Archive for the ‘Massachusetts’ Category


Monday, September 22nd, 2008

Our first order of business for the day was to get our bikes to the bike shop that would then ship them to Florida. The process turned out to be a little more stressful than we had hoped. The initial reaction of the guy in the bike was dismay. He wasn’t sure how he would get our bikes and all our gear into boxes. After a bit of discussion as to options, we left the bikes in their hands and headed out for a day of seeing the city. We would return later in the day to see how things were going.

On Don’s recommendation we decided to check out the “Unofficial Harvard Tour”. It was highly entertaining. We learned that the Boston accent involves drawing out the a (ahhh) and dropping the r. So Harvard becomes Hahvahd! The tour provides a colourful history of Harvard and its relationship with the town of Cambridge. One of the things that Becky was disgusted to learn was that until 1999 Harvard did not issue degrees to women. Women who graduated would get a degree from Radcliff. Fortunately, Harvard has seen the error of its ways and now issues degrees to any graduate regardless of gender. They also re-issued Radcliff degrees as Harvard degrees. We highly recommend the tour to anyone who happens to find themselves in Cambridge.

Before supper, Scott walked back to the bike shop to check thing out. Unfortunately, the bikes were not yet ready to be shipped, so they did not make today’s cut off. We are hoping that they will get out tomorrow, as we really would like them to arrive in Florida by Friday. (UPS promises 3-day ground delivery). The total of our gear will be 5 boxes and will cost us about $450 for shipping.

We’re staying with Don while we’re in Cambridge – the first person we’ve connected with through Warm Showers, and have had a lovely time with him. He is a founder of the Middle East Cultural and Charitable Society, which puts on the Boston Palestine Film Festival among other things. He’s a great host, and it has been very interesting to get his perspectives on the Middle East and American foreign policy.

Boston bound

Sunday, September 21st, 2008

88 km, 5.75 hours

Our detour to find a hotel last night meant that we were in Massachusetts, but not on our planned route and without a map. Scott spent a couple of hours trying to figure out a good way to get into Boston and downloading tracks from the Coast Greenway. We were well away from the Adventure Cycling route into Boston, so their maps were not useful.

It was due to be a long ride today, so at lunch Becky convinced Scott that we should ride along Highway 1 for a bit (which was a straight line) rather that zig-zagging along the Eastern Coast Greenway. For the first 10 km, this turned out to be OK, but then the 1 turned into a divided highway and then it got really busy. The challenge was that we did not have a map, so we had no idea where we could go until we reached the intersection of Highway 1 and the Eastern Trail. We ended up stopping at several gas station in search of a descent map and a way to get off highway 1. No joy. Eventually (only 2 stops before the intersection) we did get off the highway and found some less busy streets. We were definitely into the suburbs of Boston.

The ride into Boston was stressful for both of us. We were entering a large city without any maps. Unlike Maine and New Hampshire, the interim Greenway route in Massachusetts does not appear to be signed, so we were working solely from a GPS track (without street names). Our planned Greenway route turned out to be useless once we got close to downtown, since it followed a proposed bike path which appears not to exist yet . At one point Scott almost directed us into one of the tunnels under Boston (Big Dig!). Fortunately, Becky had been to Boston before and refused to ride on any road that had no shoulder and looked like it was going into a tunnel! Through some magic, Scott managed to get us to the Charles River bike trail. From there it was an easy ride to the home of Don, our host for the next two days. By 6:45 pm, we arrived Don’s place in Cambridge and were happy to meet a new friend and enjoy a meal out.

Elevation Profile
Download GPS Track in GPX format