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Worth riding around Ocean City, MD / Fenwick Island?

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Worth riding around Ocean City, MD / Fenwick Island?

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Old 08-06-18, 01:05 PM
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Skipjacks
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Worth riding around Ocean City, MD / Fenwick Island?

I heading to the beach next month ('downy ocean, hon!' to those of you native to the area)

I'm staying in northern Ocean City, MD up by the DE line.

Is it worth dragging a bike down there? Looks like Coastal Hwy has a bike lane all the way through Fenwick Island into Bethany. I thought that might make a fun early morning ride as the sun rises over the ocean.

I'm going after Labor Day so traffic should be light. Is that a ride worth lugging a bike down there? Or is that ride actively welcoming death due to dangerous roads full of beach goers and such? Is it a boring ride because you're just can't see the coast through the roadside trees?

Any thoughts from people who've biked in the area? Worth the trouble of loading up the bike and storing it in the rental unit for the 4 days I'm down there?
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Old 08-07-18, 04:51 AM
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I live in MD and don't go to Ocean City very often but when I do I usually bring a bike. It is very flat, and if you don't get out early (even after Labor Day, through about 1 Oct - there are various festivals each weekend in September that attract visitors) the roads are full of distracted drivers.

But, for early morning rides you can head south to Assateague Island. There is very nice biking south of Berlin - here's on old link to what is called the View Trail 100, shows you some of the roads - here.This is usually where I bike.

You can bike on the short boardwalk in Ocean City until 11am or so, but it is usually pretty full of roller bladers, kids on rental big wheels, once a year cyclists on rental tandems, etc.

North you can ride up to the Delaware beaches, you'll usually have a southern tail wind and a head wind on the way back. Delaware has a signed bike route that starts at Fenwick Island and runs north to NJ, but I haven't had the chance to ride it - look here or search on Delware Bike Route 1.
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Old 08-07-18, 05:16 AM
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Cape Henlopen State Park in Lewes, DE is worth a visit. You can now get there from Rehoboth, DE nearly all on trail. There are trails with the park itself, which used to be a military base during WWII. If you go, make sure you ride the boardwalk trail that goes through marsh/tidal land at the south end of the park.
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Old 08-07-18, 07:31 AM
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Neat. Thanks, guys!

For this trip I'm probably stuck to places within 10 miles of the MD/DE line by the coast. It's a family trip. I can't take a full day to explore on 2 wheels. I'll have a couple hours on 1 morning to go cruising from the condo. Won't have the time to put the bike on a car and go find a different starting point. I like biking, but when the kids wake up there are go karts that will need to be driven!!! It's a dirty job, being a dad :-)
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Old 08-07-18, 12:02 PM
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I've biked the Coastal Highway from Rehoboth to the lighthouse and back. Did it in the winter time when the weather was warmer than normal. It's relatively flat except for the bridge. Shoulders are plenty wide to keep you away from traffic.
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Old 08-08-18, 08:22 AM
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@Skipjacks
It's been a couple years since I've been down that way and take this with a grain of salt as I never actually biked the Coastal Highway (dragged bikes 450 miles with us but never got to use them). With that said...

As already been mentioned, it's mostly flat, straight, there are bike lanes and wide shoulders, but it can get hot, and yes, there are views and distracted drivers but there are also quite a few cyclists and early in the morning you would surely have fewer cars out. I wouldn't want to bike south of Fenwick Island as it's much more urban with traffic and lights. Second that Lewes Beach and Cape Henlopen are pretty cool. I have biked into Assateague Island, and that was pretty cool too but you gotta watch out for all the cars with drivers gawking at the wild horses (as an aside, I bet the kiddos would like that). I would say if it's not too much hassle and you think that you'll be able to get out for an hour or more in the mornings, do bring your bike - better to have it and not use it than to regret it.

As you can see from the Strava heat map, that area is heavily cycled and not just by the spandex peloton, you get vacationers enjoying the views, as well as the temp summer workers biking around
https://www.strava.com/heatmap#10.44...9/bluered/ride
https://www.google.com/maps/@38.6072...7i13312!8i6656

One of the most memorable views I remember is cresting over the Indian River bridge going north (sadly, while driving), and seeing the ocean waves lapping the coastline:
https://www.google.com/maps/@38.6103...7i13312!8i6656

Delaware Seashore can be a bit monotonous but even if you don't get to see the ocean, you still get decent views of the bay and there are plenty of places to pull off for a view
https://www.google.com/maps/@38.6487...7i13312!8i6656
https://www.google.com/maps/@38.4961...7i13312!8i6656
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Old 08-09-18, 12:20 PM
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Absolutely worth bringing a bike, unless you won't have time to ride. I've been riding there the last several years during family vacations (just can't sit on a beach all day). Morning is best, especially if it's hot and humid (but also before the wind picks up).

From your description, I'm guessing you're staying around Viking Golf and GoKarts (Route 54 and 20). If so, I'd get away from the coast if possible. Head inland on 54/20 and then take a right on Old Mill Bridge Road and loop around the corn fields and tidal marshes for as long/short as you want. Roads aren't very busy (except 54 and 20) and have enough room for cars to pass. The bigger roads do have wide bike lanes. You can always go along route 1, but i't s a straight shot and pretty boring, with lots of high speed traffic whizzing by. I'd recommend it only with the wind (loop inland for the rest).
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Old 08-10-18, 11:55 AM
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Originally Posted by drewguy View Post
Absolutely worth bringing a bike, unless you won't have time to ride. I've been riding there the last several years during family vacations (just can't sit on a beach all day). Morning is best, especially if it's hot and humid (but also before the wind picks up).

From your description, I'm guessing you're staying around Viking Golf and GoKarts (Route 54 and 20). If so, I'd get away from the coast if possible. Head inland on 54/20 and then take a right on Old Mill Bridge Road and loop around the corn fields and tidal marshes for as long/short as you want. Roads aren't very busy (except 54 and 20) and have enough room for cars to pass. The bigger roads do have wide bike lanes. You can always go along route 1, but i't s a straight shot and pretty boring, with lots of high speed traffic whizzing by. I'd recommend it only with the wind (loop inland for the rest).
Good tip!

From the satellite image it looked like the run up the coast would only be cool in spots where the tree line broke and you could see the ocean. It looked like most of it would just be staring at trees between the road and the beach. (I can stare at trees here at home)

Around tidal marsh lands sounds more interesting.
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Old 08-10-18, 02:41 PM
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Originally Posted by Skipjacks View Post
Good tip!

From the satellite image it looked like the run up the coast would only be cool in spots where the tree line broke and you could see the ocean. It looked like most of it would just be staring at trees between the road and the beach. (I can stare at trees here at home)

Around tidal marsh lands sounds more interesting.
theres not much view of the ocean at all - youíre either behind houses or dunes. You can get glimpses but itís not like youíre pedaling along the shore.
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Old 08-12-18, 07:29 PM
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As others have said, you won't be able to see the ocean from the seat of your bike on Coastal Highway, but you could turn onto one of the beach access points to get a look.

One thing about riding on Coastal Highway (I assume this is still the same situation, but NoRacer and I have taken a few-year hiatus from our annual "Bike to Ocean City" trip) -- the bike lane is also the lane that is used by the "OC Drunk Bus." It can be monumentally annoying to get stuck behind one of those buses; they stop at just about every block. You'll have to get into the traffic lane to swing around them, and then haul butt and hope you don't get trapped at a red light and have it come lumbering up behind you, and then pass you. Lather, rinse,repeat. (And sometimes, if timing is particularly bad, you can get stuck in between two of them, ahead and behind. Good times.) Another reason why very early in the morning is better for riding Coastal Highway -- the bus doesn't start running until later. This is only in Maryland; no bus on the Delaware side.

From where you are, I'd ride north into Delaware instead. It's calmer, prettier, and riding over the Indian River Inlet Bridge (about 10 miles from the DE/MD border) is pretty cool.
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Old 08-14-18, 11:07 AM
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Have done the Ocean City to Assateague Island ride the last time I visited Maryland.
I had a nice time and would probably repeat the same route if I go back.
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