Route History
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Cycle North Carolina's Twenty-Fourth Annual Tour took place September 30 - October 7, 2023.  855 cyclists from 41 states, D.C. and five other countries were treated to perfect cycling weather as they traversed the state.  The route began in Banner Elk and ended in Emerald IsleWilkesboro, Winston-Salem, Mebane, Henderson, Tarboro and Kinston were the other overnight towns along the way.  Some highlight rest stops from this ride were the Glencoe Textile Heritage Museum, the Laurel Grist Mill, Fountain General Store, Simply Natural Creamery, Sanders Ridge Vineyard, Eno River Farms and the fantastic breakfast on the last day at Shady Grove Methodist Church.  

Cycle North Carolina's Twenty-Third Annual Tour was held from October 1-8, 2022. 805 cyclists, representing 39 states, plus D.C., Ontario, Quebec, Germany and France enjoyed 5 days of riding across the state.  The first two days were thwarted due to Hurricane Ian, but the remainder of the week was some of the most beautiful cycling weather Cycle NC has ever seen.  The route was scheduled to begin in Lake Junaluska and then continue to Hendersonville, but the first two days were cancelled and the event begin at the awe-inspiring Tryon International Equestrian Center.  From there, the event made overnight stops in Belmont, Albemarle, Laurinburg and Whiteville before ending at Holden Beach for the first time in Cycle NC history. The route was challenging as we made our way through Charlotte, the state's biggest city, and then on through the Uwharrie Mountains.  Highlight rest stops included the Lake Waccamaw Train Depot, the Earl Scruggs Center in Shelby, the Forest City Pavilion on Park Square and the Rockingham Motor Speedway. 

Cycle North Carolina's Twenty-Second Annual Tour was held from October 2-9, 2021. 827 cyclists, representing 41 states, plus D.C., Costa Rica, the United Kingdom and Canada enjoyed perfect riding weather throughout the week.  The days were warm but overcast and the rain stayed away all week.  The route meandered from Sparta to North Topsail Beach, making overnight stops in Mount Airy, Reidsville, Roxboro, Creedmoor/Butner, Smithfield and Wallace along the way, including three new overnight towns.  Wonderful rest stops highlighted routes that featured low traffic counts as we navigated the northern part of the state at the beginning of the ride. As we dipped south, we enjoyed over 30 miles of riding along the Neuse River Greenway through the state's capital city.  Other highlights included rest stops at High Rock Farms, Mount Olive, Round Peak Vineyards and downtown Clayton.

Cycle North Carolina's Twenty-First Annual Tour was held from September 28 - October 5, 2019. 964 cyclists, representing 39 states, plus D.C. and Canada were treated to wonderful cycling and dry days throughout the week.  The route stretched from Blowing Rock to Atlantic Beach, stopping in Hickory, Spencer, Siler City, Clayton, Greenville and New Bern along the way, including four new overnight towns.  Record temperatures made this the hottest Cycle NC ever, but the routes and rest stops were fantastic.  Highlights included the rest stops in Troutman, Asheboro, Farmville and Yoder’s Dutch Pantry in the eastern part of the state.    

Cycle North Carolina's Twentieth Annual Tour was held from September 29 - October 6, 2018. 982 cyclists, representing 36 states, plus D.C., Canada and England enjoyed a sunny ride (after day 1) from Black Mountain to Oak Island.  Along the way, the overnight stops were Morganton, Mooresville, Archdale, Southern Pines, Dunn and Elizabethtown.  After experiencing Day 1 in the mountains through a rain storm, Days 2-7 were fantastic, with beautiful sunny weather.  Highlights included the rest stops in Newton and Roseboro, plus the cyclists were able to give back to the Hurricane Florence relief effort.  The hurricane hit two weeks before the event kicked off, and Cycle NC was able to bring some much needed economic impact many of the eastern towns in the state that experienced some devastation and damage.   

Cycle North Carolina's Nineteeth Annual Tour was held from September 30 - October 6, 2017. 960 cyclists, representing 39 states, plus D.C., Canada and Germany experienced beautiful cycling weather all week as they made their way from Jefferson to Swansboro.  Along the way, the overnight stops were Elkin, Oak Ridge, Chapel Hill, Knightdale, Wilson and Kinston.  The rest stops featured plenty of highlights, but Spring Hope's sweet potatoes and Farmville's store decorations were hard to beat!  The cyclists visited two ball parks, the Durham Bulls Athletic Park and Five County Stadium (home to the Carolina Mudcats) as well.  The cycling route on Day 4 utilized the American Tobacco Trail and the Neuse River Greenway for more than twenty miles of car-free cycling!  The Visit NC Excursions grew in popularity in the second year of offering the program.      

Cycle North Carolina’s Eighteenth Annual Tour featured 905 cyclists and took place from October 1 - 7, 2016.  The ride was scheduled to end on October 7th, but due to extreme weather and safety concerns related to Hurricane Matthew, the organizers were forced to end the ride early for the second year in a row.  The participants began their trek in the wonderful mountain town of Banner Elk.  The weather was fantastic for the majority of the week until Hurricane Matthew reared his ugly head.The 18th annual tour's overnight stops included Wilkesboro, Lexington, Burlington, Sanford, Clinton and ended prematurely in Jacksonville.  Atlantic Beach was the final stop scheduled for the tour.  Cycle NC launched the Visit NC Excursions during this tour.  The excursions allow cyclists to take a break for a day or two during the tour and see historical and interesting sites in the Tarheel State.  They also allow family members who don't ride to join the tour and have an exciting itinerary planned for each day as they traverse the state via motor coach.

Cycle North Carolina’s Seventeenth Annual Tour featured 1,126 cyclists and took place from September 26 - October 1, 2015.  The ride was scheduled to end on October 3rd, but due to extreme weather and safety concerns, the organizers were forced to end the ride two days early.  The cyclists started the ride in scenic Waynesville, where they were welcomed with a festival-like atmosphere.  The tour continued on to Hendersonville, Shelby, Concord (remember the camels?), Southern Pines and ended prematurely in Lumberton.  Whiteville and Oak Island were the final two stops scheduled for the tour.

Cycle North Carolina’s Sixteenth Annual Tour took place from September 27 - October 4, 2014, featuring 1,090 cyclists.  The participants began their journey in Sparta, experiencing one of the toughest climbing days in Cycle North Carolina history.  But with the tough climbs came beautiful views of the Appalachian Mountains including a stunning sunrise.  We had comfortable temperatures and clear skies most of the week (except for Day 2 going into Reidsville).  The 16th annual tour's overnight stops included Mount Airy, Reidsville, Oxford, Roanoke Rapids, Edenton and Manteo.  On Day 7, the cyclists trekked down the iconic Hwy 12 in the Outer Banks (into a stiff head wind) passing the Bodie Island Lighthouse and the Hatteras Lighthouse along the way, before ending in Hatteras Village, steps away from the beach. 

Cycle North Carolina’s Fifteenth Annual Tour took place from September 28 - October 5, 2013 and attracted 1,055 riders.  The weather was phenomenal all week, with not a drop of rain felt by any of the participants.  The tour began in beautiful Spruce Pine, just steps from the Blue Ridge Parkway.  One of the highlights of the week was a fantastic overnight stop in Troutman complete with hot air balloons, a petting zoo (including a camel!), a pink fire truck and a wonderful bluegrass band.  Many small towns rolled out the red carpet for our rest stops as well, including fantastic stops and local flair in Denton and Swansboro.  The 15th annual tour's overnight stops included Morganton, Troutman, Asheboro, Holly Springs, Goldsboroand New Bern.  For the second year in a row, participants were able to camp on the beach - this time at the Atlantic Beach Boardwalk.  This year's route and weather made for a fantastic way to celebrate 15 years of cycling across the great state of North Carolina. Looking forward to 15 more!

Cycle North Carolina’s Fourteenth Annual Tour took place from September 29 - October 6, 2012 and attracted 1,132 riders.  The 14th annual tour began in the North Carolina Mountains at Brevard College.  A little rain showed up on Day 2 and 3 of the ride, but the rest of the week was beautiful, with fantastic weather.  Participants navigated through the heart of North Carolina's biggest city, Charlotte, and were wowed with the bike friendly route utilizing bike lanes and the Little Sugar Creek Greenway as they cycled through the heart of Uptown.  The rest stops were upgraded this year, adding food with a local flair (Bojangle's biscuits, Ingle's pastries, Krispy Kreme donuts, local ice cream and Lu Mil Vineyards preserves and wine) as the route navigated through the overnight towns of Lake Lure, Shelby, Matthews, Rockingham, Lumberton and White Lake.  For the first time in Cycle North Carolina history, participants were able to camp on the beach at the ending location at the Carolina Beach Boardwalk.

Cycle North Carolina’s Thirteenth Annual Tour took place from October 1– October 8, 2011 and attracted 956 riders. The participants of the 13th annual tour and celebration began in the heart of North Carolina Wine country in Elkin.  Although the days were long in mileage, the weather was absolutely the best we’ve seen on any CNC tour.  With cool evenings and mornings and mild temps during the day… every day, it made the week of riding quite enjoyable.  Cyclists were treated to a week of NC wineries, memorable rest stops (Town of Reidsville, Cherry Hill Plantation, Smith’s Country Store, Blount-Bridgers House, and the Bodie Island Lighthouse just to name a few), unique and new overnight towns, and even a trip up the NC coast for the final day of riding.  The “Mountains to the Coast” tour had overnight stops in Mayodan, Mebane, Henderson, Rocky Mount, Plymouthand Manteo, where local hosts pulled out all the stops to assure that riders have a great time.  The ride ended in Corolla at the Whalehead Club and the Corolla Lighthouse.  It was a great last day with 50 plus miles up the Outer Banks Coast and plenty of sites to see. 

Cycle North Carolina’s Twelfth Annual Tour took place September 25 – October 2, 2010 and attracted 1,170 riders. The participants of the 12th annual tour and celebration began at North Carolina’s largest tourist attraction, the Biltmore Estate.  Participants were wowed by the beauty and history behind this magnificent historic site.  Being able to begin Cycle North Carolina at a site like the Biltmore Estate is such an honor and a special treat.  Once leaving the estate, rider’s experience exciting entertainment, quaint shops, towns, museums, historic sites and North Carolina's scenic beauty all the way to Ocean Isle Beach.  Let’s be honest, this year’s tour was probably the “wettest” tour in years, but as any dedicated CNC cyclist, they continued to pedal through the rain from town to town.  Those that completed the entire week earned the right to say they cycled 7 days across the state in the rain.  As most put it, “it’s all about the experience.  A little rain isn’t going to hurt anybody.”  Cyclists visited many small and unique towns such as Black Mountain, Valdese, China Grove, Mt. Gilead, Lumberton, Pembroke and many more.  The “Mountains to the Coast” tour had overnight stops in Marion, Hickory, Mooresville, Albemarle, Laurinburg, and Whiteville, where local hosts pulled out all the stops to assure that riders have a great time.

Cycle North Carolina’s Eleventh Annual Tour took place September 26 – October 3, 2009 and attracted 1,154 riders. The participants of the 11th annual tour and celebration had the opportunity to experience the Blue Ridge Mountains from one of North Carolina's largest attraction, the Blue Ridge Parkway.  The view from the Lin Cove Viaduct was definitely worth the steady climb up the mountain from the starting point, which was Blowing Rock.  The “Mountains to the Coast” tour had overnight stops in Lenoir, Statesville, Thomasville, Sanford, Dunn, Kenansville and Surf City, where local hosts pulled welcomed riders as they finished their week long trek on the coast.

Cycle North Carolina’s Tenth Annual Tour took place September 27 – October 4, 2008 and attracted 1,051 riders. The participants of the 10th annual tour and celebration were enticed by exciting entertainment, crafts, quaint shops, museums, historic sites and North Carolina's scenic beauty, from Black Mountain to Oak Island.  The “Mountains to the Coast” tour has overnight stops in Morganton, Lincolnton, Concord-Lowe’s Motor Speedway, Wingate, Laurel Hill, and White Lake, where local hosts pulled out all the stops to assure that riders have a great time.

Cycle North Carolina’s Ninth Annual Tour took place September 29 – October 6, 2007 and attracted 1,050 riders. Cyclists set off on their tour in West Jefferson and ended in Currituck with an optional ferry ride across the Currituck Sound to Knotts Island. Overnight towns were: West Jefferson, Elkin, Greensboro, Mebane, Louisburg, Roanoke Rapids, and Edenton.

Cycle North Carolina’s Eighth Annual Tour took place September 30 – October 7, 2006 and attracted 996 riders.  The route began in Banner Elkand ended in Emerald Isle with overnight stops in Wilkesboro, Clemmons, Burlington, Holly Springs, Smithfield, and Kinston. The ride featured the Blue Ridge Mountains, several scenic rivers, lakes, State Parks. Historic sites, the warmth and charm of local communities. 

Cycle North Carolina's Seventh Annual Tour took place October 1 – October 8, 2005. North Carolina's most popular bike tour had 1,095 bicyclists from 42 states, Canada, Italy, Spain and Belgium. This group cycled from Asheville to Wilmington and visited towns in Forest City, Hickory, Concord, Albemarle, Laurinburg, and Whiteville.

Cycle North Carolina’s Sixth Annual Tour took place the week of October 2 – October 9, 2004 and attracted 912 riders. Each year the coordinators of CNC prepare an all new Mountains to the Coast tour. Towns for this tour were Sparta, Mount Airy, Eden, Mebane, Henderson, Rocky Mount, Washington and Oriental. The ride featured the Blue Ridge Mountains, several scenic rivers, lakes, state parks, historic sites and the warmth and charm of local communities, topped off with a ferry ride across the Pamlico River on day seven.  

Cycle North Carolina’s Fifth Annual Tour took place the week of October 4 – October 11, 2003 and attracted a record number of riders at 1,211.  The tour began in the Heart of the High Country—Boone—then sliced across the state on a diagonal to finish at the sandy beaches of Oak Island. Overnight towns included Lenoir, Troutman, Albemarle, Rockingham, Lumberton, and Whiteville.  It was not a race, but rather a leisurely trek on scenic back country roads with minimal traffic. It was also an opportunity to join more than 1,100 other bicyclists on an educational, social and recreational tour of the Old North State.

Named the one of the "Best Bicycling in America" by the League of American Bicyclists, Cycle North Carolina’s Fourth Annual Tour was filled with opportunities to enjoy "The Old North State." 960 cyclists started in Historic Statesville on October 5, 2002 and reached their weeklong destination at New Bern's downtown waterfront on October 12, 2002. Overnight towns included Lexington, Asheboro w/ a layover day, Sanford, Dunn, and Kinston.  The sometimes heavy rain dampened roads and gear but not the spirit of this year's riders. In spite of the weather this tour was said by many to be one of the most scenic so far.

Cycle North Carolina's Third Annual Tour October 6 – October 13, 2001 treated participating cyclists to the southern hospitality of eight cities along the tour route from Mount Airy to Elizabeth City. Scheduled stops along the way were in Winston-Salem, Reidsville, Roxboro, Henderson, Roanoke Rapidsand Edenton where locals came out to barbecue, entertain and to just show a good time for the evenings. 991 cyclists from near and as far away as the Virgin Islands and Canada ranged in age from 6 to 78.

Cycle North Carolina’s Second Annual Tour took place the week of October 7 – October 14, 2000 treated participating cyclists to the southern hospitality of eight cities along the tour route from Boone to the USS North Carolina Battleship in Wilmington. Scheduled stops along the way were in Wilkesboro, Salisbury, Albemarle, Southern Pines, Lumberton and Whiteville.  875 cyclists gathered together for their chance to relive their amazing experience from the Inaugural Ride the year before.

Cycle North Carolina’s Inaugural Tour took place October 2 – October 16, 1999 and treated participants to North Carolinas first, fully-supported cross-state bike tour.  The ride began in Murphy and stretched for two whole weeks to Manteo with scheduled overnight stops in Franklin, Brevard, Swannanoa, Forest City, Lincolnton, Concord, Asheboro, Hillsborough, Raleigh, Wilson, Washington,and Swan Quarter. The ride showcased the varied and rich topography, culture and history of the great state of North Carolina – from the tallest and largest Mountains in the Eastern United States to the sprawling, unspoiled beaches of the Outer Banks. Riders had the choice of riding all 14 days, 7 days and even just 1 day.  They were a part of NC history.  524 riders participated in the ride, and that was only the beginning of what would become one of the best bike tours in America.