Spent July 4th weekend riding out of Woods Hole on Cape Cod with my wife and some mates from the Long Island Bicycle Club (libike.org).
We racked up about 135 miles over three days including a 50-mile loop from Woods Hole to the Bourne Bridge and my favorite ride of the year – a 56-miler around Martha’s Vineyard.
The Bourne Bridge ride roughly traced the ocean shoreline between Woods Hole and the Cape Cod Canal, rolling through Sippowisset, Old Silver Beach, West Falmouth and Monument Beach. We rode the 7-mile length of the canal path under the two bridges that connect the cape to the mainland, a nice place to watch cormorants dive for lunch and to mingle with cyclists from all over.
On Independence Day we pedaled down to the ferry about 8 a.m. for the trip to the Martha’s Vineyard, docking at Vineyard Haven about 45 minutes later.
We road through bustling Oak Bluffs, then stopped in Edgartown, ostensibly because my wife wanted to buy a jersey from Edgartown Bicycles (edgartownbicycles.com/sales.htm#).
My first reaction: “Eighty bucks for a jersey, are you kidding?” About a half-hour and 160 bucks later, we pedaled off with the Louis Garneau jerseys emblazoned with the Gay Head lighthouse stuffed into our back pockets.
Then it was off to Lobsterville, where we boarded a small ferry for the short ride to Menemsha for lunch. This tiny fishing village has some great places right on the water to grab a lobster roll and chowder. I watched a fisherman unload squid from his nets and cure them with salt in barrels and I stuffed myself with fresh lobster.
After pace-lining the dozen or so miles back to Vineyard Haven, we made the obligatory stop at Mad Martha’s ice cream shop before boarding the 5 p.m. ferry for the trip back to Woods Hole.
Riding on the cape and Vineyard is generally flat, although the wind coming off the water often makes it feel as though you’re doing more climbing than you are. You’ve usually got the ocean on one side and salt marshes or cranberry bogs on the other, so the views are spectacular.
What Woods Hole lacks in terms of tourist amenities it makes up in its proximity to the ferry. And nearby Falmouth has plenty of restaurants and fancy shops for anyone who can’t go home without Black Dog paraphernalia. It also has access to the Shining Sea bike path (capecodbikeguide.com/shiningsea.asp) which is handy for a short ride.