Sunday, March 08, 2015

A Taste of Spring

After a wicked six weeks or so of winter, we finally had a beautiful spring-like day today.  It was bright and clear, with temperatures in the 60's.  Hallelujah!  So we decided to go ride our bikes at the Biltmore estate.  I pulled the bikes out of their winter storage in the garage, pumped up the tires, gave them a first-rate pre-flight check ("yep, they still have handlebars ..."), loaded them onto the bike rack, and off we went.

And joined about half the population of Asheville at the Biltmore.  Turns out that our bright idea was the same bright idea everybody else had.  The paths were full of bikers, hikers, strollers, dogs, kids, and every imaginable combination thereof.  So it was slow going.  But still, it was good to get out again.  We puttered along, really just getting the feel of the bikes, getting our legs adjusted to pedaling, trying to pick up where we left off last fall, and enjoying the day.  Everybody was in a good mood, too.  Don't you love it when everybody is smiling and happy just to be there?

The Biltmore is a pretty good place to ride bikes.  The trails are smooth and easy, both when they're paved, when they're gravel, and even when they're just dirt.  Since the biking/hiking trails are separate from the roads, you don't have to worry about cars running you down.  We stayed on the flat land.  There are some trails that go up into the hills, but this is our first ride of the year, so we avoided the steeper trails.  We'll try them later.

I saw lots of places that I'd like to come back to and paint.  It's much easier to spot them on a bike than from a car, since you're right there and going slow.  And when you find a place, you can just stop.  In a car, you have to find a place to park, and it may be a long way away.  One of the things I'm going to have to take a look at is how to carry my French easel and painting stuff on the bike.

So that was it.  A really nice day outside.  My legs are feeling the unfamiliar exercise already, which is a good thing (for now, anyway - I may be singing a different tune tomorrow morning).  Looks like we're going to have a wet week, but we'll have highs in the upper 50's, which is ABOUT FRICKIN' TIME!  

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