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Old 05-03-11, 11:45 AM   #1
hostdp6
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New to Boston - Need Some Rides

Hi Guys, I'm pretty new to Boston and need some routes now that the sun is starting to come out. I'm looking for relatively uncrowded roads in the Boston area (if such a thing exists) and rides that are 30-60 miles, but please post anything you like as my 3A route to Nantasket is getting a little repetitive.

As a side note, I'm looking for a person or two to ride with so if you're in Boston/Southie/Dorchester/Quincy/Milton let me know. //DH
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Old 05-03-11, 04:51 PM   #2
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I used to live in South Boston (recently moved to Newton, which has much better access to riding). But if you're right in Boston I'd recommend heading out to the Newton/Needham/Dover area. Pretty good quiet roads. What part of Boston are you in specifically? I can give you more specific routes if you'd like. I had a few different ways to get from Southie to quieter roads.
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Old 05-03-11, 06:29 PM   #3
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I used to live in South Boston (recently moved to Newton, which has much better access to riding). But if you're right in Boston I'd recommend heading out to the Newton/Needham/Dover area. Pretty good quiet roads. What part of Boston are you in specifically? I can give you more specific routes if you'd like. I had a few different ways to get from Southie to quieter roads.
I am indeed in Southie and would love to know how to get out of here on a bike (its a pain to load up the jeep when you park several blocks away).
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Old 05-03-11, 07:43 PM   #4
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I am indeed in Southie and would love to know how to get out of here on a bike (its a pain to load up the jeep when you park several blocks away).
I can feel your pain.

One good option to get out to the Newton area is to take Columbia Road through Dorchester and then cut through Franklin Park. You can jump on the Arborway and then take Centre Street into West Roxbury and Newton.

This link shows a route from Southie into one of the main roads in Newton: http://bit.ly/mfOL6Z

I will advise that portion of Columbia Road is not the safest part of the city. But I've never had any problems during the day. I might not ride that way late at night however.

Another option for good riding is to take Mass Ave all the way out into Cambridge, Arlington and beyond (to Lexington, Concord, etc).
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Old 05-04-11, 07:12 AM   #5
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I can feel your pain.

One good option to get out to the Newton area is to take Columbia Road through Dorchester and then cut through Franklin Park. You can jump on the Arborway and then take Centre Street into West Roxbury and Newton.

This link shows a route from Southie into one of the main roads in Newton: http://bit.ly/mfOL6Z

I will advise that portion of Columbia Road is not the safest part of the city. But I've never had any problems during the day. I might not ride that way late at night however.

Another option for good riding is to take Mass Ave all the way out into Cambridge, Arlington and beyond (to Lexington, Concord, etc).
Thanks! I'll give it a try this week.
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Old 05-04-11, 07:42 AM   #6
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head west, or north west. hit mass ave through Cambridge out to Arlington and Lexington toward Concord. bang a left on 2A and it gets historic. there's a bike trail in Lexington too. I live in Maynard and come into town to Fenway and Castle Island going out 117 sometimes.
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Old 05-05-11, 06:07 PM   #7
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You can find dozens of rides in the greater Boston area at http://cyclingnewengland.com , and there are links to RideWithGPS maps for about 200 Massachusetts rides on the interactive cycling map at http://ridemap.info . The most comprehensive source is Bike New England, where you can get online access to over 2000 cue sheets and maps from Bike New England tours and local cycling clubs for a one time price of $15.
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Old 05-10-11, 05:00 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by hostdp6 View Post
Hi Guys, I'm pretty new to Boston and need some routes now that the sun is starting to come out. I'm looking for relatively uncrowded roads in the Boston area (if such a thing exists) and rides that are 30-60 miles, but please post anything you like as my 3A route to Nantasket is getting a little repetitive.

As a side note, I'm looking for a person or two to ride with so if you're in Boston/Southie/Dorchester/Quincy/Milton let me know. //DH
Come to the Blue Hills! Check out Blue Hill Cycling. Check out the CRW webpage.
My friend rides from Quincy to Foxboro pretty regularly. Some guys from Quincy ride with me on the CRW West Bridgewater Ride on Thursday nights.

Bill
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Old 05-10-11, 05:01 AM   #9
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Thanks! I'll give it a try this week.
Never bike the JWay or the Arborway. It is dangerous and much of the
Police frown upon this.

Bill
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Old 05-22-11, 01:43 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by hostdp6 View Post
Hi Guys, I'm pretty new to Boston and need some routes now that the sun is starting to come out. I'm looking for relatively uncrowded roads in the Boston area (if such a thing exists) and rides that are 30-60 miles, but please post anything you like as my 3A route to Nantasket is getting a little repetitive.

As a side note, I'm looking for a person or two to ride with so if you're in Boston/Southie/Dorchester/Quincy/Milton let me know. //DH
Hi hdp6,

I haven’t looked at this Forum in quite a while, and I just saw this thread. About two years ago I responded to a similar thread and wrote up a little compendium about road cycling in Boston. My favorite map is the metropolitan Boston map from the AAA. It covers a very wide swath of the metropolitan area yet is detailed enough to choose very nice secondary roads. When I need a particularly detailed view, I consult a road atlas mapping all the streets of the metropolitan area. I'm not particularly interested in riding MUPS.

My goals on training rides are specific distances, and the crazy-quilt roads here make programs like MapMyRide difficult to plot a distance. Rather, I have drawn concentric hash marks on the map for radially-oriented distances of 10, 20, 30, 40 miles from my home, so I can plot a loop of a specified distance.

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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 probably 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.

Last edited by Jim from Boston; 05-22-11 at 04:19 PM.
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Old 05-27-11, 10:17 AM   #11
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The minuteman trail is good. It only crosses the street in a few places and is mostly flat. It stretches 12 or so miles from Cambridge to Bedford. Its a good ride, but it can get a bit crowded on the weekends, but its usually manageable.

When I'm up for a bigger challenge, once the minuteman ends there is a loop you can do that takes you around Walden pond in concord, concord center, and through the hills of waltham and back to boston. Quite the scenic ride and the hills are fun to fly down

See:
http://www.craigslist.org/about/best/bos/70245362.html
For a take on the users of the minuteman
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Old 06-12-11, 01:00 PM   #12
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The Bedford end of the Minuteman Trail is the jumping-off point for quite a few good rides in Carlisle, Concord, Acton, Lincoln, and beyond. One nice one is to cross the Concord River into Carlisle on 225, make an immediate left after the bridge onto Skelton Street, then make the next left onto River Road. Stay with this as it becomes Monument Street in Concord, and take it as far as the North Bridge; there's a little parking lot that's a good turn-around point, as well as well-maintained public restrooms... and, of course, there's North Bridge itself, a national historic site. The real payoff here is the ride on River Road and Monument Street, a hilly, leafy route past farms and conservation land, sharing the road with drivers who expect to see bicycles; the hills provide a pleasant work-out after the relatively easy grades of the Minuteman, and it's fun to ride the same hills in reverse: what was fast before becomes slow, and vice versa. If you turn around at North Bridge, this gives you a 14-mile loop from Depot Park (the Bedford terminus of the Minuteman Trail).
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Old 06-22-11, 02:59 PM   #13
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Like someone mentioned a while back, Blue Hills is fantastic. Those forest roads are pretty quiet, but you have to be careful because the cars that do drive thru there can be less than biker friendly. It's a pretty good hill workout too. If your looking for a trip south, hit up the cape. The Cape is crowded, but has a lot of scenic riding.
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