With the 3 day weekend for Memorial Day and a nice-looking forecast, a few of us planned a ride out to Provincetown. As the group got larger and larger in the days leading up to the weekend, we elected to change from a ride from Boston to P-town (~120-140 miles, depending on the route), to an ~80 mile ride from Buzzard’s Bay out to P-town, the entire length of the Cape. This was primarily in the interest of maintaining low stress levels and not risking missing our ferry back to Boston. One of the organizers put it this way: In a race, usually the more people you have, the faster you go. On a touring ride, it’s the exact opposite. Ten riders means ten times the risk of someone getting a flat tire, or needing to go to the bathroom, or getting tired and slowing down.
There was a lot of planning that went into this ride. Figuring out train times and tickets, figuring out a route, including a lunch stop where we could meet our other rider, and figuring out ferry times and procuring tickets online. We were all super excited, and almost everyone said they had trouble sleeping the night before the ride. So here’s how it went.
At 7 AM, 5 of us met in Cambridge to ride to South Station, where we would meet the other 4 people (1 more person was already out on the Cape). All seemed to be going well until we crossed the Longfellow bridge and promptly encountered about a thousand runners participating in a local running race, right on our route. Missing the train would mean the whole ride was over. We rode around the back of MGH, rode against traffic on the closed streets of the race, crossed between some slower runners, and made it to South Station in time. We saw a woman wearing a CapeFLYER polo shirt, who looked VERY concerned to see 9 people with bikes. However, on boarding the train’s “bike car,” it turned out there were plenty more cyclists on board, and lots of room for all of our bikes.
So things were going great at this point. Then Chris received this email:
Basically, the ferry is broken. Oops.
We get off the train in Buzzard’s Bay, make a few wrong turns, eventually get over the scary and freakishly high bridge to Sandwich. Shortly thereafter, I got a pinch flat on one of my awesome but challenging Psimet wheels. With the help of Chris, Pedro, and JJ, I changed the tube and we were back on our way. Thankfully didn’t crash when I hit that grate. Also this was our only mechanical of the day.
From there, we busted a move out to South Dennis. The roads were beautiful, the weather was warm, and the drivers were actually courteous. No honking! In South Dennis we met up with our last rider, and rode around in circles searching for lunch, only to figure out that the place we had planned on was closed down. But, we found a suitable replacement, and filled up.
Summary of the next part of the ride: get on the Cape Cod Rail Trail.
Ride fast, passing everybody. Take lots of selfies.
EAT ICE CREAM. YUM.
The rail trail ends in Wellfleet, after which the roads get hillier and more awesome. We followed the green arrows painted on the road, which took us on a lovely route through the hills. We mostly stayed together, but occasionally would split up into the faster climbers and the slower climbers. Chris and I were taking it easy and enjoying the scenery. Ultimately we hit the home stretch into Provincetown. While the group up ahead sprinted for the town line, we stopped to take pictures with the “Welcome to Provincetown” sign!
Eventually, in a total of about 5 hours 15 minutes, we made it to P-town! A friendly photographer was nice enough to take this picture of us on the end of the pier.
We then partook in BEER, FISH AND CHIPS, BEACH, and CHEAP SOUVENIRS.
Then we finally made it onto the replacement ferry home, and a couple of hours later, rode back through Boston to Cambridge.
If you’re considering doing this ride, YOU SHOULD DO IT. It was Valerie’s first long ride, and it’s beautiful, scenic, and not too hilly (until the end, and even those aren’t so bad). It is pricey, with the train and ferry tickets, plus the overpriced P-town dining, but it’s worth it for the adventure. Can’t wait for the next adventure!