Family was staying on Cape Cod for a week and they brought friends. One couple was #2 sons in-laws from Minnesota. They had talked about riding bikes and I offered to bring a couple so we could ride the Cape side of the canal. It’s a little over seven miles end to end and the outbound ride we had the wind at our back.
We were making really good time when I spotted loaded bikes. I yelled at my riding companions to hold up but they didn’t hear me. Naturally I stopped to chat with the bike tourists. They both graduated high school in May and rode from Providence, RI to Montreal. They were on the return ride heading to the outer cape to stay at the young man’s parents for a week. I wanted to stay a little longer to talk touring but when I looked down the canal, John and Connie were over the horizon.
John wanted to turn around at the Sagamore bridge because he was leery of the wind for the return ride. I convinced them to continue two more miles so they could tell their friend that they rode the Cape Cod Canal, end to end.
The wind was in our face as we rode back to the head of the canal. John mentioned how tough it was riding into this wind. I almost told him that I was going to write about this ride and probably not mention the 8-10 mph wind in our face. Most seasoned riders would call it a moderate breeze. Being a native of the area and a veteran of many years riding the canal, I knew what was in store.
The canal winds along it’s course with a few sweeping curves. It’s not a straight line. As we came to one of the bends we got the full fury. Sustained winds in excess of 20 MPH hit us dead on. The wind was such that if you stopped pedaling, the bike would come to a standstill. I caught up to John and had to yell to be heard saying. “Now this is a wind”. I thought I heard a fuck you, but the wind may have been deforming the sounds. It continued for a couple of miles till we entered another bend on the trail that was protected by trees. On windy days the canal morphs into a giant wind tunnel. Woe is he who dares to ride the canal in mid afternoon when the wind shifts out of the south. As we did.