Bike Tours: A Unique Feature of Cape May, NJ
In Cape May, during the summer months especially, almost no one drives on the island. It is traditionally a biker’s town. There are bike racks on every single street, in front of most restaurants, and all along the beach front. The island is so tiny that there is virtually no need to really drive anywhere, it’s just a hassle and a waste of gas (unless of course you live off the island).
The abundance of bars in Cape May is also no secret. The nightlife is thrives over the summer and continues from the locals well into the winter. If one puts the bars and the luxury of biking everywhere together it should come as no shock that Cape May is home to the “Bike Tour.”
Bike Tours include a group of people wearing similar t-shirts that they have designed traveling to the bars via bike and trying a drink at each place they stop. They list the bars they plan to hit on the back of their t-shirts. The key is to go during the day (that way you hit happy hours). It is also impossible to start these things at night as they can take hours and Cape May closes at 2 am. I notice people tend to begin around 3 or 4 in the afternoon and do not stop until 2 am.
The close proximity of these bars is vital to the success. The island itself is only 2.4 square miles of land area. With at least 15 bars within two miles it is easy to see why there is such mass success with these types of tours.
I am always to chicken to go on these bike tours. I am lucky to ride a bike without falling off these days, let alone trying it while intoxicated. I often wonder how the police in Cape May feel about these infamous tours. Who better to ask than a summer cop? Billy Kocis, long time resident, just completed his first summer with Cape May as a police officer. According to him, “it’s good to see people out and about in the community but when they do this they have to be sensible about what they are doing. We do not arrest a lot of people but we do on occasion when they get too out of control.” It’s pretty difficult to get yourself into too much trouble here if you’re being smart about it.
I know my friends absolutely love this aspect of Cape May. It was weekly I would find myself leaving work and I would see a friend of mine out on their bike. Every time I’d ask what they were up to the response was always the same, “Bike Tour with so and so.” Kayla Dodge did her first bike tour this summer with the C-View Inn crowd. “My favorite part about bike tours is not the drinking, it’s the pack of friends associated with it and the humor involved in getting from point A to B. It makes you realize how special living at the shore is. Not everyone can ride their bike from bar to bar with 100 people wearing goofy shirts with the goal of making it to the last bar on the list,” Dodge had to say about her tour.
It seems that everyone is on board with the bike tours from the locals partaking and the police enjoying the unique communal aspect it brings. So for everyone looking to experience the bike tour sensation this summer check out this map I made for you.