It was brutally cold but our dedicated blogger Amanda from Four if by Sea, and her family braved the elements to get you guys a video. Here’s her thoughts on the new bridge.
On a cold, windy, grey February day, I found myself pulling on three pairs of pants, two pairs of socks, two pairs of gloves and I’ve forgotten how many upper layers and loading up my family for a 30 minute ride down south. Not for snow. Not for swell. On most definitely the kind of day you can talk yourself out of even walking outside. Let alone bundling up and facing the brutal 30-degree temperatures in a 30+mph wind. With a 3 year old. On a bike. But, when you are about to be a part of history, you bundle the hell up, don’t think too hard and go on the adventure.
When I first heard that the new Oregon Inlet “Marc Basnight” Bridge was going to be opening for pedestrian traffic, I was excited. How often does one get to walk across a 3-mile bridge over the ocean with no vehicle traffic? What an amazing opportunity to get a bird’s eye view of the inlet, the old bridge, the barges and to walk across a structure that’s built to stand longer than your lifetime. The excitement intensified when a group of friends began organizing a bike trip across the bridge and invited our whole family to join them. Thinking Johnny would be a spoilsport, I ran it by him and to my surprise, he agreed, even when I told him the weather forecast of 30s with wind gusts from the north at just the same speed. However, we dug our neglected winter gear from the depths of the drawers, piled it on, wrapped Harbor and Avalon in enough clothing that they couldn’t put their arms down (coincidently I also put a pull-up on AV because no way I was stripping all those layers off to go to bathroom on a bridge) and charged it.
Luckily we have expert biking friends who brought extra gloves, fleece hoodwraps and bourbon and made up for all of our shortcomings and the pack of 7 of us took off from the Oregon Inlet Fishing Center heading south over the bridge.
Throws of people were piling in from all of Dare County, mostly on foot, to christen the new structure. With the wind at our backs, the ride was fairly easy- even riding double with a 30lb child on my bike. We saw other bikers, walkers, dogs on leashes and even half-naked runners along the way. Despite the cold, there was an excitement and camaraderie in the air: a local’s pride as well as an appreciation of living here.
Bundled up in the Suburban on the other side with our bikes securely on racks, we drove back over the “old bridge” each exclaiming what an amazing experience that had been. Our friend then mentioned that they would soon be opening the existing old Herbert C Bonner Bridge to pedestrian traffic and we would have the opportunity to repeat the adventure- to which we all gave resounding cheers! Let us just hope Mother Nature is a little kinder next time.