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Cycling on Cape Cod

Old 07-24-16, 07:05 PM
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LadyCRides
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Cycling on Cape Cod

Just returned from a week on Cape Cod. I biked in and around Falmouth and took the Ferry to Martha's Vineyard.


I would recommend the Vineyard to cyclists. The Ferry Authority needs to show cyclists more respect, but that's another issue. Once you cross to Vineyard, at Oak Bluffs, you are ON a major bike bath - Beach Road. 6.5 miles along the ocean to Edgarstown. Edgarstown is medium bicycle friendly. Could stand some improvement, but overall a good place to ride. Then I returned via another bike path, to Oak Bluffs and went back to Falmouth.
There is a lovely 11 mile "Shining Sea" Bike Path from Woods Hole up to North Falmouth. If you are on the path, it's fine. Otherwise, Massachusetts is NOT a bicycle friendly State. NEEDS IMPROVEMENT. The Shining Sea path has several roads crossing it. BICYCLISTS ARE Expected TO STOP AND DISMOUNT At THESE CROSSINGS. There should be Stop signs for the cars, and the motor traffic should have to stop for the bikes. These are minor roads, not major arteries. In Delaware, where I come from, the Cars would have to stop, not the bikes. Once you leave the bike path and go out on the road, you will find an anti-bicycle attitude prevails among motorists in Falmouth. No marked bicycle paths along most roads. ONE Sharrow marked road: Katherine Lee Bates - I recommend it; however, motorists do not understand that a "Sharrow" indicates that a bicycle has the right to "take the lane." Signs are needed! MASSACHUSETTS - particularly Cape Cod, needs to get its act together!
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Old 07-24-16, 07:49 PM
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skye
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I rode in Boston for a dozen years, it's perfectly fine. I was just there the other week after many years' absence, and I was happily surprised by how bike-friendly the city has become.

Also rode the Cape recently, and I have to disagree with you on its suitability. There is a MUP which runs down most of the Cape which is well-maintained (though busy), and Rt 6 and 6A is abundantly equipped with berms. The side roads are typical New England --- narrow and winding. Nothing really unsafe to speak of.

In short, I disagree with almost everything you said. Never been on the Vineyard though, so I can't disagree with you on that -- yet.
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Old 07-24-16, 08:19 PM
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Originally Posted by skye View Post
I rode in Boston for a dozen years, it's perfectly fine. I was just there the other week after many years' absence, and I was happily surprised by how bike-friendly the city has become.

Also rode the Cape recently, and I have to disagree with you on its suitability. There is a MUP which runs down most of the Cape which is well-maintained (though busy), and Rt 6 and 6A is abundantly equipped with berms. The side roads are typical New England --- narrow and winding. Nothing really unsafe to speak of.

In short, I disagree with almost everything you said. Never been on the Vineyard though, so I can't disagree with you on that -- yet.
That is semi-subjective.

Granted the Cape is in Massachusetts. In Brattleboro, Vermont. Unless you lived in the center of the city. The roads were mountainous, and unpaved. I lived there on four different occasions over a period of ten years(1974-84). No MUPs or trails back then.
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Old 07-26-16, 06:28 AM
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Luke Jackson
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Spent a grand total of one week in an area and have compiled enough reliable data to have judged its motorists attitudes?
That's ridiculous and sad at the same time.
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Old 07-26-16, 08:03 AM
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Agree that taking a bicycle to Martha's Vineyard is wonderful - even if there's a few blocks of Circuit Ave in Oaks Bluff where they are banned. (In this state, bicycles can only be restricted on limited access roads. Not sure how they get away with it in Bylaws XIV.O Roller Skates, Skateboards & Bicycles. I have some sympathy for managing the bicycle traffic from the ferry and the rental places, but....)

One of these days I'll have to take Menemsha Bike Ferry. (Summer only.)

As far as the signs next to the stop signs (these are on the Cape Cod Rail Trail):

First, there isn't a state law:


Second, this "interesting" WALK DO NOT RIDE sign:


So, the problem in Massachusetts. Bicycles do not exist in law in crosswalks. Only pedestrians do. So that leaves some towns to put up (passive/aggressive?) signage to walk your bike on a crosswalk.

S.1809 An Act providing for the safety of bicyclists travelling on bicycle paths, fixes that quirk. It has a good chance of passing this session, but....

As far as "motorists in Falmouth." Understand that in the summer people from EVERYWHERE are driving cars on the Cape. So they bring their good, their bad, and their ugly driving with them.

-mr. bill
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Old 07-26-16, 01:43 PM
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sounds like you had a mixed experience. glad some of it was good. the thing about Cape Cod & Martha's Vineyard is, there are secret spots that you find with years of multiple visits. for example, lots of ppl hate the traffic and commercialism. but I travel to & from at off hours to avoid the traffic and my destinations are nowhere near the commercial tourist spots. I should give tours and have my customers sign affidavits that they won't share what they've learned. another thing I learned over the years was to keep my day's activities limited geographically. meaning, today we'll be in this general area, tomorrow, that other area. some of my family still tries to do so much in one day but I think that can detract from enjoying singular moments in time. this is also an incredibly busy time of year. for example, the last two weeks in June or the beginning of September can be a more pleasant, less hectic experience
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