Eastern Shore’s 23rd Annual Between the Waters Bike Tour

With apologies to Kermit the Frog, it is easy being green.

The 23rd Annual Between the Waters Bike Tour (Saturday, Oct. 24) proves that by pumping up eco-tourism on the environmentally fragile Eastern Shore and at the same time providing crucial funding for the grassroots group that has been a long-time protector of the 70-mile peninsula.

Citizens for a Better Eastern Shore [CBES] rolls out the red carpet for cyclists, taking them to tucked-away places in an area that stands out for its recognition as a United Nations’ International Biosphere Reserve. 

“Biking is really the best way to enjoy the beauty of the Shore,” says Phyllis Tyndall, who has been running the event for 8 years.

Presenting the event for the first time is Coastal Virginia Magazine, a perfect partner, says Tyndall.

On average, the tour brings in around 1,000 riders on the fourth Saturday in October. The vast majority come from off the Shore, most from Coastal Virginia, followed by North Carolina, Maryland and D.C., along with participants from northern states and the occasional surprise attendees hailing anywhere from Texas to England.

eastern shore between the waters bike tourWith four routes—25, 40, 60 and 100 miles—it fits a variety of skill levels from the inexperienced to the uber cyclist.

This year riders will be welcomed at the Victorian, bayside town of Cape Charles and from there peddle past golden fields through historic hamlets, and, staying true to its moniker—serene seaside vistas. 

In 1992, the Bike Tour was created to support and promote eco-tourism at a time when the concept was not very familiar to Eastern Shore residents. Now with tourism in the region recognized as a core economic development initiative, the CBES event continues its leadership role.

The tour helps carry on the CBES’s mission to promote balanced growth that enhances the quality of life of Shore citizens while preserving the area’s natural resources. 

Adding to the weekend festivities is a free, Friday Fun Ride offered to tour participants and their families. For those who act quickly an authentic Oyster Roast further celebrates all things Eastern Shore on Saturday night. It is a perennial sellout.

Annually the bike tour rotates between the most picturesque areas of the Shore: Onancock, Cape Charles, Wachapreague and Nassawadox.

CBES prides itself on a full-service bike tour, including well-staffed rest stops with snacks and beverages, free event T-shirts, and a full picnic lunch that has included strolling musicians. There is also a repair service available for cyclists. 

Read this article in full in the August/September issue of Coastal Virginia Magazine.

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