I have held a decades-long fantasy of living in a small community where I could cycle wherever I needed to go. I envied Father Brown, as he peddled around his village in the English countryside. My commute to work was short – eleven miles- but long enough and dangerous enough (no bike trail to TCC) to disallow cycling. However, eventually I retired, an event followed shortly by the pandemic.
At the onset of the pandemic, one of my sons was living in New York City and needed a car to reach the suburb where he had found a pandemic-era job as the teacher for a group of families. My car went north to him, and my husband and I scaled down to being a one-car family. This was a breeze during the pandemic as we weren’t actually going anywhere back in those days. But as the pandemic eased and normal daily activities began to resurface in our lives, I discovered that from my neighborhood, Baylake Pines, I can be most anywhere I want to be in very little time – on my bike.
To be safe, I always cross Shore Drive at the light by Taste Unlimited. From that corner of Shore Drive and First Landing, I can pedal straight ahead staying on the bike trail to the Bayside Recreation Center. If you use the gym, take an exercise class, or swim at the recreation center, a bike ride is the perfect warm up and cool down.
If I have errands to run, I can turn right onto the bike trail that runs along Shore Drive past the Baylake Retirement and Assisted Living Community. That bike trail eventually turns into a sidewalk that runs all the way to Krogers or I can continue to the Chix Beach Shopping Center which houses Aldi’s, a good bookstore, and a great nail salon. From my front door in Baylake Pines, I am at Aldi’s in less than twenty minutes. On Sunday mornings, I like to pedal over to Taste Unlimited and go left on the bike trail along Shore Drive till I am across from the 7/11. I make a right on Marlin Bay Drive, and by staying on that road and bearing right, I eventually pop out onto Shore Drive on East Stratford where you can pull into American Brew for live music, a great latte, and a plate of scrumptious avocado toast.
When I am feeling adventurous or the day is just too beautiful for yard work, I take the bike trail from American Brew across the Lesner Bridge and take the first right onto Vista Circle, the first left onto Lynnhaven, and then the first left again onto New Bern Lane, which turns into Sand Pine, a cul de sac with a cut-through to the Cape Henry Bike Trail which runs all the way to First Landing State Park. This way you avoid cycling on Shore Drive. A nice stop on my way home is Citrus, a great little restaurant right beside the bike trail that is perfect for something good to eat.
If you live in any of the communities along Shore Drive, you have access to the Cape Henry Bike Trail, which begins at First Landing State Park. By cutting through at the Sand Pine cul de sac, you can safely ride your bike from the Chix Beach shopping Center all the way to First Landing State Park. Reducing the number of cars on Shore Drive benefits those of us who are lucky enough to live in this popular area of Virginia Beach. However, if for no other reason, cutting down on time in your car is one way of keeping our planet a little greener and our bodies a little limber. Father Brown would agree.Follow Us