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Singlespeed & Fixed Gear "I still feel that variable gears are only for people over forty-five. Isn't it better to triumph by the strength of your muscles than by the artifice of a derailer? We are getting soft...As for me, give me a fixed gear!"-- Henri Desgrange (31 January 1865 - 16 August 1940)

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Old 08-08-05, 12:23 PM   #1
herst
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Boston -- Bike Route Suggestions?

Hey Guys,

I'm pretty new to riding around in Boston (I've had my conversion for a little over a month now) and was hoping you knowledgable folks could give me some advice on good places to go. I've been doing the following route (or a variation thereof) every morning for about the last two weeks:

http://tinyurl.com/8zf72

A nice jaunt around downtown and cambridge. I'd like to round this out to about 20 miles and would love it if people had some suggestions. I'd prefer to not have to ride much on anything more congested than mass ave, if possible.

Also, would anyone else be interested in going for a morning ride any of these days, to show me some of the better spots? I'd be really really appreciative.

I usually leave my place in JP around 5:45 am.
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Old 08-08-05, 01:01 PM   #2
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oh man, you ride huntington? that's one of my most-hated boston streets. when i first started riding i made the mistake of trying to take it during rush-hour. i got so scared i stopped and walked my bike into the fens and took back-streets.
when going to JP i usually do brookline , then south huntington with 'the hill'.
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Old 08-08-05, 01:13 PM   #3
herst
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kathrot
oh man, you ride huntington? . . . when going to JP i usually do brookline , then south huntington with 'the hill'.
Hey, thanks for the suggestion. I'll try it, although I'm not a big fan of that kenmore square area, especially the part on comm before mass ave. To be honest, Huntington was just a reaction to my initially taking columbus/tremont, which is super congested. At 6 am Huntington is really not too bad, although it can be tricky to time the lights. Its funny, the whole south huntington 'hill' thing. I've been in JP for two weeks now and I don't even notice the thing anymore. There's just this part of the ride I go slower for some reason.

Last edited by herst; 08-08-05 at 01:21 PM.
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Old 08-08-05, 02:09 PM   #4
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I love Huntington, myself. Traffic flows pretty smoothly and yet it tends to be light enough that folks can get around you if they need without too much hassle. I take it twice a day most days. South Huntington kind of sucks because of the tracks and the descending/climbing of which I'm not a fan.

Mass Ave in North Cambridge all the way into Arlington and beyond is pretty flat and a nice spin. You can fill out mileage pretty easily that way.
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Old 08-08-05, 02:14 PM   #5
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Unfortunately, there's nothing very interesting to see up mass ave. Strip malls and starbucks, mostly. Is there an easy way of getting over to the bunker hill monument and back?

I've always wanted to check that out, but always get tripped up when I run into 93.
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Old 08-08-05, 02:33 PM   #6
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Ah... well you didn't say you were looking for urban scenic.

Sure, if you want to get to C-town, you can take the Gilmore (aka Prison Point) Bridge over from O'Brien (Route 28), but it sort of sucks. Lanes change as I recall and it's a little bit of a free-for-all. Instead punch through downtown and go past the Fleet Center on route 99 into Charlestown.

Watch for the holes in the deck when crossing the bridge. I hear they can do a number on your wheels.

If you come over on the Gilmore, take a right on Main and a left on Monument Ave. If you come across on Rte 99, take a right on Chelsea right after you get across the bridge, a left on Warren and then a right on Monument.
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Old 08-08-05, 02:40 PM   #7
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Huntington is actually one of the best parts of my commute! It's way better than route 9 which is the other major road on my commute. The only part of huntington that ever gets congested is that stretch right between Brigham Circle and South huntington.
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Old 08-08-05, 09:07 PM   #8
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I dunno something about memorial is a lot of fun for me. The whole section from BU bridge to Longfellow area is a great road to spin on even down towards harvard sq.
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Old 08-08-05, 09:43 PM   #9
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yeah, watch out for that N. Washington bridge. I think I put a bit of a wobble in my wheel from that. It's really cool to look down through the grating and see the water below though. If you wanted a really long ride, you could go over the N. Washington bridge after your downtown ride and keep going out into charlestown (past the monument maybe?) all the way up to cambridge st/washington/kirkland toward harvard sq. Just a thought.
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Old 08-08-05, 09:48 PM   #10
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I mentioned that because a few weeks ago on a Sunday night ride I completely flattened (ie, had to rebuild with a new rim) my rear and put a nice hop in the front. Look sharp.

Good (?) to know I'm not the only one.
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Old 08-09-05, 07:57 AM   #11
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Hey guys, thanks for all the suggestions! I didn't get these until this morning (still haven't set up internet in my new place), but tomorrow morning I'll definitely try some out.

I hit a car today on mass ave near MIT, well actually just grazed it. It was definitely me hitting the car and not the car hitting me, although both of us were moving. I was behind a big old bus, which stopped near MIT's main building. There was construction on the right so I swung around to pass on the left. Of course I didn't realize that there was also construction on the opposite side of the road and oncoming cars had to cross the yellow line. So right as I pulled out from behind the bus I saw a car coming straight for me. Somehow I was able to pop out of my pedals, throw down my brakes and just lightly touch the guy's side before falling. Total rookie error, and no harm done (didn't even scratch the bike), but there was a moment I felt like a real idiot.

I'm so thankful I run brakes though, because I'm way too much of a newb to have stopped my bike without them. Anyway, here's to learning, and at least it isn't as embarrassing as those first few days with clipless pedals where I'd just all the sudden fall down while waiting at a red light.
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