This is a SINGLE Sign up for the Entire Weekend. Once you have booked a Hotel, Please add the Name of your Hotel, whether you are bringing a car to the Island, Names of any Guests and whether they are riding or not. Days you intend to RIDE, and whether you intend to eat with the Group on Friday and or Saturday night. (whew!)
Pick any hotel you like, just know that rides will start from the Madison House or Dockside Inn in Oak Bluffs at 9am each morning. You may come for as many or as few days as you like. We recommend avoiding Driving up on Friday or back home on Monday to miss horrific traffic.
Martha’s Vineyard AWAY Trip Weekend - Guide 2019
By Bill O’Connell
You should NOW be making reservations for our return to Martha’s Vineyard on the weekend of Memorial Day 2019.
Most of us will be going on Thursday, May 23 and departing Sunday May 27.
You may stay for shorter or longer times, but I recommend avoiding travel on Friday or Monday as these days will likely have horrendous traffic. For those who are there, we will have rides Thursday Afternoon, Friday, Saturday and Sunday, but the main ride is Saturday.
All Planned Rides Below are weather permitting of course. The schedule is always going to be flexible, since weather is unpredictable at best. At least in May there should be no hurricanes!
Denise Simon helped me to run such great events in 2016 and 2018 that I cannot wait to go back!
Denise found these great hotels, and the wonderful restaurants we used. She has far better knowledge about all things MV than I do, so please thank her for her work in making this trip possible!
For non-riders there are Beaches, Lighthouses, Kayaking, Shopping, sightseeing, museums, and even riding a bike, are all options here.
I am adding as many details as practical here.
There will be links to websites to assist you with checking schedules and making reservations.
I will not add schedules below as these may change between now and May and the Website is always the best source for current information.
Lodging options abound, both on the Island (recommended) and on the Cape (doable).
?The ONE CAVEAT - Cancellation Policies at the On Island Inns are often several WEEKS in advance. It is a catch-22 as if you wait too long you may not get to stay where you want, yet you may be stuck if weather turns bad. That is the life of a cyclist, we had to cancel in September 2017 when a storm hung over the area for days and ferry service was shut down. This SHOULD not happen in May, but stranger things have happened.
Weather can be quite changeable, it can be sunny or rainy, warm or chilly, so be prepared to ride regardless, or spend the days shopping and walking around in a rain coat if you do not want to lose your reservation money. You MAY get better terms on Cape Cod. But that may involve multiple Ferry Trips. It also makes after ride activities difficult due to Ferry Schedules.
The names of our PRIMARY INN’s on the Vineyard are the Dockside and the Madison. These are all “downtown Oak Bluffs - as per our usual practice, you may stay anywhere you like, there are many other options.
The Madison Inn is a bit more expensive with in room bathrooms.Sign In
The Dockside is the most modern and is yet higher in cost.Sign In
Please call or go online to reserve soon if your plans are solid. Those who decide late, may have to stay either farther afield or stay at more expensive accommodations.
STAYING on the Cape.
This is OK as we will hold the rides for the first Ferry from the cape each morning IF WE KNOW YOU ARE COMING!!!
The FERRIES that arrive before 9am arrive in Vineyard Haven ONLY, the First Steamship Ferry to Oak Bluffs arrives at 10:30AM The First Island Queen Ferry arrives Oak Bluffs at 9:40AM. So unless you make other arrangements, you will have to take the 6 or 7AM SteamShip Ferry to Vineyard Haven and Ride over to Oak Bluffs - There are some HILLS on this route.
If we do not know you are coming, or if you arrive after 9am - you are on your own. I suppose you can find us as our routes, particularly on Saturday, are posted. It is riskier on other days because we may wander off course to see certain sights.
The LAST Ferry back at night is 6:30 from Oak Bluffs and 9:30 from Vineyard Haven. Friday ONLY there is a 8:45 Island Queen returning from Oak Bluffs.
That means that you will miss out on much, if not all, of the Nighttime Dinners, Group Activities, and the Charms of Oak Bluffs at night. I seriously do NOT recommend this option, but you are free to do as you please.
Taking the Ferry from the cape to the vineyard with your bike is reasonable and fast and gives you a sense of true adventure.
There are two choices for ferries:
Fares and Parking Rates for both are similar.
The Island Queen - closer parking to ferry. No cars. Sign In
Steamship Authority - Huge Parking Lot with shuttles. Lots more ferries. Only way to go if you are taking a car. Sign In
If you are coming WITHOUT a car, make sure you take the Ferry to OAK BLUFFS, I know all too well how far a ride it is with luggage on your back from Vineyard Haven to Oak Bluffs.
If you plan to take a car, make reservations early!!!
All Ferry information and schedules is freely available ONLINE!!! Unless you are internet incapable, please check these on your own.
IF you bring a CAR - and IF you have a NON-Riding Driver - LET ME KNOW!!!
If the Driver is willing to assist with transportion to Fridays SUNSET Dinner, and or SAG Coverage, there will be SAG funds available to assist with your FERRY Fares. This is what the SAG Fee is for!
OTHER OPTIONS FOR NON-RIDERS
I know that I do not have to mention the scenery, the beaches, Kayaking, shopping etc.
There are also Galleries, and Museums. SURPRISE! Sign In
Oak Bluffs, every night we walked around the “Campground” of “candy cottages” they are cute and scenic and just as interesting at night.
I won’t even mention Backdoor Donuts, but they will get you riding a few extra miles to burn off their deliciousness! And it is right across the street from one of the Hotels.
- There are TWO SAG options if you break down. (If you are hurt - call 911!) First, we should have at least one car, that will be available to SAG Last year, and I expect again this year Bobbie Bodine and Pat O’Connell drove SAG and did a great job..
Second - The MV Transportation Bus system has Bike Racks and travel on all major roads. We will, for the most part, be very close to bus routes most of the time. Rates and routes are available online. If you MUST use this for rescue, because the SAG vehicle is not available I will reimburse you for your costs.
There is a $20 NON-Refundable EVENT fee. This will be used partially for SAG and partially for offsetting the costs of refreshments at one or more after ride events.
IN the event of total weekend cancellation, you may apply the fees for a later ride and we will transfer them for you, but again, no refunds. As you may have surmised the Martha’s Vineyard trip CANNOT be cancelled due to policies at the Inns. Most will agree that $20 is a very minimal financial risk compared to many event rides you sign up for, and that the policy is quite reasonable. If you can find a better deal, take it!!! There will NOT be a way to pay up until about a week or two prior to the event, so do not go looking for it now.
Thank you for understanding.
There are too many restaurants on the Vineyard to mention.
As a GROUP - if you plan to join us (and we may have limits) We had very good food and service at Jimmy Seas and at Martha’s Vineyard Chowder Company. So the plan at least as of January, is to return to these two places.
Theoretically, Thursday Night would be Jimmy Seas, and Saturday would be the “fancier” Chowder Company. Food was great at both. And Reasonable.
As I recall there were options at both for those who do not eat seafood.
Last time on Friday Evening we went to see the Sunset at Menemsha Beach - weather permitting this would be a nice Friday Night dinner opportunity. There are Lobster Roll places near the beach, but I will add at least one other take out option for food for those who would prefer other options such as 7a Foods. I still salivate when I think about Liz Lemon (the sandwich - not the person - you have a dirty mind!)
7A Foods will also be one of the Food Options on our long ride on Saturday.
Last year 19 riders took this trip, they should be our best sales people , as every one of them had a great time. Information on Lodging Rates and locations will ONLY be sent to those who sign up for the ride!!!
ALL Rides are suitable for D riders. We tend to ride as 2 or more groups at most events. The faster group does more miles and rides at a C+ Pace, faster C riders can tag along. The Slower Group rides at a C Pace but will slow down for D riders and wait periodically. There is no reason to NOT take advantage of these events. Life does not have to be boring! Come out and RIDE!
Sign up for the rides if you wish to stay informed.
Last time we did several shorter routes - the ones through the East and West Chop Lighthouses was sublime, and the Edgartown Loop was gorgeous!
I would suggest, if you have the legs for it, to add South Beach to your Edgartown ride, it is FLAT out and Back and you can stop at the Grass airport and the Ocean Beach on the South Shore.
Some of us also did the “North Route to West Tisbury and then on the Lighthouse - it was nice but there was a lot of Traffic and the shoulders were less than ideal. The southern route across the Island on the bike path was much better, particularly for slower riders.
On the LONG ride days, those wishing to see the entire island while cutting their saddle time will have the option to take busses for parts of the route.
Primarily, most of the C/D Riders chose last time to lock their bikes together near the lunch stop in West Tisbury and take the Bus out and back to the Aquinnah Lighthouse. This is almost a shame, as parts of the ride back including the Menemsha bike Ferry are highlights of the tour. Some of you should consider taking your bike WITH you on the Bus (there is a limit) to the Lighthouse then ride DOWN to the Ferry take the Ferry and then take another Bus from Menemsha back to West Tisbury or beyond. I suggest a DAY PASS fo the busses on Saturday if you plan to use them just in case you use more than 2.
BUS INFORMATIONSign In
Again, this is an ALL levels Ride, mostly on Bike Paths that are Flat-Flat-Flat. What we did last year that worked for those wanting to see the entire Island but not ride all 55 miles, is that we did Bike Paths to Edgartown and then West to Tisbury, where those choosing shorter miles locked their bikes together and took the ferry to the Lighthouse at Aquinna (Gay Head) while the masochists found out that there are indeed Hills on the Vineyard. Of course the reward for the longer route is the ride along Menemsha Beach and the Ferry Ride across the cut.
I hate to say it, but there is ALMOST too much to see in just 4 days of riding!
If the weather cooperates - you will LOVE Martha’s VIneyard!
What to do NEXT?
If you THINK you can come - Go to the rides Schedule and SIGN UP!
I Will NOT be doing Mass mailings to the club, so if you are NOT SIGNED UP, You may miss Valuable information and updates. I will be mailing ONLY to signed up riders.
Once you have reservations - Update the Sign up with that information.
I will need to know - again on the sign up Sheet - if you are bringing a CAR. And if you have a NON-RIDING guest who can and is willing to help with SAG.
Also include the DAYS that you plan to be on the Island.
If you decide to stay OFF Island - I also need to know - add this to your sign up. Remember that if you are NOT on a FERRY that arrives at 9am, you may have to catch up and meet us along the route. ALSO The 3 ferries that arrive by 9am arrive in Vineyard Haven - the first ferry into Oak Bluffs arrives at 10:30. You will have to take the 6 or 7AM ferries and ride over to Oak Bluffs unless we can make other arrangements.