Around the House — August 7, 2014 at 5:00 am

6 Great Beach Bike Rides

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PaulMaguire / iStock / thinkstock.com

PaulMaguire / iStock / thinkstock.com

When the weather is good and the beach conditions are prime, there’s only one right way to get around: by bike. Check out some of our favorite beach bike rides in the US and Canada– and don’t forget your cruiser.

Stanley Park Seawall, Vancouver, BC, Canada
It doesn’t get much more scenic than Vancouver’s Stanley Park Seawall. This trail circumvents the huge, lush Stanley Park right downtown—so you’ve got cliffs and trees on the one side, and the Pacific Ocean on the other.

The views are non-stop from start to finish, and you’ll pass the creatively named First, Second, and Third beaches en route. Pull over for a little sunbathing and a quick dip in the water when you feel like a break.

The Stanley Park Seawall is a mellow 6-mile bike ride that’s easy from start to finish: the paved trail is blocked off to cars and is perfectly flat throughout. If you want a longer ride, the Seawall extends well past Stanley Park, so you can discover much of Vancouver by bike.

Huntington Beach Bike Trail, Huntington Beach, CA
Beach hopping by bike—sounds like heaven! The 12.8 mile Huntington Beach Bike Trail stretches between Newport Beach and Huntington Beach and takes you alongside charming seaside towns and beautiful piers en route.

No need to pack a mountain bike: a cruiser is the perfect ride for this quintessentially California-cool ride. Our Panama Jack beach cruisers were pretty much made for bike rides like this.

Sconset Loop, Nantucket, MA
If quaint and idyllic are what you’re after, then you’ll feel perfectly at home on this Nantucket trail. The Sconset Loop totals roughly 19 miles out and back and is a lovely way to spend a perfect New England summer’s day.

This paved bike path takes you through the eastern half of the island through rolling hills, past cranberry bogs, alongside lighthouses, out to charming fishing village of Siasconset, and back to the village.  Don’t forget your camera for the countless photo ops along the way.

The Confederation Trail, Prince Edward Island, Canada
Whether you choose to do a portion of this trail or you’re up to tackling entire journey (budget five days for the trek), the 292-mile long Confederation Trail takes you from one end of Canada’s smallest island all the way to the other.

It’s a relatively easy ride given the flat grade (which never exceeds 2%) and it’s only open to pedestrians and cyclists—no motor vehicles to content with. You’ll appreciate how well marked the trail is, and there are plenty of amenities en-route as you wind through beaches, Norther America’s longest natural Rock Reef, and jaw-dropping red cliffs above the ocean.

There are several trails that branch off the main pathway, allowing you to access many different parts of the island. If you’re looking to experience PEI up close and personal, the Confederation Trail is an incredible way to do it.

Oregon Coast Bike Route, OR
The 76.5 Oregon Coast Bike Route takes you from the top of the state to the bottom right along Oregon’s infamously beautiful coast. It won’t always be easy—yes, there is a 1,000 foot climb at one point—but you’ll be more than rewarded with the beaches and views along the way.

Most people take six to eight days to tackle the trail. You can either camp at designated sites along the way, or you can choose to strategically plan your stops near hotels and motels.

Be aware that this route is not bikes-only: you’ll be sharing the road with other vehicles, so use your road sense and bike safely.

J.R. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge, Sanibel Island, FL
Head to the north side of Florida’s Sanibel Island and check out the 8-mile (return) loop that takes you through the wildlife refuge. You’ll see plenty of beaches, and you’ll also get to see the local fauna and flora up close and personal.

The variety of birds, fish, and seashells (more than 250 different kinds!) will add an educational element to this trip. Expect to bike on paved, hard-packed sand, and crushed shell surfaces.

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