On Thursday Aug 7th, club members Stephen Franzoni and Neil Buchness embarked on a bike touring ride to Rehoboth Beach, Delaware by way of New Jersey. Actually Stephen started his trip a day earlier on Wednesday by riding 48 miles north to the Muddy Run campground in PA, then 70 miles on Thursday down to Lum’s Pond campground in Bear, Delaware. After working on Thursday, Neil got a ride over the Susquehanna River and was dropped off in Elkton for an easy 10 mile warm-up ride to meet Stephen at the campground in time for dinner. Whenever they camp at Lum’s Pond, dinner is always a treat because the closest place to eat is the Aqua Del Sol restaurant, a short 2 mile bike ride from camp. The restaurant has a casual outside deck overlooking the C&D canal with a Cuban/Miami influenced menu. Highly recommended! After a delicious meal and some cold beverages, the two rode back to camp highly anticipating the next day’s agenda – nothing to do but ride across New Jersey.
Friday morning was a beautiful start as the weather was turning out to be gorgeous.Not your usual Dog Days of Summer weather, but instead almost early Fall like with bright sunshine and low humidity. It was perfect for putting lots on miles on the saddle. After breaking camp, the pair rode on the new paved Michael Castle trail that runs along the canal. It is a beautiful trail that, when completed, will run all the way to Delaware City. They enjoyed 8 miles before they had to turn off and get back on the road to Delaware City. They grabbed some breakfast sandwiches at the only open deli mart in town and proceeded to the town dock to catch the Delaware City–Salem Ferry, previously called Three Forts Ferry. They loaded their bikes on the back of the small Ferry and ate their sandwiches during the ½ hour ferry ride across the Delaware Bay, landing on the New Jersey side to begin their bike tour of NJ. They rode across the lower part of the state, stopping for lunch in Hopewell, NJ at the Hopewell restaurant, (formerly a Diner), and enjoyed some filling pizza. After riding some 75 miles on partly shady, wide shouldered roads, they arrived at Belleplain State Forrest campground in Woodbine, NJ. After setting up camp, Neil and Stephen rode the three miles into town for dinner. They enjoyed a great sit down dinner at the Greek House of Dionysus restaurant in town, followed by some soft ice cream for dessert at the local ice cream shop. It was a good thing they had lights on their bikes as it was a dark and chilly ride back to the campsite. After eating a full dinner and riding all day long, the campers called it an early night.
Saturday morning broke clear and cool and they were thankful for packing arm warmers and jackets as they rode due east into the sunshine to the first beach town of Sea Isle City. From there it was a right turn down the beach through the towns of Avalon, Stone Harbor, Wildwood and finally Cape May. They stopped at Isabel’s Bakery in Avalon for breakfast to get fueled up for the grueling “climbs” on the bridges that connect barrier islands. In Wildwood, they mixed it up with the other beachgoers riding bikes on the famous Wildwood boardwalk. After several near misses with clueless tourists, they survived the boardwalk and continued on to Cape May. With minutes to spare they rode up to the Cape May-Lewes Ferry terminal and managed to book two walk-on tickets for the Ferry. Neil, Stephen and their touring bikes were the last passengers to board for the noon departure.
After a leisurely hour long ferry boat ride across the Bay, they rode their final miles from Lewes to Rehoboth Beach. It was a fun 44 mile ride down the coast for their final day. The last seven miles were on the shaded Junction and Breakwater Trail which meanders through woods and cornfields from Lewes and ends in Rehoboth Beach. They arrived at the beach house that Stephen was renting for his week’s summer vacation. Neil’s wife, Marcia, drove down on Saturday and after spending a fun night in Rehoboth beach, they drove home to Bel Air on Sunday. This year’s beach ride is in the books! It will be remembered for the awesome weather as the days were perfect for bike touring and the nights were made for camping.
Pictures are available for viewing on the photo gallery.