30 Days Of Biking Day 2. Provincetown, MA

Rt 6 mile zero


It rained all day and was getting late.  I needed to get out and ride to fulfill my obligation to 30 days of biking.  Once I decided to go for it, the rain lightened and eventually stopped. I did get caught in a couple of meaningless light showers which was no big deal. Provincetown is a highly rated biking area with a good mix of trails, lightly traveled roads and challenging hills.

P-town dunes from John Sullivan on Vimeo.

Bike Tour of Cape Cod and The Islands


It’s a done deal.  I’ll be touring locally this summer by riding Cape Cod, Martha’s Vineyard and and outside chance of adding Nantucket.(probably a day trip).  It’s still in the planning stage and I’m thinking this will be a six day tour.


Coffee On The Vineyard.

Coffee in Vineyard Haven on the island of Martha's Vineyard.
Coffee in Vineyard Haven on the island of Martha’s Vineyard.

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.

Soft as a Grape. One of WMVY's sponsors. Located on Main St. in Vineyard Haven, Martha's Vineyard.
Soft as a Grape. One of WMVY’s sponsors. Located on Main St. in Vineyard Haven, Martha’s Vineyard.
A peek at Main St. In Vineyard Haven
A peek at Main St. In Vineyard Haven

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.

Nice quiet Great Plains Rd. Wonderful
Nice quiet Great Plains Rd. Wonderful

Great Plains turned into this. Soft treacherous sandy, rocky quagmire.

Great Plains Rd. Really?
Great Plains Rd. Really?

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.

Dr. Fisher Road. Bikes only
Dr. Fisher Road. Bikes only.

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.
Seagull prowling for who knows what.
Heads up.

Wood’s Hole Coffeneuring

North Carolina couple visiting Cape Cod
North Carolina couple visiting Cape Cod

As always, click any photo for big. Click again for bigger. Click your back button to return to the post

CLICK HERE for all the photos of today’s ride.

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.

One block from the trail we came across sights like this.
One block from the trail we came across sights like this.
Off the Path
Off the Path

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.

Harbor at Woods Hole
Harbor at Woods Hole
Oceanographic ship at Wood's Hole
Oceanographic ship at Wood’s Hole

And for my coffeeneuring challenge practice ride.

Coffee at the still secret place in Wood's Hole
Coffee at the still secret place in Wood’s Hole

All the photos of today’s rider are HERE