Submitted Article and Image
Rain or shine. Wind or calm. Saturday, Oct. 26, 1,100 cyclists from across the U.S. will depart the Exmore Town Park to begin their pedal-powered, bi-coastal exploration of Virginia’s Eastern Shore. It’s the CBES 27th Annual Between the Waters Bike Tour and it’s the biggest ever, with a record-breaking number of participants registered to ride.
As the 2019 Host Town, Exmore is the designated starting point and finish line, and is rolling out a big welcome mat — or more precisely, Welcome banners and signage. And town officials are paying special attention to details of convenience and safety.
Parking for 500-600 cars is blocked out. Several streets will be closed to facilitate the cyclists. The parking area at Exmore Town Park has been reserved for bicycles only. A new bike fitting station is in place, courtesy of Northampton County Tourism, and the Western Auto on Main Street adjacent to the town park is on standby for last minute equipment repairs or replacements. Exmore is ready.
“We’re excited to introduce our town to these 1,100 cyclists and their guests,” said Exmore Mayor Doug Greer. “With our friendly residents, our many shops and services, plus our small-town appeal, Exmore offers these visitors something that’s becoming rarer each year: an authentic Eastern Shore experience.”
Exmore, “The Shore’s Hometown,” is ideally positioned for this event. Located mid-Shore, it is equal distance to the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel and the VA/MD line. Three national hotel chains are located within Exmore’s two square miles, and all three are booked solid for the bike tour. This underscores the fact that while the event is designed to be the primary fundraiser for CBES (Citizens for A Better Eastern Shore), it gives a significant boost to ESVA tourism and brings visitor dollars into local communities, during the shoulder season.
“Each year, the event attracts thousands of cyclists and their friends to the Shore,” says Donna Bozza, CBES executive director. “We fill hotels, B&Bs, vacation rentals, restaurants, and shops from the Onancock area down to the southern tip of the ESVA. Enthusiastic cyclists return year after year, drawn by the long stretches of natural coastlines that have no equal on the east coast.”
Biker registration opens at 7 a.m., Saturday Oct. 26, in the Exmore Town Park. Departure times are staggered for the varying distances, with the 100 milers leaving at 7:30 a.m.; 60 milers at 8 a.m.; 40-milers at 9 a.m. and 25 milers at 10 a.m.
Routes will take riders through many of the area’s most charming hamlets and villages, including Willis Wharf, Quimby, Wachapreague, Red Bank, Machipongo, Cheriton and others on the seaside; and Belle Haven, Harborton, Franktown, Bayford and others on the bayside. The Exmore Police Department will be manning several east/west crossing points on Langford Highway and urge all motorists to be alert to biker activity.
More details, and complete route maps are available at www.cbes.org