Ahh, summer on Cape Cod. The thing we dream of all year long: breeze-kissed beaches, lobster rolls eaten on wooden picnic tables, and sitting in traffic on 6A behind someone who absolutely does not know how to take a left turn.
And while “quintessential” is one of those words that I could easily go without ever hearing again, along with “unprecedented” and “the Big Lebowski,” there are a few activities that qualify as being quintessential Cape Cod things to do and live up to the hype (beaches and dining out are deserving of their own dedicated posts, so we’ll save those for another time).
Bike Rides: Have you ever really vacationed on the Cape if you haven’t spent at least one sweltering August afternoon, biking uphill both ways (somehow) on the Cape Cod Rail Trail? Bonus points if you have, or were, a patently miserable child riding one of those half-bike attachments (official name: Alleycat)! The bike path is a great socially-distant activity that really makes you appreciate nature, time spent with your loved ones, and how awful humidity is.
Orleans and Eastham have bike rentals convenient to the bike path, or bring your own and park at any of the free CCRT lots. Be sure to call or check the websites for Covid-related policies currently in place.
** A couple points of etiquette: as a cyclist, when you’re passing people on the trail, it is customary to give them a heads-up by saying, "on your left". When crossing the road, be sure to dismount, make sure traffic can see you and stops for you, and then walk across to the other side. As a pedestrian, you have the right of way, but if you cycle your bike across the road, you’re a cyclist and the oncoming cars get to decide whether to let you pass or not. **
Stroll & Snack: Maybe you’re like me, and years of summer cycle treks have left you scarred for life. Or maybe you prefer to avoid the parking lots that are routes 6, 6A, and 28. Either way, you’re happy to walk the trails, and if there’s a conveniently-located spot to get something to eat, what a delightful coincidence! Heading from Brewster to Eastham, Stone L’Oven, Snowy Owl Coffee Roasters, the Hot Chocolate Sparrow, and Arnold’s Lobster & Clam Bar are all bike-path adjacent places to pause your leisurely stroll and grab a delicious treat. Plus, it’s a long-standing Cape rule that any calories consumed during a walk or bike ride just don’t count. It is known.
Stay tuned for part 2!