There was some debate about this as we approached Sandwich. Some riders worried it might compromise their fortitude and strength, while others expressed no concerns. A consensus was reached that if we ALL had a beer the consequences would be felt equally, nullifying any risk. Demonstrating both a penchant for dubious justification and a one-for-all and all-for-one attitude, everyone had a beer.
This was the first running of the Dunes Dynamo--but the third in a series--the first two being the Dirigo Dynamo in 2012 and 2014 which ended in Portland, ME. (The vision going forward is that the ride will alternate between Portland and Provincetown annually, hence the slightly different names, based on destination.)
A convivial start from the Bartlett St. Cafe in Jamaica Plain
Smiles as we make our way out of town. Geoff led the way for the first ten miles or so, since he came up with the route
Jake and Brian. Check out Brian's home made fenders!
Despite these concerns, I have a basic faith in my ability to cycle long distances and go without sleep, although I don't take it for granted that I can just fly endlessly. I can't. Miles and hills take their toll and reality eventually subdues willful enthusiasm into a sustainable pace. Gladly that pace was fine with this bunch of riders.
Sun grazing the treetops as the day started to cool down
Emily, Geoff, James and others
Together we travelled though rural suburban towns towards the Cape, reaching the canal in Bourne around 11:00 or so and getting to the British Brewing Co. in Sandwich in time for us to have that round of beer and pizza. Elton was waiting on the lawn and rode the rest of the ride with us from here. Three or four riders who were well fed and had negotiated a flat tire on the canal decided to skip the meal and ride ahead. We didn't see them until morning in Provincetown.
The last light of day
Coming into Bourne
Approaching the Bourne Bridge. Once we reached the bridge, we walked our bikes.
Long awaited sustenance
Geoff filling up in Sandwich village
Emily taking in some of the nuttiness in Onset (?), while Jake catches a wink on the pavement. We saw all sorts of capers: cops, cars full of lost travelers, cars with their lights off, cops with lights speeding by... all on one corner.
It was along this stretch I felt somewhat weak and discouraged. I was moving along fine, but I wasn't feeling as strong as I would have hoped on the numerous small hills we encountered and I started to contemplate drifting off the tail-end of this group, a thought I didn't relish. Perhaps I wolfed down a little too much pizza; perhaps the beer at midnight wasn't the smartest idea... I don't know, but I know I felt a little bummed, like I had to press a little more than was coming naturally.
I was glad when we reached the bike path in Brewster. It meant many miles of easy pedaling. It was around this time too that we, as a group acknowledged that we were going to stay together to the end. It would have been inconsiderate to leave anyone behind having come this far together. We also consciously slowed down a little since a couple of folks had begun to drift off the back--I guess I wasn't the only one feeling the effort. I noticed too on the bike path that we had started talking again. Perhaps being off the roads encouraged our banter or maybe the lack of sleep starting to inflict a bit of chattiness.
The path carried us up to Wellfleet and soon we were cruising atop the high bluffs that overlook the Atlantic--a view that to my mind is one of the great wonders of New England, mighty and endless, although in the pre-dawn dark I could only see that stunning view in my mind's eye. I knew the road we were on led to Newcomb Hollow Beach so I was surprised as we passed the last turn off. Geoff, who had scouted most of the route, led us down what seemed like a private driveway into the most unlikely warren of small rutted and sandy lanes through the dense scrub oak forest. Cue sheets and GPS devices were weak guides in this collection of driveways and paths. Once or twice Geoff had to double back to gather those who had become lost.
Somewhere along the Cape Cod Rail Trail
Escape from the scrub oak forest at dawn!
Arrival at Coast Guard Beach
The quarter moon greeted our arrival
Jake and Emily taking in the scene
At the beach
(Photo: Jeff 0728/Flickr)
As you may know, Provincetown can seem like a perpetual party along Commercial Street on a summer's day, but there was no sense of celebration when we arrived. Drizzle greeted us on empty streets as we waited for the first breakfast place to open up. The food and coffee were welcome and it felt good to be done. After breakfast we waited a few chilly hours to catch the ferry home. Daydreaming about the ride beforehand, I had visions of a brilliant morning return to Boston across a serene Massachusetts Bay, but in fact we faced a surprisingly storm-tossed and rainy ride back. More than one passenger found need for a vomit bag. Geoff and I sat together and talked with a well-rested couple who were eager to talk about bikes and our ride and all the details. I tried to muster a normal conversational effort, but the tentacles of sleep were pulling hard on me...
Commercial Street in Provincetown
Post breakfast chilax
Awesome patch designed by Jon Doyle
I'm looking forward to next year already!