Boston is world-famous for its marathon runners and public transportation, but not really known for its bicyclists—yet. Due to recent efforts by Mayor Menino, the city's cyclists are gaining more ground through projects and the consistent growth of the biking community. Student-designed bicycle rack installation and the Roll it Forward program (which refurbishes used bikes and distributes them to low-income communities) are just a few examples of the work that's already been done. With new bike paths being proposed and older paths restored, Menino seeks to pursue his vision of a "vibrant and healthy city that benefits all of its citizens." Boston Bikes, a government department that enthusiastically matches the mayor's strides toward this dream of a bicycling metropolis, encourages the five E's of bicycle awareness: engineering, enforcement, education, encouragement, and evolution. Though the biking community in this city is still gaining recognition, all you have to do is look for the familiar rolled-up pant leg to know the numbers are growing.
The Paul Dudley White Charles River Bike Path: For recreational bikers, this 14-mile loop along the Charles River is perfect for a leisurely ride. Cycle beside paddle boats on this popular trail, and share the ride with pedestrians and dog walkers who keep this path along Boston's most famous river well-used. If you like riding towards a destination, this path leads to Boston's Museum of Science. You can stop at benches along the route to relax, have a picnic, or just watch the Red Line trains ride lazily across the bridge in the distance. If you're a less experienced biker, the full route is not recommended due to variations in path size, which can get extremely narrow. Map: www.massbike.org
Muddy River Bike Path: If you're riding with a purpose, the Muddy River Bike path provides a great alternative to the dangers of biking alongside cars and other vehicles. Perfect for a worker's commute, this beautiful and connective pathway runs along the north bank of the Muddy River from Park Drive in Boston to Brookline Avenue in Brookline, the city that maintains this path. It is currently part of an ongoing project that hopes improve the path's environment. Map: www.cityofboston.gov
Pierre Lallement Southwest Corridor Bike Path: This path runs along the Orange Line and, characteristic of Boston, it has a historical stop. Pierre Lallement, inventor of the pedal bicycle, lived along this route until his death in 1891. Pay him tribute as you see Boston from a different point of view, away from busy streets and tricky roadways. Map: www.mhd.state.ma.us
Stony Brook Reservation Bike Paths: Try one of Boston's less traveled bike paths, but be warned: it passes through some very gnarly terrain. This path was once notorious for its lack of maintenance, but recent improvement projects have fixed the most unfriendly parts of this trail. It still has rugged areas that have yet to receive attention—which may provide a thrilling ride depending on your level of expertise. These paths feature both paved and unpaved trails. Map: www.mass.gov
- Bicycle Shops and Rental Stores:
- Boston has many opportunities for you to get your feet on your own set of pedals. Visit mtbike.mountainzone.com for a listing of all biking stores in Boston.
- Biking Clubs in the New England Area:
- • List of Biking Clubs: www.crw.org/clubs.htm
- • Urban advenTours guided tours: www.urbanadventours.com
- • Landry's Bicycles: www.landrys.com
- • Back Bay Bicycles and Papa Wheelies Bicycle Shop: backbaybicycles.com
- General Information:
- • Boston Bikes: www.cityofboston.gov/bikes/