Photo provided by San Juan Island Visitors Bureau
From its flatness to its friendliness, Lopez Island is a biker’s paradise.
Lopez Island comes by its ‘Slowpez’ nickname honestly. Compared to ‘city folk’ (aka anyone from the mainland), the leisurely lifestyle of its 2,497 inhabitants borders on moderately plodding. And with good reason. Why hurry when there are breathtaking coastal vistas and pastoral farmlands at practically every turn?
Tucked among the United States’ northwest archipelago, Lopez Island spans just 30-square-miles. Like a place out of time, the only traffic jam you’ll encounter on this idyllic escape is the occasional tractor chugging down the road. Though far from completely flat, the relatively gentle topography makes for an enjoyable day in the saddle.
In fact, some would argue Lopez is best explored on two wheels. Just be sure to keep your wits about you. Bike lanes remain city luxuries, so you’re sharing the road with mopeds and cars alike. One-handed selfieing would be ill-advised.
Depending on your route, you’ll be treated to views of Mount Baker, where it towers like a giant over Lopez’s lazy pastures. On the northeastern side you’ll find Spencer Spit State Park. The two naturally occurring sandpits are a bird-watchers paradise, where everything from ospreys to otters can be seen.
2019 Tour de Lopez
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As a bike-friendly community, it’s no wonder Lopez has its own bike race — a non-competitive one, in keeping with the island’s go-at-your-own-pace mentality. April 27th marks the 16th annual Tour de Lopez. This fun ride features four different routes (5, 12, 17 and 31 miles) from two different starting points (Odlin Park near the Ferry Landing and the Lopez Community Center in Lopez Village). At each of the three designated rest areas, there will be bakery treats and fresh organic fruit.
Lopez Island Bike Rentals
Hourly, daily and weekly bike rentals can be made from Village Cycles, located in Lopez Village. The island shop will also deliver to the Lopez Islander Resort and Marina where Kenmore Air seaplanes arrive.
More Fun Things to do in the San Juans
From sampling scratch-made goods and sea-to-table cuisine to taking a leisurely sail and visiting artists while they work, a customized itinerary lets you experience the best of island culture at your pace.
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