Ocean to Bay Ride 2014

Bay View

A few of my friends and I have started a tradition of meeting every year for the Ocean to Bay bike ride in Bethany Beach. They drive from Philadelphia, and R and I drive from DC to meet in Delaware to ride together. This year, we expanded the DC contingent to add Jane, Nathan, and Rootchopper(!).

Some things don’t change: it rains at least one of the days in our extended weekend, and there is confusion at the start of the ride. I signed up R and I to ride the metric century, but he didn’t feel like he had enough miles under his belt, so he wanted to switch to the 50-mile ride. Jane and Nathan also wanted to do the 50; Rootchopper and I wanted to do the metric. I didn’t see my Philly friends at the start of the ride. Although it was a sunny day, it started out cold and windy. I was getting cold standing around talking, so I wanted to get on the bike and go! Rootchopper and I headed out for the ride.
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Ocean to Bay Ride

Not the most flattering shot of me. Photo by R

This past Saturday, R and I rode the Bethany-Fenwick Ocean to Bay Bike Tour. This was our first ride together this year, and the first time either of us has done this route. We met up with my good friend Steve, who had suggested the ride, and with his friends from Philadelphia.

It turned out to be a lovely day. Temperatures were in the 70s. The skies looked a little dark at times, but the sun was out and the rain held off for the duration of the ride. It was nice to do a ride without wearing several layers to stay warm!

We opted for the 50-mile option. Compared to Urbana, this ride was a walk in the park– flat and fast! Some notes:

1. I fully understand what Mike W. meant when he said that he prefers hilly rides to flat rides. I did not do much coasting at all on this ride– it was pedal pedal pedal all the way home. That was both good and bad– I would have liked to coast a little when I was tired, but it was much less taxing because there wasn’t much resistance. I kept a steady pace and didn’t overdo it. I felt a little sore, but pretty good throughout and afterwards.
2. I couldn’t help but be a little antsy from taking time at the controls— I mean, rest stops. But there was no deadline to meet, so no hurry, unlike a brevet.
3. The rest stops were inadequately stocked. There weren’t enough port-a-potties, so there were long lines. They ran out of water, and people were justifiably upset. Luckily for me, I brought along my new Camelbak (see photo– review to follow) and was sufficiently hydrated throughout the ride.
4. There was a contingent of Deaf cyclists at this ride. It was interesting to watch them sign and cycle.
5. Despite the name, you could not see the ocean or the bay during the ride, which was disappointing.
6. It was so nice to bike with R and friends this time around– much better than biking alone.

The best part of the ride was at the end, when we went to Rehoboth and had celebratory beers and lunch at Dogfish Head Restaurant!

I had a great time, and am looking forward to doing more biking in warmer weather.