Riding Martha’s Vineyard

I enjoyed my ride to the Cape so much that last weekend I decided to do it all over again. Except this time on Martha’s Vineyard.

Some of my earliest bike rides took place here, as my mom used to bring my sister and I to the island for day trips when we were little. We’d rent bikes and seemingly ride all over the place. I’m sure we probably only covered 10 miles or so, but back then these rides seemed epic. It was here that I learned to shout “On your left!” as I passed slower riders, found out why riding through sand is a bad idea, and came to appreciate the post-ride ice cream cone.

IMG_6320sharing the road

Fast forward 25 years and not much has changed. I set off Saturday morning at a seemingly civilized 7:15 a.m. The island was still pretty quiet, though there were a fair number of bikers and runners out. I made it to Edgartown in no time and met up with my friend Scott, who is also training for Timberman. We set out south towards the beach and then went back up to Edgartown- West Tisbury Road. We hopped on the bike path for a while and then headed into Chilmark and on to Aquinnah. Martha’s Vineyard always seems like a tiny place until you try and ride around it by bike, and then it’s suddenly much bigger.

IMG_6311Trying to keep up with Scott

Scott had yoga and beach plans so he turned back soon after Chilmark, at which point my ride became less intense and more sightseeing. I swung by to Gay Head Light, rode down Lobsterville Road, and then hopped on the bike ferry to Menemsha. The bike ferry is sort of great… you go out on this dock and ring a bell, and after a while a guy in a boat comes to take you across Menemsha Harbor. The trip takes about five minutes, costs $5, and saves about 5 miles. Plus, it’s kind of fun to hop on a boat with your bike.


IMG_6355waiting for the ferry

The ride from Menemsha to Oak Bluffs seemed like the home stretch, but really I had about 20 miles to cover. I decided to cut through the middle of the island, as I’d ridden along North Road before. The aptly named Middle Road is a picturesque road that meanders past farms and art galleries. I stopped more than once to take photos of cows.


I hit an island traffic jam when I got to Vineyard Haven. Between tourist traffic and the arrival of the car ferry, no one was going anywhere fast. The road is two lanes, and there’s almost no shoulder, so it was pretty slow going. In the future,  I’d detour around that part because it was no fun. I stopped my Strava there because things were so slow.

Martha's Vineyard ride map

I ended up doing almost exactly 60 miles in four hours. Slow, but I stopped to take photos, waited on the bike ferry, and generally had a good time.  I felt a lot better on this ride than I had the weekend before. I ate after the first hour, and then every 45 minutes after that. In total, I had two gels, a Clif bar, and some gummy worms. I also drank two bottles of water, though I should have drank more.

After the ride, I headed out on a six-mile run, which also went a lot better than the week before. It wasn’t as hot, which helped a lot. My miles were kind of slow (10 minutes), but I had to stop and look at the map a few times. All in all, I’m pretty happy with how the day went compared with the week before.

The rest of my week looked like this:
Monday: run 6.4
Tuesday: REST
Wednesday: ride 15
Thursday: REST
Friday: run 3.3, PT
Saturday: bike 60, run 6
Sunday: REST

Totals: Swim 0, bike 75, run 16

That is probably the most rest days I’ve taken in months. But life happens, and as I’ve said before I’m determined not to become one of those people who only trains and has no social life. Still, I endeavor to swim this week, and ride my bike to work a few times. Haven’t been very good about that lately. Four weeks until Timberman!


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