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Old 07-07-09, 10:43 AM   #1
donheff
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Ride suggestions for Boston or on the way

My wife and I are driving from DC up to Boston a week from Thursday. We have a couple of days to get there and are staying at a hotel in downtown Boston starting Saturday night. Does anyone have a suggestion for a good B&B to stay at Thursday and Friday night with some nice rides we could do on Friday? It could be anywhere past New York City - doesn't have to be close to Boston since we can drive into town on Saturday. In fact, if the location is nice enough we could stay until Sunday.

Once we are in Boston any suggestions for must see city and area rides? I do plan to research a bit myself but...
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Old 07-07-09, 11:11 PM   #2
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My suggestion is to make a u-turn...there are Red Sox fans in Boston. Seriously, have a great trip.
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Old 07-08-09, 07:06 AM   #3
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In Boston ride the emerald necklace series of interconnected parks out to the arnold arboretum then back to town via the Southeast corridor bike path. You can get info about this ride from a park ranger at the Boston commons ranger station.

West of boston or leaving Boston going west is the Minuteman bike path which leads out to Concord.

Cape Cod canal has bike paths along each side (north side has less wind) and there is a bike path running part way down Cape Cod.

If you are a road rider you will find the roads along the coast are in the worst shape but have best views, roads inland a bit are better kept (warning: this is a sweeping generalization).
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Old 07-09-09, 04:23 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by donheff View Post
My wife and I are driving from DC up to Boston a week from Thursday. We have a couple of days to get there and are staying at a hotel in downtown Boston starting Saturday night. Does anyone have a suggestion for a good B&B to stay at Thursday and Friday night with some nice rides we could do on Friday? It could be anywhere past New York City - doesn't have to be close to Boston since we can drive into town on Saturday. In fact, if the location is nice enough we could stay until Sunday.

Once we are in Boston any suggestions for must see city and area rides? I do plan to research a bit myself but...
I'm not clear on what you mean by "Nice rides." Gear did describe some of the nice but heavily used MUPS in Boston and Mass. I had posted this compendium below for a new transplant to Boston, concentrating on road riding for distances, of say 10 miles at least and much greater. One other comment is that if you plan to see the sights downtown, biking is probably not the best way. Downtown Boston IMO is best seen by walking. FWIW:

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Welcome to Boston and environs; I love riding in and around this town. I'm a year round commuter from Kenmore Square downtown to Norwood 14 miles southwest of Boston and an ocasional centurian. Just this Sunday I rode through Saugus on my way back to Boston on a 60 mile RT ride up the coast to Marblehead. IMO Boston has a pretty large contingent of subscribers to BF, so I hope some others post as well, though I'm not sure how many read this particular Forum. Maybe you might want to post to the Road or Commuting Forums as well.

For some generalities, my favorite map is the AAA road map of metropolitan Boston. I think of the area in sectors radiating from downtown and surrounded by a circumferential belt about 10 to 15 miles from Downtown, known as Route 128 ("America's Technology Highway"). Unfortunately, 128 is a barrier to get through, especially on hair-raising roads that serve as feeders to the entrance ramps; over- and underpasses are more pleasant. All the riding is markedly better outside of 128, but the city and inner suburbs are nice and interesting. I'm an early mornng rider so I don't see the worst and my view may be through rose-colored glasses. .

Even though I've lived here for over 30 years, I always get lost on a new ride. Streets are laid out in a haphazard fashion; many streets, particularly the one you are riding on are not marked; they surreptiously change names; and in rotary intersections it's easy to lose your sense of direction. (I don't have a GPS.) On a happier note, the Transportation Authority (MBTA) allows bikes on subways and commuter trains with certain restrictions and that's a nice way to get out of town without city riding.

I would describe the sectors as (mostly for road riding outside of Rte 128):

North Shore: Beautiful Atlantic coastline, especially north of Lynn, to include Nahant, Marblehead and Marblehead Neck, on through Salem, Beverly and into ritzy Beverly Farms, and up to seafaring Gloucester, Rockport, Ipswich, etc.

Northern Suburbs: Lynnfield, Reading, Wilmington, Woburn, down through Winchester, etc: Pleasant suburban to rural inland roads.

Western: Lincoln, Lexington, Concord, Wayland, etc: Very ritzy, buccolic and historic; very popular for riding. This area IMO has the steepest hills.

Metrowest: Framingham, Natick; pleasant suburbs though pretty commercial along Rte 9

Southwest: Needham, Wellesley, Dover, Medfield, Walpole, Westwood, etc: probably more popular than the western burbs; wealthy exurban to rural, moderately hilly country roads, horse farms, mansions.

South; Norwood, Canton, Randolph, etc: middle class suburbia; rideable but usually on the way to somewhere else (no offense)

South Shore beyond Quincy and Weymouth and into Hingham, Scituate, Marshfield, etc: Atlantic coastal, nice riding, though I find it hardest to get to because of confusing suburbs and pretty heavy and industrial sections, especially Weymouth.

I am a solo rider but I think the Charles River Wheelman is the big cycling club around here. Some bike shops have organized rides, e.g. Landry's and Back Bay Bikes I know for sure. Wheelworks, International Bicyles and Harris Cylery are also well-known, but all are close to or in Boston. The Mass Bike Coalition, massbike.org is probaly also a good resource.

Feel free to PM me with other questions, and I look forward to comments from other area riders and future posts from you.
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Old 07-10-09, 02:21 PM   #5
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Yeah, we have Red Sox fans here. If you stay long enough, you will be assimilated. Resistance if futile.

But seriously, there are some Bostonians do not do. Among them are:

-Go to the "cheer bar". Seriously, I don't know anyone who is native to the area who has been there. Definitely a tourist haven though.

-Eat at something called "Olive Garden". We don't even know what that is. Ditto for something called "Red Lobster." We have real Italian food here, and real seafood as well.

-Wear anything that is orange, or that resembles a Union Jack, on Saint Patrick's Day. Doing so could be hazardous to your health. But, it's summer, so you won't have to worry about that.
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Old 07-10-09, 10:07 PM   #6
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Getting serious...If you are into history, Boston (or its suburbs) was the home to Marshall "Major" Taylor. He was the world cycling champion around the turn of the 20th century and was the first black American sports superstar. There is a small museum and I believe that there are a number of short and long commemorative rides throughout the year. Google "Major Taylor" for more information.
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Old 07-10-09, 10:32 PM   #7
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Decades ago I lived in Natick and I remember some pretty nice riding as long as I avoided route 9. Backroads through Lincoln woods toward Bedford and Concord were nice--be sure to include Walden Pond and Lake Cochituate in your travels. I also enjoyed riding southwest towards Franklin. Check with the Lincoln Guide Service for ideas.
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Old 07-11-09, 01:56 PM   #8
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Decades ago I lived in Natick and I remember some pretty nice riding as long as I avoided route 9. Backroads through Lincoln woods toward Bedford and Concord were nice--be sure to include Walden Pond and Lake Cochituate in your travels. I also enjoyed riding southwest towards Franklin. Check with the Lincoln Guide Service for ideas.
Avoiding Route 9, whether by bike or motor vehicle, proves that you are sane. I call it "Damnation Alley". For those who came in late: Route 9 in Massachusetts, between Boston and worcester, was built pre-WWII, at "the worcester turnpike". It handled pre-WWII motor vehicle traffic just fine, but today? Lots of traffic snarls, accidents, and short tempers. This is a place where you'll find the most belligerent of "Boston Drivers".

Sorry Oldbobcat, but the lincoln guide service is no more. The owner, Mike Farney, closed it in 2000, I believe. The story I heard: He had been wanting to retire for some time. He owned the building, and the land it stood on, outright. A banking outfit made him an offer he couldn't refuse for the property. I miss stopping by there. It was a good shop. Oddly enough, you can still find stuff about Lincoln Guide service on the web.

Farney also owned an interest in that shop that's at the end of the Minuteman bikeway, but that shop is now called "The bikeway source", and I believe it changed ownership some years back. I doubt Farney still has anything to do with it.

Time does indeed march on.
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Old 07-12-09, 12:59 PM   #9
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My suggestion is to make a u-turn...there are Red Sox fans in Boston. Seriously, have a great trip.
He might want to see the Sox, since I hear there is no professional baseball in DC, or NY for that matter.
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Old 07-12-09, 03:30 PM   #10
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Getting serious...If you are into history, Boston (or its suburbs) was the home to Marshall "Major" Taylor. He was the world cycling champion around the turn of the 20th century and was the first black American sports superstar. There is a small museum and I believe that there are a number of short and long commemorative rides throughout the year. Google "Major Taylor" for more information.
We also have the Pierre Lallement Bike Path to honor:

"Pierre Lallement (born between August 30, 1843 and August 29, 1844; died August 29, 1891), is considered by some [1] to be the inventor of the bicycle...

"He died in obscurity in 1891 in Boston at age 47."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pierre_Lallement

http://www.mhd.state.ma.us/default.a...outh&sid=about

Then on the Esplanade is the Paul Dudley White Bike Path (a personal hero of mine):

"Paul Dudley White is viewed by most medical authorities as the founder of preventive cardiology. Appointed as President Dwight D. Eisenhower's physician following his heart attack in 1955, White was a pioneer in the use of the electrocardiogram and a staunch advocate of exercise, diet, and weight control in the prevention of heart disease...

"The United States Postal Service honored White with a 3-cent postage stamp in 1986, still on sale today. The 17-mile bike path around the Charles River in Boston bears his name."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paul_Dudley_White
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Old 07-12-09, 04:54 PM   #11
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By all means, go by Harris Cyclery in Newton, then move on down the road to Fenway and catch a game if you can, no matter what the tickets cost. One of these days they'll tear it down.

Mr. Mono grew up in Boston area and, though she gave birth to a bunch of Texans, we still love to visit the Boston area.

Several years ago I stopped in on a whim at Harris. Turns out one of the guys used to work in Midland, TX.

I met the late Sheldon Brown.

I wound up taking a Rivendell Rambouillet out for a half hour ride, gratis, cause they thought I should try one after admiring it. They even loaned me a helmet.

It was an afternoon to remember.
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Old 07-13-09, 04:34 PM   #12
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I say try Newport RI my home town there are a lot of B&B's and small hotels great rides around the ocean front and city with a very bike friendly layout with one lane slow traffic and it is the birthplace of the League Of American Wheelmen and full of colonial homes and the summer mansions of the robber barons. It is only an hour and a half from Boston.
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Old 07-15-09, 10:47 PM   #13
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He might want to see the Sox, since I hear there is no professional baseball in DC, or NY for that matter.
As a loyal subject of the Evil Empire I must disagree. A few years of success every hundred years or so sure gives some people a swelled head.

On a few of my covert spy missions to Bean Town (the Big Apple is so much more dignified), I've often thought that a leasurly ride along the bike path next to the Charles River would be a great way to spend a day. I'm not sure how long or far the path goes but it appears to be very inviting if you want a relaxing ride.
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Old 07-16-09, 07:11 AM   #14
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I lived in Dover many years back and there was a nice circle that I used to do basically on the boundary of the town. Wasn't long but it was not too bad with cars (altho I'm sure that's changed now.) There's also a path, don't know if it's only for pedestrians that goes from the shell intown out past Boston University. When you're there have a frappe or a cabinet too! And the best italian salad dressing at Ken's Steakhouse in Natick or Framingham on Rt 9!
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Old 07-16-09, 07:40 AM   #15
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How many worl series in this millenium? Yes, the paths near the Charles are very nice but they tend to be crowded as does the Minuteman MUP. The Cape Cod (where many New Yorkers vacation to escape the "sophistication" of NY) rail trail is one of the most picturesque trails, with many places to stop for lunch or a snack and some real (i.e., not Manhatten) clam chowdah.
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