Saturday, February 21, 2009

FESTIVAL RIDE

Three years ago I decided to ride by road bike from Dennis Port up to the Wellfleet Oyster Festival . The Wellfleet Oyster Festival is held each October on the weekend after Columbus Day in downtown Wellfleet. The festival includes numerous arts and crafts merchants who have small tents to show their products along with various food vendors who sell things like kettle corn, barbecue, and the star of the event the Wellfleet Oyster. There are a host of educational activities about the oyster, a road race, along with a stage with assorted talented singing groups to serenade a beer garden and oyster eating area. On Sunday there is a final "shuck off" where oyster " shuckers" compete for cash prizes based on the speed and condition of their oyster shucking.

My bike ride from Dennis Port to the Wellfleet center for the festival was approximately 26 miles. I planned to ride the Cape Rail Trail for this ride. The Cape Rail Trail is a converted railway like which starts in South Dennis and continues north up to the Cape Cod National Seashore Visitors Center in Eastham. The Cape Rail Trail had undergone resurfacing that year .

It was a nice crisp, clear, sunny autumn day when I started out on my bike. The resurfacing and upgrading of the bike path really made for a smooth ride as prior to the resurfacing the trail was showing wear and tear from broken asphalt and bumps caused by tree roots bucking the riding surface. I stopped at the Pleasant Lake General Store on the way to stock up on some water and a beer.

I ran into a problem however once I reached the Nickerson State Park portion of the bike trail. I had assumed that the Cape Road Rail Trail resurfacing project was completed. I encountered big signs which said "Warning Trail Closed, No Trespassing, Danger". I hadn't expected this so I decided that I would play the part of a tourist that doesn't understand English. I decided to go on the closed trail and continue up to Wellfleet. This trail was really under construction, there were some downed trees across the bike path along with some monster pot holes, lots of brush piles, tree branches, rocks,broken asphalt. etc. which needless to say slowed my bike riding speed waaay down. On the bright side I had the bike path to myself and didn't have to worry about dodging other bike riders or walkers as I had the trail to myself. My main worry was to hope that I wouldn't get a flat tire as the trail was more suited for a mountain bike than my skinny road bike tires.

I made it up to the festival though and met my brother Scott and his wife Leslie who drove their Honda Element up to the festival so I didn't have to ride back through the war zone bike path in the dark.