Cycle North Carolina start

Oriental’s waterfront was the starting point for the Cycle North Carolina 2014 spring weekend. Photo by Charlie Hall/New Bern Sun Journal.

Lovely summer mornings are prime times for bicyclists to enjoy North Carolina’s coastal region — from quick jaunts with the kids to century rides benefiting community organizations. If you want to add cycling to your itinerary, here are some online resources to help you get started.

Coastal towns host Cycle North Carolina events each year, complete with rest stops and overnight camping or lodging options. In April, cyclists of all ages and many states converged on Oriental, which hosted the organization’s 2014 spring ride weekend throughout Pamlico County and nearby communities.

The annual, weeklong Mountains to the Sea Ride starts in Sparta on Sept. 27 and will end Oct. 4 in Hatteras, with stops including Roanoke Rapids, Edenton and Manteo. For more information and to register for one or more days of the fall ride, go to

Cycle North Carolina riders

Cycle North Carolina rides provide company on the route, as well as rest stations and support teams. Photo by Charlie Hall/Sun Journal.

For general information about cycling in North Carolina, including designated bike routes and a calendar of events, explore an online portal from the N.C. Department of Transportation:

Safety is key for cyclists, pedestrians and motorists. Check out this website for a safety campaign through DOT: Several coastal communities are participating: Chowan County/Edenton, Craven County/New Bern, Dare County/Outer Banks communities, New Hanover County/Wilmington/UNCW and Pitt County/Greenville.

Communities interested in developing bike lanes and other cyclist-friendly programs can seek technical assistance from the Institute for Transportation Research and Education at NC State University:

This article was published in the Summer 2014 issue of Coastwatch.

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