Road Trip

Bike Along the Beach in Delaware

Sunday, July 13, 2008

WHERE : Bethany Beach to Fenwick Island, Del.

WHY: Bike-friendly beaches, Vikings with (golf) clubs and boardwalk beats.

HOW FAR: About 6 1/2 miles from start to finish, and about 125 miles from Washington.

During the SPF-50 months, maximize your sun and sand time on a Tour de Sand from Bethany Beach to Fenwick Island in Delaware. During high season, Coastal Highway can become clogged with traffic, but not for cyclists, who glide along the major thoroughfare like seagulls on a wind current.

Delaware's popular summer escapes are connected by a 6 1/2 -mile stretch of Coastal Highway that is straight, smooth and surfboard-flat. Wide bike lanes (roomy enough for two in some places) flank the road and include easy on-off access to such attractions as crab restaurants, kayak tours, mini-golf and wide strands that flow into the Atlantic Ocean.

"We have great bike paths and generally slow car speeds," says J. Sommers, owner of Ocean Cycles in Bethany Beach, a bike rental shop on Coastal Highway. And while cars have the appeal of air conditioning, bikes come with natural fans. "With our light onshore breezes during the day," Sommers says, "it's much cooler here than in many destinations."

-- Ben Chapman

© 2008 The Washington Post Company