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  1. #1
    Senior Member knoregs's Avatar
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    Help with Boston route please

    next summer I'll be spending time in Portland Maine and being a baseball fan, I plan on riding south to Boston to attend a few games at Fenway... I've been to Fenway and Boston many times but never by bike... the last twenty or so miles looks like it could get pretty hairy... can any experienced Boston area cyclists recommend a route to get me to the park??? also, where do I park my rig???

    this is not a tour so to speak.... just an afternoon ride, catch the game and either ride back at night or get a room and ride back to Portland the next afternoon... my choice to post here in the touring forum just seemed the most logical...

    ~kn

  2. #2
    Knox Gardner
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    When you get to Portland, ME get to a bike store and hope they carry the Rubel Maps.

    http://www.bikemaps.com/. You'd likely be fine with just the Western MA one, but might want the Boston city one as well as it can be tricky coming into town.

    It is a sure thing to get you into the city without much hassle. Well, not really, becuase Boston drivers are reknowned vicious thugs, but these maps make biking in MA just a great fun time.

    Keep in mind is that there is the Down Eastern train from Portland to Boston (will take your bike for a fee) as well as the Concord (?) bus service (who will also take your bike on space available basis.

    And finally, the trusty MBTA at www.mbta.com, will take your bike but only on the reverse commute and not during times when they excpet a big flood of folks coming into the city (I think the Fenway games may limit your ability to bring your bike on some lines). The closest station to Maine is the one at Newburyport about 50 miles out of the city (with a supposedly nice camping ground close by, though I have never stayed there).

    Good luck.

    Knox Gardner
    www.bikenerd.blogspot.com

  3. #3
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    Well, you can always stay in Portland and go see the Sea Dogs

    Otherwise, Portland to Boston is a long way, as recommended above doing half train / half bike is reasonable. You could ride to Portsmouth or Newburyport and take a train or bus to Boston.
    Southern Maine coast has a well marked trail called East Coast Greenway (mostly regular back-roads), or you can use Rte1/Rte1A or a mix. In Mass, you will mostly travel via Rte150.

  4. #4
    Senior Member capejohn's Avatar
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    While your in the area you could also take in a Revs game or two. Go to the Revolution supporters club site. Once in Boston there will be no problem getting a ride to Gillette.
    Bike riding New England gentleman.

  5. #5
    Senior Member knoregs's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cycliste
    Well, you can always stay in Portland and go see the Sea Dogs

    Otherwise, Portland to Boston is a long way, as recommended above doing half train / half bike is reasonable. You could ride to Portsmouth or Newburyport and take a train or bus to Boston.
    Southern Maine coast has a well marked trail called East Coast Greenway (mostly regular back-roads), or you can use Rte1/Rte1A or a mix. In Mass, you will mostly travel via Rte150.
    yeah, I'll probably catch about 50 or so SeaDogs games...

    Portland to Boston is about 110 miles (about a six hour ride) so I'd like to go entirely by bike... I'll check into train/bus to get me into/out of city if I can't ride safely all the way to the park... a likely scenario might be to get a hotel room maybe 20 - 30 north of Boston and then take bus/train into city... that way my bike is secure in hotel room, or so I hope... any thoughts on reasonable hotels in the 20 -30 mile range???

  6. #6
    Senior Member knoregs's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by knoxg
    When you get to Portland, ME get to a bike store and hope they carry the Rubel Maps.

    http://www.bikemaps.com/. You'd likely be fine with just the Western MA one, but might want the Boston city one as well as it can be tricky coming into town.
    the Boston city map seems to have been last updated in 1999... seems a bit out of date... I'll drop 'em an email

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    From the west Boston is easy to bike into. It's way out of the way coming from the north but if you're set on biking the whole way in, consider Route 20. I have ridden it many times and it's a decent bike route. Plus it turns into Commonwealth Ave in the city which runs right into Kenmore Square - home of Fenway Park so you don't even need a map.

    Coming through the city from the north? There's always some barrier like a really nasty bridge or a tunnel. I don't know.

    I used to commute in Boston and would any day rather ride the road with Boston drivers than ride the Esplanade with Boston pedestrians - the drivers at least pay attention.

  8. #8
    Senior Member knoregs's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by vadopazzo
    From the west Boston is easy to bike into. It's way out of the way coming from the north but if you're set on biking the whole way in, consider Route 20. I have ridden it many times and it's a decent bike route. Plus it turns into Commonwealth Ave in the city which runs right into Kenmore Square - home of Fenway Park so you don't even need a map.
    cool... I was kinda thinkin' that coming in from the west might be the best bet... once I get to rt 20 the ride into the park looks pretty straight forward... looks like it will only add about 10 miles bringing the round trip to 240 miles... certainly doable since I'll be riding from my place in Maine to my home in Vermont every other week... each way is 215 and when you factor in the elevations, makes it a tougher ride...

    still curious about what to do with my bike during the game... simply locking it to a rack is not an option... I guess I'll call the Fenway Park main office next spring and see if there is anything they can do for me... I don't expect much... probably still have to go the hotel route.

  9. #9
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    Coming into Boston from the direct north can be problematic due to bridges and tunnels but is doable. The drawback is it's pretty congested suburban/urban riding to be doing at the end of a 110 mile ride when you're not quite sure where your next turn is- so it involves a lot of stop and go map reading when you'd probably prefer to be hunkering down and getting into town for a shower and a beer before the Sox game.

    I agree with those who suggest the Rubel maps- though it is the Eastern Massachusetts and North Shore Rubel maps that you'll want to use not the Western. I would veer slightly South West on your route down from Portland (unfortunately, the summer breeze will more than likely be in your face). Look to come down through Newburyport, through Salem then start to veer west into Wakefield, Winchester. Rather than going as far south as route 20, you could aim to pick up the Minuteman Bike path in Lexington or take the Mystic Lakes Parkway from Winchester down into Arlington picking up the tail end of the M.man BP and come in due east from that angle eventually cutting through Arlington, into Cambridge and pick up the MDC/Paul Dudley White bike path on the Boston (Storrow Drive side) of the Charles River. Ask any cyclist on the path which of the ridable foot bridges over Storrow Drive will drop you off right in Kenmore Square, less than 1/2 mile from Fenway Park. There is a Days Inn on Soldier's Field Road, about a 3 mile bike ride west via the bike path from Fenway that is relatively inexpensive. There are some places to lock your bike around Fenway but if it's a good machine you'll want to be selective. There are some parking garages nearby for Medical Centers that may have free bike parking in them. Or you could lock it to the substantial bike rack at the R.E.I store less than a half mile walk from Fenway, it is an attended lot that would be fine if the game is over before 9:30p.

    After the game the Fenway area is mobbed with often rowdy foot traffic. It might be easier to walk your bike (or ride it at a small's pace) back to the bike path, which if it's a night game is still pretty safe at night- though you'll want to have lights. The streets around Kenmore Square and Fenway are confusing and congested with bar and game patrons and if you're unfamiliar with the shortcuts and backways out of there you'll be safer on the bike path to exit the area. You can also take your bike on the "T" but after a game the cars are crowded and it might be more trouble than it's worth.
    Last edited by buzzman; 12-10-05 at 10:31 PM.

  10. #10
    Senior Member knoregs's Avatar
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    Thanx Buzzman... precisely the kind of info I was hoping for... I'll grab a set of those maps and check into thay Days Inn... probably best to get a little sleep and return the following day versus riding home in the dark ... I'd have to carry two batteries to make the latter possible and I like to travel LITE!!!

    damn, all this planning ahead has got me anxious.... I want to go NOW...

    thanx again

  11. #11
    getting there.
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    You cannot take your bike on the Green line - the T line that services the Fenway and Kenmore Sq stops.
    Riding into the city will not be a problem if you map out your route and become familiar with it prior to the ride.

    As others suggested, lock your bike up at the REI at Landmark Center, just a 2-3 minute walk from the ballpark, and make sure you have lights for riding after dark.

  12. #12
    ajb
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    I agree with the Minuteman bike path if you are set on riding in all the way to the city.

    However, consider riding to Salem, MA, getting a hotel room and taking the commuter rail down to the game. After the game you can get the commuter rail back to Salem, get a good night's sleep and enjoy Salem a bit the next day before heading back to Maine.

  13. #13
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    The route through Winchester is pretty nice, and you only have to swing a little bit west. Either Rt. 38 south through Woburn/Winchester/Medford, or pick up the Mystic Valley Pkwy in Winchester center. (It's a little bit confusing, though.)

    Other alternatives: Rt. 28 south through Reading/Wakefield/Stoneham/Melrose/Malden (it's a nice road, and not TOO trafficky). Park the bike at Oak Grove and take the Orange Line in. (Also: you can bring your bike on the Orange Line, but not during peak hours.)

    Supposedly there's an OK coastal route (1A through Salem, Lynn, Swampscott, etc.) but you'll have to swing inland, unless you want a scenic tour of Logan Airport. Best to do that somewhere north of Everett (maybe around Saugus); most of Malden isn't very bike friendly, unless you're coming in from the north. (Don't forget to visit the Saugus Iron Works while you're there.)

    My geography of the north shore is a little shaky; check the Rubel maps for more info.

    I take the Minuteman all the time. It's a very nice ride, and a good way to shoot into the city (or at least into Cambridge) from the west. It may be more than you need to do, though.

    Rt. 20 sucks.

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