We’ve ridden bikes on the Cape Cod Rail Trail several times before. On a couple of occasions, we’ve ridden its entire 25.5 mile length; indeed, we’ve even gone farther, all the way to the end of the Cape to camp in a tent in Provincetown before pedaling back the next day. But this time our excursion would not be so lengthy, because we were trying something new, at least to us: a tandem bike.

Renting one of these two-headed beasts at Barb’s Bike Shop in Dennis, we took off pumping our feet, and soon discovered that there was a learning curve even for experienced bikers like us. It was almost as if having two riders doubled the difficulty rather than halving it, as one might expect – especially since there’s always a back seat driver to deal with. Still, we had a scenic little expedition to Nickerson State Park, where we napped for a bit in the hammocks we just happened to bring along. And we made it back, with no collisions, spills or major arguments although we did witness a sinking boat.