bicycle tour, starting point Boston, MA

Discussion in 'rec.bicycles.rides archive' started by Josef Erbach, Jun 22, 2003.

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  1. Josef Erbach

    Josef Erbach Guest

    Hello,

    I would like to make a two week bicycle tour in the northeast of the USA in July/August 2003.
    Starting und end point of the trip should be Boston.

    Who knows a beautiful bike route and can tell me something about this? I want to use campgrounds
    and to sleep in a tent. Is it possible to rent a bicycle in Boston which is suitable for such a
    journey? If so, where? The bicycle I look for should have two additional rear panniers and two
    front panniers.

    Josef
     
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  2. >I would like to make a two week bicycle tour in the northeast of the USA in July/August 2003.
    >Starting und end point of the trip should be Boston.
    >
    >Who knows a beautiful bike route and can tell me something about this? I want to use campgrounds
    >and to sleep in a tent.

    One suggestion is to go along the Maine coast and around part of the Bay of Fundy. For example, from
    Boston to Saint John, NB then via ferry to Digby, NS then to Yarmouth and via Ferry back to
    Portland. My experience is that the Maine coast becomes more beautiful as you get north of Portland
    and also as you explore some of the penninsulas off of the main road.

    I did a version of this loop in 1995 when I bicycled the Atlantic Coast of USA. See
    http://www.mvermeulen.com/bicycle.coast and scroll down to August 11th.

    >I want to use campgrounds and to sleep in a tent

    I carried a tent, but ended up staying in motels and B&Bs, so can't help there.

    --mev, Mike Vermeulen
     
  3. Pat Clancy

    Pat Clancy Guest

    Josef Erbach <[email protected]> wrote in message news:<[email protected]>...
    > Hello,
    >
    > I would like to make a two week bicycle tour in the northeast of the USA in July/August 2003.
    > Starting und end point of the trip should be Boston.
    >
    > Who knows a beautiful bike route and can tell me something about this? I want to use campgrounds
    > and to sleep in a tent. Is it possible to rent a bicycle in Boston which is suitable for such a
    > journey? If so, where? The bicycle I look for should have two additional rear panniers and two
    > front panniers.
    >
    > Josef

    I don't want to discourage you but you're likely to have a couple of problems. First, I doubt you'll
    find a shop that rents fully outfitted touring bikes. Second, while Boston is an interesting city to
    visit as a tourist, starting and ending a bike tour there will be difficult. The crowded Boston
    suburbs stretch out many miles in all directions. Traffic will be heavy and the roads will not be
    very attractive. Your first day out and your last day back would not be a lot of fun.

    Another respondent suggested touring the coast of Maine. That's a good idea. It shouldn't be
    difficult to arrange transportation from Boston to Portland and use that as your base of operations.
    Then you have three primary choices: you can either head west/northwest towards New Hampshire and
    the White Mountains, north into the backwoods of Maine, or northeast up the coast.

    Returning to the question of the bike - you might try contacting Sheldon Brown at Harris Cyclery,
    located just outside of Boston. Sheldon is a frequent contributor to rec.bicycles. I have no idea if
    Harris Cyclery rents bikes, but Sheldon is very knowledgable about the Boston area. If anyone rents
    the sort of bike you're looking for, he would probably know about it.

    Pat Clancy
     
  4. Bob McBreen

    Bob McBreen Guest

    I agree that it would be nice to get dripped off north of Boston, but I don't think that there is
    any need to go all the way to Portland. I ride southern Maine and NH coast all the time and
    really enjoy it.

    I would head north along the Mass, NH, and Maine coasts. I would then turn west into the white
    mountains, continue west through NH and into Vermont. Head south back into Mass and east along
    northern Mass, and back to Boston area. "Pat Clancy" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > Josef Erbach <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:<[email protected]>...
    > > Hello,
    > >
    > > I would like to make a two week bicycle tour in the northeast of the USA in July/August 2003.
    > > Starting und end point of the trip should be
    Boston.
    > >
    > > Who knows a beautiful bike route and can tell me something about this? I want to use campgrounds
    > > and to sleep in a tent. Is it possible to rent a bicycle in Boston which is suitable for such a
    > > journey? If so, where? The bicycle I look for should have two additional rear panniers and two
    > > front panniers.
    > >
    > > Josef
    >
    > I don't want to discourage you but you're likely to have a couple of problems. First, I doubt
    > you'll find a shop that rents fully outfitted touring bikes. Second, while Boston is an
    > interesting city to visit as a tourist, starting and ending a bike tour there will be difficult.
    > The crowded Boston suburbs stretch out many miles in all directions. Traffic will be heavy and
    > the roads will not be very attractive. Your first day out and your last day back would not be a
    > lot of fun.
    >
    > Another respondent suggested touring the coast of Maine. That's a good idea. It shouldn't be
    > difficult to arrange transportation from Boston to Portland and use that as your base of
    > operations. Then you have three primary choices: you can either head west/northwest towards New
    > Hampshire and the White Mountains, north into the backwoods of Maine, or northeast up the coast.
    >
    > Returning to the question of the bike - you might try contacting Sheldon Brown at Harris Cyclery,
    > located just outside of Boston. Sheldon is a frequent contributor to rec.bicycles. I have no idea
    > if Harris Cyclery rents bikes, but Sheldon is very knowledgable about the Boston area. If anyone
    > rents the sort of bike you're looking for, he would probably know about it.
    >
    > Pat Clancy
     
  5. Oughtfour

    Oughtfour Guest

    Bob McBreen wrote:
    > I agree that it would be nice to get dripped off north of Boston, but I don't think that there is
    > any need to go all the way to Portland. I ride southern Maine and NH coast all the time and really
    > enjoy it.

    I agree. Boston also has a commuter rail system that permits bikes in off-peak periods (not rush
    hour). The system goes as far north as Newburyport, but you could find some very fine biking
    south of there.

    Or just bike from Boston--it needn't be so grim. To go north, cross the Mystic River in Somerville
    (not Charlestown) or further west in Medford. Head up the coast, or inland. Or a different rout
    depending on where you are starting.

    Portland (or Portsmouth, or Newburyport) would also make a fine base, though.
     
  6. Pat Clancy) wrote in message news:<[email protected]>...

    Josef Erbach schreib:

    > > I would like to make a two week bicycle tour in the northeast of the USA in July/August 2003.
    > > Starting und end point of the trip should be Boston.
    > >
    > > Who knows a beautiful bike route and can tell me something about this? I want to use campgrounds
    > > and to sleep in a tent. Is it possible to rent a bicycle in Boston which is suitable for such a
    > > journey? If so, where? The bicycle I look for should have two additional rear panniers and two
    > > front panniers.

    Pat Clancy responded:

    > I don't want to discourage you but you're likely to have a couple of problems. First, I doubt
    > you'll find a shop that rents fully outfitted touring bikes.

    That's correct. Probably better to bring your own.

    > Second, while Boston is an interesting city to visit as a tourist, starting and ending a bike tour
    > there will be difficult. The crowded Boston suburbs stretch out many miles in all directions.
    > Traffic will be heavy and the roads will not be very attractive. Your first day out and your last
    > day back would not be a lot of fun.

    That's not correct. The crowded suburbs stretch out many miles to the north and south, along the
    coast, due to historical patterns of settlement.

    However, if you go west for 20 km you'll see farms. Boston is unusual for a city its size in that
    there's surprisingly good cycling within a couple of hours of the city center.

    If you head west for 20-30 km, then head north, you'll find delightful rolling country roads with
    little traffic.

    In planning a route, look for older numbered roads that parallel major interstate highways. These
    tend to make good cycling, and have services for travelers.

    > Another respondent suggested touring the coast of Maine. That's a good idea. It shouldn't be
    > difficult to arrange transportation from Boston to Portland and use that as your base of
    > operations. Then you have three primary choices: you can either head west/northwest towards New
    > Hampshire and the White Mountains, north into the backwoods of Maine, or northeast up the coast.

    The roads directly following the coastline tend to be very busy in the summertime, but that doesn't
    mean that they're terrible.

    Sheldon "Inland" Brown +-------------------------------------------+
    | Good judgment comes from experience, | and experience comes from bad judgment. | --Fred Brook |
    +-------------------------------------------+ Harris Cyclery, West Newton, Massachusetts Phone
    617-244-9772 FAX 617-244-1041 http://harriscyclery.com Hard-to-find parts shipped Worldwide
    http://captainbike.com http://sheldonbrown.com
     
  7. Josef Erbach

    Josef Erbach Guest

    Pat Clancy wrote:

    >
    > Returning to the question of the bike - you might try contacting Sheldon Brown at Harris Cyclery,
    > located just outside of Boston. Sheldon is a frequent contributor to rec.bicycles. I have no idea
    > if Harris Cyclery rents bikes, but Sheldon is very knowledgable about the Boston area. If anyone
    > rents the sort of bike you're looking for, he would probably know about it.
    >

    Unfortunately Sheldon doesn't rent bikes and he couldn't tell any other possibility either.

    I think, I'll go to a bicycle shop to buy a fully outfitted touring bike. I'll try to sell it after
    the journey. I would order the bicycle now and pick it up on July 29. Do you think this is possible?

    Josef
     
  8. Pat Clancy

    Pat Clancy Guest

    Josef Erbach <[email protected]> wrote in message news:<[email protected]>...

    >
    > I think, I'll go to a bicycle shop to buy a fully outfitted touring bike. I'll try to sell it
    > after the journey. I would order the bicycle now and pick it up on July 29. Do you think this is
    > possible?
    >
    > Josef

    Certainly through the magic of a credit card, it would be possible to order a bike ahead of time,
    but there are several potential difficulties. A true touring bike in your size could be hard to find
    on short notice. You may have to compromise and buy a conventional road frame that at least accepts
    rear panniers and then make do with a handlebar bag. When you've finished the tour, a quick sale of
    the bike is unlikely unless you're willing to take a major loss. Perhaps you can find a shop that
    accepts consignments and would be willing to let it sit for a while hoping for a better return on
    your investment.

    One more thing you might try. I don't know the Boston cycling scene that well, but a city of that
    size must have a number of cycling clubs. You might try Googling for some club home pages. If you
    can get a few names of club officers and email or call them, they may be able to help you find a
    club member willing to rent a bike.

    Good luck.

    Pat Clancy
     
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