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  1. #1
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    Impressed by Massachusetts Bicycle Setup

    I'm in Massachusetts for one of my best friend's wedding (ok, probably my best friend) and decided to turn it into a vacation since I already had to take time off of work. We're in Andover, MA, right off the freeway, but I have seen quite a few people riding on bikes, even one group camping via bike (oh how jealous I am).

    The wedding was in Haverhill (which apparently is pronounced NOTHING like its spelled, best I heard was Haverill? I guess I'm just not used to the accent) at Winnekenni castle and in the surrounding area I saw several cyclists riding around on MTBs hitting the trails.

    We also went to downtown Boston to see the aquarium and ran into every different type of cyclists. Fixed gear bike messengers, roadies, Fred's, MTBers, and everything in between. Truth be told, with as insane as it was driving, I'd be terrified to ride my bike in the road. There were a few nutballs who were just zipping in and out and cutting off cars like they didn't exist, but aside from that it seemed very sane.

    And then this afternoon we visited Newburyport, MA and Plum Island and everywhere we drove there was a very ride bike lane, and the island was teeming with cyclists.

    I guess the gist of this is that I'm jealous. Not necessarily of the high number of cyclists but rather the scenery. I love the ocean. I love being by the city (note, I said BY the city, I don't think I could handle living in the city - I visited the same friend a few years ago when she lived in Boston and I was impressed at her ability to fearlessly navigate the streets). And the bike friendly nature of the area is just astounding. So a big thumbs up to the powers that set the cycling in motion here. Tomorrow I'm headed back to Michigan, and hopefully I can bring some of the cyclist good will with me.

    Bums me out that it wasn't practical at all for me to bring my bike though. It would have been fun to stroll up to the wedding in full suit and tie on the bike, ready to do my reading for her wedding

  2. #2
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    I wish someone could pack some of that bike friendliness, or just plain usability, and ship it over here to Texas.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by mlts22 View Post
    I wish someone could pack some of that bike friendliness, or just plain usability, and ship it over here to Texas.
    Not even Austin?

  4. #4
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    I know how you feel. I'd really like to ride some of those canalside trails y'all have back east. Sounds ideal. bk

  5. #5
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    I'm back in Michigan now, and I came to another realization. The people out west are riding what most of us would consider "real" bikes. Aside from the 8 year old riding a really small bike that he'll likely outgrow within a year, everyone was on "name brand" bicycles. Not that it really means much just something more that I thought was interesting.

    On the ride from my parent's house back to my place, I saw one vehicle with bikes on the back, two little girls bikes Nothing like I saw in Massachusetts or New York.

  6. #6
    L T X B O M P F A N S R apricissimus's Avatar
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    It's interesting to hear an outsider's perspective. I've never really rode anywhere other than the greater Boston area, and I've always heard how bad it was to ride here, but I really have no point of comparison.

    FWIW, I don't think it's all that bad as long as you have your head about you.

    Cambridge and Brookline have copious bike lanes. Boston does not. I've come to feel that bike lanes are usually unnecessary.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by tekknoschtev View Post
    I'm back in Michigan now, and I came to another realization. The people out west are riding what most of us would consider "real" bikes.
    You meant back EAST, correct?

    I thought Lansing had good rep for bikes with the university there and such.

    I know the Michigan drivers are another story, (on the freeways) and I used to be one when growing up

    If you had time, I would suspect you could have located a bike rental location somewhere reasonable.

    I have been traveling with one of my bikes in truck bed, when out and about, store it in my hotel room on week stays. Great way to see small towns, and large town parks. Love the Chicago lakefront. Before I always visited bike shops, met the nicest people, and got good pointers for best home type cooking as well.

  8. #8
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    i guess the north shore is a little different from the south shore. in the SS its hard to find some solid roads to ride without hitting some traffic. blue hills is always a good spot but its hard to make more than 15 miles out of it

  9. #9
    Senior Member cod.peace's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tekknoschtev View Post
    The wedding was in Haverhill (which apparently is pronounced NOTHING like its spelled, best I heard was Haverill? I guess I'm just not used to the accent) at Winnekenni castle and in the surrounding area I saw several cyclists riding around on MTBs hitting the trails.
    Haev-rull (long 'a' vowel on 1st syllable) is pretty close, depending on what part of the state you're from when you say it. Bonus points if you can pronounce Woburn, Worceser, Leicester, Peabody, and Waltham correctly

  10. #10
    Keep on climbing
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    Quote Originally Posted by cod.peace View Post
    Haev-rull (long 'a' vowel on 1st syllable) is pretty close, depending on what part of the state you're from when you say it. Bonus points if you can pronounce Woburn, Worceser, Leicester, Peabody, and Waltham correctly
    If you pronounce pretty much any Massachusetts town the way it's spelled, you're probably pronouncing it incorrectly. Leominster is another one of my faves around here.

    Just remember -- there are the same number of "o"'s in "Boston" as there are "r"'s in "Harvard". None.

    "There is more to life than increasing its speed" -- Mahatma Gandhi

  11. #11
    OCD Moderator cb400bill's Avatar
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    Laterally stiff yet vertically compliant.

    Viscount Aerospace Pro Trek 770 Cannondale Synapse

  12. #12
    Senior Member
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    lived in Haevrull for one year....lived in Dovah (Dover), near Shearbune, for two....visited Wuster many times. Spent some happy times in Peebidy and Riveer How about them milk shakes, tonics, lemon phosphates, etc. ;-) My time on 418 Beacon St (near the Mass Ave Bridge) was probably one of the happiest times of my life. Loved Boston--still do and miss it.
    Last edited by homebody146; 07-27-08 at 11:32 AM.

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