Biking the Biltmore

Good friends. Wine. Wonderful weather. Mountain landscapes. A visit to a  luxury estate. Delicious food. Only one more thing was necessary to make my trip to North Carolina complete: biking!

It wasn’t hard to persuade Jennie and Kristi to get on board. $10 and a trip to the activity center at the Biltmore Estate took care of that little omission. We chose the Trek Single cruisers and set off for a quick ride to the lagoon and back, past fields of grapevines and sunflowers. It was the perfect post-lunch, pre-wine-tasting-and-concert activity.

Before we set out, we spotted these adorable young cyclists riding along the path.

Starting early

Don't worry mom and dad, we're only taking their picture to post it on the Internet!

After paying, we headed out to the barn where bike mechanic Jessica had the Treks all ready for us — complete with baskets for our purses.

And . . . they're off!

And . . . we're off!

As we rode along the path, Jennie kept saying “I feel like a kid again!” I think it was the killer combination of bike and adorable ponytails.

Whee!

Whee!

After a small issue with the coaster break at the beginning of our ride, Kristi hit her stride.

Kristi pedaling along

Kristi pedaling along

It felt good to be on a bike again

It felt good to be on a bike again

It didn’t take us long to reach the lagoon, which had a gorgeous view of the Biltmore.

Biltmore through the haze

Biltmore through the haze

Leaving the lagoon

Leaving the lagoon

Me in motion

Me in motion

We stopped to take some photos on the way back. Apparently my bike was exhausted!

We stopped to take some photos. Apparently my bike was exhausted!

On the way back, we encountered a herd of Segways. As I passed them, I wanted to ask if riding one was as boring as it looked (they seemed SO SLOW in comparison to our bikes) but I didn’t. Jen later informed me that phrasing it that way might not have been the politest thing . . . so it’s probably for the best!

Attack of the Segways

Attack of the Segways

After our ride, and a quick trip to the blacksmith’s hut in the farm village, we headed to the side lawn to watch the sunset and listen to Bruce Hornsby.

Three glasses, three women, the sunset

Three glasses, three women, the sunset

Is it time to go on vacation again?

  • Katie

    Oh wow, I’m so jealous. I grew up near the Biltmore but live in CA now, and it’s such a wonderful place. But with BIKES??? That’s just simply amazing.

    • http://mtblawgirl.blogspot.com mtblawgirl

      What a wonderful day filled with girlfriends, bikes, amazing scenery, and wine. Doesn’t get any better than that!

  • http://www.jenniedemeis.blogspot.com Jennie

    I had so much fun on this trip! I forwarded this post to my mom and she called me up and said that you were an excellent writer and that this post was “Just Delightful.” Pretty much sums up the way I felt riding that cruiser!

    • miss sarah

      I love your comment about the segways! My friend sent me a picture recently her sister took in Paris. It was a bunch of hot people riding bikes, and a bunch of overweight people on segways. A picture says a thousand words:)

      Your trip looks fantastic. And yes, biking totally makes one feel like a kid again. It’s marvelous. Also, coaster breaks can be weird at first for the uninitiated, but the hands free riding is glorious.

      S*!

  • http://letsgorideabike.wordpress.com Trisha

    @ Ash –well, I can’t go in B’ham so . . . don’t be mad!! ;-)

    @ Katie — It’s really amazing. They have miles of trails but we would have had to rent a hybrid or MTB and we didn’t have time for that. Next time!

    @mtblaw — nope, it doesn’t. :)

    @ Tad — Always happy to let people air their POVs, and here’s mine: We’re not marketing anything, just documenting our personal experiences as they occur. I see helmets as a personal choice for the rider and the circumstance. It was also a liability issue for the Biltmore.

    @ Jennie — thank your mom again for me. Did she like the wine?

    @ miss sarah — I could learn to love a coaster, esp when combined with a single handbrake. The hands-free aspect is indeed glorious!

    @ everyone who mentioned Segways — they must have their place, I just haven’t figured out what it is yet! I imagine it would feel like standing still on a moving sidewalk, another thing I never do. SLG, they definitely remind me of ducks.

  • http://misadventuresincrafts.wordpress.com/ Molly

    I love the Biltmore! Perfect place for a bike ride:)

  • http://cyclingisgoodforyou.blogspot.com anna

    Wow, lovely bike ride! Oh, and I love your side note about the Segways!!! I will remember it for the future. It happens sometimes that Segway people block the bike paths, which annoys me a little. Plus, they turn without indicating and all that, and most people can’t ride them properly too. I remember a few dangerous situations with them.

  • http://www.fullhandsx3.blogspot.com sara

    Ahhhh– I am so living vicariously through this posting right now. Love the idea of hanging out with some of my favorite women with bikes and wine. All good.

  • http://bikesandthecity.blogspot.com/ meligrosa

    adoraaaaaable. so so cute, I wanna join a ride with you all soon, or viceversa he hee ;P xoxo

    • http://charlottedays.blogspot.com Allison

      Ps: only thing missing from your NC trip was ME! I’m just sayin’

      • http://letsgorideabike.wordpress.com Trisha

        wish you could have made it.

    • http://letsgorideabike.wordpress.com Trisha

      anytime! ;-)

  • http://2wwhls3spds.blogspot.com 2whls3spds

    Haven’t been to Biltmore in quite a few years. We used to go at Christmas when the children were still children.

    Curiosity question; do they require a helmet if you bring your own bike? or just if you rent.

    Glad you enjoyed the trip, my two favorite places are the greenhouse/rose gardens and the winery. ;-)

    Aaron

    • http://letsgorideabike.wordpress.com Trisha

      I hear the Biltmore is gorgeous at Christmas. I think they only require helmets if you rent, but I’m not sure — you had to buy a trail pass ($5 or so) if you bring your own bike. There may be some special waiver you can sign; we didn’t ask.

  • http://letsgorideabike.wordpress.com dottie

    Those are gorgeous pictures – looks like a fabulous time! I’ve never actually been to the Biltmore, although I’ve been in the area a lot. My family is more about the beach than the mountains for visit.

    My favorite picture is the one of your exhausted bike. So funny!

  • academichic

    What a wonderful day with your girl friends! I love all of this, from the lovely bike ride, to the gorgeous scenery, and wine topped end to the day! :)

    S.

  • Braxton

    Three “glasses?” :P Looks like a wonderful trip aside from the lack of proper wine glasses! ;) Reminds me that I need to go back – it’s been too many years.

  • Ashley

    Oh my gosh, I can’t believe you guys went to Bruce Hornsby without me;)

    Those are great pictures, and you guys all look so cute! The Biltmore looks like lots of fun! It’s beautiful! I would love to go sometime. Maybe next year on our way to the annual festival.

    People on segways always crack me up. Although, I don’t, personally, have anything against them. Sometimes they’re good for long distances and elderly people – and mall cops;)

  • http://mplsrad.wordpress.com Tad Salyards

    What a lovely ride!

    Please allow me to vent on my favorite topic for a second. Are the bike helmets really necessary? The wearing of helmets in what appears to be very low risk conditions (and on slow speed cruisers) is such poor marketing for every-day-cycling. Don’t buy into the culture of fear!

    http://www.vehicularcyclist.com/keller.html

    -Tad

  • http://thechaicyclist.blogspot.com spiderleggreen

    Segways are so funny! Why do they always look like a duck, leading her flock of ducklings? Better than scooters, though. Quiet and non-polluting. If something always makes you laugh, it’s worth keeping around.

    Tad~ I don’t begrudge people for wearing helmets, especially if they are new. I myself, will wear one, if I think my ride may be a higher risk adventure. Such as, getting on my fast bike and tearing it up. Or in rough weather, like a snow storm. Everybody accesses the risks for themselves.

  • http://sheridesabike.com Karen

    I love Biltmore! As a child, I was sure that someday I’d buy it and live there. Somehow, things never panned out that way but one can always visit and what a romantic setting for riding a bike.

    I just don’t get the Segway.

  • Jeff Schneider

    Oh, what a fun day that must have been…

    The Segway is a mystery to me, too. Standing still is so much less comfortable than sitting or walking. Slower than a bicycle, less mobile than a horse or person on foot, I just can’t see what Segway offers other than novelty.