Thursday, October 27, 2011

Biking the Cape Cod Canal

Big Boat!
On a Saturday morning recently we strapped the bikes to the car and headed for Buzzards Bay to meet friends and go riding on the Cape Cod Canal bikepath. There are two bikepaths, one on either side of the canal. We were on the mainland side, and planned to ride from west to east along the canal, about 7 miles, have some lunch at Scusset Beach, and then return.

A very friendly wind patted our backs on the way east, so much so that we hardly needed to pedal. The sky turned ominously gray, and started to spit rain. Then the rain started coming down in light showers, but the wind was blowing it sideways, so that if you stood beside one of the cedar trees beside the canal, you could stay dry. It rained in fits and starts, but when it started to come down more heavily we sought shelter underneath the portico of the closed tourist information center.

On Ed's iPhone, we could see the satellite view of the rain showers moving overhead. It was just a squall blowing through and wouldn't last long. It was a somewhat surreal experience to be able to see both sides of this little storm. What it didn't tell us about, though, was the thunder, lightning and hail. That little squall packed a punch. I wonder how quarter-inch ice pellets feel when you're biking through them. Those two guys who biked past us as we waited out the storm must know...
Waiting out the storm

We got to the beach and had broke out the sandwiches, hunkering down to get out of the wind. Something big made a splash out in the canal, then submerged- a small whale, maybe? It never reappeared.
Scusset Beach
Then, the ride back. Have you ever biked against gale force winds? Because that's what they were, 40 mph winds, a wall of wind unrelenting, for 7 miles back to our cars. Sometimes a bigger gust would come along and almost push you over. We struggled to pass pedestrians. Our average speed was, I believe, about 4 miles per hour. I kept my head down and tried to plan painting lessons for my students, anything to keep my mind off the grind of pushing pushing pushing through that wind. Allen called it the Tour de France in slow motion. We finally made it back, though, and were rewarded with a BIG BOAT!
Thanks, Ed, for the photos!

Post by Kathleen Weber