When people ask me what the best way to explore Cape May is, I always tell them to bike. Biking through town is a fantastic way to get around while also getting some exercise in! Cape May has plenty of scenic bike trails to keep visitors busy and in touch with nature, one of the best being a route called the Cape May Shoreline Ride that begins and ends at the beautiful Cape May Lighthouse. You can also bike our pretty beachside promenade in the mornings (before 10am!).
But before you take that beach cruiser out for a spin, we have a couple safety reminders for you! Cape May is an extremely bike-friendly place, however, it is critical to be knowledgeable of correct bicycle etiquette, especially on weekends in the summertime, and during holidays when there are crowds and traffic. Here’s five things to remember before you start your ride:
The same rules apply for bicyclists and drivers.
Bike riders are granted all the rights and subject to all the same responsibilities of a motor vehicle driver. That means always following traffic laws and lights – never cross the street on a bike at a red light! You could cause a major accident, or be involved in one. Even when the light turns green, always look both ways and proceed across the intersection with caution.
Bike lights and bells are important.
Technically, all bikes should have a visible, bright light to use at night and some kind of audible signal (ex. bike bell) to use to alert drivers, pedestrians and other riders of your position and proximity to them.
Use hand signals.
Show others on the road your intentions when you turn or change lanes. The two major ones you should know are super simple: a left hand held straight out means you are planning to turn left, a right hand in the same position means you want to turn right. Visual examples of these and other signals can be found on Active.com.
Toddlers and teens: don’t forget your helmets.
Safety first! In New Jersey, anyone under 17 years old that is riding a bicycle or is a passenger on a bicycle must wear a helmet.
Share the road!
Respect others’ rights to the road; be aware of cars, fellow bikers, pedestrians, joggers and children playing.
Are you an avid biker and feel we missed a tip or two? Comment below with thoughts and advice of your own. Looking to rent a bike in Cape May? Let us help you out. The State of New Jersey’s Department of Transportation also has helpful FAQs about biking that you can find here.