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Tell me About Cycling in

Old 02-20-16, 07:32 AM
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Jim from Boston
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Tell me About Cycling in

I just finished replying to this post on the Touring Forum "Where to cycle from Chicago" with this comment,

Originally Posted by Jim from Boston View Post
On a general note, I think it would be a great service by various BF subscribers to provide write-ups for visiting cyclists about their cities. For example, I wrote a post in reply to a similar query about riding in Boston that I have frequently cited as a “Cyclist’s Guide to Metro Boston.” It’s intended for the visiting cyclist who wants to know where to ride, and how to get around by bike. Mine is mainly written for roadie / tourists, who want to get in a substantial ride in interesting areas.

@ Papa Tom has attempted a similar thread for Long Island,”Would Anybody Mind A Few Threads About "Casual" Rides In Our Region?.” A sticky on the Touring Forum would be a nice storehouse for such posts.
So I’m starting a thread to catalog cycling possibilities in various cities. If there is enough interest, I’ll list the cities reviewed in this opening post. See if we can keep this thread bumped by adding cities.

Cities Reviewed (in order of post numbers):
  1. Boston, MA
  2. Boyne City, MI
  3. Edwardsville, IL (near St. Louis, MO)
  4. Tampa, FL
  5. Southern California/Los Angeles
  6. Seattle, WA
  7. Fort Worth, TX
  8. ...
  9. ...
  10. ...
  11. town in northwestern Oregon
  12. Columbus, OH
  13. Philadelphia, PA
  14. ...
on the Fifty-Plus Forum ("Tell me About Cycling in Your City")on Regional Discussion Forums
Here’s my rewrite of “A Cyclist’s Guide to Metro Boston.”


Welcome to Boston and environs; I love riding in and around this town. I'm a year round commuter from Kenmore Square downtown to Norwood 14 miles southwest of Boston, and a road cyclist.

For some generalities, my favorite map is the AAA road map of metropolitan Boston. I think of the area in sectors radiating from downtown and surrounded by a circumferential belt about 10 to 15 miles from Downtown, known as Route 128 (“America's Technology Highway”). All the riding is markedly better outside of 128.

Even better, a concentric beltway, I-495, is about 20-30 miles outside downtown, and there you are in exurbia and rural countryside. One could stay in Boston and explore various sectors by driving out to a distant starting point, or take the Commuter Rail outbound with fully-assembled bikes. The city and inner suburbs though are nice and interesting, but the traffic is urban, sometimes heavy and confusing.

Even though I've lived here for over 30 years, I always get lost on a new ride. Streets are laid out in a haphazard fashion; many streets, particularly the one you are riding on are not marked; they surreptiously change names; and in rotary intersections it's easy to lose your sense of direction. (I don't have a GPS.)

On a happier note, the Transportation Authority (MBTA) allows bikes on subways and commuter trains with certain restrictions and that's a nice way to get out of town without city riding, as noted above. MBTA > Riding the T > Bikes on the T

See also this post about local bikepaths / MUPS in the City of Boston proper, and nearby.

I would describe the sectors as (mostly for road riding outside of Rte 128):
  • North Shore: Beautiful Atlantic coastline, especially north of Lynn, to include Nahant, Marblehead and Marblehead Neck, on through Salem, Beverly and into ritzy Beverly Farms, and up to seafaring Gloucester, Rockport, Ipswich, etc.

  • Northern Suburbs: Lynnfield, Reading, Wilmington, Woburn, down through Winchester, etc: Pleasant suburban to rural inland roads.

  • Western: Lincoln, Lexington, Concord, Wayland, etc: Very ritzy, buccolic and historic; very popular for riding. This area IMO has the steepest hills.

  • Metrowest: Framingham, Natick; pleasant suburbs though pretty commercial along Rte 9

  • Southwest: Needham, Wellesley, Dover, Medfield, Walpole, Westwood, etc: probably more popular than the western burbs; wealthy exurban to rural, moderately hilly country roads, horse farms, mansions.

  • South; Norwood, Canton, Randolph, etc: middle class suburbia; rideable and interesting [See this ride report from July 2014]

  • South Shore beyond Quincy and Weymouth and into Hingham, Scituate, Marshfield, etc: Atlantic coastal, nice riding, though I find it hardest to get to because of confusing suburbs and pretty heavy and industrial sections, especially Weymouth, but this summer (2011) I have found a pleasant alternate route to the South Shore via Rte 53 and Broad St in Weymouth, and this sector is now a desirable area to ride.
I am a solo rider but the Charles River Wheelman and the North Shore cyclists, are two local clubs I am familiar with that have organized rides. Some bike shops also have organized rides, e.g. Landry's and Back Bay Bikes I know for sure. Wheelworks, International Bicycles and Harris Cyclery (where the late Sheldon Brown worked) are also well-known shops, and the Mass Bike Coalition, massbike.org is a local advocacy group.

Feel free to PM me with other questions, and

Originally Posted by Jim from Boston View Post
...Consider me as Metro Boston's Ambassador to BikeForums....

Last edited by Jim from Boston; 03-14-16 at 09:11 PM.
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Old 02-20-16, 01:21 PM
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Originally Posted by Jim from Boston View Post
Since the Fifty-Plus Forum is so geographically widespread, Im posting here to ask for subscribers to reply to that touring thread to tout their towns and inform (or even attract) cycling visitors.
I got this (first) reply:

Originally Posted by OldsCOOL View Post
Boyne City, Michigan. We are in a equidistant triangle with Charlevoix and Petoskey, a major all-season resort area. There are about 6-7 cycling shops in the 3 towns. In Boyne, we are a cycling friendly town. The scenery and multiple small towns in the area make it a special place for riders with major group rides coming through and/or originating in town. Lakes, roadside parks with water, hills, country and town, you really have to search hard to beat the experience.
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Old 02-21-16, 03:17 PM
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Edwardsville, IL (near St. Louis, MO)

Originally Posted by Barrettscv View Post
Edwardsville, Illinois and the general area is an oasis for cycling. The weather is mild, except for a few weeks during winter. Today it was in the seventies, with near clear skies and mild winds. We have an extensive bike path system: more than 80 miles are paved bikeway, with few intersections and no vehicles. Another 40 miles are gravel. Hundreds of cyclist use the system, but it never seems crowded.
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Old 02-21-16, 03:18 PM
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Tampa, FL

Originally Posted by John_V View Post
Tampa, Florida, located in Hillsborough County has an abundant number of areas to ride in, along with numerous rail trails and parks for both on and off pavement cycling. We are part of a bay area network of paved and non-paved cycling trails with connections to other state trails coming in the near future. When the connections are completed, we would be able to ride from Tampa/St Petersburg, on the west coast, across the state to Daytona Beach, on the east coast, without ever leaving a bike trail. The best part is that we have year-round cycling. The worse part is that Florida leads the nation in cycling fatalities and the bay area leads the state in the number of cycling/pedestrian fatalities. Riding in the unincorporated areas of the counties in the bay area are great, you just don't want to have to ride in the cities unless you absolutely have to or you're with a group of cyclist.
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Old 02-21-16, 03:21 PM
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Jim from Boston
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Southern California Los Angeles

Originally Posted by big john View Post
Southern California is so massive, so many different areas it would be hard to describe the cycling in a few words. Much of the area is cycling friendly but there are areas to avoid where drivers don't care if you live or die. From my door I have access to the San Gabriel mountains and can do many different climbing rides from here. Mountain biking is also close but the more popular mtb places involve a bit of driving.
There are several large cycling clubs nearby, I have been a member of one for 26 years.
We ride year-round and if you're a recreational cyclist you can find about anything you want here.
Originally Posted by jskash View Post
We are also fortunate to have the Orange Line bike path in the San Fernando Valley and many streets have bike lanes.
https://www.traillink.com/trail-maps...bike-path.aspx
Originally Posted by tinrobot View Post
One more for Los Angeles/Southern California. There is a good bike culture here, plenty of bike shops and you can ride year round.

If you want to climb, you can find world class ascents in the San Gabriels. If you like the ocean, you can easily do a century along the beach to either San Diego or Santa Barbara. There are group rides for every ability and style. The city shuts down 10 mile stretches of city streets every few months for a thing called Ciclavia, where cyclists get the entire road. We're getting more bike lanes, but we still have our share of entitled and uneducated drivers. We're not to the level of Portland yet, but we're moving in the right direction.
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Old 02-21-16, 03:22 PM
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Seattle, WA

Originally Posted by Kindaslow View Post
Just outside of Seattle. It varies so much that it is hard to describe. There are routes that are extremely well developed with bike lanes and/or MUPs. Then, some of the cities have random bike lanes that you cannot hook together, and the in between streets can be dangerous. We have a strong bike culture here, with Cascade and Evergreen clubs leading the way. We have outstanding MTBing, with Duthie Park being an amazing place to spend a few hours. We do have two things that bother some folks. First, it would be difficult to go anywhere without having to climb some hills. And, we get rain for about 9 months of the year.
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Old 02-21-16, 03:24 PM
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Fort Worth, TX

Originally Posted by Doohickie View Post
If you come to Fort Worth to ride, there are two things to know:

The Trinity Trails
The Trinity River forks at downtown Fort Worth. After flooding in the 1940s, the river was rechanneled for flood control and several of the service paths along the river have been either paved over or covered in finely crushed limestone, making for great cycling along the Trinity Trails (link to system map). If you start from downtown, you can ride north the Stockyards historic district, northwest to Airfield Falls, or take the most popular and most improved part of the trail to the southwest. You can also go east to Gateway Park which has some interesting wooded trails.

If you take that trail, you'll pass Trinity Park at milemarker 2, which is a gateway to the West 7th district, a recently redeveloped area with lots of bars, restaurants and dessert places. Just south of Trinity Park is the Clearfork Food Truck Park right on the trail, with a beer and wine hut. Continuing on you'll pass The Woodshed Smokehouse adjacent to the trail just past milemarker 3 which is another popular stop. A little further down at milemarker 5 is the Clearfork Trailhead which has a Mellow Johnny's Bike Shop (that's the shop started by Lance Armstrong; the original location is in Austin) and in the same building, the Press Cafe with food, coffee, and a full bar. If you continue on the trail, it ends at Hwy 183 but just before that you can take the low water crossing and get off the trail at Bellaire Drive and follow bike lanes south to where the trail picks up again and go all the way to Lake Benbrook; this last part is pretty heavily wooded. The whole Clearfork section of the trail from downtown to the lake is a little over 20 miles round trip.

The Bike Lanes
Fort Worth has numerous and improving bike lanes in downtown. There are many lanes marked for buses and bikes only (which made me nervous when I first heard about bikes sharing a lane with buses, but it works out fine) in the downtown area. Take one of the two tunnels (under I-30 and the train tracks), either Jennings or Commerce, south out of downtown to get to the Near Southside which is really ground zero for the bike friendly part of Fort Worth. Commerce turns into Main Street (which is interrupted downtown by the convention center). Main south of downtown is currently pretty torn up but within the next year will be Fort Worth's most serious foray into the Complete Streets concept of integrating pedestrian and bicycle traffic into the road design. Immediately south of downtown running just parallel to Main is Bryan Avenue which is quickly becoming a destination for fun, with a vodka distillery, a few bars, and a brewery that will be opening in the spring, all between Vickery Blvd. and Rosedale St. Just a little beyond that is an east-west street called Magnolia Avenue. Between Main and 8th Avenue (which is to the west) is a very cool selection of bars, restaurants and small businesses. Much of the Southside has bike lanes or marked bike routes, and traffic is generally light.

If you go west from downtown on 7th Street you can travel over the new 7th Street bridge to the West 7th area I mentioned earlier. Coming out of downtown you'll see Montgomery Plaza (an old Montgomery Ward warehouse that's been redeveloped) and just beyond that are several bars and restaurants. Or to the left there are more restaurants and stuff, starting primarily after Foch St. This area used to be pretty much all warehouses and industrial, with the sole exception of Fred's Texas Cafe which has been there since the '70s. It's all been pretty much redeveloped into one of the coolest mixed use areas in the city. And, as I mentioned earlier, Foch connects into Trinity Park and the trail system.

If you're just visiting and new to the area, that should give you plenty to explore from the saddle of a bike.
Originally Posted by Doohickie View Post
Oh, one more thing: Fort Worth is flat compared to many areas, but there is a bluff along the Trinity River that makes for a pretty tough climb when you're returning to downtown from the West 7th area. Probably the easiest climb is to take 7th Street. It's still a climb but it's not as severe as climbing up from the trail. (At the north end of downtown, Taylor Street is considered a rite of passage kind of climb; newer cyclists aren't gonna make it without walking.) There are ways up from the trail at 5th and 10th streets that aren't as challenging, but still significant climbs.
Originally Posted by canklecat View Post
Ditto, Doohickie's tips on Fort Worth. I'm on the far west end and usually find it easier to head west for exercise. Highway 580 (formerly Hwy 80 W, extending from Camp Bowie Blvd) offers a nice ride once you get west of the intersection with West Loop 820. I ride through that intersection but it can be a bit tricky near rush hour, with drivers wanting to get over to the right turn only lane, so I'll merge over to what seems like the "center" lane, but is actually the rightmost lane going straight through to 580.

Once you've navigated that bit of vehicular trickery, it's a nice peaceful ride west toward Aledo, merging into the frontage road for I-20. For now, at least, the frontage road sees very little traffic and has a wide shoulder in good condition if you're not comfortable riding the road. The shoulder is best with puncture resistant tires, due to the seasonal goat head grass burrs, broken glass, etc.

That's a smooth quiet ride until you approach Hwy 1187/3325, which can be a bit tricky at rush hour -- but so far I've had no difficulties with vehicles giving me enough space to merge leftward across the right-turn-only lane in order to keep heading straight west.

From there it's another easy ride toward Willow Park where you'll find some fast food places, restaurants, etc. Depending on time and how I'm feeling I'll turn around somewhere in Willow Park or Hudson Oaks. I'm gradually working my way up to a 40 mile round trip between my place near White Settlement and Weatherford, then on to Mineral Wells. For now, Hudson Oaks and back is about the limits of my conditioning.

There's a KOA campground near Weatherford and I might try an overnight or weekend bike-camping jaunt this year.
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Old 02-21-16, 04:22 PM
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Whatever the merits of the thread, posting it in multiple forums is considered spamming and is prohibited. Basic Guidelines Why don't you ask a mod to delete however many multiples you have of this?
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Old 02-21-16, 04:53 PM
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Jim from Boston
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Originally Posted by shelbyfv View Post
Whatever the merits of the thread, posting it in multiple forums is considered spamming and is prohibited. Basic Guidelines Why don't you ask a mod to delete however many multiples you have of this?
Good point. I had asked the various contributors above to post directly to this Touring Forum, but they all posted on Fifty-Plus, so I quoted here. The Moderators are free to delete whatever they want.

Originally Posted by Jim from Boston View Post
...Since the Fifty-Plus Forum is so geographically widespread, Im posting here to ask for subscribers to reply to that touring thread to tout their towns and inform (or even attract) cycling visitors.
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Old 02-21-16, 05:49 PM
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Probably fits the touring forum well enough. Interesting to hear other's experiences with routes beyond the MUPs, etc. It isn't usually obvious from maps whether a route is bicycle friendly, although Google Street View helps. That's how I scouted out the route I describe above, which looked very bike-friendly via a GSV virtual tour. But I take a couple of scenic detours that aren't completely shown by Google.
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Old 02-22-16, 11:24 AM
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Because its a Town Not a Major City , the post head count of those who even read this site may Be ME .

Hundreds of Bikes Touring the Pacific Coast on US 101 every summer, at least pass thru the western tip of this town

after braving the 2 lane Bridge across the River from Washington state , that Opened in 1966.
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Old 02-22-16, 02:25 PM
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Columbus, OH -
Features a wide-ranging, but disjoint cycling infrastructure. Two North-South trails connect the suburbs with the urban core. On the East, the Alum Creek Trail runs 32 miles along Alum Creek from Galena to Groveport, with a connecting spur to Blacklick and Reynoldsburg.

In the central metro, the Olentangy Trail runs from Worthington to Downtown, south to German Village. The Olentangy trail runs alongside the Olentangy and Scioto rivers. Both trails connect numerous Metroparks, and are mostly flat.

There are several east-west connectors between the trails, but tend to be dedicated bike lanes on surface streets.

In addition, the suburbs of Dublin (in the west), Westerville, and New Albany (in the east) have extensive bike routes, including trails and bike lanes.

Columbus Trails
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Old 02-22-16, 03:07 PM
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Philly

Downtown and many of the immediately surrounding neighborhoods are easy to bike in and there are numerous bike lanes. During decent weather I often ride to the movies, dinner, etc. Many of the more far flung 'hood are not as bike-friendly, but as a tourist you probably wouldn't have any reason to go them. We have a bike sharing program that started last year. You can ride from the Rocky statue to Valley Forge National Historic Park--a distance of more than 23 miles--with only about 1.5 miles of on-street riding. You can ride to the NJ coast in one day, but you really need to know a good route to make it enjoyable. There is also a large, wooded hiking and MTB area which includes single track.

One of my favorite long weekend getaways is to take my bike on the PATCO train to Lindenwold, NJ on a Friday morning and ride 54 miles to a campground in a NJ state forest. Saturday I ride to one or more shore points at the ocean and/or Delaware Bay, where there are numerous birds to be seen, including osprey and bald eagles. Sunday I ride to and then up the coast and catch a train home from Atlantic City. Another nice three-day trip is to ride to Lambertville, NJ via New Hope, PA and then take the D&R Feeder Canal Path up the NJ side of the Delaware River and then cross back into Upper Black Eddy, PA. There is a private campground near by. Do a ride in beautiful Hunterdon County, NJ (the fourth wealthiest country in the U.S.) on Saturday and then ride home Sunday. There are a couple of other state park camping facilities in PA and NJ that can be reached in one day.
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Old 04-08-17, 03:36 AM
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Hi guys! Sorry if I'm not using this correctly, I'm brand new.

I'm flying over from England in August and my plan is to cycle from Columbus airport to Ohio Dreams (near Butler).

I'd love to know if that's a ridiculous idea or not. How safe is the route for a relatively untraveled but cycling-experienced English idiot? I've googled for directions but I'm not sure whether to trust the routes suggested. 4 hours seems fine.

Thanks in advance!
Jack
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Old 04-08-17, 05:07 AM
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Hobart ...

/\/\/\/\/\/\/\

Meaning ... very hilly!

There are some cycling trails and tracks but most are quite short.
https://www.greaterhobarttrails.com.au/tracks/cycling/

The main one is the Intercity Cycleway. It's virtually flat ... and a person can extend the distance to the middle of Hobart.
https://www.greaterhobarttrails.com....city-cycleway/

The next longest one is the Clarence Foreshore Trail. It's a little bit less developed than the Intercity Cycleway.
https://www.greaterhobarttrails.com....reshore-trail/

We do make use of both, but extend them by using the roads.

If you ever come here, probably best to ask questions based on where you want to go and what you want to see ... rather than me trying to explain where you can go.
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Old 04-08-17, 07:38 AM
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As the OP of this thread, I was gratified to see it resurrected after the previous most recent post of 2/22/16. I started it on 2/20/16, with a spinoff thread on the 50+ Forum:
Originally Posted by Jim from Boston View Post
I think it would be a great service by various BF subscribers to provide write-ups for visiting cyclists about their cities....So I’m starting a thread to catalog cycling possibilities in various cities. If there is enough interest, I’ll list the cities reviewed in this opening post. See if we can keep this thread bumped by adding cities.

Cities Reviewed (in order of post numbers):
  1. Boston, MA
  2. Boyne City, MI
  3. Edwardsville, IL (near St. Louis, MO)
  4. Tampa, FL
  5. Southern California/Los Angeles
  6. Seattle, WA
  7. Fort Worth, TX
  8. ...
  9. ...
  10. ...
  11. town in northwestern Oregon
  12. Columbus, OH
  13. Philadelphia, PA
  14. ...
on the Fifty-Plus Forum ("Tell me AboutCycling in Your City")on Regional Discussion Forums
Here’s my rewrite of “A Cyclist’s Guide to Metro Boston.”…
In reply to these new posts:
Originally Posted by TSDJack View Post
…I'm flying over from England in August and my plan is to cycle from Columbus airport to Ohio Dreams (near Butler).

I'd love to know if that's a ridiculous idea or not. How safe is the route fo ra relatively untraveled but cycling-experienced English idiot? I've googled for directions but I'm not sure whether to trust the routes suggested. 4 hours seems fine.

Thanks in advance!
Jack
May I suggest posting to the Great Lakes Regional Discussion Forum.I myself have responded to several requests about visiting Boston to the Northeast Discussion Forum, and even rode with a few.
Originally Posted by Machka View Post
Hobart ...

If you ever come here, probably best to ask questions based on where you want to go and what you want to see ... rather than me trying to explain where you can go.
Well said. You are IMO, the doyenne of Cycle Touring on BF.


Finally in reply to the previous most recent thread:
Originally Posted by indyfabz View Post
Philly

One of my favorite long weekend getaways is to take my bikeanother nice three-day trip is …Do a ride in beautiful Hunterdon County, NJ …Saturday and then ride home Sunday. There are a couple of other state park camping facilities in PA and NJ that can be reached in one day.
FYA, there was a recent thread about weekend cycling trips on the Touring Forum, “I'm taking off on another 2 day trip tomorrow.” Several subscribers replied, but only the OP (San Francisco Bay area) and I (Metro Boston) offered suggestions for weekend destinations:
Originally Posted by jeff400650 View Post
I've been doing these fun rides lately... Pick a cool town about 50 or 60 scenic miles away. Book a nice room near town. Ride there (in my case, with my dog along). And then have my wife drive there to meet for a nice, romantic night onthe town. It takes her an hour or two, to drive to where it takes me and my 20LB dog to get in a leisurely 6 hours or so. Some fine dining. A hike.Shopping. Maybe live music.

Next morning, charming breakfast, etc... Then I ride home, usually a different route. I get two days of serious riding, and she gets fun little get-a-ways close to home. We are exploring towns near us that we would otherwise never spend a night in, except that for a cyclist, it is a day's journey.

Healdsburg, CA. a few weeks ago
Halfmoon Bay, CA. a couple weeks ago
Tomorrow, Guerneville, CA. Staying at a place built in 1905. Cabins on the Russian River.

I guess you could call it short range, luxury touring with a spousal inclusion component.
Originally Posted by Jim from Boston View Post
I have thought about such rides for a long time…A couple years ago I thought about making up such list for weekend getaways, as you described, and posting to the local Metro Boston thread.

We live in downtown Boston, and can go out in all directions (except eastward into the Atlantic Ocean). So for here on the Right Coast, counterclockwise around Boston, such destinations would be:
  • Newburyport, MA (did a mutual cycle trip with my wife there once)
    Portsmouth, NH
    Nashua, NH
    Lowell, MA
    Worcester, MA
    Providence, RI (did a car weekend trip there)
    Plymouth, MA (one mutual cycle trip there).

Last edited by Jim from Boston; 04-08-17 at 10:24 AM.
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Old 04-08-17, 08:05 AM
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I will also add this ... this was a thread I started a few years ago and to which I still need to add some Tasmanian photos.

However, several other people have added photos and comments.

http://www.bikeforums.net/touring/66...art-world.html
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Old 04-08-17, 04:20 PM
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robow
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Originally Posted by Jim from Boston View Post
Edwardsville, IL (near St. Louis, MO)
A bicycle map of the various trails and other helpful info for the area.

MCT Trails Map
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