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Thread: Boston

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    Boston

    I recently moved from NYC to the Boston area, and I am wondering whether there's a local equivalent to the GWB / 9W / Nyack ride. Any good routes, maybe 30 - 50 miles round trip, that start more or less in town (Boston / Cambridge / Somerville) and then head west on well-paved roads with some rolling hills and nice wide shoulders?

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    Senior Member rumrunn6's Avatar
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    LOL sounds like a dream ride to me. I'm from NY (Bronx & Yonkers) Welcome to the little city. Boston is a "hub with many roads that go straight away in all directions. I wonder if you might like Route 3A south. It may be a pain to get to but south of Boston it's gets pretty and rural. Route 2 is nasty you don't want that. Route 1 north is the same. Way north of Boston is a nice road called Route 1A and that might be fun but you'd have to bring your bike up there with your car. The "north shore" of metro Boston like near Ipswich is wicked beautiful. I think that Plum Island is a nice stretch but it's not 50 miles. You don't want to ride Route 20 either - too industrial. I'm partial to Route 117 west / east but there is no shoulder, but it's very nice on a Sunday morning. It also runs past where I live now so it's convenient.

    If you have access to a car, Cape Cod is very nice and especially in the off season. The Cape Cod Rail Trail is a decent ride I've done and you can add miles to it. I got 65 miles RT once, and others have hit Route 6A all the way to Provincetown which is a fun destination. The trail starts in South Dennis I believe.

    Happy hunting!
    Last edited by rumrunn6; 10-30-08 at 03:40 PM.
    cycling is like baseball ~ it doesn't take much to make it interesting

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    Senior Member bluenote157's Avatar
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    I find that in the concord,bedford, burlington, chelmsford area is quite nice for open roads with minimal traffic and rolling hills.

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    I suggest you check out some of the clubs on the link below.
    The link is for Belmont Wheelworks. A premier shop in the area.
    http://wheelworks.com/page.cfm?pageID=313
    Hope it is helpful.

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    Senior Member rumrunn6's Avatar
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    Oh yeah - bluenote - I forgot about Route 62. Someone once told me that was a nice road for motorcycles - should be good for bicycling too. Sunday mornings are quite. I might just try that because it runs through where I live. There is nearby public parking along Route 2A in Lexington & Lincoln from the National park Service - part of the Minuteman system I think.
    cycling is like baseball ~ it doesn't take much to make it interesting

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    Senior Member Jim from Boston's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rokovoko View Post
    I recently moved from NYC to the Boston area, and I am wondering whether there's a local equivalent to the GWB / 9W / Nyack ride. Any good routes, maybe 30 - 50 miles round trip, that start more or less in town (Boston / Cambridge / Somerville) and then head west on well-paved roads with some rolling hills and nice wide shoulders?
    I live in Kenmore Square and commute year round to Norwood. I have no idea what the GWB/9W/Nyack ride is. IMO, however, the best biking map of the metropolitan Boston area for rides of up to 75-100 miles (roundtrips) is the AAA road map. Furthermore, outside of rush hour, you can take most subway lines and the commuter rail to get out of town into really nice areas. I do most of my long distance rides on early morning weekends, and almost any route is good at that time. Some of my favorite westbound streets to get out of town are Trapelo Road, Belmont, Concord, Rte 20, Mass Ave Beacon, Comm Ave, just to name a few.

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    Senior Member rumrunn6's Avatar
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    GWB = George Washington Bridge, 9W or old 9W is a nice rural road - and early thorough fare, with old forts George Washington used. The general area is near West Point I think. Nyack is also on the west side of the Hudson River at the west end of the Tappan Zee Bridge kinda. So that must be a pretty ride out of Manhattan and into the country.
    cycling is like baseball ~ it doesn't take much to make it interesting

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    Senior Member Jim from Boston's Avatar
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    Hi rumrunn6,

    Thanks for your reply about GWB/9W/Nyack; sounds like a nice ride. Since I've only gone to NYC by car and train, I'd love to explore the suburbs by bike.

    BTW, earlier in that post, you wrote:

    Quote Originally Posted by rumrunn6 View Post
    Oh yeah - bluenote - I forgot about Route 62. Someone once told me that was a nice road for motorcycles - should be good for bicycling too. Sunday mornings are quite. I might just try that because it runs through where I live. There is nearby public parking along Route 2A in Lexington & Lincoln from the National park Service - part of the Minuteman system I think.
    In a post earlier this week to a thread about riding to Durham, NH, I wrote:

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim from Boston View Post
    This summer I did various segments of Rte 62, from Maynard to Danvers and I thought it was a great cycling road. In about three decades of riding around Metro Boston, I don't recall riding it before, but most of my cycling is to the south and west, in areas likely well known to Sherbornpeddler. It was nice to find new locales.
    Jim

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    Senior Member rumrunn6's Avatar
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    Good stuff
    cycling is like baseball ~ it doesn't take much to make it interesting

  10. #10
    50000 Guatts of power 127.0.0.1's Avatar
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    start in Boston, go to Davis SQ in Somerville

    ride up the Minuteman rail trail to Bedford. 12 miles bike path

    from there navigate out to Concord, then Acton, then Littleton and Harvard area (town of, not the skool)
    there are nice paved hills and apple orchards all over the place

    out and back to harvard from beantown will be 70mi average, you can loop
    some hills together. maybe make arlington hills part of the route

    it's the best


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    First off pick up a copy of the Eastern Mass Rubel bike maps. You could also pick up a copy of Short Bike Rides in Massachusetts.

    Destinations for local cyclists tend to go west out of Boston towards Weston, Concord and beyond.

    You could check in at Belmont Wheelworks. Most of the loops have been well established by John Allis, a former Olympian (late 1960's). Loops like the "Concord Loop", the "Harvard Loop" (not the university but the town), the "Jaffrey turnaround", the "Wachusetts Loop" all have their "official" start in Belmont and head out from there. You can make your own version of these loops using the Rubel Bike maps but you'll see that they are pretty obvious.

    To get to Belmont from downtown Boston you could take the bike path to Watertown Square and snake your way over to Trapelo Road and head out that way. You'll run into plenty of roadies year round (especially on the weekends in good weather) on those roads and you'll learn the loops in no time.

    Have fun and see you out there!

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    I grew up on Boston's North Shore and live in NYC now, so I've experienced riding in both places. There isn't a 9W equivalent per se - a lot of the great places in the metro area fall into "you can't get there from here" territory from Boston unless you take the train out there or drive. This is just the way the roads are designed up there... there are many high speed arterials and pseudo-highways like Route 1 and Route 9 but few nice roads with wide shoulders like 9W has close to Boston.

    As was said in previous replies, most riders head northwest, toward Concord. The riding out in that area is fantastic and beautiful. The Minuteman Bikeway will get you there but it does get pretty crowded much of the year. Overall, It just takes longer to get out to the good riding than it does in NYC. The North Shore has excellent riding once you get up past Beverly and into Hamilton, Wenham, and Ipswich but like I said, you'll need to drive or take the train up there.

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    Senior Member sherbornpeddler's Avatar
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    I live outside but I sometimes take the train out to places like Ayer. Weekend, non commuter times and the train is cool.
    Life is like riding a bicycle. In order to keep your balance, you must keep moving. ~Albert Einstein

  14. #14
    Slow Moving Vehicle Jean Beetham Smith's Avatar
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    Help grow the future of cycling in the world. Volunteer at your local "earn-a-bike" program. In the Boston area http://www.bikesnotbombs.org/about

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    Thanks for the responses. I ended up taking Memorial Drive / Route 3 out of Cambridge on Saturday morning, connecting to Route 20 heading west, then taking local roads through Lincoln and Concord (Totten Pond Road, Winter Street, Trapelo Road, etc.) out past Walden Pond. I rode through the center of Concord, then back to Bedford where I hooked up with the Minuteman. It ended up being about 37 miles -- not bad once I got onto local roads past Waltham, but the route to get me there wasn't great. The Minuteman was fine coming back (presumably b/c it was early in the day and late in the season -- I assume it'd be packed on a Sunday afternoon in June).

    In NYC, the bike path that runs up the west side of Manhattan connects with the George Washington Bridge, which heads west over the Hudson River and leads to Route 9W. 9W runs north/south, parallel to the River. One can take 9W north toward Piermont, Nyack, and beyond. It's a surprisingly great ride given how close it is to the City, and it's really nice to not have to drive to the start.

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    Senior Member sherbornpeddler's Avatar
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    Totten Pond and Winter are tough. I take Rt. 16 Watertown. Back roads out of West Newton to Weston are better. Rubel's maps.
    Life is like riding a bicycle. In order to keep your balance, you must keep moving. ~Albert Einstein

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