Only 66 miles to go today… a piece of cake… so I thought! It was COLD today in Eastern MA. Temps in the upper 50’s, with drizzle, rain and a stiff North wind (unfortunately, that was the way I was going!) And I didn’t have the correct clothing. I wore my windbreaker (it always sounds so flatulent when I use that word) and a T-shirt. So the T-shirt just got wet, never dried and the cold air that leaked through the so-called “windbreaker” just made the perspiration seem that much colder. I was cold and clammy throughout the 7-1/2 hours it took me to go the 66 (which turned out to be 72) miles.
My first mistake was getting lost…. There are two bridges that cross the Cape Cod Canal (built in 1909 to connect Cape Cod Bay in the North with Buzzard’s Bay in the South, avoiding the very dangerous shoals off of the Eastern Cape) Anyway, I couldn’t seem to get on the Bourne Bridge… which was the one that has the pedestrian/bike walkway… and when I finally did find the on-ramp, the no-bicycles sign made me wonder if I had the right bridge. I finally called the Sandwich Police (nothing to do with mayonnaise) who said I was on the right bridge… so next time I was there I just kept going and eventually found the bike ramp.
My next error was choosing the shore route in Cape Cod… route 6A. I thought it would be a fun, scenic road, serving the small communities of Sandwich, Harwich, Yarmouth, Dennis and Brewester). The road may have been sufficient for the few cars in the 23 skidoo era, but now it barely holds the tons of two-way traffic that now exist in this very built-up part of the Cape, let alone all that AND a cyclist. So for the first 35 miles I just poked along while the cars passed and passed and passed me while I sweated and froze at the same time. And I was pretty tired too from going over 80 miles yesterday. I was miserable!
After a few hours of this, I was ready to call it quits… but luckily progress intervened. There used to be a railroad (built in the 19th century) that brought passengers and goods from Boston to the end of Cape Cod. It was abandoned in the 1950’s and 22 miles of the railbed were paved over and turned into a bike/walking trail a few years ago. What a change! No more watching for traffic…. No more trying to stay in the 6” wide shoulder….. no more ups and downs (railroad beds must be fairly level and not have too much of a grade). The railtrail took me from Dennis to Wellfleet, then I switched to the Mid-Cape highway, which wasn’t too bad, for a highway… nice and wide, with lots of room for a smallish biker. I even gave some sanitary wipes from my first-aid kit to a mom who’s daughter had fallen off her bike and scraped her knee.
Anyway, I finally made it to within a few miles of Provincetown (Truro). Here’s a picture of a very happy Radio Bob, sipping some “Truro 1709” Merlot and eating some “Cape Cod” potato chips on the porch of my motel. I set the camera up on an empty ice cube tray, on top of the empty ice bucket on the railing of my place and used the self-timer to snap the shot. Unfortunately, after the 2nd shot, the camera fell down onto the beach below. I apologized to the gent and his family who are directly under my room, and asked if anyone was hit when the camera fell. He said that only the empty plastic tray dropped…. Much to my delight I found the camera inside the ice bucket!
I took the shuttle bus into Provincetown (one of the most fun places in the US) for dinner. A full report on P-town tomorrow. I’m glad to be alive!