Hungry For Miles

Written by Boston Biker on Jun 16

I have written before about some longer bike rides I have taken, and with the weather getting better that hunger for getting on my bike and heading off into the distance has been returning. Lately I have been feeding my desire for more and more miles by going out after work and doing 20 and 30 mile loops, buts its not working.

The feeling lately has been more than just a normal “hey lets go for a ride feeling” but a physical desire for going on long fast rides. I was in Harvard Sq. sitting in the sun, thinking about cycling, and without realizing it my feet were doing little pedal motions, like a dog dreaming about running through a field. I have never wanted to ride my bike this much before in my life…

There is just something so magical about loosing yourself in a long bike ride, something pure about the physical and mental experience of self propulsion. The magic for me only happens at about mile 50 or 60, that’s when my brain sorta flips over, my legs sort of go away, and I can really enjoy the feeling of flying.

The problem is I am running our of good routes from Boston to someplace and back. Does anyone have any good routes that start in Boston, go out 20-30 miles and come back? I have done the minute man loop, the neponset river greenway loop, the minuteman-concord-walden pond and back loop, any other suggestions? Links to maps would also be awesome.

Do you like long rides? How do you feel on them? What makes them magical for you? Are you interested in starting some longer rides? So many questions!


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Posted in fun, Questions, routes | 20 Comments »


20 Responses to “Hungry For Miles”

  1. By BaruMonkey on Jun 16, 2011 | Reply

    Here’s a 56-mile “follow the water” route: http://tinyurl.com/3eky3j2

  2. By cris on Jun 16, 2011 | Reply

    Every fall, a few friends and I ride out from the city to Nashoba Valley to pick apples and then ride back. That’s, like, 30 miles one way. Cue from Arlington Center.

    Minuteman Commuter Bikeway
    1. Head northeast on Minuteman Commuter Bikeway toward Water St 1.5 mi
    2. Slight left to stay on Minuteman Commuter Bikeway 7.1 mi
    3. Slight right at S Rd, then left on Railroad Ave. 0.7 mi
    4. Turn left toward McMahon Rd 0.1 mi
    5. Continue straight onto McMahon Rd 0.2 mi
    6. Turn left at MA-62 W/Concord Rd Continue to follow MA-62 W 3.6 mi
    7. Turn left at MA-62 W/Monument St Continue to follow MA-62 W 322 ft
    8. Turn left at MA-62 W/Monument Square 354 ft
    9. Turn right at MA-62 W/Main St 2.3 mi
    10. Continue onto Commonwealth Ave 0.3 mi
    11. Continue onto Laws Brook Rd 1.4 mi
    12. Continue onto School St 1.8 mi
    13. Turn left at MA-27 S/Main St 249 ft
    14. Turn right at Maple St 0.1 mi
    15. Slight left at Stow St 0.9 mi
    16. Continue onto S Acton Rd 1.7 mi
    17. Turn left at W Acton Rd 0.2 mi
    18. Continue onto Crescent St 0.2 mi
    19. Turn left at Hartley Rd 272 ft
    20. Turn right at MA-117 W/Great Rd Continue to follow MA-117 W 5.9 mi
    21. Turn left at Wattaquadock Hill Rd Destination will be on the left 0.4 mi

  3. By cris on Jun 16, 2011 | Reply

    oh and as far as other long rides go … my current sights are set on doing Boston – New York self-supported sometime this summer. There’s a purported 22 mile railtrail in NE Connecticut that may be sketchy, may be awesome and I totally want to find out.

    that’s part of the magic for me… new lands to discover and wondering what the world looks like from a certain point on the map.

  4. By James on Jun 16, 2011 | Reply

    Boston -> Provincetown, take the ferry back. It is an all-day affair to be sure, but a nice century+ ride. Fear of missing the last ferry is a good motivator! (Though if you do miss it, there are plenty of places to stay in Ptown.)

  5. By James2 on Jun 16, 2011 | Reply

    +1 for Ptown. For something less demanding but still fun take the Salem Ferry out (and back) to Cape Ann. Round trip to Salem ends up costing about the same as one way from Ptown.

    There’s a 45-65 mile CRW route (basically 127 + 133 + 22) and lots of nice water views to be had (you could call it a beach tour of the North Shore). Roads are probably less common for you because it’s so much more difficult to ride north from Boston! :)

  6. By Boston Biker on Jun 16, 2011 | Reply

    hey james one and two, you should check out that first link, I have done the boston-ptown ride before.

    Thanks for the other suggestions everyone these are great keep them coming!

  7. By Tom on Jun 16, 2011 | Reply

    I use mapmyride.com. I also recently bought a Garmin GPS so I didn’t have to worry about getting lost. I map a route, put it on the Garmin, then I do the ride. Garmin’s site allows you to share routes, but mapmyride.com has been the best and easiest resource I’ve found so far. If you skip the GPS, you can still plot rides and print directions (map & turn by turn).

  8. By Tom on Jun 16, 2011 | Reply

    Try mapmyride.com. You can plot a route and print out turn by turn directions. GPS is a nice solution; pull the routes you plot from their site, save to GPS, then head out for the ride.

  9. By Lovely Bicycle! on Jun 16, 2011 | Reply

    I have this problem too and can’t seem to find a solution. My usual route is via the Minuteman to Lexington, and then do the “real ride” from there. But I have done this so often now that it’s getting mind numbing, despite the beautiful scenery. Going in other directions though is a pain due to city traffic.

  10. By JohnO on Jun 16, 2011 | Reply

    99 -> 107 -> 127 = Boston to Manchester By the Sea (check out singing beach), 30 each way.. real good riding.

  11. By mtalinm on Jun 16, 2011 | Reply

    let me suggest the south for a couple of reasons:

    The Riverway/Jamaicaway path (part of which was just repaved) makes for a nice ride south of the city.

    The real reason: DOVER. I think they have outlawed potholes in this city. The roads are like glass. There are cyclists everywhere in the early a.m. and early p.m., and cars have learned to be respectful. It’s a cycling mecca.

  12. By cris on Jun 17, 2011 | Reply

    oh yeah, I thoroughly concur with Dover. I did a 200k a few months ago that looped from Concord to New Bedford and the roads in Dover were indeed like glass.

    a few years ago, we did a variant on our apple picking ride that went to Lookout Farm in Natick instead of Nashoba. The farm itself was a bust (totally bike hostile staff and ripoff prices on the apples) but the ride was gorgeous. I don’t have that route mapped out, but basically, if you go to Dover, good roads to roam on are South St. and Centre Street.

  13. By Geoff on Jun 17, 2011 | Reply

    i’m thinking of doing this tomorrow. it’s all marked up withe waymarkers to make it very easy to follow:
    http://www.bikely.com/maps/bike-path/BNB-Bike-A-Thon-65-Mile-Northern-Route

    if you live in JP, ride down to the blue hills. down to canton. 138 is nice and wide, all the blue hills roads are great (in fact i did chickatawbut in the pitch black with my dynamo light last night). head out to dover, medway, etc. there is no limit to routes in the direction that don’t involve too much traffic.

    i can’t say i would want to do the first poster’s ride, as I want to get OUT of the city, not into.

  14. By Lyzard on Jun 17, 2011 | Reply

    Our bike-a-thon team has a few members (myself included) that can’t make the ‘rain date’ so we’re heading out tomorrow from Stony Brook at 6:30am

    65 miles
    BNB BAT Long Rout North
    http://ridewithgps.com/routes/449997

  15. By Geoff on Jun 17, 2011 | Reply

    @Lyzard,

    Would you mind if i joined you and your team tomorrow? I guess it also depends on if you are a 23mph group or a 17/18 mph group, as i’m definitely in the latter. :)

    Geoff

  16. By Jonathan on Jun 19, 2011 | Reply

    GreenLineVelo has a nice loop west of Newton. They have an open group ride every Wednesday evening.

    http://www.greenlinevelo.com/groupride

  17. By ryan on Jun 19, 2011 | Reply

    hey guys,

    im really interested in getting a fixed gear/single speed group together to ride out to p-town, is anyone interested?

    sometime in august or september! i’d really love to get this thing going, maybe raise some money for charity? it would be great, please feel free to email me at [email protected]

    lets do this thing! seriously! and if anyone lives in roslindale, jamaica plain, i’d love to ride!

  18. By Ron Newman on Jun 20, 2011 | Reply

    Davis Square to Horn Pond in Woburn and back. I’ve sent this one to you before: http://goo.gl/maps/3Ybo

  19. By blackthunder on Jun 21, 2011 | Reply

    Here are a few good routes that are easy to get to from JP.

    Blue Hills Rambler (37 miles): http://www.mapmyride.com/routes/view/2755472

    Dover Dash (33 miles): http://www.mapmyride.com/routes/view/2922852

    Sherborne Shuffle (40 miles): http://www.mapmyride.com/routes/view/7007414

    I agree with the other riders — Dover is the tits for biking…the roads are smooth and black and they just keep getting better. Plus, getting there from JP is easy — just take the VFW out to 109 and go from there. Once you get to know the area, you can start changing up your routes and exploring more of the off-the-beaten path roads.

  20. By Ron Newman on Jun 21, 2011 | Reply

    Also think about one-way rides, where you ride from Boston (or a suburb) out to some commuter rail station, and return by train. Here’s a ride I enjoy from Somerville to Andover: http://greatrides.bostonbiker.org/2010/10/05/great-ride-davis-sq-to-andover/

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