  • Patty Davis 4 years ago

    Sounds like fun. I'll have to check it out next time I do the Blue Ridge.

  • Allen Evans 4 years ago

    A great ride that everyone needs to try.

  • Anonymous 3 years ago

    jj

  • waylon clark 3 years ago

    rode the blue ridge parkway south from waynesboro. when i had to make a second gas stop. at this point i was so bored. the BRP stories of several hundred dollar speeding tickets had me not breaking 50mph on my 04 Honda RC51. best gas stop i ever made came next. i ran into what could have passed as a 70yr old man who just stepped off of the appalacian trail after months of hiking with the eception that he was wearing a motocross AMA hat. he couldnt figure out what the RVT was that was written on my bike. once i said it was better know as an RC51 sparks flew under his hat lol . . . this older man was alright. i began to tell him my story and asked him if i he knew of some good roads. the man said HWY 8 better know as what we call around here as "the little dragon" is right down the road. the man didnt even want to attempt to show me how to get there on my GPS but i managed to follow some good ol' boy directions he gave me lol . . . best ride that i've had since leaving the tail of the dragon on HWY 124 NC. the section of HWY 8 i did was from Blue ridge parkway heading south and i stopped at HWY58west to get a hotel in hillesville, va.