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A week in and around Boston

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A week in and around Boston

Old 04-14-11, 06:20 AM
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UberIM
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A week in and around Boston

Hello:

I will be attending a conference at the Boston Fairmont Copley Plaza Hotel. I have family in Lexington and will be biking in every day from Lexington. Looks to me from maps.google.com that the easiest way to get from Lexington into Boston is via Mass. Ave all the way over the Mass Ave Bridge and then wending my way through Beacon Hill?
Alternatively, I could end up on Mt Auburn Street and take the Mem Drive bike path but again the most direct way after that is to take the Mass Ave Bridge.
Any streets, sections you suggest I avoid?
Thanks in advance
Alan
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Old 04-14-11, 06:26 AM
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rumrunn6
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this is an urban environment. have your battle gear ready.
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Old 04-14-11, 06:32 AM
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UberIM
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Originally Posted by rumrunn6 View Post
this is an urban environment. have your battle gear ready.
Hahahaha, It really isn't quite that bad, is it? I actually have biked around the Boston area a dozen or so years ago. Has it changed since then. I hope I still have my urban cycling wits about me. All in all, in those days, I found most autos respectful of bikes......Yes, I guess I am a little apprehensive but I love commuting by bike and by not staying in the hotel I will SAVE a ton of money..........
Which way would you go?
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Old 04-14-11, 06:47 AM
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here you go: http://www.minutemanbikeway.org/Medi...yBrochure2.pdf
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Old 04-14-11, 08:03 AM
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Originally Posted by gear View Post
Thanks!
I am also wondering about once I get into Cambridge........it does seem that the mass ave bridge is the most direct way?
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Old 04-14-11, 08:06 AM
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Take the minuteman trail. It starts in Bedford and ends at the Alewife station. Lexington is within the path. Once you hit Alewife, you can either keep pedaling into the city or hop on the Red line Train (MBTA). I think you can bring your bike on the red line. You can't bring them on the green lines.
Do a google search for alewife station. You should see the minuteman commuter bikeway right next to it...follow it up through lexington.
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Old 04-14-11, 08:12 AM
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Originally Posted by bluenote157 View Post
Take the minuteman trail. It starts in Bedford and ends at the Alewife station. Lexington is within the path. Once you hit Alewife, you can either keep pedaling into the city or hop on the Red line Train (MBTA). I think you can bring your bike on the red line. You can't bring them on the green lines.
Do a google search for alewife station. You should see the minuteman commuter bikeway right next to it...follow it up through lexington.
I was hoping to bike all the way to the hotel.
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Old 04-14-11, 08:30 AM
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Thats cool..then you can get off near that Alewife area that I mentioned and continue onto Mass Ave as you described. The minuteman trail will allow you to knock off 15 miles or so of the ride. The trail is pretty nice..with bike shops along the path. It crosses various town centers as well. There is one portion where you have to exit the trail and get on a major intersection and get back on the trail. That might actually be Lexington (which i think is your starting point anyway).
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Old 04-14-11, 08:41 AM
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Originally Posted by bluenote157 View Post
Thats cool..then you can get off near that Alewife area that I mentioned and continue onto Mass Ave as you described. The minuteman trail will allow you to knock off 15 miles or so of the ride. The trail is pretty nice..with bike shops along the path. It crosses various town centers as well. There is one portion where you have to exit the trail and get on a major intersection and get back on the trail. That might actually be Lexington (which i think is your starting point anyway).
Thanks again.

If you see some middle-aged guy on a green Fuji touring bike converted to a ss with grey saddle bags give a shout.........looking forward to the conference and a chance to ride around the Boston metro area.
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Old 04-14-11, 08:54 AM
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here ya go: http://www.mapmyride.com/routes/view/2511418

There are some great rides (non-commuting) out of Lexington that avoid the bikelane (and the various dog-walkers and kids on trikes) that you can check out on the Charles River Wheelmen's site: www.crw.org. You should also go and check out the new ride studio cafe while you are out there too: www.ridestudiocafe.com. They can give you the best advice on great rides out that way (and they host a few group rides too).
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Old 04-14-11, 12:34 PM
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Originally Posted by cmolway View Post
here ya go: http://www.mapmyride.com/routes/view/2511418

There are some great rides (non-commuting) out of Lexington that avoid the bikelane (and the various dog-walkers and kids on trikes) that you can check out on the Charles River Wheelmen's site: www.crw.org. You should also go and check out the new ride studio cafe while you are out there too: www.ridestudiocafe.com. They can give you the best advice on great rides out that way (and they host a few group rides too).
Thanks!
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Old 04-14-11, 03:05 PM
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Jim from Boston
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Originally Posted by UberIM View Post
Hello:I will be attending a conference at the Boston Fairmont Copley Plaza Hotel. I have family in Lexington and will be biking in every day from Lexington...

Any streets, sections you suggest I avoid?
Thanks in advance
Alan
Those routes suggested in above posts are pretty good, and any of my additional suggestions would be on regular roads, and you probably will be traveling during and in the direction of normal traffic flow. BTW, you cannot take a bike on the Red Line during peak commuter hours, i.e. inbound in the morning or outbound in the evening.

When I go to other cities for conferences, I too like to bicycle and usually rent a bike and do an early morning ride. What I would find problematic about traveling to the conference by bicycle is where to park the bike, and how to be presentable since usually people come to conferences if not just casual, at least "presentable." Your intended commute is about 10 miles at least, as I reckon. If you don't mind telling, how are you going to handle those logistics? Are you bringing your own bike?

Finally, just out of curiosity are you going to a medical conference? Harvard Medical School usually holds its conferences at the Copley Fairmont. I live about a mile away from there. Of all the cities I've gone to for conferences, other than the novelty of visiting a new city elsewhere, Boston is the best venue IMO.
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Old 04-14-11, 10:16 PM
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The minute man bike path is definitely the way to go in my book and you'd be joining a good number of bike commuters if you did so. As the weather clears and warms in the Boston area the path gets crowded with joggers and recreational cyclists but depending on the time of day it won't be so bad and it's a beautiful ride. You can then make your way through Cambridge and over the river to the bike path on the Boston side of the river, where you may run into me doing my daily commute into Boston.

I google mapped the bike route and it's actually not a bad route into Boston that it gave- a total of 12.8 miles.

I, too, take my bike with me to cities when I go out of town for work. I do tons of urban biking but I prefer the rides to be a bit more interesting than just a bunch of congested arterials in and out of the city. Riding the bike paths and more scenic routes within cities is often worth the extra time. But if you're short on time and want to blend with the Boston commuting traffic on Massachusetts Avenue and you're comfortable in urban traffic you'll find it quite manageable.
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Old 04-14-11, 11:20 PM
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I agree with Neal for the route. The scenic way is much nicer and less stressful.

I have ridden Mass ave on Friday evenings into Arlington Heights and back - and find Mass Ave in both Arlington and Cambridge to be quite rideable. I even find myself passing the same cars again and again from Arlington to Harvard Square. Once you're past Harvard Square, you have bike lanes until you cross the bridge into Boston.
City officials say that about 10% of all cycling accidents in Boston happen on Mass Ave - between the rough road surface, buses, double parked cars, and the narrow roadway width, it is a bit of a battleground. But, there lots of cyclists on it. Don't be afraid to take the lane.
BTW, about 150 cyclists packed a meeting this evening to get bike lanes on Mass Ave in Boston, from the bridge to Symphony Hall, hopefully, by the end of the year, we will have them painted.
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Old 04-15-11, 06:26 AM
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Originally Posted by Jim from Boston View Post
Those routes suggested in above posts are pretty good, and any of my additional suggestions would be on regular roads, and you probably will be traveling during and in the direction of normal traffic flow…
After I read the subsequent posts to mine, I thought of another easily described, pleasant route, that might be just a couple miles longer than through Arlington. From Lexington Center take Waltham St. south (it becomes Lyman St) into Waltham. Turn left (eastbound) onto Main Street (Route 20) and take that into Watertown Center. From Watertown Center you can get onto the Charles River Bike Path all the way into Boston, to within about one mile of Copley Place; that distance is about 6 miles. Both Waltham St and Route 20 are pretty wide roads, residential to light commercial. I only ride them on weekends, but I imagine they would be less heavily traveled and congested than Mass Ave on a weekday.

Originally Posted by Jim from Boston View Post
… If you don't mind telling, how are you going to handle those logistics? …
One other logistical question if you don't mind. I find that usually at conferences some of the best (fun) and most productive time is spent after the meeting, e.g. dinners, special seminars, etc, that may go quite late. Are those part of the program, and would you ride back to Lexington too at night? Again, just curious.
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Old 04-15-11, 09:12 AM
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Some of this is my regular commute. I don't like mass ave at all. Get on the Minuteman bike path toward boston. At the end follow around to the back side of Alewife station. Once under rt 2, take right, follow path on left side of road over rr tracks. Follow path to gas staton between the 2 rotaries and press cross button. Carefull of traffic and side driveways here. Left around Fresh pond and cross Huron to larchwood. RT onto pond st left onto brattle. Follow fresh pond sidewalk to Elliot landing bridge. Stay on right side of river to boston. You are able to cross under the road at Elliot bridge.
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Old 04-15-11, 02:13 PM
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Originally Posted by Leebo View Post
Some of this is my regular commute. I don't like mass ave at all. Get on the Minuteman bike path toward boston. At the end follow around to the back side of Alewife station. Once under rt 2, take right, follow path on left side of road over rr tracks. Follow path to gas staton between the 2 rotaries and press cross button. Carefull of traffic and side driveways here. Left around Fresh pond and cross Huron to larchwood. RT onto pond st left onto brattle. Follow fresh pond sidewalk to Elliot landing bridge. Stay on right side of river to boston. You are able to cross under the road at Elliot bridge.
Bingo! Well described. Good route.

And it's not that I don't "like" Mass Ave or can't handle the traffic. It's just that the route described here is more interesting.

As far as riding at night. If your bike has lights etc. and, again, you're a practiced urban rider you'll have no problem doing this ride at night. I do my commute at all hours of the day and night.
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Old 04-15-11, 05:53 PM
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When I lived in Somerville last year, I taught at a school in the Fens-
I would suggest the Minuteman trail to Alewife, then take take the bicycle route through Davis Square then start heading to Porter Sq (Summer St works great for this). Then take Oxford Ave down to Harvard, and skirt the backside to the river where you can cross over the John Weeks (foot)Bridge. Take the bike path past Boston University and shortly after their boathouse you can take the (footbridge) at Silber way over Storrow drive. Go up one block to Commonwealth, then up Commonwealth a couple blocks, jog over to Boylston and Bob's your uncle. You'll have to map it- I'm just going from memory here. However, it is pretty low traffic (except around BU) and a really nice ride along the Charles river.

Last edited by jtelford; 04-16-11 at 08:02 PM.
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Old 04-17-11, 11:46 AM
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Thank you all for your helpful tips.
Jim from B check your pm
Alan
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