The Cape Cod landscape, which for the most part is relatively flat, offers biking experiences for almost every level of expertise and appetite for challenge, including off-road biking. From the shore-hugging Shining Sea Bikeway in Falmouth, to the dirt road adventure of riding through conservation land in Barnstable, to the rolling paths tracing kettle holes in Nickerson State Park in Brewster, Cape Cod biking is as varied as its weather can be.

Stacey Hedman

But while the terrain offers an assortment of riding possibilities, there are two constants with biking here: the wind, and during high season, traffic. As a peninsula, the Cape is frequently battered by winds, and if you’re pedaling against Mother Nature, you may be in for more of a workout than you bargained for.

“There is always a breeze on the Cape,” says Leach of Falmouth. “It’s great to have a tailwind, but it’s tough to have a headwind.” He tries to make his rides “wind friendly” by determining which direction it’s blowing from and plotting a ride that keeps the draft at his back.

As for traffic, crowded bikeways—the paths along the Cape Cod Canal during July 4th weekend are a good example—make for slow going. And because the Cape lacks bike lanes on its roads, the traffic congestion common during the heart of the summer can make cycling difficult and possibly dangerous.

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Donna Scaglione is a freelance writer living in Falmouth.

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