Biking to Cape Cod, Days 2 & 3

This post continues on the previous post of my biking from Boston through the end of Cape Cod, over three riding days this July. Here we go over the final two days, covering the Cape, with the final day being by far my favorite.

Day 2: Plymouth to Brewster

After a rest day, Jennifer and James ferried me to Plymouth, to resume my bike ride from Plymouth through half of the Cape. I did this ride on a Monday, hoping to avoid notoriously heavy Cape Cod summer weekend traffic.

The Cape itself effectively starts about 15 miles south of Plymouth at the Sagamore Bridge, which crosses the Cape Cod Canal. This route until this bridge was a fairly quiet way on mostly tree-lined roads.

 

The [busy] Sagamore Bridge has a sidewalk on one side for pedestrians and bikes, albeit without a guardrail. There were signs advising cyclists to walk their bikes over the bridge, which is a good idea for safety. When walking, there was a good view of the canal. I saw nice bike paths along the canal – perhaps would be interesting another day.

It was a bit busy on both sides of the bridge, as well as the obligatory cluster of gas stations and fast food. But after a few blocks, the road transitioned to fairly calm roads for a while, as I followed the Bike Route 1.

 

The route that I took for the day was effectively all inland, with some glimpses of the coast from the distance. That said, there were some nice-looking towns, such as the town of Sandwich below, with lakes and well-kept historic buildings.

 

As the route transitioned to eastern Sandwich and western Barnstable, the suggested bike route transitioned to a forested service road next to Route 6 (which was probably logical to avoid Route 6-A traffic). This part wasn’t bad, but it was less scenic (e.g. went by a dump and a hospital), and a little gratuitously hilly.

Eventually, the road transitioned back to more photogenic classic New England roads, and wound their way through Barnstable, Yarmouth, Dennis, and to Brewster.

 

In retrospect, I didn’t take too many pictures during the final stretch of that day to Brewster – perhaps because of the heat?

If I were to bike the general western Cape area again, I’d consider a [somewhat longer] route swinging south from Sagamore towards Falmouth and Mashpee, where there are more bikeable routes by the coast. That said, the route was pleasant and reasonable for an “intro to the Cape.” Though the two-lane roads (partly Route 6A) were moderately busy in places.

I wound things up for the day in Brewster after about 46 miles, meeting up with Jennifer there, after their beach day near Barnstable. I took another rest day before the final day.

Day 3- Brewster to Provincetown

This final day was my favorite, consisting of three main parts:

  1.  A stretch on the Cape Cod Rail Trail until Wellfleet.
  2.  Some pleasant (mildly hilly) roads in the center where I saw saw the sea on both sides through Truro.
  3. The ride at the end at Provincetown, including sea/town/dunes.

I resumed my ride in Brewster, and quickly made my way to the Cape Cod Rail Trail.

 

The trail has nice inland scenery (trees, lakes) and seemed to be fairly popular with families and such. Along the way, I saw a bike rental shop next to the trail in the town of Orleans, as well as a parking lot next the trail terminus in Wellfleet, where people were unloading their bikes.

 

Many of the tree-lined paths were a bit like some Boston-area bike trails like the Minuteman Trail, though they had more lakes and marshes along the way.

 

After the trail ended at Wellfleet, I followed the road to Ocean View Drive, which went along the eastern ocean side. It was slightly hilly, which gave a great view. Be aware that most of that area is private beaches.

 

From there, I cut over west along Long Pond Road, which was hilly and passed by a pond with many folks swimming.

 

From there, the route  followed a hilly rural roads of Bike Route 1 through Truro. Compared with some other roads, it was fairly quiet and pleasant, reaching some small stores along the way, one in which I picked up a sandwich from a deli. Eventually, the road reached the western-side coast.

 

And I finally made it to Provincetown! I followed along the coast into the downtown, which is known for its festive atmosphere. (fortunately most folks were wearing masks, given the crowds). I also saw the famous Pilgrim Monument tower, commemorating the landing of the Mayflower.

 

From downtown Provincetown, James and Jennifer were at Race Point Beach, still about 5 miles away, by the National Seashore.

The ride that direction was quite nice, and one that I’d recommend – there’s a bike trail that winds along the dunes. It would be a nice area to explore more. The trails by the dunes in that area seemed to have family and be fairly accessible.

 

In any case, after following the bike route to them, I looked around a bit, rested, and packed up. This last day in particular was pretty nice – nice scenery, calmer roads, and a bit of an ocean breeze – quite a nice biking day.

 

 

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