Remember all the biking Noah and I liked to do in Minnesota?
A top priority in exploring our new state is to test out the biking scene. Despite our total lack of training or experience with bike touring, we decided to bike to Martha’s Vineyard this past weekend. Previously, the longest ride we had done was 40 miles on the Minneapolis Grand Rounds. Martha’s Vineyard is about 90 miles from Boston, and we’re not totally crazy, so we decided on a route that included one train, one ferry, and about 60 miles of biking.
Step 1: Prepping the bikes
Since we would be taking everything for the weekend with us on the bikes, we needed to do some prep work. Noah cleaned and oiled the chains,got new tires for his bike, we filled the tires to capacity, and we borrowed some sweet saddlebags from Noah’s parents.
Step 2: Train
To begin the trip, we took the train from South Station in downtown Boston to Plymouth. Maybe you’ve heard of it….there’s a rock there. 😉
Biking to South Station was a bit of a harrowing experience on the crowded Boston Streets…
…but we made it to the train and to Plymouth in one piece:
Step 3: Bikes
After Plymouth, we biked along the Claire Saltonstall Bikeway to Sagamore and then biked along the Cape Cod Canal to Bourne. After crossing the Bourne Bridge we made our way to the Shining Sea Bikeway that took us from North Falmouth all the way to the ferry terminal in Woods Hole (thanks, Noah, for planning an awesome route!!)
In all, this leg of the journey was about 40 miles. The biking itself was fun: we set a good pace, saw some great views of the ocean, and enjoyed the adventure of it all. Although overall enjoyable, there was definitely a significant portion of the ride that took place on roads with little to no shoulder. Some cars were good about slowing down and scooting into the other lane when traffic was clear to give us room but others were not, and there was more than one occasion that I felt pretty nervous about the proximity of our bikes to cars zipping by.
I had one ill-fated fall, but luckily there were no cars racing by at that moment, and I made it out with nothing more serious than a few scrapes and bruises.
Nothing that an iced coffee can’t fix!
Step 4: Ferry
Woods Hole is on the far southwest corner of Cape Cod, and it’s the departure point for ferries heading to Martha’s Vineyard. Noah and I were planning to take a ferry to Oak Bluffs on the Vineyard, and we had about an hour to kill between our arrival in Woods Hole and the ferry’s departure. We took the opportunity to get some food (a burrito bowl at Quicks Hole Taqueria) and the aforementioned iced coffee.
The ferry sure was HUGE!
Not only does the ferry hold hundreds of passengers, but there’s also space for cars aboard! As bikers, we waited for all the cars to file in and then we were able to park our bikes along the side:
Step 5: Bike Again
The ferry trip took about 45 minutes, and we still had a solid 15 miles of biking left to do from Oak Bluffs, so we were ready to get going!
The house we were heading to was on the western side of the island near Menemsha, and when we finally arrived we were exhausted – but pretty darn proud of the day’s work!
Step 6: EAT!!!
After a long and draining day on the road, we were ready for some serious eats. We headed into the nearby town of Menemsha (yes, more biking, but it was a short ride!) for some food at The Home Port. We went to The Home Port’s ‘back door’ – a walk-up order counter.
The day’s events put us in the mood for some greasy goodness:
We agreed this was just about the best meal we’d ever had…although we did wonder if it would have tasted so amazing had we not just biked 60 miles.
Before heading home to
crash hard go to sleep, there was one more stop to make.
We went to Menemsha Blues, an apparel shop whose shirts I have long admired. The visit officially commemorated my first visit to the Vineyard.
Check back soon for more pictures and recaps from the weekend!