This November, I will bicycle (& skate) my way to Key West, Florida. It is the finale of my pedal-powered journey beginning (for me) in Bar Harbor Maine in 2015 — cycling southbound a week+ per year.
But, I don’t ride for me.
I ride — with a group of cyclists, test riders who are activists and pioneers — for you, your friends, your family and future generations who crave safe travels that don’t involve a cars. I pedal-power this distance for walkers, joggers, skaters, cyclists and those in wheelchairs who need trails & safe passages for commuting, recreating or just needing a dose of nature.
My fellow cyclists and I are part of The East Coast Greenway Alliance — a non-profit who works with communities along the Eastern seaboard to build or bridge trails from Maine to Key West that are car-free &/or safe-passages.
Two lines of cars waited in formation, and we tucked our bicycles behind a Hummer and in the lee of a cement truck that partially blocked 30 knot winds from the south. A Hatteras Island Ferry official approached wearing a jacket with the words ‘Security’ and asked us for ID’s. Satisfied after comparing faces to driver licenses he then asked if we were aware of the winds. Continue reading Bike trippin’ – As good as it gets→
More adventures filled day 4 of bike trippin’ along the Outer Banks in off season. We continued to ride without paper maps or GPS guidance to decide where to ride – opting for more of a ‘get lost’ strategy. It’s very easy to ride the Outer Banks without a map:
Ocean is east, the Sounds are west — stay somewhere in the middle
When you land in a neighborhood where large barking dogs gather unleashed, turnaround.
When you ride to the entrance of the Wright Brothers National Monument, and are waved through without having to pay — thank the lovely lady and spend some time with the Wright Brothers
By a leisurely 8:30 am we hit the bicycle trail that ran parallel to Route 12 and headed south from Corolla. Winds blew strong from the south – at least 25 knots, and the beauty of riding into the winds meant we would finish our loopy ride with a tailwind. The bicycle trails twist and turn among giant sand dunes that resemble small hills, and weave through crooked low-lying trees and brush — the Outer Banks version of Florida mangroves — which protect this delicate sandbar from hurricanes and storms. When the trails meandered closer to the Sound-side, we soaked in spectacular sights of a vast waterway, tall sea grass and the occasional blue heron. As we neared Kitty Hawk, we caught a glimpse of the ocean where the dunes were short, and beach access included ocean views. We rode past a street corner garnished with yellow bricks, and on top of those bricks sat two ruby slippers, and we bonded with a ‘no place like home’ vibe. Continue reading Bike tripping the yellow brick road→
A daybreak beach jog — the pre-bike adventure — was met with a horde of humans a few decades too old to be active-duty decked in vintage war-be-gone fatigues, packing large cameras, 12 inch lenses and 2 inch straps secured around their necks. They stood at the top of wooden walkways, the dune gateway to the ocean, two dozen of ’em by random guess — half intently focused on something happening toward the ocean, and the other half focused on the movements of a potential intruder. What are you looking at, I asked hoping the answer wouldn’t be ‘me’, as I slowed my gate, inching closer to the crowd. A man wearing head-to-toe camouflage replied ‘burs and turles’ without looking away from his binoculars oblivious to a drawl with interchangeable vowels and missing consonant’s. Continue reading Bike trippin – Objects appear fuzzy→
Lodging is cheap in Corolla NC; free hot cookies are available at the hotel, roads are empty, bicycle trails are empty and the routes for riding are unlimited. We began our ride 5 miles north of Duck, and headed north along Route 12 following what appeared to be a bicycle trail. Then, we deliberately got lost. Continue reading Bike trippin – 5 reasons to bike Corolla in February→
Nearly a month after riding bicycles — through bouts of thigh-high ponding water, pouring rains, skinny shoulders, rumble-tumble-strips, the occasional trail, sand domes and fire ants, steamy temperatures, crossing busy highways, pelotons and caravans, dead armadillos, live alligators, bearded goats standing-on-sheds, getting lost, getting found, southern hospitality, hot towels and fresh cookies, high-octane metabolisms, daily ice cream, police escort thru the ‘Alley, hot showers in Savannah, and navigating conversations, potholes and vehicles — the memories are nearly as fun as the adventure. Below are the cyclists, who thrive for the ride. See you next year, ECG WAY mates!
We are East Coast Greenway. Riding our bikes one week a year, to cover a segment of miles from Maine to Key West, FL – and this year, Wilmington NC to Savannah GA. Riding the congested east coast, as pioneers, bringing visibility to what roadways need to be more bike-friendly and tour townships on segments that include bike trails and low volume roads. The East Coast Greenway works with municipalities to form safe bike travels state-by-state – because who wouldn’t want to travel without a car? Continue reading East Coast Greenway: Wilmington to Ocean Isle Beach NC→
Day 4: Bicycling from Elizabethtown, NC to Moores Creek National Battlefield
40ish miles — and bonus points for headwinds
The fourth and final day of our East Coast Greenway WAY (Week-A-Year) tour, cut short due to Hurricane Matthew began at the Corner Cafe in the heart of Elizabethtown. A cafe that is open “All Day” according to the neon sign on the window, or just until 2 PM according to the fine print. We were certain to be done with breakfast before 2 PM.
Day 3: Bicycling from Fayetteville, NC to Elizabethtown, NC
43ish miles — and who’s really counting when there’s so much to see?
The third day of the East Coast Greenway WAY (Week-A-Year) tour began with breakfasts piled high with ham and bacon and a side of bacon fat with fresh steamed or raw vegetables a distant memory (unless you carried your own). With Hurricane Matthew dominating the news and expected to take out the Eastern seaboard from Florida to North Carolina, many cyclists who lived along the coast or needed to take care of business went off in separate directions. Those cyclists who were left behind were grateful for the chance to ride another day. And a half. Continue reading Wine’ing down→