Oleg’s How I Spent My Summer Vacation, Massachusetts Edition

How I spent My Summer Vacation, Part 1: Cycling in Boston
by Oleg.

Despite traveling to Boston at least 2-3 times a year for the past 8 years now, this is the first time I bring Ritchey Breakaway with me. The reason is that my brother owns a whole bunch of (mostly super-old but rideable) bikes and usually I just borrow one of them to ride. The weather is often not the best (I visit almost every Xmas) and various family functions make it difficult to ride a lot.

I was staying in the area for a while (with a brief two-day trip to Chicago and four-day trip to Easton, MA) – it rained quite a bit when I was visiting but I got a few long rides in during my stay in the area.

More photos below:

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My Ritchey Breakaway on my first day of riding in Boston.

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“Secret” Door.

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Nutting Lake Beach. Best summer jobs for kids is working as lifeguards at this (usually deserted) beach.

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Boston Bikeshare system instituted since my last visit to the city is quite popular and gained a lot of users. I also liked more bicycle-friendly infrastructure even though Boston still has a long way to go.

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Another Mysterious Door.

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I joined this group in Concord, they rode from Walden Pond but quickly turned to Lexington, leaving me to ride solo. It stayed that way for the next 3 hours.

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One of the many ponds in the Northwestern suburbs of Boston.

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And another pond. Very peaceful and quiet.

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A solo rider walking his bike on Bedford-Billerica Railroad converted to bike trail.

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There was a lot of rain the first week of my visit and snails were coming out everywhere.

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Near yet another pond.

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Billerica-Bedford Railroad – the first major railway in the country, circa 1877.

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A rustic looking cabin near Minutemen historic park in Lexington/Bedford area, on Lexington Road.

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Today I rode across state lines, to New Hampshire.

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Beautiful New England scenery with rolling hills and pastures.

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Concord center where historic battles of revolutionary war were fought.”Faithful unto death”.

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Rode by this Ice Cream place in Maynard, Mass. but it only opens at 11AM. I was there at 10:30.

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Another photo of Bedford rail-to-trail project. Gorgeous dirt trails, I rode my Ritchey all over these and other dirt trails – 25mm help a bit.

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New Hampshire Pastures.

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So Many Choices! Another Ice Cream joint, this time in Pepperell, MA, just a mile or so from New Hampshire border. Also closed.
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St. Rita Parish on Mammoth Rd. in Lowell, MA

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Mini Waterfalls as seen from a bridge over Merrimack River in Lowell, MA.

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Silver Lake in Wilmington, MA. I swam there a few times.

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One Sunday I joined Roger and some of his friends for a ride from Ride Studio Cafe in Lexington. They were heading for the coast. Roger rode 120 miles the day before and was going to do another 100+ mile day when I joined them.

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Patria (on the left) is a Colorado native who works at Ride Studio Cafe, a place that combines best two things in the world – bikes and coffee!

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Roger and Patria. Katja in the background.

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We stopped at Atomic Cafe in Beverly, Mass. for a coffee and pastries.

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Atomic Cafe in Beverly.

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Atlantic Ocean in Beverly, MA.

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Wooded park (in Great Brook Farm) in Carlisle, Mass.

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Walden Pond beach. This is where Thoreau lived and worked.

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Cyclists, swimmers, runners and especially triathletes frequent Walden Pond for it’s nearby traffic-free roads, plenty of trails and nice swimming environment in the Walden Pond.

A total of 24 hours or so of riding over almost two weeks I spent near Boston.

How I Spent My Summer Vacation, Part 2: Cape Cod.

I rode on Cape Cod today. Was always on a list of things to do for me. I wanted to ride from my parents house to Cape Cod and back, but if I were to go all the way to Provincetown, that’s about 130 miles one way. So I would have to spend the night there and then head back the next day. Except Provincetown hotels are all booked up (expensive also!) in the summer, which is the only time of the year when this trip would be enjoyable. Maybe in the fall it would be better actually.

The ride reminded me a lot of the summer of 2004 when we lived on a sailing boat for a week, during which time we sailed around the Cape and Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket. It was a lot of fun, I was completely disconnected from civilization, phones, email, internet for a week. I doubt it will happen again soon, given my responsibilities and lifestyle nowadays, which is really too bad.

Instead of trying to ride to Cape Cod, we simply drove out to Sandwich, just past the bridge across Cape Cod Canal, and then rode from there south, to Woods Hole and back up. One the way out we took the bike path which was way too crowded and much more dangerous than the roads. On the way back we decided to ride all the way to the north end of the canal, which was a lot of fun, including the dirt road in the very end.

The Cape is nice, but especially beautiful on the coastline near Woods Hole and Hyannis. Otherwise you are spending most of the time riding through the woods that might as well be central Massachusetts or even New Hampshire, nothing too special.

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