Tuesday, June 20, 2006

riding the rail trail

The through roads on Cape Cod tend to be pretty trafficky even this time of year, so I only ride my bike on roads such as Rte. 28 from Chatham to Orleans if I get out early. Today it rained in the morning and I decided to go for a bike ride after lunch, so I took the rail trail shown in purple on the map below.

The Harwich extension now goes all the way to Chatham, so I started at our house about two miles from the Chatham end of the trail. I rode to the end in Welfleet and back, for 56.7 miles round trip. Except for a few rough sections of trail, particularly the oldest section of the trail in Nickerson State Park, it is easy riding, and lovely to be away from roads entirely. It isn't that fast, because one has to stop a lot for road crossings and slow down for little kids on bikes and dog walkers, but it is mostly flat.

It was grey and foggy when I left Chatham, but once I got to Brewster it was sunny, not a cloud in the sky. When I got back to about the same place it turned grey and foggy, and I thought uh-oh, here come those predicted late afternoon thunderstorms. Then I remembered how the weather can behave in Chatham--turns out it was grey and foggy all afternoon in Chatham, even when it was sunny in Orleans 10 miles away. There used to be a weather station on Morris Island and it was supposedly the foggiest place on the east coast.

The bike I ride here is a 1970s 10 speed:

It wasn't a fancy bike to start with, but it has some retro charm, particularly as I don't mind friction shifters, having used them when I rode a lot in college. And it has been a long time since there were Peugeot bikes sold in the United States that said:

1 comment:

Trevor said...

I did the rail trail two weekends ago from S. Dennis to Chatam. My only complaints was the complete lack of water bubblers along the ride. And it really wasn't to scenic being stuck in the woods. But fun over all.