Passions & Pursuits

A Leisurely Ride

There are about as many different kinds of bicycles as there are cars, and certain types are suited for specific styles of riding. A fast road bike could be compared to a sleek sports car. A mountain bike would be your four-wheel drive Jeep, while a gravel bike is a slightly more sophisticated SUV. But a hybrid, leisure-style bike is like a combination of the best of everything. It’s roomy, comfortable, practical and can go almost anywhere…not quite like a mini-van, more like a Subaru hatchback. Leisure bikes are cool and relaxed, and you don’t feel like you have to change clothes to use it. It’s the closest thing in the mountains to a beach bike.

Leisure biking is a popular choice at Blackberry Farm because it’s a great way to see the local countryside and get some light exercise. It’s also something most anyone can do, though we also offer a Cycling 101 class for those who want to start from the ground up!

One of our favorite places to ride is on a quiet stretch of road along the Little River. In the spring there is an abundance of wildflowers on the banks, and you may see geese floating below you, or even an osprey or bald eagle snatching a fish out of the water. In the Summer, it’s fun to watch the kids in inner tubes getting splashed and trying to avoid the rocks! In the Fall you may smell wood smoke from the fireplaces of cabins perched above the river and see colored leaves glistening on the rocks. Wintertime brings even more solitude and extended views through the sparse canopy.

We sometimes continue into the small community of Townsend, following a bike path past local craft shops and restaurants, pedaling towards the cool, green woods of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. We may stop for coffee or a photo on a swinging bridge. We try not to be in a hurry, because this ride is about enjoying the scenery, each other’s company and the luxurious practice of slowing down.

Joy Hopkins, Adventure Manager

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