I Want To Ride My Bicycle...
I want to ride it where I like.
At the start of June two friends and I threw on our padded shorts and went up to the San Juan Islands for a bicycle camping trip. We loaded all of our gear on to our bikes, walked on to the ferry in Anacortes and camped and rode and island hopped for a couple days. It was the most fun I've had in a long while. It was still early in the season so nothing was crowded, everything was quiet. So quiet, in fact, that I had trouble getting back in the swing of things for a few days when we got home.
Our first stop, Lopez Island, is small, and very rural. It is the best island for biking by far. By way of civilization, it has a small "village" near the ferry dock with a few restaurants, a farmer's market, grocery, and a few other amenities, but that's it. None of the roads have bike lanes, but that isn't really an issue because there are so few cars and the speed limit on all but one main road is 25. The island also works pretty hard to encourage cyclists to come visit, and they have bike racks and other bike-related amenities readily available. Our campsite at Odlin park was also idyllic.
Our second stop was Friday Harbor on San Juan Island. For the islands, Friday Harbor is the equivalent of the big city. Luckily that's on an island scale, and you don't have to go more than a mile or so before you are in open country. There's a lot more available on San Juan Island if you're looking for civilization, including multiple bike shops, but you have to deal with the traffic as well. There's bike lanes and people are used to bikes being around, but it was a very different feel from Lopez where we biked in the middle of the road without any fear. We camped at Lakedale Resort, which if it had been busy would have been a lot like the camp in the Catskills in Dirty Dancing. Luckily for us, we were nearly the only people there, so we had the place to ourselves.
I'm taking my husband back to Lopez Island for the day in a couple weeks so he can ride there too. If you only have time to go to one island to ride, Lopez is the one.