cycling · fitness

Late summer to-do list: explore islands by bike

It’s July 21, a bit past the mid-point of summer.

Mr. Bill saying ohh noooo!, articulating my sentiments on this matter exactly.
Mr. Bill saying ohh noooo!, articulating my sentiments on this matter exactly.

However, there’s no need to panic. We have lots of warm days (hopefully not fiercely hot like this weekend) left for outside activity and inactivity.

This year, I resolved to do more local exploring. To that end, I’ve planned some island biking. There are lots of islands off the New England coast, and I’ve seen only a few of them.

Peak’s Island is off the coast of Maine right across from Portland. It’s quite small and quaint and lovely. Here’s a map of it, made by 2nd and 3rd grade classes of kids who live on the island. Really. Isn’t that cool?

Map of Peak's Island, Maine, with bike loops marked, and directions, too.
Map of Peak’s Island, Maine, with bike loops marked, and directions, too.

It turns out that I can take the train from Boston with my bike (I can roll it on, and they will store it, and I then roll it off), take a ferry over, and pedal around and explore. I have friends there, so am staying with them.

I found a nice coastal ride on the mainland as well. There’s a tour company that offers a 5-lighthouse tour for $99. They included a map, so I think I can forgo the $99 fee and do it myself. You can, too– here’s the map. The total mileage to and from the ferry terminal is at most 25 miles/40 km. That sounds perfect for a leisurely exploring jaunt.

Portland Maine's 5-lighthouse bike tour map. This will do nicely for me.
Portland Maine’s 5-lighthouse bike tour map. This will do nicely for me.

Another island I am planning to visit is Block Island, off the south coast of Rhode Island. Here’s a map; I think grownups made this one.

A map of Block Island, with a 7-mile loop at the bottom, and an 8-mile out-and-back at the top.
A map of Block Island, with a 7-mile loop at the bottom, and an 8-mile out-and-back at the top.

For this trip I’ll drive to southern Rhode Island (the Amtrak train to Providence doesn’t let you roll on/roll off bikes… 😦 ) and then take an hour-long ferry. It’s an easy day trip pedaling around, browsing, taking pictures, enjoying beaches, etc.

There’s one more island trip I have planned, although it’s not by bike. The Boston harbor islands are easily accessible by ferry, and loads of people go in the summer. My sister and her kids and I are taking a ferry to Spectacle Island, where we can walk around, swim, and maybe kayak too (they offer free kayak use and intro classes). It’s rather small, and easy to navigate on foot. To get an idea of how small, here’s a map of the route for a 5k race run on the island:

The twisty, turny route for a 5K race on Spectacle Island.
The twisty, turny route for a 5K race on Spectacle Island.

Readers, what are your rest-of-summer plans? Are you gravitating toward water, woods, desert, lakes, mountains? Let me know; cool summer getaway ideas are always welcome.

2 thoughts on “Late summer to-do list: explore islands by bike

  1. That sounds like an excellent plan! I love the idea of island hopping with a bike! My rest of summer plans involve training for a half marathon at the end of September (my first half!), and hiking 3 stages of the GR11 Transpyrenee trail in Navarre, Spain. And whatever else the summer throws at me 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

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