It is finally officially bike riding season again as May actually happens to be National Bike Month and I can readily say that it’s nice to don shorts and a tee shirt again.
To celebrate this beautiful weather we have been having, a group of us decided to make a pre-summer voyage just off the coast of Massachusetts to Nantucket Island. Four of us packed up two SwissBike TXs and two SwissBike LXs with some bags and food into the trunk of a Subaru and headed for the ferry in Hyannis. For those of your counting, that would be 4 bikes and 4 people in a Subaru. With the car left behind at the dock and the bikes loaded on the boat we departed on the two hour trip from the mainland to the island.
One of the beautiful things about Nantucket is that is seems as though it was made for bikes. Infused with paved bike paths and with cars governed by island wide low speed limits, any part of the island is accessible by bike. In fact, at only 45 square miles, all points are just a short ride away from each other.
After the two hour ferry ride we docked in the town of Nantucket. As the town is still paved with cobble stones, we were relieved that we brought SwissBike TXs and LXs as both are equipped with front suspension and knobby tires. Once we gathered all of our belongings we headed out to moors (think cranberry bogs) where we were staying. The house we borrowed was a classic cape positioned right on the water. Due to the flatness of the island we were positioned in a way that gave us both a brilliant sunrise and set. With a hot dog off the grill, it was a great end to a Friday.
Not only did our house give us good sun rises, but it also put us in the middle of the island making the farthest points from us no more than about 10 miles. Not being on a schedule found us leisurely pedaling the 5 miles into town for breakfast. Once there, however we found out it was the annual Nantucket daffodil weekend. This particular weekend daffodils all over the island come to bloom and a celebration and parade usually ensues. After coffe and scones we sat with the bikes and watched as a stream of classic cars drove a loop through town covered in the flowers.
After the festivities we mounted our bikes and headed a little ways out of town for lunch at a great sandwich shop called Provisions. After eating our monster sandwiches out on their lawn, we decided that such a beautiful day warranted some beach time.
Back on the bikes and another 5 miles later we had all of Cisco beach on the South side of the island to ourselves. When in season (August, September), Cisco beach is filled with surfers and beach goers.
After the beach we headed back toward town. On the way we stopped at the Bartlett farm off of Hummock Pond Rd. and shared a box of strawberries. Bartlett is one of two remaining farms on the island. Right next door to the farm is Cisco Brewers. Cisco Brewers is one of a handful of establishments that is simultaneously a brewery, distillery, and winery. Needless to say, we stopped and spoke with the owner about his business and ended up staying for a brewery tour.
By the time we left it was time to head in for the night. Jumping back on the bikes we quickly rode the 8 miles home and fired up the grill for another sunset dinner.
This was both Dana and Matt’s first time on the SwissBikes. Even though Matt is an avid cyclist, and Dana a beginner, they both found that the SwissBikes fit well and went beyond their expectations of folding bikes. Matt was especially impressed by the way the bikes handled off the road. The moors on Nantucket offer great fire trails and technical single track peppered with rock and sand. Both the LX and the TX grabbed the loose rock with ease and made quick work of the sand. Dana remarked that she had not previously thought a bike could be so versatile in the way it rides and travels. I had to agree. SwissBike does challenge the common belief that a bike has to be either a road or mountain bike, a small wheel folder or a full size elephant. SwissBike seems to find common ground between all of these categories and effectively shatters the stereotype. Matt agreed as he powered through a pile of sand in the trail.
A quick ferry ride back across the bay and we were headed back up to metro Boston. A great weekend excursion had come to an end. Thinking back it really is incredible how convenient the bikes were. The four SwissBikes fit perfectly in the car and on the boat, while at the same time giving us the freedom to hit the road, trails, and cobble stones with no problems at all. Now thats what I call performance and portability!