Biking for Beginners: Exploring Palmetto Dunes on Two Wheels
It’s no secret that Hilton Head Island is a biker’s dream. With more than 60 miles of multi-use trails and picture-perfect, hard-packed beaches, getting from point A to B is a breeze when you cruise around on two wheels. While a beachy bike ride comes naturally for some, we know cycling for the first time can be a little intimidating. We’re here to help. Staying on Palmetto Dunes Oceanfront Resort and renting your bike with Hilton Head Outfitters makes your biking vacation painless. Follow these steps to enjoy a beginner’s biking vacation.
1. Rent Your Bike
Buying a bike and bringing it on vacation can be bulky, expensive, and impractical—especially if you’re flying. Many visitors find renting a bike is the easiest way to try the activity out without incurring extra baggage costs. We have bikes for kids aged four and up, so you don’t have to worry about the entire family being able to head out for a pedal. In our shop, you’ll also find tandem bikes (bicycles built for two!), tag-a-longs (an extension for an adult bike for a child aged 4 – 8), and Kiddie Carts. Our team is happy to meet with you to determine what bike best suits your needs, or you can call ahead and reserve your rentals before you arrive.
Photo via @burnstolightthesky on Instagram
2. Gear Up
With your bike secured, you’re probably itching to hit the trail or the beach. Before you put the pedal to the metal, we recommend making sure you’re equipped with these items for a safe and comfortable ride:
- Helmets, though not legally required, are encouraged to protect your noggin.
- A bike lock to keep your rental safe and secure when you’re in a shop, grabbing a bite, or lounging on the beach. (Your Hilton Head Outfitters bike rental comes equipped with one).
- A water bottle to avoid dehydration on the trail.
- Bright clothes, lights, and reflectors to help pedestrians, fellow riders, and motor vehicles see you day or night.
- Sunglasses to keep your sight sharp while you’re in motion.
If you don’t have room in your suit case for any of these items, we have plenty of bike accessories and equipment for sale and rent. Just call ahead to determine what your needs are, or make your way over once you’ve arrived on the resort.
3. Safety First
Whether you’re a first-time rider or seasoned cyclist, make sure you keep these guidelines in mind while you ride for the safety of both you and your fellow riders.
- Read up on South Carolina’s traffic laws and cycling rules as they may differ from home.
- Ride with traffic, not against it.
- Respect red lights and stop signs.
- Keep your head up—always keep an eye out for pedestrians, vehicles, and any riding hazards.
- Always check your brakes before you ride.
If you have to ride on the road, stay as far to the right as you can.
4. Hit the Trail (Or the Beach!)
Photo via @ahippphoto on Instagram
With your bike in hand, your gear packed, and our safety guidelines in mind, you’re ready to start riding. If you’re riding for the first time, remember to take it easy and start slow. For your first few rides, we recommend sticking around the resort’s canopy-covered trails. They’re scenic, well-maintained, easy to ride, and you’re close to home in case you get tired and need a breather.
Once you’ve mastered the trails, you’re ready for a bike ride on the beach! The stretches of sand around Palmetto Dunes are hard-packed, so they make for easy riding.
5. Stretch It Out
Stretching after exercise is always a must, especially if you’re new to an activity or getting back into the swing of things. Forgetting to stretch and feeling it tomorrow is a sure-fire way to put a damper on your vacation, so make sure you don’t skip this step. After cycling, your calves, hamstrings, glutes, neck, and shoulders will all need some attention so you’re not sore or tight the next day.
Getting out for a ride on Palmetto Dunes Oceanfront Resort is a must-try. Whether you’re looking to get to the beach a little faster or grab groceries for your vacation rental, it’s the best way to appreciate the natural beauty of Hilton Head Island. If you’re ready to make your cycling vacation a reality, give us a call at 866-360-1783 to start planning.