Cycling in New England

Discussion in 'The Bike Cafe' started by paieye, Oct 25, 2013.

  1. paieye

    paieye Banned

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    We are a group of 70+ year-old male cyclists who live in England, and who have enjoyed cycling in Western Europe.

    Our formula is to find a flat or nearly-flat route that takes us through scenically-beautiful countryside. We expect to cycle no more than 40 miles a day for 5 days or so, not so much from lack of energy, as to leave time for enjoying the rest of the day. In the last 2 years, we have cycled along the Rhine, the Danube and the Main.

    We are now looking at New England, and understand that the fall ("autumn" in our version of English !) is recommended.

    Can any kind person advise ?
     
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  2. mpre53

    mpre53 Well-Known Member

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    Where are you starting out from? Boston? General rule is that coastal areas are flat to rolling, and it gets hillier when you move inland. New Hampshire and Vermont have real mountains, as does the Berkshire region of Massachusetts. But even central Massachusetts and northern Connecticut have some significant hills. You will find some short but steep hills along coastal areas, too. From Boston, you can follow the Saltonstall bike route south to Cape Cod. The Cape itself is flat to rolling, with some tougher hills in Wellfleet and Truro. I've ridden from Plymouth, about 30 miles (50 km) south of Boston, to Provincetown at the tip of Cape Cod. It's about 80 miles. There are seasonal boats that can take you back to Plymouth if you don't want to spend the night. In summer, there are tourists from all over the US, Canada, and other countries, often dazed and confused on even the secondary roads. Very important to ride defensively and anticipate them doing something stupid.
     
  3. paieye

    paieye Banned

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    We had not decided on our starting-point, the choice would depend on the advice that we might receive. What you say does not really encourage me to think that New England would be the right choice for us as cyclists, but thank you for helping, and I shall pass your message to the others.
     
  4. mark174ace

    mark174ace New Member

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    There is a 22 mile (one way) paved rail trail on Cape Cod that goes from South Dennis to Wellfleet. That would fit your criteria of 40 miles a day. Most of it is heavily tree lines and passes by lakes and cranberry bogs. It is pretty flat and probably a lot less crowded now that it is autumn. The Wellfleet end of the trail is just down the street from LeCount Hollow beach as well.
     
  5. mpre53

    mpre53 Well-Known Member

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    It's a very pretty ride. Also, being a rail trail, it's relatively flat. The only "hill", if you want to call it that, is a short overpass over the Cape's major highway. There are a lot of fairly busy cross streets, but the roads aren't as heavily traveled in autumn as they are during the summer tourist season. There's a Mexican restaurant at about the halfway point, and bike shops along the trail if you run into a mechanical problem. You can also detour from the trail into Nickerson State Park.

    There are also several other old railbeds around Massachusetts that have been converted into bike trails, and many others in the other New England states. Because trains aren't known for their ability to climb hills, all of them will have, at worst, gentle upgrades. Many follow rivers. There's one in the western part of Massachusetts that runs from North Adams to Pittsfield, that I've ridden, and it's beautiful in autumn.
     
  6. mark174ace

    mark174ace New Member

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    Almost forgot there is also the Old Colony Rail Trail. It is an 8 mile rail trail (one way from Harwich to Chatham) that forks off of the Cape Cod Rail Trail if you want to do 60 miles in one day.
     
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