Friday, September 19, 2008
Biking The Cape, Part II: The Solo Rides
In my last post, I told how while on vacation this summer I had a great bicycle ride with my son and tricked the other guys on the trip into a marathon long group ride. Having burned my bridges with the rest of the group, I knew I was on my own for the rest of the trip. Having done both the north end of the trail and the Chatham branch, the only part of the Cape Cod Rail Trail left was the section from Brewster to Dennis. I got up early and donned my geeky bikey gear and headed out. I wasn’t too far before I was distracted by the most picturesque general store on the Cape. I just had to stop for a pastry and a drink in a genuine family-run store.
This morning was a lot less lapine loaded than my first ride, but to fill out the Aesop fable, I did run across this turtle taking a leisurely stroll down the side of the trail.
Ten miles later I reached the western trailhead in Dennis and had to hang around for about ten minutes before I could harangue some passers-by into taking my picture to prove I had been at both ends of the trail.
From there I took the surface streets back to Brewster which included several miles of white knuckle riding along a crowded no-shoulder stretch of 6A. Definitely stick to the rail trail if you can.
Besides the CCRT, the Cape has several shorter biking trails at various points. One that is part of the National Seashore is the Salt Pond Trail that goes from the National Park Service Visitors’ Center to the beach. I had thrown both bikes on the rack and we drove down there. I had planned to let my wife drive the chase car while my son and I rode.
And this is where we hit the teenage attitude. He said that he had no idea we would be bike riding that day. I guess the two bikes on the back of the car was too subtle a clue. He grumbled and complained all the way to the beach. The trail ends at an old Coast Guard house that was just gorgeous.
I wanted to head up the road to to find the Nauset Beach lighthouse. And that is where he rebelled. Instead of continuing on the two miles up the road, he decided he’d rather ride the three miles back to the car by himself. So be it.
Later that afternoon, after we were done touring Provincetown and the surrounding dunes, we went to Herring Cove Beach to let my son splash in the ocean and for me to ride some of the trails through the park. I rode out to Race Point Beach where I took two of my favorite pictures of the whole trip. This one is currently the wallpaper on my home computer.
And I just love the sight of my bicycle resting next to the dunes here:
While waiting for my wife to drag my kid off the beach, I went up to the top of the visitor center widow's walk and shot a bunch of pictures including several of a plane landing at Provincetown Airport.
I had a great time biking the cape. There were trails and paths for every ability and plenty of things to do along the way. The bike I rode on that trip was a hand-me down that had gone from my dad to my son and to me. Just before the trip I added some new much-needed handgrips and rack with bag just the right size for my camera equipment. Now I can indulge two of my favorite pastimes, bicycling and photography. And isn't that what a vacation should be all about?
To see more pictures from the trip, click on any picture in this post or the previous one or go through the whole set of my Cape Cod pictures.