Riding the South Coast of Massachusetts and Rhode Island
A bike riding footie fan living and riding in SouthCoast towns of Massachusetts.
My bicycle rides include commuting, day trips as well as long and short tours.
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You love to ride your bicycle. You like a great cup of coffee. The Coffeeneuring Challenge could be for you. It’s simple. It’s fun. From their website.
You have 7 weeks to do the following:
Get on your bike
Ride to a coffee shop
Drink a beverage
Take a picture
Ride your bike home (or elsewhere)
Repeat 7 times
You can do it alone, with friends, accompanied by your kiddos (or parents), in a “real” coffee shop, in a gas station, in a park. Twice in a weekend, one time a weekend, or any combination until you reach the magic number of seven. I think Marvin K. Mooney would excel at coffeeneuring.
Drink coffee, or tea, or hot chocolate, or whatever else catches your fancy (within reason). Share it on Facebook, Flickr, Twitter, Instagram, or don’t. It’s what you want it to be.
I occasionally go to some bicycle forums, not as often as I did in the past. A couple of things drove me away. Within a few posts, the original poster’s question, comment etc. was long gone, often replaced by bad humor, corny statements or the post being completely hijacked. The other was what I heard a long time ago is called bow wow talk. That’s when it takes multiple paragraphs to say a sentence. That’s what I did today on someone’s blog and ended up talking about me. I have to keep reminding myself to write about me on my own forum and keep my comments short, stick to the authors story and keep it about them.
Now. About me: I didn’t expect to get any riding done this week because of the stormy weather. There was a lull in the rain today but not the wind. But as we bike riders all subscribe to is that the wind is our friend. Hills too. You agree? The gym, coffee, shopping all got done by bike today as they should.
The coffeeneuring challenge begins next week and I’ll be in Austin for the first installment. Road trips, biking and coffee are the staff of good living. I’m staying at the Austin, Motel and it’s sign is an icon that either brings a smile or a shake of the head.
This is predicted to hang around for a week. Tomorrows ride on Martha’s Vineyard with visiting friends from Austin looks like it’s off the schedule. I did find some leftover photos of my last coffee run on “the Vineyard”. Just to fill in this post. There is also a major fundraising ride this weekend that I am sagging. That’s could be in jeopardy also.
If your were sitting across from me you would have heard, caah-fee on da vinyid in my best New England Yankee dialect.
As always,click any photo for big. Click again for bigger.Hit your back button to return to the story.
I got a late start and was so upset that I was probably going to miss the 9:30 boat, I considered saying “eff it” and returning home. I did come to my senses and accepted that I missed the ferry and would simply enjoy a nice breakfast in Wood’s Hole. I rode up to the dock and saw the freight ferry still loading. I asked the attendant how much time I had to buy my ticket before the boat left. “About two minutes” he said. I rushed into the ticket office and there was no one in line and three clerks available. I got my ticket lickety split and boarded the boat with a minute to spare.
I met a couple who was spending the night on the island and when they asked where I was riding, I didn’t have an answer. They talked me into Minemsha and that sounded good. That plan took me to the main street of Vineyard Haven where I saw sponsors of my favorite radio station WMVY. It’s a non profit adult rock station on the Vineyard that has given me quite an eclectic music library. Musicians like, Amos Lee, Chris Rea and Ray LaMontaigne. You can sample the station online HERE. I have a strong feeling you will fall in love with this station and it’s DJ’s. And no good coffee ride is complete without a cappuccino prepared by a very good Barista I stumbled upon called Mocha Motts.
As I was riding toward Minempsha, I began to think about the 40 mile bike ride with some steep climbs and narrow roads and reset my bike gps app to West Tisbury. I did get a booklet with a map before beginning the ride and when I finally looked at it I saw that Chappaquiddick was only an hour away by bike. In the other direction of course. Reset gps to Chappaquiddick.
Trust your gps is my motto. That was severely tested when it had me turn onto Great Plains Rd. This is a really nice bike riding road. A quiet, no traffic back road that was a pleasure to ride.
Great Plains turned into this. Soft treacherous sandy, rocky quagmire.
Trust your gps. I was considering turning back when Cortina, (my gps girlfriend) said, “Turn left on Dr. Fisher Rd in 600 feet.” My mental abacus began flipping beads and I figured that’s the length of two football pitches. I can walk that. Sure enough, Dr. Fisher Road reared it’s beautiful face. Even better, it is a bike only road. Some times abandon rail roads become bike paths. Sometimes abandoned roads become bike paths.
I eventually made it to a fork in the road and a fork on this ride. Go right to Chappaquiddick or go left to Oak Bluffs and the ferry back to Wood’s Hole. Here is where I also met an older couple on bikes looking at a map. “Are you lost” I inquired and only got a smile from both of them. They tried in their best German accented really bad English to talk back. “sprechen Sie Deutsch”, I said. Then the words flowed from them like a freed log jam. Problem is, I don’t spechen Sie Deutch. Using our own made up hand gestures , pointing at the map and at the road language, we worked our their directions. As we parted I returned to my limited German saying ‘cheus” (sp? meaning, see you later, slangly) and that’s when they said they were from Holland. “Gezzellig.”
I am returning to the island mid week with friends from Austin which convinced me to head back to one of the ferry terminal and back to the mainland. “Cortina… Give me directions to Oak Bluffs.”
I wanted to stop for lunch on the island, but I also had 30 minutes to hightail it to Oak Bluffs and catch the 1:15 ferry back to Wood’s Hole. On Donna, on Blitzen, That’s thunder and lightning in German by the way. I don’t know how to say it in Dutch though. I pulled into the terminal just as the loudspeaker was announcing final boarding. Another one of the just made it timing things I fall into a lot.
There are a few more photo on my flickr page HERE.
Living on the South Coast of Massachusetts is a bike riders nirvana. Bike friendly drivers and lots of quiet country roads for daily rides. Places like Newport, RI and Martha’s Vineyard are close enough that one can decide over morning coffee to go there and ride. And It’s cheap. Today for example.
$25 for you and your bike for a round trip ferry ride.
$6 for breakfast at a really good coffee shop with a really good Barista.
Ducking seagull shit on the return ferry ride. Free.
The coffeneuring challenge begins next week and today’s pre challenge training ride couldn’t have been better. The Shining Sea Bike Way is a ten mile paved Rail to Trail conversion from Falmouth to Woods Hole, Massachusetts. Because these converted trails are usually isolated, it’s a good idea to get off the path and ride some of the local roads when possible. The Shining Sea, being a coastal trail has some really spectacular scenery for the more astute riders who take a chance and leave the trail.
At the end of the trail is the town of Wood’s Hole. The ferry terminal to Martha’s Vineyard is always bustling and the town has the typical quaint New England look and feel. Woods Hole also host the National Marine Fisheries part of NOAA, and Wood’s Hole Oceanographic Institute. Both are the mecca for marine biology and a visitor will hear a plethora of languages being spoken around those sites. It’s also the home port of Robert Ballard who found the Titanic in 1985.
There is not a lot to see in Wood’s Hole, but that doesn’t preclude the place from being pretty spectacular. On the trail I stuck up a conversation with a couple from North Carolina. We began riding together, hit things off pretty good which allowed me to be their local guide to the Secret Places. That being those places that a traveler would never experience without the aid and knowledge of a local. A few years ago I had a local show me those secret places and today I got to share them with new friends. I did go off script in Wood’s Hole when I recommend they lunch at the very popular Pie in the Sky cafe. We became separated on the trail just outside of Wood’s Hole before I could ask them to join me at the secret spot for lunch. They dined at Pie in the Sky and I at the place that will remain one of the Secret Places. We did meet up again after lunch for a tour of the town it’s scenic waterfront and harbor.
I am going to take the ferry from Wood’s Hole to the Vineyard Sunday morning. It’s a ride I did in June and have been talking it up with bike friends. The weather window is closing for this ride and I’m thinking Sunday would be a great day to get er done.
We will take the 9:30 AM ferry to the island, ride around for a couple of hours, have lunch on the Vineyard and take an early afternoon boat back to Wood’s Hole. The ferry is still running often which gives us lots of time choices to leave the island. The round trip cost of the ferry is $25 per person including the bike. We can park for free by using the last parking lot on the Shining Sea Bikeway. (Either # 7 or 6 on the map) Get to Woods Hole early enough and enjoy a wonderful breakfast at Pie In The Sky Bakery.
As always, click any photo for big. Click Again for bigger.Click your back button to return to the post
The ride will take us into the “doll house” section of Oak Bluffs. From there we ride along the beach to Edgartown. We can spend a little time in Edgartown if you wish. There are many lunch options if anyone wants to eat on the island. Some may want to skip lunch there and eat off island. The numerous ferry departure times allows for everyone to personalize this ride.