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Any suggestions for great biking locations in New England?

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Any suggestions for great biking locations in New England?

Old 07-10-10, 01:02 AM
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Any suggestions for great biking locations in New England?

The hubby and I are thinking of taking a long weekend somewhere in New England in a couple of months and bringing our road bikes. We're hoping to find someplace scenic (shouldn't be a problem in New England LOL) with good routes. I haven't researched it much though we are considering the Hudson Valley or the Harlem Valley Rail Trail and surrounding areas. If anyone has biked an area that he/she really enjoyed, I'd love to hear about it. Thanks

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Old 07-10-10, 05:30 AM
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First thought that came to mind is Vermont.

Not sure though how far north you want to go (Hudson Valley/Harlem Valley isn't really considered New England), but Vermont is about the best for finding B&B's or country inn's (think about the 2nd Newhart TV show). Lot's of paved roads that make it easy to plan routes and to cut a route short if needed. Country stores at seemingly every intersection that make it simpler to re-fuel, as they all seem to make sandwiches, carry Cliff Bars and Gatorade, etc... There's a very good Vermont bike map put out by the state DOT that helps in planning, as well as on-line stuff. There are also tour groups that set up inn to inn tours and move your luggage, or you can simply stay put in one spot, Ludlow's a good choice, or Stowe in southern Vermont. Manchester is another, Brattleboro isn't bad except it's in a valley so you either ride north and south along the Connecticut river or climb out of the valley. Keene, NH is a nice college town and pretty area. Further south, the Mass. Berkshires - Great Barrington, Lennox and Stockbridge are all good area's to make home base. One of the L.I. bike clubs makes Lennox their destination for a get-away weekend. Also consider Cape Cod (great rail trail) as well as southern Maine along the coast. Then there's Lake Placid, which has decent, if hilly routes east and north of town as well as west towards Saranac Lake.

I've spent a lot of time just north of Ludlow and never ran out of roads to ride. Rt's 100, 103, Rt 106, 131, 155 and sections of Rt4 all allow for good loops. Ludlow as well has some decent restaurants, as does Rutland.

Only issue with Vermont, and all of New England and northern NY is when as you mention a few months. It starts to get cold in the mornings towards end of Sept. and I've seen it at 30 degrees on Columbus Day weekend in Ludlow, so plan accordingly.

SB

Last edited by Lightingguy; 07-10-10 at 05:37 AM.
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Old 07-10-10, 08:55 AM
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First thing is to pick your state/area.

Burlington works well here. You have a nice little city, and you can have dozens of bike rides from easy to brutal
just by rolling out of town.

North Conway NH is another good possibility. Bear Nootch loop is a ride pretty much everybody does.
I dreamed up a ride there that's nice, if you go, let me know and I'll give you the details. Basically it's south out of So Conway (152?) to Rte 20
to rte 160 to Center Conway Rd. About 50 miles

One possible ride is to park in a parking garage in portland.
If you are in good shape, you could ride all the way to Bailey's Island and spend the night.
There is a ferry that goes to Portland in the morning.

We usually spend the nite in Brunswick, make sure you hit the Gelato Fiasco there.
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Old 07-11-10, 05:27 AM
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Originally Posted by kkretz77
The hubby and I are thinking of taking a long weekend somewhere in New England in a couple of months and bringing our road bikes. We're hoping to find someplace scenic (shouldn't be a problem in New England LOL) with good routes. I haven't researched it much though we are considering the Hudson Valley or the Harlem Valley Rail Trail and surrounding areas. If anyone has biked an area that he/she really enjoyed, I'd love to hear about it. Thanks
Southern Vermont: Hoosic River Ride, it's an organized event in August, but their routes are beautiful, various lengths, I've ridden the mid-range one several times out of Bennington VT, crosses over into NY, over covered wooden bridges, low traffic, very nice. The longer route goes down into Mass. as well. Check it out,
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Old 07-12-10, 06:58 AM
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Your initial idea of the Harlem Valley and Hudson Valley is excellent. The quiet roads thru the farmland nearby are even prettier than the Harlem Valley Rail Trail. Like there's a 19-mile route which combines both the rail trail and the nearby roads. And here's a 29-mile route thru wonderful farmland in the same area including Sharon CT.
The northern section of that Rail Trail is shorter but prettier than the southern, and also has riding on great farmland roads nearby. (Surprising to New Englanders: most of that Harlem Valley area drains to the Housatonic River.)
If you're into rail trails, less than an hours drive is the new Walkway over the Hudson, supposed to be the longest bridge open only to cyclists and walkers in the world. It really is pretty remarkable to ride across.
Sharon and I were riding in a different area of the Housatonic River just yesterday, around Canaan CT and Sheffield MA. The 28-mile variation of the southern part of this southern Berkshires loop has a wonderful concentration of farmland on quiet roads -- saw lots of other people out riding, with few cars. So making a base around there could be good, but I think there's a larger concentration of pretty "New England style" roads + rail trails around Copake NY -- or Millerton NY is like 12 miles on the main road from Canaan and right on the rail trail.

southeast Rhode Island might be another area to check out for for quiet roads thru farmland. Neaby is the notably pretty East Bay bike trail.

The Champlain Valley (west side of VT) and Hoosic R area (northwest MA) also have some nice farmland opportunities, but my experience is that there's a bigger concentration and higher percentage of real farms with cows + horses a bit further south in that same corridor: Columbia county [route ideas] and northern Dutchess county in the Hudson valley of NY. (within an hours drive of the Harlem Valley Rail Trail). Why it's better further south:
  • more roads paved. Therefore more of them available to carry the heavy traffic, so more roads "left over" for cyclists who prefer little traffic.
  • better paving + wider.
  • more roads that are not ridiculously steep.
  • farmers seem to like it better where it's a little warmer - (perhaps historically VT had more farmland, but now lots of that has reverted to forest and vacant fields with residences).
  • better food stops, because close to the Culinary Institute of America with newly graduating chefs looking to open a little place to get started.
  • better food stops, because of weekending Manhattan folks with money to spend on more "creative" snacks and support multiple food spots in one village.

Ken

P.S. Hilly ...
not sure where your coming from, but it's difficult to find pretty riding on quiet roads around New England and the Hudson Valley without running into hills. But many of the climbs lead to big views and fun downhills, so Sharon and I have decided that it's worth it to patiently climb in our lowest gear, or even walk a short steep section.

Last edited by Ken Roberts; 07-12-10 at 07:27 AM. Reason: fix a couple words
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Old 07-12-10, 07:51 AM
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Originally Posted by kkretz77
The hubby and I are thinking of taking a long weekend somewhere in New England in a couple of months and bringing our road bikes. We're hoping to find someplace scenic (shouldn't be a problem in New England LOL) with good routes. I haven't researched it much though we are considering the Hudson Valley or the Harlem Valley Rail Trail and surrounding areas. If anyone has biked an area that he/she really enjoyed, I'd love to hear about it. Thanks
All the above suggestions are nice, having personally ridden from Boston to Burlington, and through North Conway to Montreal. Since Boston is also in New England, here is a personal compendium of areas to ride, if you like the city life. BTW, whenever I respond to these requests for ride suggestions, with several alternatives proposed, I would like to hear of your final choice and how it went. Also, where are you from ? (just curious)

Originally Posted by Jim from Boston
Welcome to Boston and environs...

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...
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Old 07-12-10, 09:02 AM
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Originally Posted by Ken Roberts
...P.S. Hilly ...not sure where your coming from, but it's difficult to find pretty riding on quiet roads around New England and the Hudson Valley without running into hills..
Originally Posted by Jim from Boston
... Also, where are you from ? (just curious)
Ooops. I just noticed you post from the Jersey Shore.
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Old 07-12-10, 09:34 AM
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Water
is a defining characteristic of New England history.
And lots of us feel it's really great to ride by water.
And New England has lots of seaside and rivers and lakes.

The puzzle is finding places with lots of with nice bicycling along the water. Or at least with a view to the water. The big problem with New England is that lots of the roads and bike trails that are built close to the water do not actually have any view of the water -- or maybe just some occasional glimpses with boring (or high-traffic) roads in between.
Example: Cape Cod bike trail. Start with a brilliant idea: remarkable arm of land out into the Atlantic ocean. Add car-free path for cyclists and walkers. One little detail: The bike path seems scientifically optimized to be as far as possible from any views of the ocean.
Generally lots of people want to build their houses next to the water, and they're not excited about lotsa people riding bicycles (or driving cars) thru their private sea view spot. They do want a nice road to their spot, but it's just fine with them if that road has no view of the sea.

So you have to get choosy about roads + paths near water if you don't want to be disappointed. Here's my findings so far (and I'd love to hear better suggestions):
  • Connecticut coast west end -- like from Greenwich toward Bridgeport [one section we've liked]. What we like is to ride along the coast one-way, then take the train back to our starting point. And not very hilly.
  • Connecticut coast east end -- like east from New London -- Sharon + I did some pleasant riding around Groton, but somebody else would have to say how to maybe ride around Mystic + Stonington. Trickier is how to find a loop back to the start on different (more inland) roads -- since I don't think they have train service as good as the CT west end.
  • Lake Champlain northern islands (?perhaps make a loop with ferry ride to Plattsburg NY)
  • ? Marthas Vineyard ? -- a few pretty miles (and a special village) near the ferry landing, but most of the rest of the public roads are disappointing if you're hoping for sea views.
  • the big fjord -- the lower Hudson is not a true river, rather a 50-mile finger of the Atlantic Ocean with salt water and daily tides. (It's kinda unfair: Massachusetts and New Hampshire get rivers, New York gets its own fjord.)
  • the island city -- in the last 15 years, while Boston was generating great baseball + football teams, an amazing range of water-side bicycling has developed in and around Manhattan island.
Hudson River ... what's great about it for water-viewing cycling:

Big bridges with big views: The rivers of Connecticut have some big bridges at their mouth, but inland soon turn into normal narrow rivers. The Hudson stays big + wide way north like to Kingston+Rhinebeck (not far from the Harlem Valley NY / Sheffield MA / Canaan CT farmland riding). Most famous for bicycling is the new Walkway over the Hudson, but the Newburgh-Beacon bridge + Bear Mt bridge also have big views (arguably more spectacular?) and riding west across the Kingston-Rhinecliff bridge toward the mountains on an October morning is a great experience.

"corniche" roads -- That's what they might be called if they were in southern France. Roads cut into high cliffs above the water. Between Newburgh + Bear Mountain the river cut thru a mountain ridge. The best road thru this is the Storm King Mountain Highway -- route 218 between West Point and Cornwall-on-Hudson. Most of the car + traffic takes the rt 9W highway a little west of it, so it's usually quiet (but hilly).
The shortest way to ride this is to park somewhere on east side of Cornwall-on-Hudson, ride 218 south as far toward West Point as desired, then go back the same way. For those who can handle more traffic and miles like on this route, start at the Garrison train station, west across the Bear Mt Bridge, then one of the ways to connect (if have military ID perhaps could talk the guards into allowing to ride thru the West Point USMA with more water views), then Storm King Mt / 218, then east across Newburgh-Beacon bridge to the Beacon train station, and train back to Garrison (or ride the whole way to Garrison). Even bigger views of the river if climb to top of Bear Mountain. (Or ride from Manhattan west across the GWB up to Bear Mt and Storm King, finish at Beacon train station, and ride the Metro North train back to Manhattan).
The other "corniche" road is route 202 / 6 southeast from the Bear Mt Bridge toward Peekskill -- great views from high over the water and across to the mountains, but lots of car + truck traffic and not very wide. But some people like riding it, esp with the exciting curvy descent continuing southeast (including me, but I would not ride up those curves in the north-bound direction). This can be added to the Storm King Mt loop, with a possible finish at the Peekskill train station, and use Metro North train to close the loop - (or just keep riding south to Manhatttan).
So combining the climb of Bear Mt, the two big bridges, and the two "corniche" roads would be a sort of "grand slam" of great water-view riding -- a point which is not missed by lots of motorcyclists on sunny weekend days.
Look forward to hearing more seaside riding ideas for New England.

Ken

Last edited by Ken Roberts; 07-12-10 at 09:37 AM. Reason: fix a couple words
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Old 07-12-10, 10:34 AM
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Originally Posted by Jim from Boston
Since Boston is also in New England, here is a personal compendium of areas to ride
Boston is about the biggest "gap" in my exploring of New England, so I'm glad for that list of ideas. But Sharon and I would be visiting only for a long weekend, so we need some way to filter that down to a much shorter list -- somebody's best guess about which riding might be most "special" for visitors.
Or maybe there isn't much about bicycling in the Boston area that's special, so it should just remain a "gap" for me ... Well, that would be helpful to know too. But then it would still be nice to know where the enthusiastic Boston cyclists think is special to visit for a weekend.
Sharon and I usually like 40-80 mile loop rides (but could also do two 25-miles routes in a day). We're comfortable with city and country vehicle traffic, and with some big or steep hills (as long as there some good reason to justify climbing them).

Things we've liked in other areas:

* cycling tour of the city streets + sights + neighborhoods early on a weekend morning before the traffic starts.

* riding alongside water.

* farmland, especially with horses and other farm animals.

* "suburban" neighborhoods with interesting architecture (could be interestingly bad)

* places where we'd likely see many other riders out on the road on a weekend morning.

What's the most special ride in each of those categories near Boston?

We do have a GPS, and we're very accustomed to using it to follow complicated routes with lots of turns -- if that's what's needed to get us to the most interesting or pleasant-riding roads.

Ken

Last edited by Ken Roberts; 07-12-10 at 10:40 AM. Reason: fix a couple words
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Old 07-12-10, 11:16 AM
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Maine along the coast is gorgeous, especially in the morning when there's almost no cars. Highly recommended.

This is a great 50 mile route all along the coast: https://www.gmap-pedometer.com/?r=3875056

(It's 25 miles along the coast, but then you turn around and bike back to make 50)
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Old 07-12-10, 12:38 PM
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Hi Ken,

Your post virtually defines the Metroplitan Boston cycling experience. I've inserted my replies below:

Originally Posted by Ken Roberts
Boston is about the biggest "gap" in my exploring of New England, so I'm glad for that list of ideas. But Sharon and I would be visiting only for a long weekend, so we need some way to filter that down to a much shorter list -- somebody's best guess about which riding might be most "special" for visitors.
Or maybe there isn't much about bicycling in the Boston area that's special, so it should just remain a "gap" for me ... Well, that would be helpful to know too.

Originally Posted by Ken Roberts
But then it would still be nice to know where the enthusiastic Boston cyclists think is special to visit for a weekend.
Originally Posted by Ken Roberts
Sharon and I usually like 40-80 mile loop rides (but could also do two 25-miles routes in a day). We're comfortable with city and country vehicle traffic, and with some big or steep hills (as long as there some good reason to justify climbing them).
From Kenmore Square in downtown Boston I do daily one-way commutes from 14 to 30 miles, and weekend training loops of 40 to 100 miles with as much or little city or country traffic as I wish, depending on my circumstances. The hills are totally reasonable; Iíve never had to walk one. If you are a hill fanatic you certainly could seek out and power up the stiffest ones.

My suggestions in bold face below:
Originally Posted by Ken Brown

Things we've liked in other areas:

* cycling tour of the city streets + sights + neighborhoods early on a weekend morning before the traffic starts. [In Boston: Back Bay, Beacon Hill, the North End, South Boston, Jamaica Plain, West Roxbury]

* riding alongside water. [For the ocean: The North Shore from Winthrop to New Hampshire. There is a particularly favored ocean view spot on Nahant. I am less familiar with the South Shore, though I have ridden along the water in Marshfield. You can ride a MUP, or a road, along the Charles River through Boston and suburbs for about 15 miles. There are also various loops around lakes and reservoirs; for example around Lake Massapoag in Sharon.]

* farmland, especially with horses and other farm animals. [Dover; northwesterly beyond Maynard towards Leominster and Ayer]

* "suburban" neighborhoods with interesting architecture (could be interestingly bad) [Brookline (even has the Frederick Law Olmstead National Historic Site), Newton, Dover (mansions and McMansions), Concord, Marblehead, Salem, etc.]

* places where we'd likely see many other riders out on the road on a weekend morning. [Dover-Sherborn, Concord-Lincoln, North Shore From Beverly to Rockport, and further out west around Harvard and Bolton]

What's the most special ride in each of those categories near Boston? [As above. Also as I mentioned, one can take a train out from and back to the city to all the farther venues described above, and cut out the city riding.]

We do have a GPS, and we're very accustomed to using it to follow complicated routes with lots of turns -- if that's what's needed to get us to the most interesting or pleasant-riding roads.

[The Metropolitan Boston area would tax your orienteering skills to the limit, but even when lost there's always something interesting or pretty to see.]

Ken
Jim
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Old 07-12-10, 07:53 PM
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Originally Posted by donrhummy
This is a great 50 mile route all along the coast: https://www.gmap-pedometer.com/?r=3875056
(It's 25 miles along the coast, but then you turn around and bike back to make 50)
Yes that looks like it delivers a pretty good percentage of sea views.

What's the reason for not riding different roads to return to the start (like this guy's route) ?

I know when I've tried that along the Connecticut coast I've often run into substantial (and unrewarding) hill climbs, and difficult traffic situations on the inland roads.

But that part of the coastal area of Maine doesn't seem really hilly (looking at some topo software)

Originally Posted by donrhummy
Maine along the coast is gorgeous, especially in the morning when there's almost no cars. Highly recommended.
What has deterred me from riding on the Maine coast were some discussions on forums years ago where somebody who sounded like he knew was saying there were long sections on route 1 with no sea views, or you had to ride for miles east to the shore for a view, then miles back again.

But maybe that was a multi-day touring of long stretches of the coast, which is not my interest. I'm mainly into single-day rides -- so perhaps I could "pick off" shorter sections of the coast with a high percentage of sea views per mile?
Like this ride in the York area.

Or maybe two days going in the same direction along some good section of the coast, then some sort of public transportation back to the start?

Ken

Last edited by Ken Roberts; 07-12-10 at 07:55 PM. Reason: fix a couple words
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Old 07-13-10, 09:28 AM
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Vermont, but I'm biased. See the blog for more info and some pics of local riding here in the Burlington area.
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Old 07-19-10, 11:11 AM
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Originally Posted by Ken Roberts
Yes that looks like it delivers a pretty good percentage of sea views.

What's the reason for not riding different roads to return to the start (like this guy's route) ?
Because doing so would mean no ocean views on the way back.
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Old 07-20-10, 01:39 PM
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From Portsmouth NH through Southern Maine is the nicest area we have ever cycled through.



Traffic is calm, and it is ridiculously scenic.
Here is my write-up about it.
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Old 07-20-10, 05:09 PM
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the Granite State Wheelmen use some of that area as century from Hampton Beach to Nubble lighthouse
and back

Newburyport is a nice area -- over to Plum Island and Parker River wildlife sancuary is very pretty
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Old 07-21-10, 01:38 PM
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Originally Posted by Veloria
From Portsmouth NH through Southern Maine is the nicest area we have ever cycled through.



Traffic is calm, and it is ridiculously scenic.
Here is my write-up about it.
I love that area. I usually hit those roads on my motorcycle. If i'm not mistaken, that blue building on the right in the picture above houses a great sub shop.

The East Bay Bike Path in RI is a great ride with some excellent views. RI offers a free trail/road map geared towards biking in RI: BikeRI. I requested mine and got it in a few days. It shows rail trails turned into paved roads and then surface streets that are good for biking also.

Martha's Vineyard does offer some good riding but like others said, not all the roads offer a view of the ocean, but good views nonetheless.

Oh, and obligatory new guy intro! Just getting back into riding in general again. Still working my way up in mileage. Usually I ride from home in central Mass. Like i said, just getting back into it so I aim for 15 to 25 mile loops. Was riding a Haro mountain bike for everything but its a pain on the roads just due to the resistance the tires gave me. So as a bday gift to myself, I picked up the new Specialized Crux Elite:

I tried a few Gary Fishers and others but this bike felt great right away. Still a few accessories I need to add (better tail bag, pump, etc). My butt is still getting use to the lack of seat padding coming from a mountain bike. More than likely will upgrade the seat in the future. So basically hi everyone!
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Old 07-21-10, 04:21 PM
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Delaware water gap national park- Matamoros PA / Port Jervis NY - Stroudsburg PA. Port Jervis is also near enough to cultural sites like storm king sculpture garden and the Dia Beacon museum. The road in the water gap is paved although there are areas that are broken up a bit. There is general store in the middle of it. Port Jervis is a Metro North train stop.

New Paltz NY might also be interesting, it is near the rock climbing area Gunks, and the wallkill rail trail. There are also Huguenot village, orchards and wine tasting. The Opus 40 'sculpture' is sort of near there. Amtrak stops in Poughkeepsie, which is sort of near there.
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Old 07-21-10, 05:06 PM
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Somebody just mentioned New Paltz and....

Have you thought about doing some easy mt. biking ?. At Minnewaska State Park for one day and Lake Mohonk the other ?. You could easily spend 2 days riding the carriage roads, pack lunch, go swimming at Lake Awosting one day, Lake Mohonk or Minnewaska the next. Or also road bike if so desired. Stay in New Paltz, lot's of nice restaurents, some B&B's, some hotels... pretty area. The mt. bike trails have the best views within 3 hrs. of NYC


SB
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Old 08-02-10, 07:28 PM
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I provide online access to hundreds of cue sheets and maps for cycling tours throughout New England, Quebec and the rest of the American northeast, available for $15 at https://www.bikenewengland.com/disk.html . It's also available on disk for $20 .
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Old 08-02-10, 09:16 PM
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Acadia National Park remains the most beautiful place I have ever been. I know there is a lot of information out there about biking there, especially desert island. The whole area is nice and has plenty of New England Charm.

Also, someone above said the Hoosic River Ride. If you choose to do that let me know, or anyone here for that matter. I just signed up for it the other day but would love to meet BF members there. It's also in my backyard.
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Old 08-03-10, 06:54 AM
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The NH coast from North Hampton through Rye, New Castle and Portsmouth offers quite a bit of coastal riding (maybe 75% right along the ocean). Heading north on 103 in ME, you’ll get some glimpses of the water from Portsmouth to Kittery Point, then it’s pretty much all inland until you hit York.

1A can be pretty congested on weekends with the beach traffic. I ride it every weekend, but I do it in the morning. A lot of people do it in the afternoon, though.

Here’s a video from the Granite Sate Wheelmen’s Seacoast Century

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SK_pCSbhbO4

It’s on Sept. 25 & 26 this year, and there are shorter rides offered as well. If you’re planning to attend register soon, as there’s a limit of 1,600 riders and it will probably fill up before long.
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Old 08-03-10, 11:08 AM
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Also consider (though it might not exactly be New England) the Erie Canal Trail between Buffalo and Albany. Very easy, scenic riding, plenty of history and nice folks. Roads're safe and it's farm country so fresh food can be had.
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