Friday, October 17, 2008

BIKING TO BEASLEY'S ORCHARD
A 40-mile warm-up ride for the Hilly Hundred

HILLY WEEKEND. Tomorrow and Sunday comprise the Hilly Hundred, a two-day 100-mile ride through the beautiful hills around Bloomington, Bedford and Nashville. I've lost count of the number of times I've ridden the Hilly. I keep going back for various reasons. It's autumn at its best. It's about 5,000 cyclists and bicycles of all shapes, sizes, and styles. It's a challenge, yielding a sense of accomplishment. There's live music and good food at every stop. And it's a group thing; I've made some friends through the Hilly.

TO DANVILLE AND BACK. This year, Alex Butler, my son-in-law, will ride the Hilly with me. Today, we fitted him on my blue road Cannondale and took off for Danville. We met Becky and Abby at Beasley's Orchard at the eastern edge of Danville and then rode to the town square and had lunch at the Mayberry Cafe (first time I've been there). After lunch, we pedaled back home. A good warm-up for the 50- or 63-mile circuit we'll make tomorrow from Ellettsville to Bedford and back.

ORCHARDS IN AUTUMN. This was my first visit to Beasley's Orchard, too. Getting to some orchard in October seems like a rite of passage each autumn. Just like going to Brown County, hiking the state park, and eating lunch at the Hob Nob has been a tradition in our family since the kids were much younger. I admired the variety of homemade jellies, jams and preserves at Beasley's. We came away with some cider and a peck or two of apples. Perhaps they'll been turned into pie before the weekend's out. One can hope!

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