The Delmarva Peninsula is an optimal place to spend your days on the road, and I don’t mean traveling: staying close to home and grounded…on a bike. The roads and trails of the Eastern Shore are ideal for active travel. The sparse traffic, the flat streets and the pedestrian friendly towns cry out for you to visit them on two wheels.
Nothing compares to the simple pleasure of a bike ride. ~John F. Kennedy
Whether you’re a visitor to the Shore, or you’re a full time resident, pedaling in our villages and parks offers opportunities to interact with whatever catches your fancy. Farmer’s Markets, a beautiful butterfly in a well planned garden, stunning architecture, an afternoon sunset, are all a full sensory experience when perched atop a bicycle seat.
Gerald Johnston, 70, a Rehoboth Beach resident and retired professor, is an avid cyclist. He joins two cycling tours per year. The tours start out a local inn or B&B, and then each morning after a rousing breakfast, the group receives a map with riding directions. Participants go at their own pace, stopping to enjoy a packed picnic lunch until they reach their next stop: usually another quaint inn with a hearty dinner planned for the riders. “It’s a real getaway, with no TV and no computer. We go on back roads, and you rarely see a car.” Johnston rides with Carolina Tailwinds, a successful tour operator that sponsors trips on the Eastern Shore and in North Carolina’s Outer Banks. Johnston says, “I use the trips to motivate myself to keep in shape year-round.”
There are several tour operators that offer organized cycling tours. Innkeeper Larry Kanudsen, of the Riverhouse Inn in Snow Hill, Maryland, sponsors “Inn Tours” – bike excursions between lodges. Retirees, couples and families take Inn Tour vacations to explore secluded trails of Chincoteague, Assateague and the surrounding environs. Kanudsen describes the trip, “When you’re riding along you see lots of farms and water, golf courses, stands of timber, and wildlife.”
Insert: When I see an adult on a bicycle, I do not despair for the future of the human race. ~H.G. Wells
If you want to try biking for a good cause, sign up for The “Between the Waters Bike Tour,” in October, a fundraiser for the Nature Conservancy. The tour is an ecotourism event that gives riders the opportunity to see the beauty of the Eastern Shore. Routes are loops, winding along back roads, with scenic rest stops and views of barrier islands. The bicycle is just as good company as most husbands and, when it gets old and shabby, a woman can dispose of it and get a new one without shocking the entire community. ~Ann Strong
Freelance writer and photographer specializing in vivid, deeply reported stories about food, travel and family.