Cycling vacation by RV Days 10-12: Jekyll Island, Georgia
We arose early to get to Jekyll Island before dusk. We’ve been to Jekyll Island and remembered that it was beautiful, but we were astonished at just how delightful it was as we drove onto the island and past the miles of live Oaks dripping with Spanish Moss and by beautiful ocean views. It helped that the weather was a perfect 70 degrees with blue skies. We got into our campground, quickly set up camp, and took off on our T50s.
The whole of Jekyll Island feels like a park with a lovely infrastructure, seemingly designed for bikes like the Cruzbike T50. We saw many other cyclists, most riding upright beachy looking bikes, some with fat tires. One can circumnavigate the 8 mile long island without ever leaving the safety of a trail. Most of the trails are paved with asphalt or concrete, but some are packed dirt or long wooden planked sections over sea marsh. The T50 was the perfect chariot. With our heads up position, we could see all the incredible beauty around us. The trails run both along the ocean side of the Island which runs North-South and along the sound or river side of the Island. There are also several streets and trails that cut across. Throughout, there are educational and historical signs.
Jekyll Island was originally a hunting ground for the aboriginal people of the Southeastern United States. Later it was owned and run as a plantation by William Horton and later a wealthy french family fleeing the french revolution, the DuBignon’s. In 1886 it was bought as a recreational retreat by a group of 53 American millionaires with names like Goodyear, Moss, Hyde, Field, Morgan, and Vanderbilt and called the Jekyll Island Club. We’re delighted that the state of Georgia bought it and made it a park in 1948. You can still go and stay in the lovely building that the millionaires stayed in as it has been converted to a hotel, but there are lots of other options including the wonderful (though densely populated) campground at the north end of the Island where we stayed.
Our first ride took us to a picnic area and fishing pier at the very north end of the island. We rode back toward the campground on a beautiful trail through marshes. We then took our bikes to a restaurant on the ocean just a couple of miles away. We used our lights to navigate back to camp after a delightful dinner.
On our one full day at Jekyll Island we pedaled all around the Island stopping at many of the historical sites and educational signs. We visited the Turtle Museum and learned all about turtle nesting and conservation efforts. We travelled through the historic ruins of the plantation and the renovated Jekyll Island club and surrounding “cottages” (mansions by our standards). The highlight was our ride around the southern tip of the Island from the river side to the beach side on packed sand. We rode by the stunning forms of dead trees that had been whipped by the wind and bleached by the sun into sculptures.
We also loved riding through the deep, forests in the center of the island made up of live Oaks draped with moss and palm trees and swamp with both grasses and thick vegetation that is the home of many birds, butterflies and other wildlife. It didn’t hurt that it was another glorious day, azure blue sky, 70 degrees. We even found ourselves looking at homes for sale.
Our last evening of vacation was topped off by another delicious meal at a nearby restaurant with skinny margaritas to celebrate.
On our drive back to Lumberton, we reflected that the T50s were the perfect transportation for a vacation. The upright comfort, easy riding and maneuvering served us well and matched our vacation mood. We occasionally pushed them hard just to get our heart rates up, but mostly we tooled along enjoying the view and smiling at passersby. Gliding along at 10-15 miles per hour on the T50s allowed us to see so much of the places we visited, more than what we could have seen on foot, yet it was easy to stop as frequently as we wanted to and slow enough to enjoy every single detail.
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