One of the best activities to do while vacationing in Hilton Head is bike riding. Hilton Head Island is covered with bike paths. You can easily ride from one end of the island to the other without leaving a path (except to cross a few streets). Our family rents over a dozen bikes every year and we spend at least a portion of every day biking.
Every morning there is a handful of us who hop on our bikes at 7am, ride to Starbucks, get our fix and ride home with at least 3 copies of the New York Times. (We need multiple copies to keep the family from fighting.)
The path to Starbucks involves crossing a few bridges that go over swamps, often full of turtles and the occasional alligator.
Our long bike rides usually start on the beach. We swerve between kids digging holes and families lounging under umbrellas. We splash through the shallow water and get hot enough that we are beyond ecstatic to get off the beach and onto the bike trail.
The paths are all shaded by thick willowy trees covered in moss. They are so shaded that it acts as a shield from the sunshine and the rain.
Every year we take the same bike rides…some are short and sweet and others are long and miserable. It’s tradition to spend at least one day riding ten miles that go through mosquito-infested preserves and unshaded paths. We ride to the historical tabby house at the Baynard ruins, the mysterious shell ring at the Sea Pines Forest Reserve, Harbor town and South Beach.
While walking around the tabby house we saw a lizard scampering along the shells and Husband insisted that I catch it… While dating and getting to know each other Husband and I spent lots of time sharing stories from our childhoods…his in the hills of middle Tennessee, mine in the marshy flatlands of southeast Texas. I told him how I used to catch lizards, put them on my ears like earrings and then freak out my sister. He couldn’t believe this, so the first chance I got, I proved it to him. Now, anytime he sees a lizard he thinks it’s hysterical for me hang the poor little creature from my ear lobes.
The best part of our long bike rides is the end. We always finish our ride at Coligny Plaza where we get Italian ice and custard from Rita’s.
Taking bike rides every day is one of my favorite Hilton Head traditions. It also makes me feel a little less guilty about the junk we eat on vacation.