Day 4 Cape Cod Bike Tour.

Brewster to Fairhaven MA.

71 Miles  Total: 227
Time:8:25
Riding time 5:30
Hot, hilly and a few wrong turns.

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Left the camp ground at 6:30 with a nearly dead phone and Garmin.  I tried to charge my phone at the Camp Store, left it charging for an hours and got 5%. It seemed odd. I tried again in the camp bathroom building again with no luck. When I left the camp ground, I looked up the directions with my 5% and wrote down the turns. Naturally I got lost, and never found the first turn.  I stopped a rider on the trail and he got me pointed in the right direction as far as the lake. 11-DSCN1852

I plugged my phone into the extra socket for the ice machine at the general store, hung around for an hour and still go next to no charge.  I decided to look up directions from here, got them and when I plugged in again for a little more charge I saw the warning.  “Using the wrong cord will cause extremely slow charge. Use the cord provided with your device.”  I was using my Nikon camera cord.

I rode the Cape Cod Rail Trail to the access point in Dennis.  On the way, I stopped at a bike shop and the owner gave me directions to RT 6A.   I wrote them down. When I got to the terminus of the bike trail, I again asked for directions from two guys just beginning their ride.  “You should have gotten of the trail a few miles back”  6A was only a short distance away”.  I knew I needed to cross the mid cape highway and that’s where I spotted the police station.  The officer at the desk put me on the right track and once I got to 6A there were no more turns.  Just miles.

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Tunnel on the Cape Cod Rail Trail near Orleans.

I asked along the way about how far I needed to go to get to the Canal.  The woman at the market said around 10 miles.   I rode for a while, stopped at another store and got the same 10 more mile answer.  Finally, after riding for a couple of hours, I got the correct answer when I stopped for a snack and soda.  10 miles.

Yesterday I told a riding buddy that when I got to the canal, I would most likely camp out for the night.  He said your only 25 miles from home when you get to the canal.  Once I did get there, I got a surge of energy and decide to finish the ride.

On the first day, we crossed over the canal using the Bourne Bridge and rode along the canal on the Cape side to Sagamore.  Today I crossed the Sagamore bridge and rode the mainland side to Bourne.  As I was climbing the bridge a youngster crested approaching me with a skateboard.  When we crossed paths we spoke about being on the bridge. I told him my story and his was that his family was camping along the canal in Bourne and he was bored. He skated the mainland path to Sagamore, and was going to skate back to Bourne on the Cape side and walk over the Bourne Bridge..  It was a great day for biking as well as skateboarding.

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Skateboarding the Sagamore Bridge

Click below to see all the photos set to music.

2016 CAPE COD BIKE TOUR from John Sullivan on Vimeo.

DAY THREE.  Truro to Brewster MA.

Cape Cod Tour Day 3. Google Made a Really Bad Route Decision

The Chain Tattoo is the mark of Cat 6

TRURO to BREWSTER

Distance: 40 Miles    Total:  156 miles
Time: 5:40
Riding time: 3 hrs
Walking: 1:35
F word: To many to count

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Click Here for all the photos on Flickr

It was a 27 mile ride to the start of the Cape Cod Rail Trail.
I didn’t start riding till after 11 this morning because I was updating this blog.  After a decent breakfast of a wonderful home made mixed berry and nut muffin I set off in the wrong direction.  It took a mile, but the nagging of my Garmin Touring device finally got me to look at it telling me to turn around.  I did see the sign to busy US Rt. 6 West which was the direction of my destination but Garmin had a better route.  It was very scenic, quiet with gently rolling hills.  I did have to ride a couple of short miles on 6, and soon was on the  quiet back roads again.

Garmin beeped for an approaching turn onto an unpaved road.  I thought of asking one of the two bikers who rode by me as I was taking a photo of the road. However the device said this was only 300 yards.  What it didn’t say that in 300 yards was another unpaved road for a bit, then another and another.  Garmin also didn’t say that this whole mile plus shortcut was unpassable  for most vehicles.  It did cut five miles off my ride but added over an hour.  I have had better days on my bike than slogging along pushing a loaded touring bike on soft puffy dirt, in the humidity.  Really, I’m not kidding. I have had better riding days.

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Hmmmm?  It’s a shortcut according to Garmin
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A five mile short cut that added over an hour to the ride. It was more than a mile of walking pushing a loaded bike. Hot, humid and buggy.

I finally arrived at the start of the Cape Cod Rail Trail.  After stopping to fill my water bottles and a couple of freeze pops to cool me off, I made my way to another shortcut.  A 10 foot dirt path leading from the parking lot to the MUP.  As soon as I hit the dirt, my bike slid out from under me.  I tried but couldn’t unclip from my pedal and went down hard. Two nearby men began walking toward me asking if I was hurt.  “Only my pride” I answered.  I did get a cut on my leg, but that that was minor.

I checked into Nickerson State Campground and got the last site for a mere $22. Most other states have free hiker/biker camp areas but not in Massachusetts.  I asked about that and the Ranger stated that there are so few hikers and bikers checking in that it’s never been an issue, and I was the first this season to ask about it.

The shower area, a half mile further than my camping area was my first stop. It was without a doubt, my best shower experience in a long time.  I really needed this one mostly to clean off the blood.  Both legs had dried blood streaks from small cuts and scrapes I got mostly from getting off and on my loaded bike.  There was also a camp store at the shower area that got me a much need large can of ginger ale and a bag of cheese curls.

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Camp site in Nickerson State Park. Brewster, MA

After setting up camp, I rode the mile or so to the nearby Laurino’s Italian Restaurant.  The hostes seated me at a table near an outlet so I could charge my phone.  My server, Bran from Macedonia and an engineering student in Slovakia was great company. Over the course of my three PBR’s and tapas,  I asked how he chose Cape Cod as his summer work assignment and he said the word is that the Northeast is the most friendly toward foreign student on summer work visas.  He also asked for a service job because he knew the tips were very good.  Smart kid.

Tomorrow I’ll ride the 70 miles home.  There are no charging places in the camp ground. Lets hope I can charge my devices on the road early so I’ll ride in that direction for most of the day.

Click Here for all the photos on Flickr

.Day 2.  Truro to Provincetown     Day 4.  Brewster to Fairhaven, MA

Cape Cod Bike Tour Day 2 Provincetown to Truro.

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Distance 14 miles
time: all day
Riding time: 55 minutes
Total 116 miles
Click Here for all the photos on Flickr
It was another hot day, fortunately we only had an 11 mile ride to the night’s  accommodations

We spend most of the day meandering around P-Town.  Walked to breakfast and around Commercial St. before checking out of the hostel.  We left around 10-ish and visited two bike shops just to look around.  We spend a good amount of time at Gale Force Bike where I did some work getting my handlebar bag issue resolved.  The bag was constantly slipping down out of position. A simple fix of adding a plastic thing to make the handle bar thicker. After that I was able to tighten the connections and secure the bag in place.

We arrived at Nick’s family’s campsite in Truro after spending time at the beach for lunch.  Although it was only a 10 mile ride, we were both still feeling the effect of our 100 mile jaunt yesterday. Riding 100 miles on the first day of a bike tour is not the best way to start.  It was Nicks only day of riding. I will now ride solo to continue touring Cape Cod.

We certainly met a few quirky people on this ride.  In Sandwich on our first day we needed to double check the directions I was given by an internet friend.

We came across an older “gentleman” (you will understand the quotes shortly). “Excuse me sir, do you live locally?” I asked.  “Do I look like a local?”  Red flags rising.  “I was told that rt 130 is the best and safest way to get to the Cape Ccod Rail Trail, what do you think?”

“You was told wrong. You’ll git yourselves kilt riding that road. 6A is your best bet but you will probably get kilt on that road too.”

“We are riding to P-Town and want to get to the Rail Trail. Any idea on the distance?”

“You ain’t gittin to P-Town today on bikes.  It’s dam near 60 miles to the rail trail and another 75 miles to P-Town.”

“OK, thanks for your help”

We did stay on Rt 6 and decided to stop asking for better routes and simply trust google.  In the end, it was 70 miles to our hostel in P-Town.

At the hostel on our first night, we quickly made friends with the other guests.  Riding on fully loaded bikes  brings out the best in people.  I spend some time with Willie Weir a couple of years ago and he told how being on a loaded bicycle changes you from a tourist to a traveler in the eyes of many.  People approach you and want to know your story.  How far your riding, where did you start, where are you going?    I’m sure my story of a short tour close to my home is disappointing, but I think I’m still considered a traveler and not a tourist.

Yesterday, when we stopped for a snack on a beach road, we saw this really really big guy on a fat bike,  (stop it, I know what your thinking).  Most people would make fun of this guy riding with his shirt off and wrapped around his head.  His physique was a sight that makes you stare like your looking at a car crash.   When he pulled into the lot, I said, nice bike.  That broke the ice and we had a great conversation.   He said he had to rent this fat bike because the tires would help him keep upright.  He is the head chef at a fancy hotel in Connecticut and always had a problem with his weight. Recently losing 50 lbs gives him motivation to stay on track of limiting his carbs and sugar.  He doesn’t miss them any more and is very confident he will be “svelt” soon.

Nick’s parents, Mark and Chris, not only gave me a bed for the night but also treated me to a wonderful dinner in Provincetown.  A twenty minute shuttle bus makes it very easy to get to and fro downtown and it’s only two bucks.

The three of them left a while ago to spend the day at the beach while I hang out at the trailer finishing this entry.

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The plan is a short 40 mile ride to Brewster where I’ll stay at the Nickerson Camp Ground. It may be a busy weekend on the Cape and the place may be sold out, but the state has a no turn away policy for hikers and bikers.  We’ll see.

Here are yesterday’s photos, unedited.

 

Day 1  Fairhaven to Provincetown     Day 3. Truro to Brewster, MA

Cape Cod Bike Tour Day One

Click Here for all the photos on Flickr

“Two things get stolen in P-Town.  Boy friends and bikes.”

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Crossing the Bourne Bridge

Fairhaven to Provincetown, MA

Distance 102 miles
Time 11:50
Riding Time 7:46

For some god forsaken reason, we decided to ride from Fairhaven to Provincetown, MA in one day. Actually, Nick’s parents wouldn’t let him do the ride alone.   I wanted to do a tour of the Cape, and this worked out great for both of us. Except for the hundred mile part. The first 50 miles was pretty nice.  The next 25 was hot and a bit difficult.  The last 25 miles sucked. It was hilly and a good part was on busy US Rt. 6. The plan was to get to P-Town by 3 PM for the Carnival Parade.  We only missed it by three and a half hours.

Back tracking a bit.  We didn’t know if we were going ride today because we had no place to stay.  I had made some calls to a couple off hostels but got no response. We decided to ride to the Bourne Bridge and if we got no response by then we would turn back and ride tomorrow. Fortunately we heard from Sarah and got a $45 a bed, right in the heart of the city.

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Our humble abode for the night.

We had heard about George’s pizza and sub shop who made the best sandwiches in P-Town.  Our adorable waitress,  Simpka from Lithuania,  told us that the grill was closed, at 8 PM.  All that was available was pizza.  Neither of us had the energy to try to find another place so we settled for a mediocre cheese pizza.

It was the first experience in a hostel for both of us.  The company was really good.  The accommodations were adequate. I’m staying in a trailer camper tonight and tomorrow I’ll continue riding around Cape Cod for the next two or three days.

Click Here for all the photos on Flickr

Day 2  Provincetown to Truro

Shakedown Ride and Science Project

 

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Nick taking notes and measurements of the marine life at Shaws Cove in Fairhaven.

We were scheduled to ride to P-Town on Friday.   We heard about the Carnival and the Parade that takes place on Thursday.  All accounts say that it’s a really great time.  If we can find accommodations, Nick and I will leave very early Thursday morning for the 100 mile ride to Provincetown, MA.  Nick is looking forward to the miles, me, not so much.

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Carnival in P-Town

One of the requirements for the early departure was that Nick had to finish his science project. Coincidentally, I offered to drive a marine biologist, Kate,  to the bus station for her trip to NYC.  Nick rode along and got some really good advice from her.  We spend the next few hours visiting ocean, stream and river shores where Nick took his measurements, and did the other research criteria needed to complete his project.

Nick’s parents will be driving to the Cape on Friday and I will move on and spend a few days touring Cape Cod.  I have a feeling I’ll be camping in some unusual places.  I would rather not sleep outside on the ground but the prices of the motels are ridiculously astronomical.  Anywhere from $350-$700 per night.  Sheesh.

Riding Around Town

The humidity broke today and although it was hot, 90ish, it didn’t feel so bad.  It was a nice day to ride around the waterfront.

Music, Music, Music

Three days of music was topped off by the Whaling City Blues Festival.  And it was “off the hook” Shemekia Copeland and her band were the most entertaining for me.

MAIN STAGE
11:45-12:45 – Johnny Hoy and the Bluefish
1:10-2:25 – Quinn Sullivan
2:50-4:05 – Jon Cleary and The Absolute Monster Gentlemen
4:30-5:50 – Shemekia Copeland
6:15-7:45 – Kenny Wayne Shepherd Band

2016 WHALING CITY BLUES FESTIVAL from John Sullivan on Vimeo.