The Friends of Cape Henlopen State Park’s Borrow-A-Bike program was started 19 years ago as way for visitors to view and enjoy all of the park’s beauty.
The free program, which offers riders of all ages an affordable family-friendly activity, exploded in popularity, and the Friends often run out of bicycles by 10 a.m.
It started with 15 bicycles in 1999 and has grown to 54 – 44 adult bicycles, 10 children’s bicycles and three trailers. More than 13,000 people took advantage of the program last year.
To keep the program vibrant, Frank Cole of SeaGreen Bicycle donated 10 Del Sol single-speed beach cruisers to the Friends. The group will remove 10 of its used bicycles and donate them to Trap Pond State Park in Laurel.
Borrow-A-Bike is managed by 24 bike ambassadors, who are also members of the Friends group.
The program was founded by Gordon Reid, Stan Lemiska, Ed Henriksen, Carl Lofgren and Chuck Moore. A $3,000 grant from the Delaware Bicycle Council jump-started the program by funding the first round of bicycles. Additional donations in subsequent years increased the stock.
The bike barn was built from scratch in 2009 by Friends volunteers; it sits next to the Seaside Nature Center.
Two-hour free bike rentals are available at the bike barn from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. from Memorial Day to Labor Day, and 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. the rest of the year. The bike barn is closed Mondays and Tuesdays from late October through March. Donations are accepted.
SeaGreen Bicycle has two locations in the Cape Region – 204 Monroe Ave., Lewes, across Kings Highway from the trailhead at the Lewes Public Library, and 54 Baltimore Ave., Rehoboth Beach. To learn more, go to www.seagreenbicycle.com.