Friday, September 10, 2010

Outer-Cape Biking Question from Jackie

When I wrote the post about kiteboarding, I got this comment from Jackie: “Just thought you’d want to know...Wellfleet appears in the September issue of Coastal Living is a story called ‘Happy Trails.’ It’s about the best biking routes on Cape Cod. On the ride from Provincetown to Wellfleet, the editor sends readers to Truro Vineyards for wine tasting, Savory and Sweet Escapes for ice cream, Eccentricity for jewelry shopping and more shopping through the Wellfleet Market Place, and then on to try oysters on the half shell at Winslow's Tavern. But she sends guests to The Holden Inn. What would your itinerary look like?”

September is, indeed, an ideal time to ride bikes on the Outer Cape. The author of this piece, which is not yet online, meets up with friends in P-town and bikes all the way to Chatham. (Buy the magazine and check out her shot of a cyclist crossing Uncle Tim’s Bridge. Have any of you Wellfleetians ever seen a bike on Uncle Tim's? Me, neither.)

Jackie, I must admit I don’t know the best bike route because it would depend on what your purpose is and how good a biker you are. If you have time to spare, then back roads are great although some of them do twist and turn between Truro and Wellfleet, without offering much view. We have had bikers ride here via Route 6, the most direct route, for that stretch. (We also had a couple come on a tandem in June. And once, a young man rode all the way from Boston to meet his parents who had crossed by ferry.)

Truro Vineyards requires a good bit of time. I don’t think you can swoop in, taste wine, hop back on your bike, and get where you are going in Wellfleet all that easily in one piece, if you see what I mean. Savory Pizza and Sweet Escapes are in North Truro, on Route 6, before the vineyard. Eccentricity is on Main Street here in Wellfleet. Not where I would go for jewelry, although there’s a great selection of clothing for women my age. Winslow’s Tavern is a few doors down, and although I’m a fan, it is not where I send guests who crave oysters: I choose Mac’s Shack or The Bookstore, where the owner’s son is a shellfisherman, or Pearl, whose raw bar offers a fantastic view of the marina. The author does mention Mac’s, which is wonderful in September, when it is no longer necessary to wait in line. She also raves about Ocean View Drive, the section between Cahoon Hollow Beach and LeCount Hollow, which Sven and I enjoy every time we go walking at the ocean (check out the view, above).

Finally, we get to accommodation. Ah-hem. Important part for bikers with sore bottoms. You want a really comfortable bed. Her recommendation is The Holden Inn, perhaps because she only stayed one night? You should know most B&Bs in Wellfleet, in summer, have a three-night minimum. I would recommend Holden Inn for wedding receptions in the garden, not sleep, but with a room for two, in the Lodge, costing $78, and a single at $59, this inn should please anyone on a budget.

To get back to your question, Jackie, what would my itinerary be? It would include the Provincelands trail before leaving the tip of the Cape, meander along 6A until the junction with Route 6, then the highway to Chez Sven. The town of Truro hopes to create a bike lane, which would make this choice safer. I'm not a fan of the Cape Cod Rail Trail, except for beginners or people with children, but it does have the advantage of being safe. In September, the bike ride out Chequessett Neck Road to Great Island and Duck Harbor is Sven's favorite but you do have to watch for cars. I often send guests to Box Lunch for wraps, a place the author of the article also mentions. When are you coming?