The best biking routes on Cape Cod lead to charming inns, sweet treats, and seaside views. Follow editor Steele Marcoux along a leisurely two-wheel tour.
RENT: Ptown Bikes
REST: Rooms at The Red Inn have decks for catching the sunset while sipping a cocktail, and spacious, comfortable accommodations. Plus, you can’t beat the location: right on the harbor and just blocks from Commercial Street shops.
REFUEL: Have breakfast at Wired Puppy coffee shop, grab a picnic lunch from Relish, and stay “home” for a pan-roasted local cod dinner at The Red Inn.
RENT: Little Capistrano Bike Shop is open Saturdays and Sundays after Labor Day, weather permitting.
REST: You’ll know you’ve arrived at The Holden Inn in Wellfleet when you see the anchors hanging out front. Bonus: The town center and harbor are both within walking distance.
REFUEL: Snag a “rollwich” to go from Box Lunch on your way out of Provincetown; stop for pizza and ice cream—try the pumpkin-gingersnap!—at Savory and Sweet Escapes in Truro; and dive into Mac’s Shack in Wellfleet for fresh lobster, clams, scallops, fish-and-chips, and more of the town’s famous oysters.
RENT: Idle Times Bike Shop, Inc.
REST: The Orleans Inn is a lovely Victorian house overlooking Town Cove. Built in 1875 as a sea captain’s mansion, the now-converted inn boasts 11 unique guest rooms, each with big water views, a restaurant, and an occasionally raucous tavern.
REFUEL: Power up with some protein from a specialty omelet at The Bookstore & Restaurant; nosh on subs at Bob’s Sub & Cone (508/349-6181); cool off with ice cream at Emack & Bolio’s when you pull into Orleans; and, because any trip to New England would be incomplete without a visit to a red barn, treat yourself to tasty pizza at The Red Barn in North Eastham.
RENT: Barb’s Bike Rental
REST: Choose from guest rooms in the Chatham Bars Inn historic main building or in the suite-like accommodations of the oceanfront resort’s newly built cottages. Be sure to book a much-deserved massage at the spa.
REFUEL: In the morning, try donuts from Orleans’ Hole in One; enjoy some roadside sandwiches and country store charm at the Pleasant Lake General Store near Harwich; indulge in some scoops at Buffy’s Ice Cream in Chatham; and head to the Impudent Oyster for one last delicious seafood meal.
Comfortable Sneakers: You’ll be doing your fair share of walking when you ditch the bikes to explore Cape Cod’s charming towns and beautiful beaches.
Loose and Comfy Pants: You can skip the spandex, but make sure your shorts or pants are roomy enough for easy pedaling. You can also sport padded bike shorts for optimal comfort, or wear them under your street-casual pants.
A Water Bottle: Make sure you choose one that fits in bike holders. You can find one at any bike store, including the rental places.
Sunglasses: You’ll want them even on cloudy days to protect your eyes and face from UV rays, dirt, dust, and the occasional bug.
Panniers (optional): This bike version of saddlebags is great for stowing extra sunscreen, a camera, and a picnic lunch or snacks. Many bike shops rent them.
Getting There: Fly to Boston and take the ferry to Provincetown. Once you finish at Chatham, taxi back to P’town to return via ferry.
Taxi Company: Cape Cab Taxi operates in Provincetown, Wellfleet, Orleans, and Chatham and will shuttle your luggage and bikes.
Bike Rentals: Ptown Bikes in Provincetown; Chatham Cycle in Chatham. Try a hybrid—sturdier than a road bike but lighter than a mountain bike—with a cushy seat, and make reservations early; September is a popular month to bike on the Cape.