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April 23, 2010


Filed under: San Francisco, Travel — anotherheader @ 5:34 am

Filoli in Spring

Becky and I had conscious dual purposes for our Thursday bike ride.  Yes, we wanted to visit the nearby Filoli estate with its beautiful gardens.  We had never been to Filoli’s mansion and grounds.  Some would say that our lack of a visit to a celebrated place so close to our home and Filoli’s protected status under the National Trust for Historic Preservation was no coincidence.  Please pay no attention to those viscous rumors.

Indeed it is ironic that we had ridden our bikes by Filoli’s entrance on Canada Road so many times without ever going in.  For us, going to Filoli is purpose enough for a bike ride.  But we had another motivation.  We needed to test our reconfigured mountain

bikes for our upcoming European road trip.  The decision of what bike to bring to Europe is a hard one for us.  We’d like to be able to ride the dirt trails that we find on the Continent.  At the same time the famous climbs of Europe’s grand cycling tours also beckon.  We needed to be able to do both serious road and off road bike riding.  Our choice has devolved to bringing mountain bikes, Becky’s Stumpjumper and my old Enduro, and carry both knobbies and slicks.  But can we climb the Col du Tourmalet and Alpe d’Huez on 30-lb full-suspension mountain bikes.  Or are we sick to even try?  I’m not sure, so a test ride turning the heavy bikes slick rubber over the asphalt would provide experimental data.  For Becky, the mid-week ride would give the first chance to test the murky waters of her new post-employment freedom.

Our bikes waiting patiently for the return ride

Up over the hill and along Canada Road, we reached the grounds of Filoli precariously placed in the middle of the San Andreas Fault rift zone.  Without doubt, it took more energy to get our mountain bikes over the hill than it does on our road bikes, but it seemed survivable.  But Col du Tourmalet would certainly not be easy on any bike, let alone our mountain bikes, so doubts about our bicycle choice still linger

At Filoli whose name was taken from the first to letters of each segment of the creed “Fight for a just cause; Love your fellow man; Live a good life,” we joined the ladies who lunch who were visiting on the day.  The ladies too were enjoying their just cause of a beautiful spring day.  Our tour of the mansion assured us that the building was indeed move-in ready.  We are confident that our low-ball offer will be accepted.  The market is down, after all.

Outside the gardens were popping with the bright colors of spring.  Life was good for those who lived at Filoli.  And it was good for us on this day too, though we still remained conflicted about our European bicycle choices.  Life will be good for you too also if you have a chance to check Filoli out in the throws of spring.

Filoli’s website

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