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The Expert in Baby Boomer Travel

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Bicycling is great exercise for baby boomers, who may find running to be too hard on the knees, surfing too fraught with teenagers, golf too pricey and frustrating, and hula-hooping just all-around too embarrassing.

With cycling, though, it’s easy to just hop on a bike and take off. Of course, it’s good to have someplace safe to ride.

Bicycles are much in evidence around Ocean City, NJ. Photo by Clark Norton

Bicycles are much in evidence around Ocean City, NJ. Photo by Clark Norton

Ocean City, New Jersey, on the lower stretches of the Jersey Shore south of Atlantic City, knows how to make cycling safe and appealing, which helps keep people out of cars and improve physical fitness and air quality as well. Its longtime slogan “America’s Greatest Family Resort” is morphing into “America’s Greenest Family Resort.”

A bike lane (and walking/jogging lane) runs along the south side of the beautiful new bridge that connects Ocean City to Somers Point on the mainland, offering biking with a panoramic view of the inland waterway, passing boats, and prolific bird life.

Other roadways and bridges with bike lanes then connect back to Ocean City, providing a loop trail that runs for several scenic miles.

West Avenue, one of Ocean City’s main streets, which runs almost the entire length of the city, is outfitted with bike lanes for 40 blocks, while Haven Avenue has a 15-mph speed limit for cars for 25 blocks to offer safe cycling along it.

And until noon each morning, cyclists are allowed to ride the 2 ½-mile-long boardwalk that overlooks Ocean City’s sandy beach, offering another popular route.

In the past, my wife and I have cycled down the shore from Ocean City to Cape May, about 35 miles one way, which makes for a challenging but scenic four-hour run.

During our current vacation here, we’ve enjoyed bike rides of 15 miles on two days and 24 miles on another.

There are plenty of bike shops and rental places, and everywhere you look around town are cyclists — including lots of baby boomers.

All this makes Ocean City is one of the most bike-friendly resort communities in America — and one of the best places for boomers to come for exercise in the summer sun.

And there’s no visible lingering damage from Hurricane Sandy, either.

I hope Ocean City will stress its cycling-friendly nature in all its marketing efforts; along with its beaches and boardwalk, it’s a huge plus for vacationing boomers.

 

 

 

 

 

 

4 Responses to Biking Boomers on the Jersey Shore

  • I have a theory, and if it’s proven to be true, then all of us Boomers will benefit. The theory is: If you look at people while they are cycling, you will burn off more calories than if you’re not looking at them. I think it would also apply to watching runners, joggers, people cross-country skiing, and the like. I’ll let you know how my research works out.

  • Ocean City is truly one on America’s most family-friendly vacation destinations. From the early-’70s to the late-’80s while our children where growing up, we spent at least one week each summer in OC. One of our favorite family activites was to rise at 5:30 a.m. and head to the boardwalk at 6th street where we’d all rents bikes for an hour or two. After the often vigorous ride, generally a five-mile roundtrip on the boardwalk, we’d have BIG breakfast, including homemade sticky buns, at a local eatery. Ah, the memories …

  • Ed, you’re making me feel nostalgic and I’m in OC right now…

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According to government and private surveys:

  • Leading-edge baby boomers (born between 1946 and 1955) and seniors account for four out of every five dollars spent on luxury travel today.
  • Roughly half the consumer spending money in the U.S.--more than $2 trillion--is in the hands of leading-edge baby boomers and seniors.
  • Baby boomers (born 1946-1964) travel more than any other age group.
  • When asked what they would most like to spend their money on, baby boomers answered “travel” more than any other category, including improving their health or finances.

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