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Friday, August 28, 2015

Bicycling may be one of the best and most unforgettable ways to see and experience Cape Cod, Martha's Vineyard and Nantucket

Bicycling may be one of the best and most unforgettable ways to see and experience Cape Cod, Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket
By:  Michael Lander

Cyclists have many miles of coastline that they can ride on
around Cape Cod with captivating ocean views along the way.

Cape Cod is known for its quaint and charming New England seaside harbor towns, its windswept beaches, and it distinctively unique maritime buildings and Shake shingle houses and cottages.

For decades, it has been an immensely popular destination for beachgoers, boating and sailing enthusiasts, and thousands of tourists who flock to the peninsula, and to its nearby islands of
Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket, especially during its peak season from about May to September each year.

Even though most visitors who travel to and from and around
Cape Cod do so by vehicle, for those who have the time, and who really want to see and experience this resort area in a more direct and intimate way, there is no better way to do that than on a bicycle.

Cyclists can ride on most of the roadways in Cape Cod and
they can easily get around the peninsula on a bike; however,
they will periodically encounter a large volume of traffic
with very little or no shoulder to ride on.

It is on a bike that you can really see and take in the beauty and scenery around you, where you can smell the ocean air as you ride along the hundreds of miles of coastline, where you can feel the breeze, listen to the seagulls and shorebirds, and hear the waves crashing on to the rocks or lapping the shoreline. 

You can also ride to places where you can spend some time sightseeing and checking out lighthouses and various other historical landmarks, visit some shops for souvenirs, stop and eat some fresh
seafood, spend a little time on a beach, and enjoy some of the simple pleasures of life, like watching the sun rising or setting on the water.

Visitors to Cape Cod are not limited to riding in vehicles,
but can travel in and around on a bicycle so long as they
are comfortable and accustomed to riding in traffic.

For those looking to ride on some paved, dedicated bike and pedestrian trails, you have many to choose from, which includes the 1.6 mile
Cape Cod National Seashore – Nauset Marsh Trail from the Salt Pond Visitor Center in Eastham to the Coast Guard Beach, the 5.25 mile Cape Cod Province Lands Trail that starts at the Province Lands Visitor Center and loops back around, the 7-mile Cape Cod Canal Bikeway from Bourne and Sagamore bridges, the 8-mile Cape Cod Nickerson State Park Bike Path Network, the 10.7 mile Cape Cod Shining Sea Bikeway from the Country Road in Falmouth to the Steamship Authority in Woods Hole, and the 25-mile Cape Cod Rail Trail from South Dennis to Wellfleet.

Riding a bike in towns like Woods Hole allow cyclists the
opportunity to take in all of the picturesque views
instead of rushing past it in a vehicle.

For those seeking some off-road, mountain bike adventures, you have the
Cape Cod Hathaways Pond Conservation Area, the Cape Cod Old Jail Lane Conservation Area, the Cape Cod Otis Atwood Conservation Area, the Cape Cod Trail of Tears Trail Network (West Barnstable Conservation Area), and the Cape Cod Willow Street Trail Network (Hyannis Ponds Conservation Area).

For those who are comfortable and experienced, and who have no fear or trepidation of riding in traffic, it opens more options for getting around Cape Cod on a bike, but the volume of traffic can be quite heavy at times and it should be avoided if you are not already well-accustomed to it or if you are riding with children.  Those who do ride on the roadways should also expect to encounter some narrow roads with little or no shoulder.

Many visitors to Martha's Vineyard prefer to sightsee and
get around the island on a bicycle and the more ambitious
of them, who are willing to ride about 60 miles, can ride
around the perimeter of it.

When riding on the road, cyclists should follow the rules of the road, ride with traffic, not against it, use hand signals, and, for added safety, they should wear a helmet.

Like Cape Cod, one of the best ways to see and experience
Martha’s Vineyard is on a bicycle and there are several bicycle and bicycle rental shops for those who are interested in doing this. 

For those who do, you will have 44 miles of down-Island bike trails and you can ride over 60 miles along the perimeter of the island.

For additional information on riding on Cape Cod, Martha’s Vineyard, or Nantucket, you can contact the
Cape Cod Cycling Club and Nauset Newcomers Bicycle Group or you can visit the Cape Cod Commission’s website.

In addition to enjoying the east-facing Atlantic seacoast, with its wide sandy beaches that are protected and preserved for public use, visitors and cyclists alike, can also see historical places and monuments and learn more about Cape Cod’s fascinating history.

Cyclists can easily navigate in and around Martha's Vineyard
and there are several bicycle rental shops for those who do
not bring a bike with them on the ferry.

The hook-shaped peninsula was originally home to the
Wampanoag Native Americans who helped the pilgrims when they arrived in the autumn of 1620.  The pilgrims landed in Provincetown, which is at the furthest tip of Cape Cod and there visitors will find a monument commemorating what was one of the first places settled by the English in North America. 

In the 19th century, Cape Cod became a fishing and whaling center and, by the end of the 1800’s, it became a summer haven for many who came from cities like
Boston, and, today, it is a destination spot for many tourists across the U.S. and from around the world.

Even though there are many ways to get around and see Cape Cod, Martha’s Vineyard, and Nantucket, bicycles offer one of the best, most intimate, and unforgettable ways to see and experience the ethereal beauty of these places in an up close and personal way.

1 comment:

  1. What great way to view the scenery. I've always wanted to visit that area and now I want to ride a bike there. Great article !!