View Full Version : Martha's Vineyard - Road or Mountain bike?

03-10-2009, 05:05 AM
Hi all...
We'll be hopping over to the Vineyard in April and want to know what suits island riding best - a road bike or a mountain bike? I also have a commuter with roadish tires but a rack and two pannier bags... we're staying right in Tisbury but I want to get out and explore. DH can choose between his road and his mountain bike.

What thinks ye all?

03-10-2009, 08:02 AM
OK, I'll be honest. I had one of the worst cycling experiences of my life in MV. But, it was summer, so you won't have to deal with crowds or nasty tourists from that state south of here.
But... we heard a lot of "Get on the path!!" some of it not said very nicely. The paths suck because there are driveways every few feet. People stared at us like crazy because of our lycra and some even pointed at us. This was about five years ago, maybe it's changed??
I would opt for the commuter. There are lots of shops and places to stop. There were also some good rolling hills, which surprised me. We rode 66 miles and I was exhausted! The scenery is beautiful, no need to go super fast, hence I would want a bike that was right for that type of ride. And the roads might still be cr*ppy in April.

03-10-2009, 07:37 PM
I don't think a mt bike is necessary for the vineyard. About 14 years ago myself and my then boyfriend parked the car in Woods Hole, rode our bikes to the ferry and ferried over to Oak Bluffs (but stayed in Edgartown) and rode all over the island. We had the best time ever! We had mountain bikes with big knobby tires because that is all we owned at the time. The knobby tires provided much more resistance vs. the surface we were riding on but we knew this, dealt with it, and just had fun. All we had with us was what we could take on 2 panniers per bike. However, we rode entirely on the main paved roads and never encountered rough stuff but nor were we looking to do any off-roading. Hills there are not bad. We did not do bike paths and I can't recall how many actually existed that many years ago. We did jump a boat over to Nantucket for a day and there was one area where we were glad we had the mt. bikes instead of road bikes.

If you are looking to zoom around the island with not much gear, or have a road bike that can accomodate a small pack, take a road bike. If you are looking to take your time a little more without a need for speed to destination, and want room for "shopping items", take a commuter with slick tires. You will still be able to explore quite nicely from town to town that way as well.

Martha's Vineyard is beautiful and you will have a great time no matter your choice, as long as you go with the flow with whatever choice of bike you choose to take.

03-11-2009, 07:43 AM
Thanks, Gals!
I think I will take my old Jamis Boca with rack and panniers (I'll be Mule) and he can take his mountain bike... the road bikes are probably best left at home in this State just south of your state (and Crankin, I'm SURE you didn't mean THIS State south of your state? LOL.)

03-11-2009, 04:42 PM
No, I did not mean RI. You know where I am talking about.
But, I don't want to offend anyone. I guess I've spent too many summers on the Cape!
Have fun. The Jamis will be perfect. If I had had my Jamis then, I would have taken it.

03-12-2009, 11:44 AM
Oh, we got em in Newport, too, growing up.

If it's tourist season, does that mean we can hunt them? ;)

03-13-2009, 02:43 AM
Yea, it seems we have tourists in Concord all year long! Not as many in the winter, but they are here. I know it helps the economy, but...
I love the tourists who are riding a bike diagonally across an intersection or the wrong way down a street. Sometimes they stop in the middle of the road and wonder why people get mad.

03-14-2009, 05:25 PM
Once, in the span of five minutes, I watched a tourist woman finish a very oversized marguerita, stumble off a barstool, hobble in heels over to a rento-moped, hop on, start the thing, and then fall over at a high take-off within seconds.

Not pretty.

05-19-2009, 06:20 PM
I rode on MV in 2007. Did the MS metric ride on my road bike, and it was perfect. Of course, it was an organized ride, and it was early May, but we spent a long weekend there riding every day on the road, not the paths, and we were fine. No traffic issues, no dirty looks from motorists, and the road bike came in handy on the hills out toward Gay Head. Watch out for the wild turkeys! You'll see them crossing the road and stuff.