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Endless Cycle

With lots of bike trails and a pitch as gentle as a summer breeze, the Cape is a great place to explore on two wheels.

Cape Cod bike trails

A few bikers pedal across a bridge over a marsh that leads out to the ocean. Photo by Luke Simpson

Not long from now on a Friday morning in August, Kevin Leach will climb on his bike in Plymouth and pedal 100 miles to Provincetown.

He and a few friends will cycle hard for six or seven hours. They’ll cross the Bourne Bridge, traverse the Service Road, follow back roads to the Cape Cod Rail Trail in Dennis, and pass Cahoon Hollow Beach in Wellfleet.

From there, the group will take the back roads in Truro and finally get into Provincetown, feeling like kings of the road as they breeze down Commercial Street. There, they will stop for lunch—and a quick change of clothes—at the Crown & Anchor.

“That’s a great day,” Leach says of this trip he makes every August, usually on a Friday because the bike paths are less crowded. “The whole thing is great. It’s so different throughout. … Probably the most memorable part is the end of the bike path all the way to Provincetown. The scenery and the whole idea of being out on the Outer Cape and then heading into Provincetown and being on Commercial Street is fun.”

As you might imagine, Leach’s trip is not for the biking novice, and it certainly is not for anyone new to biking on Cape Cod. But it offers a sampling of most of the biking experiences you can have on Cape Cod: quiet byways, crowded main streets, and protected bike paths.

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.

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