Recycling? Wait, that was a typo. I meant Bicycling.
Like our ancient brethren, I’ve been working six days a week for quite a while, and the little bit of free time I’ve had has been devoted to household chores, family time, and exercising. Those of you who follow me on Facebook, Twitter, and more recently on Google Plus know that I try to get several bicycle rides in every week, ranging from 5 to 25 miles. When my family finally dragged me away for a week’s vacation at Cape Cod (Massachusetts), I brought my SUV-bike: a 1995 GT Outpost non-suspension mountain bike that I outfitted with kevlar-lined, puncture resistant street tires. I love my road bike, but I hate fixing flats.
The Cape has some fantastic bike paths, built upon old railroad lines. Unfortunately, once you’ve gone from one end to the other, the scenery gets a bit dull. Despite the traffic (Cape Cod is a popular vacation spot in the northeastern US), I wanted to take some detours to make the rides more interesting. With no actual goal in mind, I decided to cycle to the handful of lodges in the area of the Cape near where we were staying.
The first on the list was Pilgrim Lodge in Harwich. No, there’s no lodge number; apparently back in the old days Massachusetts had a Grand Lodge of Ancients and a Grand Lodge of Moderns, and when the two merged, everybody agreed to drop the numbers so as to avoid the “Older is better” game that we Masons love to play. You can’t see it from this side, but the first floor of the building is rented by a liquor store. I only mention it because lodges in many parts of the US are so dry that they don’t even allow people in the liquor industry to be members.
The next day I went to Mt. Horeb lodge in Dennis. As you can see, this is a full-service lodge, having an OES chapter and a Shrine hangout. Nothing was happening on the morning that I was there.
Okay, I didn’t actually bike the 100 mile round trip up to Provincetown to see King Hiram’s Lodge. We just happened to be there as part of a family outing. I do recommend that you look at the pictures of this old, historic lodge.
This is St. Martin’s lodge in Chatham. I made a special trip to get here, simply because I figured this to be the easternmost lodge in Massachusetts. The name is interesting; we often see lodges named after St. John (one or the other), so I often wonder how a lodge ends up being named after one of the more obscure saints.
The final lodge I managed to visit that week was Universal Lodge in Orleans. Located near Nauset Beach, this lodge had the coolest marker out in front.
Sharp-eyed readers will spot that this isn’t a lodge. I just posted it because Massachusetts has got to be the only place where you will find a traffic rotary (sometimes called a roundabout) on a bike path. Unlike the other traffic circles in this state, at least there weren’t three dozen cyclists blocking the way and blaring their horns. But it was a pretty busy place every time I passed by.
I’m not a hard-core cyclist; each lodge was within 15 miles of Dennisport, so each day I cycled about 30 miles over the course of a few hours. I ended up having gone about 130 miles, and I got to see some of the sights that I might have otherwise missed in just taking a jaunt in the car — especially with all the vacation traffic. Plus, I got some healthy exercise, and felt less guilty about eating the vacation junk food that I don’t normally eat at home. A quick online search finds that there are a few dozen motorcycle clubs for Freemasons. Does anyone know about one for bicyclists?