Rode to Bent Creek a few miles outside Asheville NC last week. Rode on Blue Ridge Parkway, zero trucks, billboards. Pristine. We then hit single tracks and found great climbs and declines in steep Smokey Mountains. Trails and fire roads are in great shape. Recommend driving there vs riding from town like we did. Parking on busy weekends is tight.
We rented two Trek X-Caliber 9 at Liberty Bikes. http://libertybikes.com/
Bring your own helmet, water, etc.
In about 2.5 hours my son (14) and me (48) covered 22 miles, 2300 foot elevation gain, 2500 loss.
Asheville, NC is also Beer City with the most micro breweries than any other city in the USA.