I was dubious about the riding on Lopez Island before I visited.
Not anymore. I spent two excellent days riding on Lopez and its rep as the best place to ride in the San Juan Islands of Washington state is well-deserved. With rolling terrain and rural roads, Lopez is made for exploring by bike.
I wasn’t the only one doing the riding. I arrived at the 9:30 a.m. ferry from Anacortes and got in line with about 20 other cyclists. Most were doing day trips on the island and planning to return on a later ferry.
I was camping. After docking, I rode the five miles to Spencer Spit is a great park, with an pretty beach to explore and many walking trails. Once I got my bearings, I hit the road for a 20-mile ride to the Lopez Village and a loop around the west side of the island.
Eagles soared, harbors looked quaint, farmers bailed hay. Very little auto traffic intruded on the lovely scene.
The next day, I went to the southern end of the island for a lovely 26-miler. More of the same: I topped rolling hills, saw small island farms and picturesque harbors.
Long stretches went by when I saw no cars at all, only deer, forests, farms and other cyclists. At one point, I stopped to snap a picture. A friendly islander out for a walk stopped and said, “Oh, look up there — it’s the baby!”
She pointed out a nest high in a Douglas fur tree where a fledgling eagle tested its wings.
“Cool,” I said.
We parted and I headed back to Spencer Spit, flying along in the good vibes of Lopez Island.