The Cape Cod Four, underneath the railroad bridge as we began five or so miles of greenway along the Cape Cod Canal before we crossed the Sagamore Bridge
June 18, 2018
When New Englanders think about taking a trip to Cape Cod, they have to factor in the time of day they will be driving and what that will mean for bridge traffic. “The bridge” for travelers from Boston and points north is the Sagamore, which crosses the Cape Cod Canal from the mainland to Sandwich. It’s only two lanes each way and clogs easily. Our concern for crossing to the Cape today was not traffic — we were the only cyclists taking the bridge — but that it’s a high bridge with one pedestrian sidewalk and some of us don’t really enjoy that experience. Check the photo below and guess which one of us — hint, it’s not Dee, who snapped photos the whole time she was crossing. Another hint: Most people who don’t enjoy high bridges tend to look down, to a place a few feet in front of them, while telling themselves reassuring things like “at least there’s no open grating on the sidewalk.”
Dee met Kevin on the canal path, who had just caught this striped bass and was winded from climbing with it up the hill from the water’s edge.
We had a pretty ride this morning from South Dartmouth through New Bedford, the one-time whaling port. We rode across a bridge (a nice flat little bridge) with a great view of the city’s fishing fleet and on into Fairhaven. There we picked up a delightful greenway for about four miles, paralleling Route 6 with a view of the water and sweet-smelling wildflowers. A rest stop at a Dunkin Donuts in Wareham gave us the energy to tackle the bridge at about mile 37 — not that any of us was studying her odometer as another distraction to cross the bridge.
In all honesty, I got a little tears crossing that Sagamore Bridge, thinking back to the dreaded Seven Mile Bridge in the Florida Keys on the first day of this trip. We have come so far — roughly 2,300 miles — and seen so much. The green, nauseous, and slightly delirious cyclist I was that day in Florida feels seasoned now, stronger and more grounded about challenges like headwinds and bridges. Of course, it was helpful to walk across the Sagamore —walking adds to the grounded sense, less challenging than balancing on two wheels while imagining you could fall off the edge.
So we have made it to the Cape. We rode 56 miles today, the last 10 or so on a service road paralleling Route 6 with no traffic and nice rolling hills. I think we are going to eat our way from west to east. We stopped for lunch and coffee at a cafe in Sandwich, ice cream at Mark’s favorite place in Centerville, and now the grocery for provisions for Mark’s sister’s house. She has a sweet 1930s wood-paneled cottage in Craigville, a little village in Centerville within walking distance of the beach and close to Hyannis. A gusty wind has been blowing all afternoon and clouds are moving in, setting up for the possibility of falling asleep to a nice rainstorm. After dinner, of course, and maybe dessert.