With a year-round average temperature of 70°F (21°C), Bermuda offers ideal weather for bicycling. Plus, biking is a great way to have fun and stay in shape, and it allows you to take a hands-on approach to your sightseeing. But be forewarned: Most roads aren't suitable for beginners. Think carefully and ask around when you're deciding where you or your children can ride safely and comfortably.

In general, roadways are well paved and maintained. The island's speed limit is 32kmph (20 mph) for all vehicles, but the roads are narrow and winding, and car traffic, especially during the day, tends to be heavy. Always exercise caution when riding a bike or scooter. Most drivers are considerate of cyclists, but a car may approach without warning because the government discourages unnecessary horn honking. Fellow cyclists might even overtake you -- bicycle racing is one of the most popular local sports.

Much of the island's terrain consists of flat stretches, although the hills provide what the locals call "challenges." Some climbs are steep, especially on roads that run north and south. South Road, through Southampton and Warwick parishes, often leaves bikers huffing and puffing.

Renting a Bike

Push bikes or pedal bikes, the terms Bermudians use to distinguish bicycles from mopeds, are a popular form of transportation. You can rent a bicycle by the hour, by the day, or for your entire stay. All recommended scooter and cycle shops rent bicycles. Many hotels have bicycles for guests' use, with or without a fee. Rentals generally cost $35 for 1 day, $60 for 2 days. Ten- and 12-speed bikes are usually available. It's always a smart idea to call as far in advance as possible, because demand is great, especially from April to October.

Where to Bike in Bermuda

Only the hardiest cyclists set out to traverse the 34km (21-mile) length of Bermuda in 1 day. For most people, it's far better to focus on smaller sections at different times. So, decide what interests you parish by parish, and proceed from there. To save time, you can take your bike aboard various ferries (they're free), and then begin cycling.

A safe choice for beginning riders is the Bermuda Railway Trail . Some of the most interesting cycling trails are in Devonshire and Smith's parishes. The hills throughout these areas guarantee that you'll get your exercise for the day, and the beautiful landscapes make your effort worthwhile. Spittal Pond, a wildlife sanctuary with bike paths running along seaside cliffs, is one of the most rewarding destinations. Stop by a cycle shop for a trail map and some advice. Nearly all bike shop owners know Bermuda intimately and will mark up a map for you or give you any special guidance you need.

If you're a real demon on a bike, you can go farther west for the challenge of pumping up to Gibbs Hill Lighthouse, the oldest cast-iron lighthouse in the world. From here, you'll have one of the most panoramic views in Bermuda.

If you'd like to combine a picnic with your bicycle outing, head for Sandys Parish. First cross Somerset Bridge, the smallest drawbridge in the world, then pedal along Somerset Road to Fort Scaur Park. There you can relax and admire the view of Ely's Harbour while enjoying your picnic.

The Bermuda Railway Trail -- An interesting bicycle option is the Bermuda Railway Trail, which is restricted to bicyclists and pedestrians. The Railway Trail consists of seven sections, each with its own character. You can decide how much of the trail you'd like to cover in 1 day, and which sections to focus on. Pick up a copy of the Bermuda Railway Trail Guide, available at the Bermuda Department of Tourism in the City of Hamilton, or the Visitors Information Centres in the City of Hamilton and St. George, to help you plan your route.

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.