There are many, many things that bring me joy: being outside, snow days, vacation, spending time with my family, any kind of ice cream (duh). I try to incorporate these into my life as much as possible; while I haven’t had much luck conjuring up a good snow storm, I have been known to eat an indecent amount of ice cream while outside on a vacation to visit my family.
And then there are the joyful things I forget about. When my friend and I were deciding where on the east coast to go camping, I had no idea that camping on a beach where wild horses live would be an option. I mean…that’s amazing, right? Right. All other ideas = instantly tossed out.
We packed up the car (forgetting our camp chairs…again), loaded the bikes, and started the three hour drive. Since avoiding tolls would take an addition 2-3 hours, we decided to just pay extra and were pleasantly surprised to discover there was only one toll and it cost less than $5. Win.
As soon as we crossed the bridge onto Assateague Island, there they were, about eight wild horses chilling next to the road eating grass. Magical. Minus the 30+ tourists getting uncomfortably close to the animals to take selfies. These are wild animals. Some of them have rabies. I also noticed that in the large group, there were a lot of bikers. Not the spandex bikers like us but the leather bikers. But it was a nice day so I didn’t think much of them (other than how obnoxiously loud their bikes are).
We pulled into our camp site behind the dunes, unloaded the bikes, and took off on an easy 60 mile bike ride. I had the Blackfin (a nice bike I bought off my sister a few months ago) It’s so lightweight my baby nephew can bench press it. It’s not really practical for riding in the city because all the stop signs, lights, and potholes, but out there, it was fast. I can understand why Lance Armstrong was doping; going fast is FUN! (But I don’t endorse doping, obviously.)
Ten miles into it, we hit the outskirts of Ocean City. The bicycling through Ocean City should be serene. Not only is it flat, blocks from the beach, but there is a full-sized lane on the road just for bicycles. Sounds like paradise. But then there were the motorcycles. Bike after bike after bike after bike. An obscene number of motorcycles. Everywhere we looked. And they were SO LOUD. Lo and behold, it was Ocean City Bike Week. Terrrrrrific.
I love the celebration of one’s hobby but please don’t park 100+ motorcycles in the bike lane just because you can. That’d be great. Thanks.
We crushed the bike ride. We were on our road bikes so we felt faster than fast. Then we turned around. HelLO headwind! Slower than slow. It was so tough we had to make a pitstop to refuel with a funnel cake on the boardwalk. Had to.
When we finally made it back to the park, we hopped off the bike path to the road to avoid the horse that was blocking the trail. RUDE! (Jk, obviously the horses were amazing.) Camp didn’t take long to set up (although we did move the world’s heaviest picnic table to a new spot to try to block people cutting through our campsite on their way to the bathroom). Then we headed out to the nearest crab shack for a HUGE dinner. If post-ride to Harpers Ferry was fries on fries on fries, this was crab on crab on crab. Leather was definitely the dress code that night. We squeezed in though…nothing to see here.
Somehow we rolled our full bellies to the beach for some relaxing digestion under the full moon. Not too shabby of a way to spend the evening. Some might even call it romantic…until we stumbled across a fisherman who had caught an unidentifiable animal’s digestive track. That wasn’t so romantic.
A crappy night’s sleep (thanks to the world’s worst camp neighbors who were up talking/yelling until 3AM), a beautiful walk on the beach, and a three hour drive later and we were back home.
Because riding bikes isn’t insanely loud (like certain other bikes we saw that weekend), that’s why I love riding my bike.