Biking and camping doesn’t seem like the typical Martha’s Vineyard experience, mostly because it isn’t the typical Martha’s Vineyard experience. That being said, biking around the island gave an entirely different perspective of what the Vineyard has to offer beyond its beaches and quaint island towns. We took the ferry from Oak Bluffs to Vineyard Haven where we set up our tent at the Martha’s Vineyard Family Campground. With the exception of a few rogue skunks wandering the campground at night, and the guy at the site next to us puking his brains out for an impossibly long period of time, this wasn’t a bad place to camp.
Over the course of the next two days, we biked every corner of the island, with the exception of Chappaquiddick. The ride down State Road and Middle Road between Vineyard Haven and Menemsha was lined with farms, stone walls, and meadows, and looked more like Ireland than a New England summer destination. This is a side of the Vineyard that most people overlook and if we hadn’t decided to see the island by bike, we probably would have been no exception .
The bike ferry in Menemsha allowed us to continue on to Aquinnah and Gay Head Lighthouse. We spent a couple of hours here walking down the beach alongside the clay cliffs and even had the rather bizarre experience of stumbling upon a nude beach. Normally I would not use the word “bizarre” to describe a nude beach, because who am I to judge. But this was not your standard-issue nude beach where people just lounge on the sand. This beach was occupied by a much more lively bunch. There was a full-on game of naked ultimate Frisbee taking place right in front of us, but we fixed our eyes on the ocean to our left and soldiered on. Tan lines aren’t for everyone, which is fine; but naked frisbee is the kind of sight that will haunt your nightmares for the rest of your life.
The rest of the weekend was full of the more typical Martha’s Vineyard activities, like relaxing at State Beach, eating dinner in Edgartown, and wandering around Oak Bluffs. I also had the experience of getting struck by a vehicle, which wasn’t nearly as bad as it sounds. Walked away unscathed. More importantly, the bike lived to see another day without a scratch.