Cape Cod

August 9, 2010

Is there a better place in the world to be on a bike than Cape Cod in August? If there is, I don’t want to know about it. Anna, the boys, and I headed out to the family compound (such as it is) in Truro this Friday evening. The boys get to stay for a solid three weeks, baking muffins with their grandmother, digging oysters without a license, soaking up the sun, and generally living the high life. Anna will be there periodically over that time – with some three-day stints at home for work. And I, of new job and no vacation time, must content myself with gloriously fun-packed weekends bracketed by long drives. As this past weekend demonstrated, though, it is totally worth it.

Have I mentioned how frustrating the paucity of public transportation to, from, and in Hartford is? It is very frustrating. If I wanted to drive to the Cape with the fam and return on my own, I would have to take the $50 ferry from Provincetown to Boston, then take the bus from Boston to Hartford, then get home to my house. Strangely, it’s the last leg that’s the most problematic: By the time I get to Hartford, the bus home isn’t running. Usually I’d ride my bike for a six-mile trip like that, except you’re not allowed to bring unboxed bicycles on the inter-city bus unless there’s a whole luggage compartment free, and that’s a little bit too uncertain a way to travel. I suppose I could just take a cab home, but Christ! $50 for the ferry, $22 for the bus, plus another $10 for the cab? For that, I might as well just rent a car for the weekend, or, you know, drive my car, which is OK except that it’s not relaxing and it makes the environment cry.

This time we split the difference: We caravanned in two cars to Plymouth, Mass., where I parked my truck in a free lot and took over driving the station wagon. Anna hates late-night driving because she doesn’t see so well at night and also tends to become very sleepy when driving. The plan was to go out that way, and then I would take the boat from Provincetown to Plymouth (for half the price of the Boston ferry) and drive home from there.

Anyway, we got there and everything was glorious and beachy:

Sadly, Anna was feeling under the weather on Saturday, but after tiring the boys out on the beach and getting them down for a nap, I had an excuse to make the eight-mile jaunt (16 rt) up to Provincetown to buy her some medicine. This gave me an opportunity to do two important things. 1) See one of my favorite views:

Looking across Massachusetts Bay, Truro, Mass.

2) Acquire one of the most important bicycle accessories for rides of more than a few miles:

Most important bicycle accessory

Nothing helps me ride at a steady pace like cookies on the front rack, especially when I can reach down and grab them as needed:


(Did I lose a few on bumpy stretches? Sure I did. Was it worth it? You betcha.)

Then Sunday, after a breakfast at our favorite cafe and a family swim in Truro, I loaded up the bike and pedaled back to Provincetown. As it happened, this weekend was the Pan-Mass Challenge, a charity bike ride from Western Mass. to the tip of the Cape, so the boat was laden with bikes:

Bikes on P-Town - Plymouth ferry

And then it was farewell to Provincetown, at least for a little while.

Goodbye, Provincetown!

Too bad there’s not an effective way to get myself and my bike from Hartford to Plymouth, other than driving (I mean, I could ride, but that wouldn’t work for a weekend jaunt). Still, trading the last hour of the drive for a beautiful boat ride and an eight-mile bike ride from Provincetown to Truro is totally worth $30.


3 Responses to “Cape Cod”

  1. Amanda said

    I will have to remember that cookie trick.

  2. Karma said

    What is the cafe of choice, we camp in Truro every summer.

  3. El Prez said


    It’s Cafe Heaven, on Commercial Street in Provincetown. You should let me know when you’re out there next – we might overlap, as Anna and the boys and I head out frequently into the fall and sometimes even in the winter.

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