Saturday Ride on Cap Cod. The Shining Sea Bikeway

North Carolina couple visiting Cape Cod
North Carolina couple visiting Cape Cod riding the Shining Sea Bikeway

Shining Sea Bikeway.  Saturday morning.  Meet at 8:30 at the head of the trail off rt 151. #16 on THIS MAP. 10.5 miles each way with a short tour of Wood’s Hole and a coffee stop.

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.

Upcoming Ride. Lunch on Martha’s Vineyard

Sunday September 27th. Martha’s Vineyard

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

Pie in the Sky Bakers at Wood's Hole
Pie in the Sky Bakers at Wood’s Hole

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.

Doll Houses in Oak Bluffs
Doll Houses in Oak Bluffs
The Black Dog
The Black Dog

CLICK HERE for the ferry schedule.

People, Boats, Bikes and Horses

Bikes and horses and people
Bikes and horses and people

As always, click and photo for big. Click again for bigger
The ride in Tiverton, RI last night was a bust. No big deal for this retired guy. I’ll do a long ride tomorrow morning. Well, tomorrow morning arrived and I remembered I am playing tennis tonight. No big deal for this retired guy. I’ll do a long ride tomorrow. Tomorrow will come and I’ll be lucky to walk after a couple hours of tennis tonight. I did find a solution to those next day lactic acid filled burning legs. An ice bath after tennis.

Filling a tub with the coldest water possible out of the faucet, then sitting in it, is very difficult. Last year the best I could do was kneel in the tub. Last week however, I tried the frog in the boiling water system. The one that says if you drop a frog in very hot water it will jump out. But, if you put a frog in cool water and slowly bring it to a boil, the frog will allow itself to be cooked. I sit in an empty tub and turn the cold water on so it flows very slowly, gradually opening the faucet as I adjust to the shock. It’s not easy, but it’s doable. It’s amazing how fast the lactic acid recovery is by a simple ice bath. Or in my case, a cold bath. It’s common for pro athletes to do the ice bath after a game.

There was time to do a ride around town today. Fairhaven, MA is a waterfront town within sight of the western side of Cape Cod and on a clear day, Martha’s Vineyard. A camera is an essential bike component for any bike blogger worth their salt. Sometimes a photographer begins the day with a theme and there are other times, like today, that we simply pay attention to the world and stay ready for what ever happens. There was a lot going on today.

Lots of Boats
Couple on the beach at Fort Phoenix
Returning from deep sea fishing trip
Dog Walker at Fort Phoenix
Entering New Bedford, MA harbor
Basketball in the park
Gull standing guard
Lobster Boat
Tug behind Palmer’s Island Light

Shining Sea Bike Path on Cape Cod

Cover Photo:  Pie in the Sky Bakery in Woods Hole, MA.

The Shining Sea Bike Path is a 11 mile Rail to Trail conversion from Falmouth to Woods Hole, MA.  This midweek, cool April day began with bright sunshine and very little wind, making it an easy ride from end to end.

The activity at the Steamship Authority is picking up as summer approaches.  There was quite a line of cars waiting to board the ferry to Martha’s Vineyard.  All the seasonal restaurants are open and the tourists are returning.  Only on the weekend for now but by Memorial Day things will change for sure and Woods Hole will be a beehive of activity.

Click the Vimeo link at the bottom right of the video for better quality