Biker Chick At The Beach
Last week my husband and I escaped to the beach for a few days after dropping our son off at college. It was our first real vacation without our kids (last year we had a fantastic staycation) and it was quite a different experience. We got up early, went for long bike rides, lounged on the beach, indulged at happy hour, did a bit of shopping, enjoyed dinner out, and crashed early. Here’s a recap of the fun we had cycling at Rehoboth Beach in Delaware.
We arrived mid-morning on our first day, and decided to pass the time until our room was ready by going on an easy bike ride. We went up the road a few miles to Cape Henlopen State Park and followed the path around Gordon Pond.
After that, we cruised around town, admiring the gorgeous houses in Henlopen Acres, and making sure our favorite restaurants were still around. All in all, we rode for about 8.5 miles at an easy pace.
Our evening shopping included a stop at a bike shop, where I picked up this cute Biker Chick cycling jersey.
We talked to the owners about options for long rides, and picked up a few maps with routes marked out for cycling at Rehoboth Beach.
On our second day, we decided to do a long ride down Route 1 to Bethany Beach. It was my first time riding on a major road, but the route was known for its clear, wide shoulders (7-8 feet wide) and beach traffic was relatively light since colleges and some local schools were back in session. As we were riding, we decided to extend our ride down to Fenwick Island so we could see the Fenwick Island Lighthouse.
The lighthouse was closed, but it was neat to read about Transpeninsular Line. This marker was erected in 1751 to designate the east-west border between Pennsylvania and Maryland–before there was Delaware! This street is just before the “Maryland Welcomes You” sign, so I guess the boundary hasn’t changed much.
On the way back, we stopped at Bethany Beach for lunch and refilled our water bottles. Of course, I had to get a picture of the beach!
We ended up riding about 38 miles. I felt pretty safe on the shoulder, although it was a bit unsettling when big trucks blew by. I paid close attention to path in front of me, but there were only a few places with loose gravel or deeper dustings of sand that warranted caution. While most of the route was in full sun, there was enough of a breeze off the bays so that it didn’t feel hot. (It probably helped that it was in the low 80s with low humidity!)
Probably the hardest thing to get used to was how flat the route was. There was only one bridge (that blip at about mile 5), and while it was plenty challenging (and a little bit scary to be climbing hard in traffic) I would have enjoyed more hills to break up the tedium!
(Left: Rehoboth Beach to Fenwick Island To Bethany Beach,
Right: Bethany Beach to Rehoboth Beach)
When we got back to our hotel, we went straight to the beach! I stripped off my cycling gear and went in the ocean in my sports bra and undies–they looked like a boy shorts-style bikini. 😉 While the water felt cold at first, it was so refreshing. Almost as refreshing as the sangria we enjoyed at happy hour ….
For our last day of cycling at Rehoboth Beach, we headed north to Lewes, and the other end of Cape Henlopen State Park.
This was a nice change of scenery from our roadside ride!
I’m not a huge history buff, but I do enjoy learning about local history. Since we visit the beach for a relaxing vacation, it is hard to imagine it as an important World War II military base, but the many watchtowers that line the coast are a reminder of darker times. Still, we were surprised to see old munitions bunkers as we rode through the park.
From the Delaware State Parks Website:
With the onset of World War II, the U.S. Army established a military base at Cape Henlopen in 1941. Bunkers and gun emplacements were camouflaged among the dunes, and concrete observation towers were built along the coast to spot enemy ships.
They really were tucked into the dunes and sheltered by the trees.
Since we were heading home after lunch, we didn’t have time for more sangria, but the ginger lemon wheatgrass popsicle I got from the Karma Cafe was almost as good.
I tried it as a joke, but it was really yummy and very refreshing!
Did you go to the beach this summer?
Do you like to vacation at the same place or do you prefer to go somewhere new?