Riding the Border to Boston (B2B) Trail - Part IV

November 04, 2022

By: Aidan Awiszus & Bode Devellian

This is the fourth installment of the Riding the Border to Boston (B2B) Trail series, Read Part III Here

Our First Real City Riding

Everett to Boston

Our final ride was 7.6 miles, the exact same distance as the Mount Washington Auto Road Bicycle Hillclimb (which Bode remembers all too well because he suffered through it the month before our Border to Boston journey). This was much easier. The ride from Everett to Long Wharf took us about 1 hour and 15 minutes, although it was just 54 minutes of ride time. When we got dropped off, the weather changed, and we were a little skeptical about the rain, but we decided to go for it. The route was mainly paved bike paths that were next to roads. Most of them had flex posts separating the cyclists from the traffic, so we felt very comfortable, more comfortable than riding through some parts of Peabody and Salem.

Under the bridge next to the Malden River, hiding from the rain.

Starting out in Everett, we got onto a bike path that crossed under a bridge. The path had stone walls that were almost like berms and were fun to ride up and down. We stayed there a while to see if the rain would stop. Then we crossed through Gateway Park where there was a staircase to ride. We then rode adjacent to the Malden River for a while, which was nice, and by the Encore Casino which was impressive and had a really nice path with pretty landscaping.

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Riding the Border to Boston (B2B) Trail - Part III

November 03, 2022

By: Aidan Awiszus & Bode Devellian

This is the third installment of the Riding the Border to Boston (B2B) Trail series, Read Part II Here

On the Water

Swampscott to Everett

For our third ride, we rode twenty miles from Swampscott to Everett via the Swampscott Rail Trail through Lynn to the Northern Strand Trail with a short detour to Nahant. Our ride time was 2 hours and 19 minutes, but our total time was 3 hours and 10 minutes because we stopped for coffee and to take pictures. To make navigating more manageable, we kept the East Coast Greenway route map open and followed it. For this ride, we both used our enduro mountain bikes which are heavy and have a lot of suspension. It was nice for riding down staircases, but it slowed us down a noticeable amount. The whole ride was paved, so any bike would work.

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Riding the Border to Boston (B2B) Trail - Part II

November 02, 2022

By: Aidan Awiszus & Bode Devellian

This is the second installment of the Riding the Border to Boston (B2B) Trail series, Read Part I Here

Swamps, Witches, and Boats

Topsfield to Swampscott

For our second ride, we rode twenty-four miles from Topsfield to Swampscott via the B2B trail. We had planned to finish in Everett but thunder was coming so we bailed early. Our ride time was 2 hours and 23 minutes but our total time was 3 hours and 45 minutes because we stopped to take pictures and videos, drink coffee, and do jumps. For this ride, Aidan rode his Trek Remedy Enduro Bike and Bode rode his Trek Fuel Ex Trail Bike with his cross-country race wheels. The Enduro bike was a bit slower than the race bike but exceeded at doing jumps and features that the race wheels may have broken on. We have ridden the Topsfield Linear Common between Topsfield and Danvers hundreds of times and we like to ride to the Wenham Canal, the Swamp Walk, and visit downtown Danvers where there is a bike shop adjacent to the rail trail, Western Cycle, and some jumps behind the high school. The Wenham Canal is very scenic and the Swamp Walk is a fun, long wooden bridge through what used to be a swamp but because of the drought, it is currently all dried up. The main trail is made of stone dust so any bike would work but if you want to have more fun, wider tires are best. In Danvers Center, we went to Kaffmandu Coffee House which isn’t directly on the rail trail but is in town on Maple Street. It has nice coffee with lots of different options and good pastries. Bode had a cinnamon mocha coffee and Aidan had a caramel latte and both were excellent. Kaffmandu is always great.

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Riding the Border to Boston (B2B) Trail - Part I

November 01, 2022

By: Aidan Awiszus & Bode Devellian

Our First B2B Adventure

Salisbury to Topsfield

We had a lot of fun exploring the Border to Boston (B2B) Trail that runs from Salisbury to Boston. Our first day, riding from Salisbury to Topsfield, included the interim on-road section which made us, two avid teenage mountain bikers, enjoy road riding even more. It will be so much nicer though when the Newburyport and Topsfield trails are finally connected with a bike path through Byfield, Georgetown, and Boxford. We know many people who cannot wait for that to happen and we are all excited about the recent $1.2 Mil grant that will help fund the planning to complete this section and other sections of the trail.

For our first day on the B2B, we started in Seabrook, NH and traveled to Topsfield, MA via the Seabrook to Salisbury Connector, the Clipper City Rail Trail (CCRT), the Ghost Trail, and the East Coast Greenway (ECG) road section from Newbury to the Topsfield Linear Common. Altogether the ride was about 31 miles. For this ride, Aidan rode his gravel bike and Bode his road bike. In some places, the gravel bike felt better and in some places, the road bike felt better, however, both worked. While our ride time was 2 hours 15 minutes, we stopped a lot to take pictures and eat food so we were gone for about 3 hours. We started out having trouble finding the starting location in Seabrook and had to drive past it, then follow the ECG signs to the start. In case you are wondering, the starting point is in the back of the parking lot of a company called Coastal Hydraulics (28 Collins St., Seabrook, NH). We decided to use our road/gravel bikes because of the long ECG road section. If we had had our mountain bikes, we would have stopped at March’s Hill, the local bike jumps in Newburyport.

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Join MassBike to Chat Trails & E-Bikes at the MassTrails Conference

October 29, 2022

From November 9th to 12th, the Massachusetts Department of Recreation & Conservation and the Massachusetts Recreational Trails Advisory Board are hosting the 2022 MassTrails Conference. The conference includes a variety of interactive field trips, hands-on workshops, and educational plenary sessions covering all things trails across Massachusetts. While the field trips and workshops will be held across the state from November 9th through 11th, the plenary sessions will take place on Saturday, November 12th at Great Wolf Lodge in Fitchburg. For trail advocates across Massachusetts, this is a “can’t miss” event.

MassBike will be bringing our expertise to the conference with one of the field trip sessions on Friday, November 11th. MassBike Executive Director, Galen Mook, will be hosting “E-Bikes and Increasing Access to Trails Across the Commonwealth” at Herter Park in Boston from 2:00 p - 4:00 pm. His presentation will address some of the concerns and confusion around electric-assist bicycles and other micromobility devices and discuss the users of these devices and their dependence on low-speed electric motors to access our parks, trails, and active transportation corridors. Join Galen to learn more about e-bike definitions, the increase in ridership and diversity of who is riding e-bikes and why, and how we can increase equitable access to trails without increasing conflicts between current and future trail users.

Registration for the MassTrails Conference is now open, learn more at www.masstrailsconference.com

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#BrightenUp Bicyclists in Your Community

October 27, 2022

Rider in Springfield riding bright thanks to #LightsBrigade

In the past four years, MassBike has purchased and distributed over 6,000 sets of front and rear lights to bicyclists of all ages and abilities across Massachusetts. Our volunteers stationed themselves at busy commuting corridors and pathways to flag down bicyclists without lights and provide lights to keep the riders safer and legal while biking at night. All bike riders in Massachusetts are legally required to have front white lights and a red taillight or rear reflector 30 minutes after sunset or 30 minutes before sunrise, we want to ensure every bike rider in the commonwealth is riding legally at night.

We have a long way to go until every rider is bright. You can help us reach our goal by volunteering or donating today, read on to learn more about how you can brighten up cyclists in your community this year.

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Mass Avenue and Appleton Update: October 2022

October 27, 2022

By: Petru Sofio

For the past two years, MassBike has been advocating for safety improvements at the intersection of Massachusetts Avenue and Appleton Street following the tragic death of Charlie Proctor. After short-term improvements were installed, Arlington continued to work on a longer-term solution to improve safety for all along the corridor. At a recent Open House event, concept designs were released for the Mass Ave and Appleton corridor's long-term improvements.

At the event, Stantec presented concept designs for the corridor which include several key features MassBike has been advocating for. Most specifically, continuous separated bicycle lanes have been included in both directions. We're pleased to report that all design options include these sidewalk-level separated bike lanes to include safety along the corridor.

Other features including floating parking, pocket parks, new crossing opportunities, and new traffic signals at both Forest Street and Appleton Street will create a totally new corridor. The designs presented would make the Mass Ave and Appleton Corridor more people focused than any other in the town. The presentation from Stantec, as well as the full concept for the Mass/Appleton corridor, can be found on Arlington’s project website for Mass/Appleton.

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MA E-Bike Law FAQs - October 2022

October 03, 2022

We’ve been getting lots of questions about e-bikes and the recently passed Massachusetts e-bike legislation. You can always find a comprehensive overview of current Massachusetts e-bike laws at www.massbike.org/ebikes

Our e-bikes page will be updated as new information becomes available and also includes a link to our in-depth e-bike FAQ. To be the first to know about any updates about Massachusetts e-bike laws or the status of e-bike rebates, make sure to join our mailing list.

Below you can find a few of the most frequently asked questions we’ve received. As always, we highly encourage you to reach out to your local legislators to let them know that e-bikes are an important issue to riders across the commonwealth.

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MassBike at NACTO: Designing Cities 2022

September 30, 2022

By: Petru Sofio

Between September 7th and 10th 2022, I attended the National Association of City Transportation Officials conference in Boston, MA. Over the course of a week, I learned about best practices cities across the country are using for street design. But first, what is NACTO?

NACTO (National Association of City Transportation Officials) is a national organization formed by city transportation officials who felt that national guidance was not supporting their nuanced goals for multi-modal streets. Over the years, NACTO has grown to 91 member cities across North America. Each year, NACTO hosts a conference that allows city advocates, and elected/transportation officials to meet and share their experiences. NACTO chooses to host the conference in a different member city every year, and this year, NACTO was hosted in Boston, Cambridge, and Somerville, MA. 

When I learned NACTO was coming to the Boston region, I quickly asked if I would be able to represent MassBike at the conference, and was happy to hear that my request was approved. I wanted to attend the conference because I would be able to meet transportation professionals and learn about their best practices. I also was excited to attend the conference sessions about bikeway and transit design.

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Worcester Weekend Group Ride with AARP Recap

September 27, 2022

MassBike teamed up with AARP Massachusetts to host a weekend group ride from the Blackstone River Valley Heritage Center in Worcester. The ride was the final installment of our 3-part Worcester AARP bicycling series, where e-bike program participants and youth were also invited to participate in an intergenerational experience.

We gathered at the Blackstone Heritage Corridor Visitors Center, a state park that highlights the history of the industrial revolution that began in the area and Worcester’s role in cycling history going back to the late 1800s. Along with e-bikes and standard road and mountain bikes, participants got the chance to check out a “penny-farthing” bicycle!

Over 30 riders joined to enjoy the Blackstone River Bikeway and some adjacent low-stress roadways. The participants were a mix of older adults, Worcester e-bike program participants, and Worcester Earn-a-Bike. We were also joined by Antron Watson, Age-Friendly Director of AARP Massachusetts, and Devon Kurtz from the Blackstone River Valley National Heritage Corridor. 

This was the first group ride for many of the e-bike program participants and acted as a networking opportunity for the e-bike riders. “It was a nice ride at a great location, with good energy,” said Alex Salcedo, MassBike’s E-Bike Grant Manager, “and a lot of biking tips were shared among the e-riders.” 

Thanks to AARP Massachusetts, the Blackstone River Valley Heritage Center, and Worcester Earn-a-Bike for the support of this group ride. We’ll be continuing to host group rides and bicycling workshops in Worcester as part of our AARP Intergenerational Program this fall, you can learn more information at www.massbike.org/events.

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