The Colorado Springs of the East.
Following the RACE link will take you to some mystical riding places as well, even if you don't (gasp!) race..
Carvin's Cove Outdoor Paradise Found On Public Property
Carvin's Cove New Year's Ride!
Download Maps of the Outrageous Blue Ridge & Arcadia Region
Situated at the southern end of the Shenandoah Valley, the Roanoke Valley shines with outdoor riches brighter than its nickname: The Star City of the south. The Appalachian Trail runs through, as does the Blue Ridge Parkway (Roanoke is the largest city along the famous New Deal roadway). This aspect was taken from beneath the 40 foot neon star situated atop Mill Mountain. In the distance, Brushy, Fort Lewis, McAfee's Knob, and Catawba Mountains form the valley's western wall. One rim back, North Mountain, home to the infamous Dragon's Back race, rises like a great craggy backbone along Craig county's outermost edge.
Every mountain you see offers something to ride, some of it gnarly, some of it sweet, but all of it right there! Within one hour of downtown, there is simply more known riding than time allows. If you're a mountain bike pioneer, there is much unknown riding yet to be explored. More excellent trails with mountainous personalities are urban-accessible on and around the star city's neon star bearing rise, Mill Mountain.
Want climbs? Poor Mountain from Wabun Revival Church is better than 2700' vertical. The Middle Creek climb in Arcadia is better than 3000. Descents? The Gauntlet is a 1500' drop on singletrack so slim there's no built-in error margin. Spec Mines is about is tight and incredible as any downhill gets. Want epics? Design your own and use the Blue Ridge Parkway as your center point, dropping in to either the west or east, or better yet, both. Technical? Test yourself on those goregous blue rocks that highlight Dragon's Back and Potts Mountain. Races? The Virginia Mountain Bike Series features races like you ride: true cross-countries, point-to-point or one big circuit. Leave the gerbil-in-the-wheel short lap races to piedmont/coastal-types.
And, non-race events are on the rise.