Getting knocked down by large waves is lots of fun for kids. My favorite childhood beach was Haulover Park in Miami, Florida; a 99-acre preserve that now includes a nude beach. It lost it’s appeal when looking good in a swimsuit became the object of going to the beach. The issues of jellyfish, man-of-war, sea fleas and deadly riptides looked better from a boat. We often sailed and occasionally jumped ship.
My seduction back to the sea occurred when fat-bikes became popular on Carolina Beaches. On a hot day, you can ride the cooling surf for miles. The sand is hard enough to support an adult and it’s easy for a child to keep up. I would never bring my beloved road bike to the salty beach, but renting a bike at the beach is inexpensive and carefree. One thing led to another, my children grew up and soon we were biking miles along the shore.
The first time I biked 100 miles in a day was on the Outer Banks. We left the teenagers to themselves and went from Avon to Ocracoke. We took a ferry from Hatteras, stopped to see the wild ponies and the wind pushed us gently onto the tip of the pristine island. Then a storm blew in. We couldn’t leave the children alone.
We stopped at the National Park pay station until the lightning was less frequent, before pressing against an angry wind and blowing rain. There is only one road and it was filled with cars rushing to reach the ferry. The telephone poles were higher than us, perhaps they worked as a lightening rod. We reached a point the cars were backed up, stopped, waiting for their turn on the ferry. It was our turn to pass and soon we were boarding. Several of the cars began honking and waving; they had watched our journey and safe arrival.
I’m leaving for the Delaware Seashore in a couple weeks. I’ll watch paddleboards and dip my toes in the surf, but mostly I’ll bike.