Hello From Provincetown!
I'm Rik, and I live in Provincetown year-round. I ride my bike for transportation pretty much every day. I’m an explorer and storyteller at heart, and Pedal Ptown lets me do both of those things – on a bike!
Starting this spring, I’m offering guided bike tours of town and the Cape Cod National Seashore. Scheduled tours will start in April and will end in early December, while private tours will be available year-round.
These tours are an opportunity to explore the aspects of town that casual visitors often miss – the history of the Mayflower, the beginning of the art colony, the evolution of the town into a major LGBT resort, and the vast natural environment, rare animals, and plants that surround us.
In addition to tours, I’m starting a series of Bike School classes that will teach a variety of skills and lifehacks so you can build confidence making short trips around town by bike. The first class is Surviving Commercial Street and it’s fun, hands-on, and practical. Classes charge a nominal fee and are free to kids age 16 and under.
More about me
Pedal Ptown began as a blog I started in 2015 to chronicle my experiences riding a bike here, ideas about improving conditions for bicycling, and the bike projects that are being discussed and worked on. When I was trying to come up for a name for the bike tour company, it became the obvious choice.
I volunteer on the town’s bicycle committee and I’m a member of a bunch of bike-related organizations: MassBike, the League of American Bicyclists, the Association of Pedestrian and Bicycle Professionals, the Adventure Cycling Association, and PeopleForBikes. I completed the League’s Smart Cycling course last year and am working toward a credential as a League Certified Instructor.
I love history, architecture, and art, so I’ve learned a lot about this town that I enjoy sharing with visitors. You can get caught up on a lot of reading if you ever get the privilege to staying in a dune shack for a week!
Right now I have three bikes: a cargo bike, for hauling big and heavy stuff; a “daily driver” that I use every day; and a salvaged beach cruiser that I keep on hand as a spare.
Provincetown is at the very end of Cape Cod in Massachusetts, USA, surrounded by Provincetown Harbor, Cape Cod Bay and the Atlantic Ocean. It’s a small town of just shy of 3,000 year-round residents and known for its stunning natural beauty, thriving arts culture and history, and as a major gay summer vacation destination.
Provincetown Harbor is where the Mayflower Pilgrims signed the Mayflower Compact and first disembarked in search of a location for their colony. That event is commemorated by the Pilgrim Monument atop High Pole Hill at the center of town, the Signing of the Mayflower Compact Bas Relief behind Town Hall, and the Pilgrims’ First Landing Park near the place where the Mayflower anchored in 1620. There’s a lot on the calendar for the upcoming Provincetown 400 commemoration in 2020 and I’m looking at ways to include bikes in the mix.
where everyone rides a bike
Provincetown is one of the most wonderful places to ride a bike – and nearly everyone does. The town itself is small and compact, and the majority of the roads have speed limits under 25 mph. There is bike parking everywhere – at the grocery store, dentist, health center, school, playgrounds, Town Hall, on the pier, at the airport, and at the beach, to name a few spots. There aren’t many bike lanes, but the roads are narrow and there are few sidewalks, so people on foot and on bikes and in cars all manage to share the public way. There are bike paths in the Cape Cod National Seashore that bring you through beautiful sand dunes and to spectacular ocean vistas.
In 2018, the town was awarded a Silver Bicycle Friendly Community designation by the League of American Bicyclists. It’s the smallest town in Massachusetts to merit this award. Provincetown also ranked as the top “small city” bicycle network in the PeopleForBikes City Ratings and took the #2 spot among over 500 cities and towns nationwide in their Bicycle Network Analysis.
An eccentric’s sanctuary
I’ll leave you here with a lovely piece about town that was featured in May 2015 on CBS Sunday Morning, which had two titles - either Provincetown: An Eccentric's Sanctuary or simply A Walk in Provincetown. Bikes are so commonplace that they don’t even mention them, though the gallery and video both show folks riding bikes in town. (You’ll need to click the video player box below to start the video.)