Author Topic: Family Cycling Delmarva  (Read 8515 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline vt family bikers

Family Cycling Delmarva
« on: March 03, 2010, 03:56:44 pm »
Our family is considering a week-long cycling trip on the Delmarva Peninsula. We've done a good amountt of self-supported tours with our two children in many variations (pulling two trailers, one on trail-a-bike & one in trailer). We love to camp, and want to know if there is good camping on Delmarva and if the roads are suitable for two small children (5 & 7).  Any book resources, touring companies in the area, or websites would be appreciated.
Thanks!

Offline mucknort

Re: Family Cycling Delmarva
« Reply #1 on: March 03, 2010, 04:32:38 pm »
I posted a link to the McGrath Family in the Youth Bicycle Travel section of this forum.
http://msmcgrath.home.comcast.net/~msmcgrath/

One of their family trips with kids was through Delmarva. Lots of good info here:
http://home.comcast.net/~msmcgrath/delmarva2009/delmarva_1.html

Hope you report back here after your trip! Best wishes!

Offline dubovsmj

Re: Family Cycling Delmarva
« Reply #2 on: March 03, 2010, 07:42:33 pm »

"25 bicycle tours on delmarva" by john wennersten was very helpful when i did trip out there last year....i got it used off amazon.


Offline mucknort

Re: Family Cycling Delmarva
« Reply #3 on: March 03, 2010, 10:12:05 pm »
"25 bicycle tours on delmarva" by john wennersten was very helpful when i did trip out there last year....i got it used off amazon.
http://www.amazon.com/25-Bicycle-Tours-Delmarva-Chesapeake/dp/088150338X/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1267672280&sr=8-1

Offline Tourista829

Re: Family Cycling Delmarva
« Reply #4 on: March 04, 2010, 01:43:59 am »
We use to live in Northern New Jersey and bicycle tour in Cape May and the Delmarva Peninsula. I am not sure where you are starting from and with the kids, your daily pace. A good place to start would be Cape May, N.J. After exploring there, you can take your car on the Ferry to Lewes, Delaware. (takes 70 minutes, book in advance) I am sure they will work something out for leaving your car. From the Ferry, take Route 9 south to US 1. If you take US 1 down the coast you will go along the beach through Rehoboth Beach & Bethany Beach. If you feel like going a little further south you can pick up Route 528 and go into Maryland and pass through Ocean City, Md. If you go further south, via 611 (Stephen Decateur Hwy) past Sinpuxent Bay towards Assateague Island. From there, you can continue and explore Virgina. Go to the great Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge, it is worth the visit. There are a number of places to camp. Cape Henolpen State Park near Lewes, Delaware Seashore State Park near Rehobeth, Assateague State Park on Assateague Island south of Ocean City, Md. and Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge in Virginia. I would check, if you can camp at the above sites, it has been a few years, since I was there. If you do it in July and August there will be parts that will be busy. Ocean City, Md. will be very crowed. I would stay in a motel. The kids will love the rides and boardwalk. Rehoboth and Ocean City have good restaurants. Heading out of Ocean City South of Ocean City, Md, and into Virginia, you will need to take food supplies because will be more remote. I think the whole trip will be approximately 70 miles each way from Lewes to Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge. (If you want to go further, you could ride down to Va, Beach but I am not a fan of Route 13 and not sure how you would traverse the Chesapeake Bay Bridges and Tunnels.) You will have a blast. Good luck :)

Offline raybo

Re: Family Cycling Delmarva
« Reply #5 on: March 04, 2010, 10:37:27 am »
Tourista829:

I am planning a ride from Charleston, SC to Lambertville, NJ.  I plan to ride up the Delmarva Peninsula after getting a ride over the Chesapeake Bay Bridge on one of their trucks (I called and they said that is how it works--I pay the toll).  The information you gave is exactly what I needed as the ACA route heads inland north of the Outer Banks, NC and I need a route through Delmarva to Lewes and over to Cape May.

I have some questions, though.  In looking at the area where Highway 175 connects the mainland with Chincoteague Island, I see a series of bridges that are the only way onto the island from the west.  I'd like to ride the road up the island.  Are those bridges rideable on a bike?

On the other end of the island, there is a bridge on highway 611.  Is it rideable on a bike?

Ray
Visit the on-line bike touring archive at www.biketouringtips.com

Offline BrianW

Re: Family Cycling Delmarva
« Reply #6 on: March 04, 2010, 12:13:05 pm »
"DelMarVa" is a pretty big place! Some random thoughts:

1. It's a very pretty area for biking, with nice, small towns, beautiful scenery and flat topography. It can be very windy, though, so take that into consideration when planning your trip. Depending on the wind, it can offset any advantage from the lack of hills. If going in the spring and/or summer, be prepared for lack of shade and bugs (depending where you are).

2. Roads are often either large and busy (e.g., rt. 13, 113, 50, 301) or small and without shoulders. While the small roads are often low-traffic, they often  have high speed limits (50 mph) and little/no shoulders, with a drainage ditch on each side (this is pretty typical for rural roads throughout the peninsula and even down in Virginia). Although this sounds scary, I've never had a problem with cars on the small roads, even when riding with my family (on a tandem + trailer, for example). I'm not sure I'd feel comfortable with a young child (~7 y.o.) riding his/her own bike on them, though. If on a tandem or trail-a-bike, no problem.

3. Official camping can be somewhat limited. Over on the sea coast you'll find a number of campgrounds, most of which cater mainly to the RV crowd. Camping on Assateaque Island (National Park and state park) is really nice, but both the NP and state campgrounds fill up fast in the nice seasons. I wouldn't count on rolling up and getting a site on the spot. Best to reserve in advance. In Assateaque I greatly prefer the bay-side sites over the oceanfront sites.

4. With the exception of the Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel, I believe most bridges in the area are fine for biking. Granted, they may have narrow/non-existent shoulders, but you can ride them. It's fine to bike into Chincoteague, to answer that question. (Personally, Chincoteaque doesn't do a whole lot for me and I wouldn't ride that far out of my way to see it, but that's just me. It's very touristy.) The Chincoteaque refuge itself is really nice and worth seeing, but the town isn't, IMO, given the detour needed to get there.

5. As you get farther down the peninsula (in Virginia, for example) you'll find that many of the towns become smaller and, arguably, less well-off. Don't count on finding lots of/any services in towns (food stores, etc.). Many of the services are clustered out on the main highways, like rt. 13.

6. Rt. 13 is the main N-S route and is multi-lane and high-speed. It is bikeable, and has shoulders, but isn't always the nicest route. Side roads are not terribly direct, but are pretty. Rt. 113 is smaller and also a N-S route, and is more bikeable. But, it's very busy in summer beach season.

7. A really pretty area not to miss is Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge near Cambridge, Maryland. Lots of really nice, lightly traveled roads, most with water views of some sort. It's really nice. A good family tour might take in that area, along with Easton and  St. Michaels, for example. This would be my suggestion for a first tour with kids there. In fact, we're thinking of doing it this summer with our 5-year-old son on our triplet.

8. The Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel does theoretically offer rides across with advance notice. You might be better off hitching a ride across with someone who has a pickup or van or whatever. If going N-S you might be able to easily do this as there is a rest area right before the bridge starts. Going S-N there isn't as much of an obvious place where people stop, as the access road is more-or-less a highway in Virginia Beach.

9. You should check out this trip report on crazyguyonabike. A family who did a tour on the peninsula: http://www.crazyguyonabike.com/doc/?o=RrzKj&doc_id=3293&v=8x

« Last Edit: March 04, 2010, 12:22:33 pm by briwasson »

Offline Spokey

Re: Family Cycling Delmarva
« Reply #7 on: March 04, 2010, 03:12:28 pm »
The number I have for calling the bay tunnel folks is 757-331-2960.

I've been planning a Key West trip for a couple years and ran into a journal where a guy had called etc.  I did call then (again a couple years ago) and they verified that for the price of the toll, they would cart you over.

We are changing our plans and rerouting through Williamsburg so we're taking the boats over at Tangier or Smith Island so I don't expect to be verifying this. 

If someone does this or at least tries, please post the results.

Offline Tourista829

Re: Family Cycling Delmarva
« Reply #8 on: March 05, 2010, 12:00:07 am »
"I have some questions, though.  In looking at the area where Highway 175 connects the mainland with Chincoteague Island, I see a series of bridges that are the only way onto the island from the west.  I'd like to ride the road up the island.  Are those bridges rideable on a bike?"

Raybo, glad I could help. The bridges are ridable over Highway 175 to Chincoteague Island. Once over the final bridge and you reach town turn left onto Main street, take it north to State Route 2113 and turn right. Take that through town until you come to the circle, by the Maddox Family Camp Ground. Go halfway around the circle and take the Beach Access Rd. Take a left onto Wildlife Loop Access Road. Go approximately 1/10th of a mile to the next road Wildlife Loop Rd and turn left. Keep left, on the road, and it will become Ragged Point Trail. It will eventual will turn eastward and then you will head north along the beach. It will turn into Bayberry Drive.

To answer your other question, about the bridge on Route 611. Taking the "Verrazano Bridge," over Sinepuxent Bay on Route 611, is a little narrow and iffy but it is short approx 1/4 mile.

Since it has been a while, please make sure you do your research carefully. Good luck with your trip :)

Offline vt family bikers

Re: Family Cycling Delmarva
« Reply #9 on: March 06, 2010, 12:35:31 pm »
Wow, thanks for all these great suggestions. We've ordered the cycling book and hope it will give us more ideas. Sounds like camping in that area is scarce.
The other place we're considering is the Route Verte in Quebec, has anyone cycled here with childre? We love to stay close to water, it makes it fun for the kids, and we much prefer to camp (also more fun for the kids), so any suggestions with that in mind would be great.
This is a great forum, wish we had had it for all the other trips we've done!

Offline mucknort

Re: Family Cycling Delmarva
« Reply #10 on: March 06, 2010, 01:00:43 pm »