Sunday, June 23, 2013

Asheville - Beer City and Bike!

Last weekend, I had the choice to either go home for the weekend from Clarksville or go to Asheville.  You ask, why Asheville.  Well, one Asheville is known as Beer City USA.  There are more breweries per capita than anywhere else in the US.  Also, I've always wanted to go riding in mountains.  Asheville is located just on the edge of the Appalachian Mountains.  So, it was an easy choice to go to Asheville.

I decided at the last minute to go, so I had to find a hotel or a hostel.  The hostels were all booked, so it was time to look for a hotel.  I tried to priceline some really nice hotels and didn't find anything, but I did get a last minute deal that was 2 star hotel for $68.  Hmm, should I choose it.  I went ahead and took the risk.  The hotel was the Ramada Inn on Pike Ridge.  I read the reviews on Trip Advisor and found the reviews encouraging.  I arrived around 5:00 and saw that they had a shuttle downtown which was the first good thing.  Second, the room was good.  It was simple room that I would barely see the whole weekend.

I took a quick shower and it was time to go downtown and explore.  The shuttle from the hotel runs from 5 until 10:30, so knowing that I was going to ride in the morning the 10:30 time would be fine with me.  I ended up tasting beers at Wicked Weed, Green Man, Asheville Brewing Company, and the Tasty Monk.  All beers were very good.

The next morning it was time to ride up to Mt. Mitchell.  This would be my first time to actually do a ride with a really long climb.  The ride was going to be about 35 miles up hill and and 35 miles back downhill.   The ride started at my hotel and went up the Blue Ridge Parkway.  It was a beautiful ride up.  I was able to wake up early enough to miss much of the traffic.  The climb was long and I was ready to reach the summit and about 3.5 hrs later I was at the top!  Now, it was time to go down.  The downhill was the best part of the ride.  I was ticking off the miles quickly and was back at my hotel an hour and half later!

After the ride, it was time for some lunch and hit the breweries up again.  The beers today were from French Broad Brewery and some more around Asheville.  It was another great night and day!

The next morning I planned on driving along the Blue Ridge Parkway to 441 which would take me over the Smokies.  Along the way, I stopped and did some hikes and took some pictures.  It was a beautiful day for driving and the hikes. 


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