Cycling on Anguilla
by Paul Agid
I have been a fan of this website for a few years now and one thing that has never been discussed is how great the bike riding is on the Island. Whenever I travel, one of the first things I do is research riding possibilities on both the road and off road. I have ridden all over St. Maarten, Mt. biked in St. Lucia and have gone on trips to France, Mallorca, and Banff / Alberta, specifically to ride.
Caribbean islands,in particular, can be scary enough to drive on, so the thought of riding a bike would seem insane to most people. Besides crazy drivers, some islands can be a little dangerous to explore without a guide to steer you away from questionable neighborhoods. Well Anguilla is the exception.
First, the road quality is excellent and drivers tend to drive at a much slower pace. The main roads are not overly hilly but are not flat as a pancake either. They are gently undulating,which for a cycling enthusiast, makes for some really fun riding!
When I come to the island, I rent a Mt. bike because I like to explore the outer edges of the island, which takes you on roads that are unpaved and rather rough. As a Mt biker as well as a roadie, it makes for some fun variations during a single ride. I know Nori and her family do most of there exploring by car, but I find you can get around a lot more efficiently by bike.
Some of the unpaved roads get very rocky and narrow, which can be tough by car. With a bike, I go anywhere I want and can pull over and walk around with ease,never having to worry about finding a place to park or turn around to get back to civilization. I also find that when I'm on my bike, it is much easier to learn your way around the island. Landmarks go by slower and the constant waving and smiles you get by people you pass is also a great bonus.
If you are exclusively a roadie, there are road bikes that can be rented. There are a lot of local road riders that I see out on my rides all the time. They are good riders with very good bikes. Cycling, I have found, is a very popular sport in the Caribbean.
My favorite part of the island to ride on is the east end. It is more unspoiled and quiet. You also have a lot of high vantage point views of undeveloped land leading to amazing ocean views.
The occasional goat crossing the road, is another unexpected treat. The section from Junks hole heading towards Scilly Cay is my favorite stretch of road. Don't forget to wave to Smitty as you pass him hosting a game of dominos at his road side hangout.
Ride On, Paul
Nori's Reply: Wow, Paul! Thank you so much for this terrific report on cycling in Anguilla. It is a popular island-wide sport.
The road conditions in Anguilla make it an ideal island for cycling. As you said, it's not hilly, but not completely flat either. On the weekends we always see several groups of cyclists riding together. The island has a large "Anguilla Cycling Association" that promotes biking and healthy living in Anguilla. They also do many island-wide races.
For potential bike-riders in Anguilla, you can rent bikes at Exotic Plus in the Valley, next to the pharmacy, for roughly $10/day. Premier Mountain Bike Rentals specialize in, as the name suggests, mountain bikes.
As you suggest, Paul, it is a great way to get in touch with the island, and explore roads that cars cannot. The East End is my favorite part of Anguilla too, that stretch behind Junk's Hole and Savannah Bay being one of the best areas for exploring, as it is so quiet and uninhabited.
My sister and I were driving around there recently, and were limited by how far we could travel by car. The road conditions become too dangerous. We continued our exploration on foot. Next time, we will go by mountain bike!