Go Back  Bike Forums > Community Connections > Regional Discussions > Northeast
Reload this Page >

Cycling in area north of Boston and a trip into the city

Notices
Northeast Connecticut | Maine | Massachusetts | New Hampshire | New Jersey | New York |Rhode Island | Vermont |

Cycling in area north of Boston and a trip into the city

Old 07-07-10, 12:24 PM
  #1  
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Posts: 75
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Cycling in area north of Boston and a trip into the city

We would like to vacation in a suburban area of Boston , do a day trip in on our bikes to the city and then perhaps stay in an area north of Boston by the ocean and do some cycling inland.

Is suggestions on areas you like to bike in around Boston or north of the suburbs.
tastest is offline  
Old 07-08-10, 12:53 PM
  #2  
Photographer
 
ScottRyder's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: The other Cape, Cape Ann
Posts: 3,116
Mentioned: 27 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 105 Post(s)
Liked 98 Times in 53 Posts
Originally Posted by tastest
We would like to vacation in a suburban area of Boston , do a day trip in on our bikes to the city and then perhaps stay in an area north of Boston by the ocean and do some cycling inland.

Is suggestions on areas you like to bike in around Boston or north of the suburbs.
Anywhere on the North Shore of Boston is great for cycling .. especially the Cape Ann area. Commuter rail that runs up to Gloucester/Rockport let's you take your bikes onboard during non peak hours. Same with the Newburyport/Ipswich line. Good cycling, great scenery.

Scott
__________________
ClassicFuji.posthaven.com.archive

IG @scottryder.surf.cycle
IG @scottryder.fine.art
























ScottRyder is offline  
Old 07-08-10, 02:06 PM
  #3  
Senior Member
 
Jim from Boston's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 7,384
Mentioned: 49 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 800 Post(s)
Liked 218 Times in 171 Posts
Originally Posted by Scottryder
Anywhere on the North Shore of Boston is great for cycling .. especially the Cape Ann area. Commuter rail that runs up to Gloucester/Rockport let's you take your bikes onboard during non peak hours. Same with the Newburyport/Ipswich line. Good cycling, great scenery.
100+. Inland towards Topsfield, Ipswich, Hamilton and Wenham are also nice. Our family summered in Rockport for a few years and I enjoyed exploring that area, including rides to or from Boston, though south of Swampscott was always less pleasant, unless done on an early weekend morning.

I live centrally in the metro Boston area, in Kenmore Square, so I have cycled in all directions in the Boston area. FYA, I once posted a personal compendium of road cycling in the Boston area:

Originally Posted by Jim from Boston
...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...

...Feel free to PM me with other questions, and I look forward to comments from other area riders and future posts from you.
Jim from Boston is offline  
Old 07-08-10, 03:21 PM
  #4  
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Posts: 75
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Thank you for these suggestions and information.I am going to pick a few towns and see if I can find one hotel to use as a base for the suggested rides.
It definitely sounds like a pretty area, based on the descriptions you sent.
tastest is offline  
Old 07-08-10, 05:00 PM
  #5  
Senior Member
 
Jim from Boston's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 7,384
Mentioned: 49 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 800 Post(s)
Liked 218 Times in 171 Posts
Originally Posted by tastest
Thank you for these suggestions and information.I am going to pick a few towns and see if I can find one hotel to use as a base for the suggested rides.
It definitely sounds like a pretty area, based on the descriptions you sent.
BTW, are you from around here and/or how familar with the area? Just curious. Also let us know how the trip goes. I often respond to riding questions but never find out if my suggestions are taken and/or how well they represented my descriptions.

Once a subscriber told a Forum he was planning to assemble with a few far-flung buddies at a central place to ride for a week or more. He got many glowing suggestions from all over the country, but never mentioned their final decision, even after I specifically requested it in a PM.
Jim from Boston is offline  
Old 07-09-10, 02:14 PM
  #6  
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Posts: 75
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I am in Canada so not familar with area at all- closest I have been to it is Portsmouth, NH. I will let you know where we end up and how it went.
tastest is offline  
Old 07-10-10, 03:40 AM
  #7  
Senior Member
 
Jim from Boston's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 7,384
Mentioned: 49 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 800 Post(s)
Liked 218 Times in 171 Posts
Originally Posted by tastest
I am in Canada so not familar with area at all- closest I have been to it is Portsmouth, NH. I will let you know where we end up and how it went.
Thanks for the reply. My wife and I are originally from Detroit and grew up exposed to Canadian culture, mainly TV. We've cycle toured in Ontario, Quebec, Nova Scotia and PEI.
Jim from Boston is offline  
Old 07-10-10, 07:11 AM
  #8  
Photographer
 
ScottRyder's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: The other Cape, Cape Ann
Posts: 3,116
Mentioned: 27 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 105 Post(s)
Liked 98 Times in 53 Posts
Originally Posted by tastest
I am in Canada so not familar with area at all- closest I have been to it is Portsmouth, NH. I will let you know where we end up and how it went.
Portsmouth has some fine beer ...


Scott
__________________
ClassicFuji.posthaven.com.archive

IG @scottryder.surf.cycle
IG @scottryder.fine.art
























ScottRyder is offline  
Old 07-13-10, 07:35 PM
  #9  
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Posts: 75
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
A few more questions for the forum:

1) Danvers looks like it would be a good jump off point re hotels etc for several rides. Any opinions on this area or things to avoid? There are alot of B&B's around but we are more hotel people.

2) Can you easily connect from the Minute Man trail to the Charles River trail? We thought we could go from Beford to Cambridge then into Boston on our bikes.
tastest is offline  
Old 07-14-10, 10:12 PM
  #10  
Senior Member
 
Jim from Boston's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 7,384
Mentioned: 49 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 800 Post(s)
Liked 218 Times in 171 Posts
Originally Posted by tastest
A few more questions for the forum:

1) Danvers looks like it would be a good jump off point re hotels etc for several rides. Any opinions on this area or things to avoid? There are alot of B&B's around but we are more hotel people.
Iím a Hotel / motel guy too. Danvers and the adjacent town of Beverly are the gateway towns to great cycling on the North Shore. I seem always to get lost as I go through Danvers from Boston to the North Shore, but maybe if you start there, youíll have better luck. I donít know about hotels specifically, but the Rte 128 beltway should have some in the vicinity. From Danvers I would suggest going to Beverly and getting on the oceanside Route 127 up to Rockport and circling around Cape Ann. Another nice route is leave Danvers on Rte 1A and make your way through Wenham, Hamilton to Essex and on to Gloucester and Cape Ann. Rather than oceanside riding, this is exurban, shady (as I recall) riding. Of note in Essex is Woodmanís, where the fried clam was invented. Also in Essex is the Essex River tours, a serene boat excursion out to the Essex Bay and the Ocean. I had previously posted to this thread:

Originally Posted by Jim from Boston
100+. Inland towards Topsfield, Ipswich, Hamilton and Wenham are also niceÖ.
A nice ride from Danvers might a loop out Rte 127 to and around Cape Ann, and back inland through Essex, Hamilton and Wenham, or vice versa. FWIW.

Originally Posted by tastest
2) Can you easily connect from the Minute Man trail to the Charles River trail? We thought we could go from Beford to Cambridge then into Boston on our bikes.
If you check out Mapquest or such, the Minuteman Bikepath ends in Arlington Center at the intersection of Mass Ave and Rte 3. You could take Mass Ave directly into Harvard Square, about 3, maybe 4 miles away. You would then pick up the Charles River Bikepath outside Harvard Square. From there, the path then extends about 4-5 miles westward to Watertown, and about 5-6 miles eastward to Boston (rough estimates). I donít know how comfortable you are with city riding. Mass Ave is commercial, though Cambridge is bike-friendly, but the cops are enforcers of traffic laws, so I am told.

Another alternative that is more residential is to cross Mass Ave and take Route 60 (Pleasant St.) into Belmont Center. There is a little jog to the intersection of Concord and Common. Concord goes into Harvard Square, and Common ends at Mt Auburn Street, a few blocks from Watertown Center, near the western end of the Charles River Path, if you were so inclined to ride the entire length. There is a significant hill on Common, with a pretty steep descent towards Mt Auburn St (for the Boston area).

Iím glad to answer any questions; replying brings up very pleasant memories of previous rides.
Jim from Boston is offline  
Old 08-04-10, 08:17 AM
  #11  
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Posts: 75
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
We were able to do 4 rides in the 5 days we stayed in Gloucester. We decided on Gloucester as I thought, why drive 10 hours to the coast if you cant be on the ocean.

1) Inland to Essex, Ipswich, Wenham and back via Beverly ( 133 and 127), easily the nicest ride as 133 had super wide shoulders and great scenery, lots of places to grab a drink etc. This would be a great ride for anyone.
Did this on the Sunday as we expected Cape to be busier.

2) Ride inland to Cape Ann. Here, we initially made a mistake in Gloucester and took 127 ( instead of 127A) so it was crazy busy Monday morning. Did not enjoy that ride until we hit the quieter road thats skirted the coast, along Rockport etc. Far too many work trucks whizzing along but it was our mistake.

3) Shorter ride om 127 A was great. Still would warn cyclists that the shoulder is narrow or non existent. I was waving cars away all the time to keep safe.

4) Last ride was down 127 to Salem and back to Gloucester. We enjoyed this road and the small towns on it and views of the ocean.

All in all, we had a great trip as we combined the cycling with other activities. Thanks again for all the suggested routes. Very pretty country you have out there.
tastest is offline  
Old 08-04-10, 08:42 PM
  #12  
Senior Member
 
Jim from Boston's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 7,384
Mentioned: 49 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 800 Post(s)
Liked 218 Times in 171 Posts
Originally Posted by Jim from Boston
...let us know how the trip goes. I often respond to riding questions but never find out if my suggestions are taken and/or how well they represented my descriptions....

Originally Posted by tastest
We were able to do 4 rides in the 5 days we stayed in Gloucester. We decided on Gloucester as I thought, why drive 10 hours to the coast if you cant be on the ocean...

...All in all, we had a great trip as we combined the cycling with other activities. Thanks again for all the suggested routes. Very pretty country you have out there.
Thanks for your reply. I've done all the rides you describe and agree with your assessment. Rte 127 to Rockport is OK, though with more traffic than 127A, but I don't think people going there are in much of a hurry. A loop around Cape Ann is also nice and the western side is pretty serene and picturesque, with a nice seafood shack at Pigeon Cove, a hiking reservation at Halibut Point, and the cute little town of Lanesville. Maybe I'll do a long ride out there before summer ends.
Jim from Boston is offline  
Old 08-05-10, 04:53 AM
  #13  
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Posts: 75
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
if you get hungry, we got the best sandwiches @ Virgillos in Gloucester. Worth the ride!
tastest is offline  
Old 08-08-10, 05:40 PM
  #14  
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Posts: 75
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Hi, this is actually the husband of tastest. First of all, thanks for the responses, it certainly helped narrow down an area to go to. It can be frustrating trying to find the best place to stay and routes in a far off location.

The cycling was good and the scenary was fantastic.

My main comment was on route #127. It is very scenic, and the traffic is not bad (except the direct route to Rockport, where #127A is better. The problem for me was the combination of cars and bad roads. Neither was bad on its own, but the combination was not great. If the road was better the traffic would not have been a problem at all. The roads tended to have a lot of pot holes etc at the edges. Our roads here at home are often not much better, but we get to know the best roads to ride on, and I feel more comfortable taking more of the road at home then in a "foreign" country.

All in all, I would still recommend the north shore and Cape Ann area as a great vacation and cycling destination.

Thanks again.
tastest is offline  
Old 03-06-11, 12:34 PM
  #15  
Senior Member
 
BikeNewEngland's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Ipswich Massachusetts
Posts: 54

Bikes: Road, mountain, hybrids

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I don't recommend riding on Rt. 127. There are many local roads on the North Shore area (north of Boston) for avoiding the old narrow highways. You can view those routes and many others at https://www.ridemap.info and https://cyclingnewengland.blogspot.com
BikeNewEngland is offline  
Related Topics
Thread
Thread Starter
Forum
Replies
Last Post
onehandman
Southeast
11
06-06-14 04:47 PM
jiggity
Mountains-Plains Regional Rides and Events
0
07-02-13 02:25 PM
Catlikeone
Europe
0
11-28-11 08:16 PM
Debusama
Northern California
6
12-10-10 09:26 PM
barry.cohen
Tandem Cycling
7
10-26-10 09:13 PM

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service -

Copyright © 2024 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.