Art, Produce, and Ice Cream - From the Mountains to the Coast - CycleBlaze

October 2, 2019

Art, Produce, and Ice Cream

M2C Siler City to Clayton (off the bike)

North Carolina State Museum of Art
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When does a bicycle ride become a bicycle tour? For this ride, it is when you take an excursion rather than getting on your bike and riding to the next city. Today was my first experience and taking a motor coach excursion while on a bicycle ride. The Cycle NC folks offer an option to opt out of cycling from city A to city B and instead enjoy a motorcoach tour to nearby attractions. The tour ends in the destination city with your bike and luggage waiting for you. It's a bargain at $20.

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With the temperature in the mid-90s and the distance today close to 80 miles, it was a good option to enjoy a day off the bike. I didn't know what to expect. I was very pleasantly surprised by the quality of the tour destinations. Today's tour took me to the North Carolina State Museum of Art, the North Carolina Farmers Market, and the North Carolina State Heritage Dairy Farm & Museum.

North Carolina State Farmers Market
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I made the choice to excursion after yesterday's long hard hilly ride that ended in a sag. On these rides there are many types of cyclists. There are there the pedal to the carbon fiber roadies who want to ride fast and hard every day. There are cyclists who live for a challenge like cycling from the mountains to coast.. There are many casual cyclists who enjoy taking the time to know the people and places along the ride. This is a good option for the casual cyclist

Fall Harvest has arrived at the market
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The excursion option on this ride is relatively new. It gives the casual cyclist a chance to explore North Carolina beyond the view from their handlebars. It gives the cyclist unable to do or uncomfortable with the day's ride an option to enjoy the day.  It also gives the cyclist a mid-ride day off the bike  

Free ice cream after the tour of the North Carolina State Heritage Farm and Museum
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Over the last year, I've been giving some thought on the  topic of what differentiates a bike ride from a bike tour. I see people who are touring long distances everyday with their heads down to get from point A to point B no matter what. To me that is not touring that is a bicycle ride.

Jerseys were common on this teaching dairy farm
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A bicycle tour from my perspective involves  taking time to see the people and places along the ride. It's about interacting with people in the communities.  Today's excursion  gives that dimension to what I consider a bicycle ride. By allowing people to add the tour aspect into the ride it becomes a mix of a ride and a tour.

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 I very much liked today and would consider this on future rides. The state rides that I have cycled do not offer such an option. I think this is pretty unique to cycle NC.

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