Biking in Bermuda is one of my great loves. The balmy weather, the fresh scent of the flowers, the amazing scenery and an all-pervading sense that all is well with the world, all go to make biking in Bermuda an unforgettable experience. True, the trails may not be the most difficult in the world but, as I already mentioned, Bermuda is extraordinarily scenic. Rarely will you find yourself out of sight of turquoise ocean,pink sand beachesand a seemingly endless parade of colorful homes with white roofs. Almost all of the Island is accessible by bike; it’s about 21 miles from one end to the other and, because it’s a fairly affluent country, crime is low and thus it’s also relatively safe to be out alone on the roads and trails.
Bermuda's Railway Trail
Bermuda’s Railway Trail is, perhaps, the icing on the biking cake. The one-time railway now offers more than 15 miles of hiking/biking trails – it’s a unique biking experience. Biking in Bermuda is more than just a pastime. Cars are limited to one per family and rentals are not allowed. Thus the main mode of transport for visitors is the moped or bicycle. The ferries offer another unique biking experience. They all accept bikes and connect Hamilton, Dockyard, Somerset, and Southampton – so, take the ferry out and ride back in. The roads are well-paved and rolling with many an unexpected steep pull upward along the way.
Spittal Pond is a wildlife sanctuary with bike paths along the cliffstop and is a really nice to visit.
Farther west, if you are up to the challenge, you can visit Gibbs Hill Lighthouse, the oldest cast-iron lighthouse in the world. The panoramic view from the foot of the lighthouse is well worth the effort. The view from the top, if after the long ride up the hill you can handle the 80-plus steps to the top, is beyong spectacular.
On another day you might like head for Sandy's Parish. You'll cross Somerset Bridge (the smallest drawbridge in the world), then pedal along Somerset Road to Fort Scaur Park where you can relax and enjoy the view of Ely's Harbour while enjoying your picnic. Then you can take the ferry back to Hamilton and be home in time for tea.
Stop by a cycle shop for a trail map and some ideas. All bike shop owners know Bermuda intimately and will guide you in your quest for the ultimate Bermuda biking experience; most will even mark up a map for you.
Take Your Own or Rent?
These days, the rates to transport a bike to Bermuda make it almost prohibitive: Non-motorized touring or racing bicycles with single seats are accepted as checked baggage, bicycles as checked baggage will be $175 (for travel within the United States, U.S. Virgin Islands, and Puerto Rico) and $300 (for travel outside the United States, U.S. Virgin Islands, and Puerto Rico).
So, when biking in Bermuda, it’s probably best to rent a "Push Bike" or “Pedal Bikes.” Ask for a bicycle or bike and you’ll get a moped or scooter. Many bike shops don’t rent pedal bikes. However, those listed below do, and some have several location to serve you. You should expect to pay about $35 a day to perhaps $120 for a full week.
Smatt's Cycle Livery Ltd., 74 Pitt's Bay Road. Hamilton. Bermuda. Ph 441-295-1180
Oleander Cycles: 1 441 236 5235
Hours: seven days a week, 24-hour telephone answering service
Wheels Cycles: 1 441 292 2245
What to Take With You:
It’s best to take along your own helmets and, as the seats that come on these bikes can be a bit uncomfortable, you might want to consider taking your own. Also take water bottle cages, water bottles and seat packs and, of course, sunscreen.
Traffic in Bermuda:
Hamilton is one busy little city, especially at rush hour. Avoid traveling toward Hamilton during the morning rush hour and away from it during the afternoon rush hour. The speed limit on the whole island is just 25 mph so often the speed differential is not that great, but don’t let that fool you. The biggest problem is the vast numbers of mopeds on the roads. Those ridden by the locals are rarely a problem; those driven by tourists can be deadly. Watch out!
For visitors arriving by air, Bermuda is served by most US airlines and by international airlines from Canada and Europe. Bermuda is also a major destination for the cruise ship industry.Look for the best travel deals to Bermuda: