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Family tour of Upper Cape

3 September 2016

Trip report: 3–4 September 2016

Hurricane Hermine appeared just a few days before the trip. Until then, weather forecast was looking great. Suddenly, we became worried about heavy rain, strong wind, & ferry service disruption.

Our original plan was to spend the entire Labor Day weekend on the island. Given the weather forecast, & high risk of ferry service cancellation, we decided to cut the trip short by one day.

We had great weather, trip participants, & scenery for the two days.

Shining Sea

We started early Saturday morning from Boston’s South Station to take train leaving at 08:00 sharp to Buzzards Bay, arriving at 9:20 ($20.00 adults, children 12 & under free, bicycles free). Some trip participants join us in Buzzards Bay.

We watched the elevator bridge ascend after the train passed on it. We bicycled along the Cape Cod Canal, walking our bicycles on Bourne Bridge to cross the canal.

Off the trail, we took backroads between quiet neighborhoods, some marinas, & small village centers. We stopped for snacks along the way.

Half way, at 20km, we got on the Shining Sea Bikeway, named for a line in the song America The Beautiful, written by Falmouth native Katharine Lee Bates.

We stopped by beach & Pie in the Sky:

We sailed on ferry (adult $8.50, child $4.50, bicycle $4.00) at 15:45 to visit Vineyard Haven & shop for dinner ingredients to cook in hostel.

Huricane Hermine

High speed ferry to Hyannis was cancelled. Our only option was to return to Woods Hole & Buzzards Bay the same we came on Saturday. The weather was still good though, sunny, slightly windy, & large ferry to Woods Hole running on schedule.

This time, we had the chance to visit Nobska Lighthouse (one of the most beautiful on Cape Cod) & have more stops at beaches.

Train was on schedule from Buzzards Bay back to Boston.


Day Service Log
Saturday 3 September 2016: Martha’s Vineyard Dinner, bed, & breakfast: HI Martha’s Vineyard
  • Map: Garmin: download GPX, FIT, TCX, KML, & other file format for GPS track
  • Distance (not including ferry): 50.22km
  • Speed: 6.23km/h
  • Time: 8:03:47
  • Ascent: 263m
  • Descent: 234m
  • Temperature: 25.2°C
Sunday Return home
  • Map: Garmin
  • Distance: 56.89
  • Speed: 5.47
  • Time: 10:23:58
  • Ascent: 325
  • Descent: 357
  • Temperature: 24.5

  • Distance: 107.11
  • Speed: 5.80
  • Time: 18:27:45
  • Ascent: 588
  • Descent: 591
  • Temperature: 24.8

Required Packing List

  • Bicycle in good mechanical condition
  • Helmet (include label inside helmet with emergency contacts)
  • Two bicycle water bottles or water bladder
  • Rain gear: doubles as windbreaker
  • Casual clothing
  • Warm clothing (it can get cool)
  • Lunch food, snacks, or money to purchase
  • Pump, spare tube & patch kit
  • Tire levers & tool kit
  • Navigation tools: GPS device, phone with navigation apps, or cue sheets

Optional Packing List

The following is a long list of optional items to bring. Use it as a reminder of additional items that can make your trip and rides more comfortable.

  • Bicycle Clothing
    • Vest
    • Socks
    • Gloves
    • Sunglasses
  • Bicycle Gear
  • Casual Clothing
    • Shoes, sandals, or flip flops
    • Slacks
    • T-shirt
    • Long-sleeve shirt
    • Jacket
    • Swim suite, goggles, & towel
  • Accessories
    • Toothbrush
    • Lip balm
    • Toothpaste
    • Razor
    • Shaving cream
    • Contact lens solution & case
    • Glasses
    • Flashlight or head lamp
    • Mobile phone & charger
    • Deodorant
    • Comb (or light hat for the evening)
    • Sunscreen
    • Camera & battery charger
    • GPS, power charger, bicycle mount


WiFi was available at the hostel. Mobile phone reception was available throughout the entire trip.


  • Shining Sea, one day tour from Buzzards Bay to Hyannis, Woods Hole, & Shining Sea trail.
  • Cape Cod National Seashore: family trip with my son taking ferry from Boston to Provincetown, staying in Truro hostel, & visiting many nearby beaches.
  • Cape Cod & Martha’s Vineyard: family trip from Boston on ferry to Provincetown, bakeries, beaches, rail trail, & Jaws bridge.
  • Hyannis–Provincetown: one day leisurely tour: train, ferry, bicycle path, farmers’ market, salt water taffy, ice cream, bakeries, lighthouses, & many beaches to dip in.

From → Bicycle

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