Leading up to my week-long vacation in Cape Cod, I debated over which bike to bring with me. For a while, I’d settled on my fat bike, so I could ride on the sand at low tide and still ride the singletrack and rail trail. Then I thought my cyclocross bike would be best for the rail trail and some easier singletrack. I finally settled on my mountain bike, which ended up being a good choice because it allowed me to explore singletrack and ride on road and paved rail trails without being quite as slow and heavy as my fat bike.
I rode five of the six full days I was there, sometimes twice a day, solo and with family. Our location was in central Cape Cod, in the town of Brewster – close to the Cape Cod Rail Trail (CCRT) and Nickerson State Park, which featured paved trail throughout the park as well as singletrack through the woods. Rather than include each ride as a “memorable ride” in my quest for 50 memorable rides in my 50th year, I’ve chosen to include three memorable rides in this one photo blog post.
Ride #24 – The Cape Cod Rail Trail
The Cape Cod Rail trail is a wide, paved trail that runs about 25 miles from South Dennis to Wellfleet. Our cottage rental was at about mile 9, so we had easy access to the trail. There’s an additional trail at mile 3 that extends about another 7 miles west to Chatham (Old Colony Rail Trail).
The intersection of these two trails features a “rotary” (i.e., roundabout).
Another great experience was the behaviour of drivers. Whenever the rail trail crossed a road, cars always stopped to let cyclists go by. Imagine this on a trail like the Iron Horse in KW!
Over the course of the week, I rode the entire CCRT plus the Old Colony extension to Chatham. Some beautiful destinations on these rides included Coast Guard beach (where seals played in the waves just off shore), the town of Chatham (and the beach), and multiple bike shops right along the rail trail!
Ride #25 – Nickerson State Park
Our cottage rental was just a couple of miles from this park that featured miles of paved trail as well as nice singletrack dirt trails. The park was free to hikers and cyclists, and there are several “ponds” with beaches for swimming. The highlight for me was exploring the singletrack, which was a mixture of “easy” trail and more difficult, rooty, hilly trail.
Ride #26 – To Provincetown
The ride from Brewster to Provincetown was my longest of the week – about 55 kilometres. The first half was on the CCRT, so it was relatively flat and sheltered. The second half was along a bike route that included roads along the ocean, through small towns all the way to the northern tip of Cape Cod.
Once I completed the 55km journey, I met up with my family just outside of Provincetown, where there’s about a 10km loop of paved trail through the sand dunes at the Provincelands bike way. We rode this trail together and stopped at a couple more beaches. It’s quite an experience, and I highly recommend it for anyone visiting the Cape!
There’s even amusing warning signs when approaching downhills:
The scenery and the trails were unbelievable:
After the ride to P-Town, we walked along Commercial St. and I saw these bikes for rent (N+1?):
The vacation was wonderful, and if I had to pick a highlight, it would be Nickerson State Park for it’s variety. It’s a peaceful park with lots to offer (including camping).
Oh, yeah, one more thing… we saw whales from a boat tour in Barnstable.