After feasting on Thanksgiving last Thursday, I really wanted to take a nice long bike ride the next day to burn off the extra calories. I decided to go with some friends to Martha’s Vineyard, a beautiful island full of history which is located off the South coast of Massachusetts. It’s a popular vacation destination. Barack Obama even spends his summers there, but this time of year it’s quite peaceful, not packed with tourists. We folded up our bikes, stowed them in the car trunk, and drove from Boston down to Falmouth.
From there, we took a ferry to the island of Martha’s Vineyard. Typically, you have to pay a fee of $4 per bike, but since we have folding bikes we didn’t pay a penny. We were able to bring them on board as if they were luggage.
One of our friends who came with us is a Vineyard local. Once we got off the ferry in Vineyard Haven, we piled in his truck to head across island and pick up his bike. Biking is definitely the most intimate way to get to know Martha’s vineyard, and he wanted to show us around!
We toured the island by bike from coast to coast, with spectacular views all along the Atlantic Ocean. Although it was very cold, the clear sunny skies made our ride very enjoyable. We took a break at Oaktown Bluffs to have lunch and do some shopping (this was Black Friday afterall). Martha’s Vineyard is a shopper’s paradise! Although you won’t find a mall or chain store on the Island, the Vineyard is home to exclusive shops and boutiques offering antiques, handcrafts, whimsical gifts and designer clothing.
We spent about 4 hours in the saddle that day! As the sun was setting, we were exhausted but happy, feeling accomplished after being able to bike the entire island in one day. Martha’s Vineyard is approximately 96 square miles, 25 miles (42Km) at it’s longest point east to west, and 9 miles (12.8Km) at it’s widest north to south. I’m not sure exactly how many miles we rode, but we covered a lot of ground, and definitely had sore legs the next day.
The island is entirely appropriate for cycling, with an impressive network of pathways separated from the main roads. This was an adventure I recommend to everyone, no matter the season; winter, fall, spring or summer. As you can see, the beach can be enjoyable even on a cold winter day, especially when you have a bike.