Bicycling is a big part of my life on and off vacation. When I am vacationing on Seven Mile Island, I typically take long rides to other barrier islands. The wind direction determines which way I start up. Into the wind out, wind at my back returning.

I have biked from the first island off of Cape May all the way to Strathmere over the years. While going all the to New Jersey’s southern point has some appeal, the route unfortunately requires crossing onto the mainland. I have a strict no-mainland policy on vacation. I turn around when I reach Mill Creek.

The Wildwoods

WILDWOOD CREST Just north of Mill Creek, Ocean Drive is the only option for cyclists. It’s on-road or shoulder and includes two crossings, one-fixed and one drawbridge. While Ocean Drive is tolled for motorists, cyclists are not changed.

COMFORT RATING: 10 year-old with supervision

Arriving in Wildwood Crest, the recommended route is Madison Ave., just after the Coast Guard station entrance, to Seaivew Ave. Narrow, painted bike lanes on Seaview extend over a mile to Rambler Ave where the bike lanes turn towards the ocean.

After Ocean Ave. the nearly mile-long Wildwood Crest Bike Path begins. It’s concrete and wide, so there is generally room for cyclists and pedestrians.

COMFORT RATING: 7 year-old with supervision

WILDWOOD The Crest Bike Path feeds directly into the Wildwood Boardwalk which is open to cyclists until noon. The earlier you ride it, the better as it’s crowded with other cyclists, but mostly people walking. There is a marked lane for bikes and after noon, the tram car.

The boardwalk is nearly 3 miles long. It’s full of inattentive people, so you have to bike defensively. Very defensively. Like I said, the earlier the better.

COMFORT RATING: 5 year-old with supervision

NORTH WILDWOOD At the end of the boardwalk, an at-grade concrete path begins. It’s over half a mile long. After it ends, it’s streets for 2+ miles – JFK Beach Blvd., 2nd Ave., Central Ave., Spruce Ave. and Anglesea Ave. No bike lanes, but generally few cars and some signs until Anglesea Ave. merged with NJ 147 to go off island.

COMFORT RATING: 10 year-old with supervision

The NJ 147 portion over Beach Creek to Ocean Drive and the Grassy Sound Bridge is higher stress. NJ 147 is a multi-lane highway and the shoulder is the best option. I’m not sure I would recommend it for a novice or young cyclist.

After crossing Beach Creek, NJ 147 intersects with Ocean Drive, CR 619. That’s a two-lane road with a decent shoulder. Again, this may be a high stress ride for some cyclists. Two drawbridges connect the Wildwoods to Seven Mile Island. There are non-trivial inclines and declines for both.

COMFORT RATING: 12 year-old with supervision

Seven Mile Island

STONE HARBOR Ocean Drive meets the street grid between 118th and 117th streets. The recommended route is to turn right on 117th and head over to 2nd Ave. and its bike lanes.

2nd Ave. is a wide boulevard with grassy, landscaped medians and bike lanes. The 25 MPH speed limit has high compliance. It’s a comfortable ride for most cyclists.

Stone Harbor though, takes a nanny state approach to cycling:

COMFORT RATING: 7 year-old with supervision

AVALON 2nd Ave. becomes Dune Drive at the border near 80th Street. The profile of the road is similar until 34th Street, where the bike lane disappears in Avalon’s downtown. Shared pavement continues for 15th blocks through the most congested part of Avalon. It’s still relatively comfortable cycling most of the time.

Dune Drive ends at 6th Street and cyclists should cutover to Ocean Drive at 8th or 7th Street for the Townsend Inlet Bridge.

COMFORT RATING: 10 year-old with supervision

Once again, cyclists are sharing lanes with motorists over the bridge.

COMFORT RATING: 12 year-old with supervision

Ludlam Island

SEA ISLE CITY The main street is Landis Ave. and officially, that’s the through route north for cyclists. A shoulder lane starts at 69th Street.

Closer to the beach, Pleasure Ave., a discontinuous southbound-only corridor, is used by cyclists in both directions. It’s certainly more comfortable. Also, starting around noon, the Dudley Dogs stand opens up on the 75th Street Beach. I stopped for a Sabrett.

COMFORT RATING: 10 year-old with supervision

At 57th St., cut over to the start of the Promenade. To Sea Isle’s credit, they don’t call it a boardwalk since it’s concrete. It’s not as congested as Wildwood’s boardwalk, though high attention is needed.

COMFORT RATING: 5 year-old with supervision

The Promenade ends at 29th Street. Back to Landis Ave., a narrow, marked should lane on both sides is available into Strathmere. Based on Google Maps, that alignment continues throughout Strathmere.

COMFORT RATING: 10 year-old with supervision

A good place for family cycling

Overall the comfort level is pretty good with the bridges between islands being my biggest concern. The exception is summer Saturdays though, too hectic and motorists are not as relaxed as the rest of the week.

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