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Martha's Vineyard - doing the whole island in one day

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Martha's Vineyard - doing the whole island in one day

Old 08-07-09, 09:16 AM
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rumrunn6
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Martha's Vineyard - doing the whole island in one day

Anyone ever hit all three corners of the vineyard in one day? How many miles can I rack up. I seem to remember the road (read shoulder) quality being pretty good.
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Old 08-07-09, 10:36 AM
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My wife and I did Oaks Bluff to Edgartown in 2006. It was only about 15 miles round trip, but with stops at the beaches, stops to chat with other riders, a stop for lunch in Edgartown, and a ride to the Edgartown Lighthouse, it was an afternoon's worth of tourism.

I'm told the piece we rode is the nicest.
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Old 08-07-09, 10:51 AM
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I think you can definitely do it. Well, if you mean make a big circle, Oak Bluffs, Edgartown, Gay Head, Menemsha, Vineyard Haven,Oak Bluffs. We did that last year and still made a ferry before 5 in OB. If you want to linger you can definitely make a later ferry and even add in Katama. I like to stop in the Offshore Ale Company for a beer before the ferry, I feel I deserve a few cold ones after that ride!

ETA the roads are all pretty good there and traffic is minimal. I will try to find my log from last year when we did Gay Head and Menemsha for a mileage check. Normally we don't do both spots, it's one or the other.

ETA I checked my log from last year and the note said 55 miles Gay Head.

Last edited by hally; 08-07-09 at 11:01 AM.
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Old 05-25-10, 01:43 PM
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I'm thinking of doing this on Thursday...been wanting to ride 40 miles for my 40th birthday and this is just about the right length. plus, with coupon I can get the ferry for $15 round trip by leaving my car in Woods Hole. here's the proposed route:

http://ridewithgps.com/routes/79505
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Old 05-25-10, 02:01 PM
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Just be sure to take in as much of the waterside as possible! Your map seems to include a lot of inland riding. The best part of our ride was along the beach.
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Old 05-25-10, 02:11 PM
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Originally Posted by Papa Tom View Post
Just be sure to take in as much of the waterside as possible! Your map seems to include a lot of inland riding. The best part of our ride was along the beach.
good point - so, N road instead of middle road? makes sense. nto sure how to improve on Edgartown road, though - nothing runs along the southern coast given all the inlets.
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Old 05-25-10, 03:06 PM
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>>>so, N road instead of middle road?<<<<

I'm not the best person to ask about specific roads, as I only did this once and I threw away my cue sheet after discovering that there was a much more scenic route to follow once I got there. As a general rule, when I ride an island that's got roads running along the north, east, south, or west coast, I will avoid like hell any road called "Middle!"
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Old 05-25-10, 04:34 PM
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you won't see the water from north rd or middle road

only if a road runs along the coast will you see the water. most of the unique beauty of the vineyard is not the beaches - and most of the beaches are private

you'll see the water when you get down to Chilmark and Gay head. lock your bike at gay head and walk down to the clay cliffs and swim naked. its public and you can rub clay all over your body, bake till it dries then wash it off in the surf. this is the island's nude beach. but you have to go down the long trail to the left of the cliffs then walk all the way down to thr right on the beach to the cliffs

there's a restaurant by the lighthouse where you can eat and maybe buy water, plus indian souveniers - great native american flute music CDs
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Old 05-25-10, 07:17 PM
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ok so it seems like the vineyard haven - edgartown loop is the only "scenic" one.

can believe what you're saying because the Cape Cod Rail Trail was a real letdown - much less scenic than the Providence-Bristol rail trail.
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Old 05-25-10, 07:25 PM
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we're not on the same page
you don't need water for scenery, in my opinion
for example middle road has a great field with a stone wall; bulls and round hay bails
chilmark has rolling fields; a pond; sheep and a view of the ocean
laberts cove road has no water visible at all except lamberts cove beach is the best beach on the island
these are secrets of the vineyard that one only finds by exploring
another is long point where the great pond meets the ocean, go there at high tide and be swept away when the great pond flushes with salt water
walk out to cape poge and watch giant dead whales float by
I've got hundreds of these gems
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Old 05-25-10, 07:33 PM
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furthermore the CCRT may be pleasant but I know where to go OFF the trail for the great secret places in Wellfleet ... like white crest beach; the beachcomber and great island.

race point to some is the tip of the cape but to the locals from april 15 to may 15 is where the humpback and right whales sleep next to the beach and you can hear them breath; they also breach and do other things within a couple hundred yards of the beach. its a 2 mile walk from the bike trail and there are no signs for it
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Old 05-25-10, 09:58 PM
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ok so I think I found what I want: 40 miles mostly coastal on MV; http://ridewithgps.com/routes/79778
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Old 05-26-10, 03:33 AM
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the chappy ferry is quaint and so is that part of edgartown, but most of Chappaquiddick is crappy roads; dirt roads and jeep trails. plus you can't ride a bike on the beach all the way to the end of cape poge. just remove the route beyond Edgartown.

vineyard haven and oak bluffs are the cutest towns with services and shops. state beach is public and clean. the bike trail along state beach is very pretty and goes past the inlet where they some of JAWS see the movie before you go!
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Old 05-26-10, 05:49 AM
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In all fairness to Martha, we biked the shoreline route I touted above in the heat of summer, so we really NEEDED to be by the water for as much of the ride as possible. Perhaps Rumrunn6 is right and you DON'T have to find an all shoreline route to enjoy the Vineyard. (That's why this group is so awesome!)
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Old 05-26-10, 07:33 AM
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yes, definitely an awesome group!

so the satellite view appears to show a paved road from the ferry all the way to the infamous bridge. If I stay on that I'd bet I'd be OK. I'm guess the side roads are the dirt trails rumrunn6 mentions.

I'll definitely explore the west side of the island and its many surprises :-)
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Old 05-26-10, 08:11 AM
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You can do that, but there are so many interesting things to see, it seems like a waste to not stop and look around once in a while. I do it once or twice a year. The main road on Chappaquidic is often just loose sand. Tough to do on a road bike. Don't miss the "Campground" gingerbread houses.
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Old 05-26-10, 09:37 AM
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>>>>Don't miss the "Campground" gingerbread houses.<<<<

Are those the ones right near the ferry in Oak Bluffs? Definitely cool to see. And if you are on that road, you will be riding along the beach.
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Old 05-26-10, 01:07 PM
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i have spent a great deal of time biking around the island (my parents live there now)...I think your first route with some modifications would be the best...

out of Vineyard Haven, go out Main Street to West Chop and back in Franklin...a short detour, but very pretty views of the cape and sound and West Chop light...plus a charming tennis community out there

head out towards Menemsha and stay on State Road all the way into Menemsha...(only do this if the bike ferry is working -- not sure if it is) or you can ride dow nand back out...Menemsha is really quaint fishing village...then head up to Gay HEad/Aquinnah and proceed though Chilmark

around your mile 35 (Meethinghouse Road -- caution...I think this is 100% paved, but may not be???) turn right and head out to South Beach and then head back to Edgartown via Katama road into Edgartown and then you can decide if you want to go onto Chappy (I say no, but if you feel the need to cover it all, do a 30 minute jaunt)..

then finish up along Edgartown/Oak Bluffs road and then back to VH
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Old 05-26-10, 01:13 PM
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a favorite memory is the dappled light on the inland roads in mid to late June. it's like no other

be sure to use strobes cuz the deep shade can make you invisible on sunny days
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Old 05-26-10, 01:43 PM
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Originally Posted by Papa Tom View Post
>>>>Don't miss the "Campground" gingerbread houses.<<<<

Are those the ones right near the ferry in Oak Bluffs? Definitely cool to see. And if you are on that road, you will be riding along the beach.
Close to the ferry, Walking distance.
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Old 05-26-10, 10:53 PM
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Originally Posted by ckobran View Post
i have spent a great deal of time biking around the island (my parents live there now)...I think your first route with some modifications would be the best...

out of Vineyard Haven, go out Main Street to West Chop and back in Franklin...a short detour, but very pretty views of the cape and sound and West Chop light...plus a charming tennis community out there

head out towards Menemsha and stay on State Road all the way into Menemsha...(only do this if the bike ferry is working -- not sure if it is) or you can ride dow nand back out...Menemsha is really quaint fishing village...then head up to Gay HEad/Aquinnah and proceed though Chilmark

around your mile 35 (Meethinghouse Road -- caution...I think this is 100% paved, but may not be???) turn right and head out to South Beach and then head back to Edgartown via Katama road into Edgartown and then you can decide if you want to go onto Chappy (I say no, but if you feel the need to cover it all, do a 30 minute jaunt)..

then finish up along Edgartown/Oak Bluffs road and then back to VH
that's extraordinarily helpful, thanks!! I re-mapped the route according to your directions, stretching it to a metric century.

http://ridewithgps.com/routes/80454


a couple of questions if you don't mind:

* why skip Chappy? ferry problems, or is the road too sandy? I'll admit to curiosity of seeing the infamous bridge, and it does look like there's a paved road to it

* I left out the Menemsha ferry as it appears closed until June, though that looks fun!

* I've read elsewhere that the "up island" route is tricky / narrow / sandy. I wouldn't consider myself a master cyclist - I just started six months ago though I've done 1,000 miles in that time. should I skip that segment? (about 22 miles if you just go east at W. Tisbury)

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Old 05-27-10, 07:27 AM
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Originally Posted by mtalinm View Post
that's extraordinarily helpful, thanks!! I re-mapped the route according to your directions, stretching it to a metric century.

http://ridewithgps.com/routes/80454


a couple of questions if you don't mind:

* why skip Chappy? ferry problems, or is the road too sandy? I'll admit to curiosity of seeing the infamous bridge, and it does look like there's a paved road to it

* I left out the Menemsha ferry as it appears closed until June, though that looks fun!

* I've read elsewhere that the "up island" route is tricky / narrow / sandy. I wouldn't consider myself a master cyclist - I just started six months ago though I've done 1,000 miles in that time. should I skip that segment? (about 22 miles if you just go east at W. Tisbury)
If you are up for it, do the Chappy ferry and bike out to ****s Bridge (It's been a while since I was out there, so I can;t comment on the road) -- chappy isn't all that scenic, but it makes sense to do it all so go for it! it is flat so wont tax you too much

you will be fine if you have done 1000 miles in the past 6 months...smallish hills out Gay Head/Acquinah way...you will be fine, the drivers are pretty used to having bikes around..the hills are short and not that bad...

sounds like you have a great day planned, look forward to reading the ride report on here!
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Old 05-27-10, 08:32 AM
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I have not gone out to chappy for a couple of years either. If my memory is right the road turns to sand a long way from the bridge. In places it is loose sand. It's a lot of work on mountain bike. On a road bike one needs to constantly correct as the front wheel wants to wash out in the sand. Unless you're an experienced dirt rider I would not take a road bike all the way to the bridge. There is a nice public oriental garden on the way. If you don't mind the work or don't mind almost sliding out the front wheel almost all the time, try chappy.

I did it on 27x1 1/4 105 psi road tires, I have decades of dirt motorcycle and mtb racing experience, I fell over once at slow speed. It's a lot of work keeping upright on a road bike. On a hybrid if you lower the tire pressure and you're careful it's do able. But still a lot of work correcting the front wheel all the time. Did you ever try to ride a road bike on beach sand?

I would suggest going back another time with an MTB and try 25 psi in the tires. If you have the time, you can walk a road bike in the soft places.

Edit I'll see if I can find photos of Chappy. Do you want a couple of biking photos posted from M.V.? The path/ road along the water between Edgartown and Oak Bluffs is probably the most scenic place I have ever ridden a bike.

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Old 05-27-10, 09:41 AM
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What the heck, I'm stuck here for another hour............









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Old 05-29-10, 10:06 PM
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I provide several Cape Cod and Marthas Vineyard cycling routes at http://www.bikenewengland.com/cape_cod.html
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