There were only two hours of sun on Sunday, but man, did our GetHiking! Sunday hikers ever take advantage. We hiked about 5 miles on the Mountains-to-Sea Trail upstream along the Eno River from Penny’s Bend Nature Preserve in Durham, taking in one of the best spring unveilings we’ve seen in years. We saw vast carpets of spring beauties, their little satellite petals of white and pink scanning the sky for sun. We saw the slightly larger rue-anenome, then their less-common cousin, the Dutchman’s breeches, a small hillside of them looking like clusters of pulled teeth (only stunning). There were violets, there were bluets, there were mayapples about to do their thing, there were trout lilies that already had.
It’s about this time of year that I begin getting distracted on the trail. I stumble over tree roots and rocks more, my attention diverted from the trail itself to three, five, 10 feet into the neighboring terrain. Scanning, constantly. I grow quieter on group hikes; my responses to fellow hikers limited to a delayed “right” or “sure,” wondering later if I offered to bring a main course to a pot luck.
Catch fat bikes on the beach, wildflowers in the Piedmont, a sunny spring day along the Laurel River in the mountains.
Here’s a good reason to go to the coast this weekend: the US Open Fat Bike Championships.
First, we’re guessing a lot of you are wondering what an Open Fat Bike is. Actually, it’s just a Fat Bike, which is a mountain bike with bulbous tires, defined as wider than four inches. Typically, they’re used to bomb down mountains, rolling over whatever lies in wait. In this case, however, they will be used to race on the beach, in sand, which any cyclist will tell you is a challenge at best, a nightmare to the drive train at worst.