A great introduction to bicycle touring along an iconic New England coastline, Cape Cod & the Islands has it all. Bicycle along paths and back roads through beautiful Martha’s Vineyard, Nantucket, and Cape Cod. Explore island villages and sandy beaches, take a stand up paddle board lesson with professional instructors, and tour the city of Boston by foot. Carrying personal and group gear in panniers (saddlebags), you will become competent cyclists and adventurers while learning to operate as a self-sufficient team. This summer bike tour is always a hit; join us and see why!
Martha's Vineyard & Nantucket
Traveling by ferry, we journey to Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket for endless island fun. Both islands are crisscrossed with user-friendly bike paths that allow us to ride with ease from place to place. There will be plenty of time off the bikes to explore seaside villages like Edgartown, Oak Bluffs & Siasconset. Spectacular sandy beaches abound, we’ll enjoy long afternoons playing in the sun and surf. We’ll also spend the better part of a fulfilling day as volunteers at a local community farm.
Riding the Cape Cod Rail Trail & Stand Up Paddle Boarding
After another beautiful ferry ride back to the mainland, we’ll take the next couple of days to ride the Cape Cod Rail Trail and scenic back roads from Hyannis to Welfleet. In Wellfleet, we’ll take a day off the bikes to try our hands at stand up paddle boarding (with professional instructors), a great way to spend a summer morning or afternoon!
Exploring Provincetown & Celebrating in Boston
Our last big push on bikes will bring us to the tip of Cape Cod and coastal town of Provincetown. After a morning of exploring the town by foot, we’ll take our fourth and final ferry of the trip to Boston, where we’ll spend two nights and a day exploring the sights, from Boston Common to Faneuil Hall Market. We’ll enjoy a festive farewell dinner at a local restaurant and celebrate our accomplishments with laughter and stories of our fantastic 12-day adventure.
Please see our General FAQ page for many more frequently asked questions and answers!
How physically challenging is CI?
Given a Challenge Level 3 (out of a maximum of 10), we consider CI to be a beginner cycling trip that any moderately fit, motivated student can complete with some prior preparation. We believe that CI is a great trip for students interested in trying cycle touring for the first time. It is easier than our Vermont to Montreal trip, which is one step up in challenge level. On CI, the daily mileage spans anywhere between 8 and 20 miles, averaging approximately 15 miles a day. There is also the opportunity for a “Challenge Day” in the middle of the trip that could be up to approximately 30 miles. Please note that all of Apogee’s Challenge Levels are not scientific and are subjectively calculated by the Apogee staff.
Where will be child be sleeping at night?
Our CI groups will be camping at established campgrounds for most nights on our trip, but of the 11 nights, we will also spend four nights indoors: two in a hostel on Nantucket and two in a hostel in Boston. Leaders will separate students by gender into tent groups, and will rotate those groups several times over the course of our trip. Students will share a tent with one or two other students.
My child is new to cycle touring and has never ridden with loaded panniers. Can my child participate without previous experience?
Absolutely. Apogee’s trips are designed around the concept of “achievable challenge” – anyone who has a desire to challenge themselves and possesses a basic to moderate level of physical fitness is already well-prepared. Upon your child’s enrollment, we will send you a suggested training schedule. Training beforehand (especially with panniers and weight) will directly contribute to good risk management and your child’s physical comfort.
Does my child need to bring his or her own bike for this trip?
No – we offer rental bikes (as well as panniers) for an additional fee. In 2020, the cost of a hybrid rental bicycle for the 12-day trip is $200. Waterproof rental panniers are available for $50. If your child already has a bike that is appropriate for this trip, they are welcome to bring it. Please call our office with any questions regarding the suitability of your child’s bike for this trip.
How much of the riding on the CI trip is on bike paths?
Roughly 75% of the riding on our Cape Cod & the Islands trip will be on dedicated bike paths while the remaining 25% of the riding is on quieter back roads and/or roads with bike lanes.
What does the community service portion of this trip entail?
The specifics of our CI community service projects and the number of hours we volunteer varies slightly from year-to-year. In the past, we have worked with The Thimble Farm on their Island Grown Initiative on a variety of tasks including invasive species removal, plant transplanting, etc. Students can expect 3-5 hours of community service work over the course of our trip, usually in a single day.
How will I communicate with my child while they are on this trip?
We are a technology-free program, meaning that your child won’t have access to their phones or other electronic devices over the course of their trip. That said, students will get a chance to call home on their trip leaders’ phones once over the course of the trip (usually on day 5 or 6 of the trip). We also have two mail stops over the course of the program, so you are welcome to use these to send letters or packages to your child. If you have an urgent message to get to your child outside of their one phone call, please call our office and we’ll work to get you connected with your child.
My child will be flying to this trip start. How will they connect with their leaders?
Please note that Apogee staff members do not travel with students; our trip leaders will already be in Boston on arrival day and will stay at our headquarters in Maine after the trip ends. Apogee staff and trip leaders will have a detailed flight itinerary for each student who is flying to the trip start and will be at the airport to greet them on arrival. Once students are with their leaders, they will call home to let their parents know they have arrived and are with their group. Please see our blog post for specifics regarding students traveling as Unaccompanied Minors. Further, we encourage you to coordinate travel with other attendees; we’re happy to put you in touch with other enrolled families from your region. We will provide enrolled families with a Travel Information document covering details specific to traveling to and from Boston, including airport information and arrival and departure time windows. Please contact Apogee with any specific questions or concerns regarding drop-offs and/or pick-ups.
Aside from the trip cost, what are the additional expenses for this trip?
Apogee’s tuition costs are meant to be all-inclusive and include all meal, accommodation, and activity fees. The most significant additional expenses on our Cape Cod & the Islands trip will include travel to and from the Boston area, a sleeping bag and sleeping pad, a bike helmet, and a bike and panniers (rentals are available, see above).