Carsonville loop #1
This is a moderate difficulty loop and is also used as part of the Bicycling and Barbeque ride. Lollipop-shaped, it begins and ends (once outside of Galax) with 4 rolling miles along the New River. There are no major climbs on this section and the riverside scenery is great. Be sure to get warmed up on this section though as the right turn on Carsonville Road begins a 3-mile climb that is steeper at the bottom before moderating in the middle. The "lollipop" portion of this route is on traditional appalachian roads with shorter steep climbs and twisty steep descents. After returning to the river, the route reverses the "stick" portion of the route.
Delhart/Fairview loop #1
This is a moderate difficulty loop that is also used as part of the Bicycling and Barbeque ride. A true loop, you will find yourself on better-than-average road surfaces (mostly) as you pedal in and out of several local valleys. Sure there are climbs, but this loop emphasizes rythm. Early on, Delhart road combines several miles of false flats ending with a climb to Savanah Road. On Savanah, you will find a rollercoaster of ups and downs - all short but all steep. Edmonds road is a fast roll with one climb as is Old Fairview Road. Turning off of Fairview Road will lead to one substantial climb followed by a descent and valley road back to Galax.
This is a more difficult loop that includes the first sections of the Delhart/Fairview loop. At the end of Savanah Road a right turn will lead to a quick left turn, one climb, and a descent to the Blue Ridge Parkway. Once on the Parkway, there are the "5 climbs" ranging from 4 minutes to 7 minutes each (at ~14 mph) as you gain elevation. Be prepared for the left turn at the top of the 5th hill. Another quick left turn will lead you on the downhill run back to town.
There is only one real reason to ride this out and back route on the Blue Ridge Parkway: a true 10-mile climb. Yep, that's right - the end of this route from Rt. 21 to Doughton Park is 12 miles of climbing (interupted by 3 short descents) ending at a pancake house that will fill you up for the return trip. This climb is one the longest in our area and will test your legs. Route-finding is simple: stay on the Parkway. The rest depends on your legs.