(This page put together with a lot of help from Doug Mink)
|Massachusetts On-Road Bicycling||Maintenance and Repair|
|New England On-Road Bicycling||Bicycling Skills|
|New England Paths and Trails||Bicycle Touring|
|New England Off-Road Bicycling||Bicycle Racing|
|Other Bicycle Books||Sources for Bicycle Books|
Massachusetts On-Road Bicycling
Short Bike Rides in Eastern Massachusetts and Short Bike Rides in Western Massachusetts by Howard Stone, Globe Pequot Press Lots of good short rides on well-tested routes.
Exploring In and Around Boston on Bike and Foot, by Lee Sinai, Appalachian Mountain Club Books, 1996 Globe Pequot Press. I bought this from the author at Bike to Work Day in Boston, three weeks after it was published. It contains 11 on-road, 10 off-road, and 19 walking loop trips in Boston and its suburbs, all inside I-495, many inside Route 128. I haven't tried any of the rides as listed in the book, but I have ridden many of the trips and found the routing and commentary in the book quite helpful. There is a bit more description than in Howard Stone's books, and I like the inclusion of both the Minuteman Bikeway (on-road) and its extension to Concord (off-road).
Bicycling the Atlantic Coast: A Complete Route Guide, Florida to Maine, by Donna Ikenberry Aitkenhead, Seattle: The Mountaineers, 1993. In my days as LAW State Touring Information Directory, the most common request from out of state was for a route along Massachusetts' seacoast. The Massachusetts portion of the route described, with maps and points of interest, in this book is a good first step toward such a route, though it bypasses the scenic and historic South Shore by taking the ferry to Boston from Provincetown.
The Cape Cod Bike Book, by William E. Peace (P.O. Box 627, South Dennis, MA 02660). This little book covers Cape Cod, including the Cape Cod Rail Trail, with very detailed maps which let you get off the routes and explore without getting lost.
Short Bike Rides on Cape Cod, Nantucket and the Vineyard, by Edwin Mullen, Globe Pequot Press I have used earlier editions to find interesting places to ride when visiting unfamiliar parts of the Cape, and found it an OK starting book, especially when used with Andy Rubel's map. The new sixth edition includes more routes and should be an improvement over the earlier editions I've used.
The Boston Basin Bicycle Book, by Edward Goldfrank, Janice Goldfrank, Alexander Humez, and Nicholas Humez (1975, David R. Godine, 300 Mass. Ave., Boston) It's now out of print, but is worth tracking down in used book stores. It contains 30 rides within the basin defined by the hills through which Route 128 (now I-95 and I-93) runs. Cue sheets are provided, and the routes are laid out on sections of U.S. Geological Survey maps with added information about local geology. The authors not only tell you where the hills are, but why they're there, as well as what many interesting rock outcroppings are made of. Following these routes is a good way to explore the city in a systematic way; later, when you have to get to a specific place, by bike or by car, you'll know where it is in the grand scheme of things. Contact the publisher in Boston to ask them to reprint this book.
Bicycle Touring in the Pioneer Valley, Nancy Jane, University of Massachusetts Press, 1978. ISBN 0-87023-248-7; 88 pages; $6.95 A good little book which is useful if you are riding around the Connecticut River valley. There are 16 rides ranging from 5 to 25 miles. There are distances and riding times for each loop, and good maps which show other roads in the area, a helpful feature if a turn is missed. A useful appendix describes interesting sites and indicates which rides to take to get to them.
The Bicyclist's Guide to the Southern Berkshires by Steve Lyons (1993, Freewheel Publications, Lenox, P.O. Box 2322, Lenox, MA 01240. ISBN 0-9632585-5-9; 272 pages, paperback, $14.95. The southern part of the Berkshire valley is quite FLAT unless you choose to go up into the hills. The Southern Berkshires are rural and crammed with cultural and scenic attractions. Tanglewood, the Norman Rockwell museum in Stockbridge with a bike path right through the grounds (Rockwell was a bicyclist!) and the Albert Schweitzer Center are just a few of the area's many noteworthy stops. One ride from the book retraces the route of Arlo Guthrie's Alice's Restaurant littering crime expedition, complete with a hilarious photo of Arlo. (John Allen)
Short Bike Rides in the Berkshire Hills by Lewis Cuyler (1991, Berkshire House, Box 297, Stockbridge, MA. ISBN 0-936399-02-3; 200 pages; $8.95) This is a nice book of rides for all of Berkshire county, including the superb, challenging ride up and down Mt. Greylock. You can also ride all the way around Mt. Greylock without any serious climbing. (John Allen)
There is a whole lot more, click below to continue reading.
New England On-Road Bicycling
The Best Bike Rides in New England, by Paul Thomas and Paul Angiolillo, Globe Pequot Press Shameless plug: I rode one of "The Best Bike Rides in New England" by Paul Angiolillo, published by Globe Pequot Press. I thoroughly enjoyed my ride and am told I am credited in the book, though I've not yet heard of its release. You might just ask if the revised edition is available. Check out this interview with author Paul Angiolillo.
Bed, Breakfast, and Bike in New England: A Cycling Guide to Country Inns by Alex & Nancy May (1991, White Meadow Press, P.O. Box 56, Boonton, NJ, 07005. ISBN 0-933855-05-2; 224 pages; $12.95) Available from Adventure Cycling. One of my favorites; it has a selection of nice B & B's, not cheap, several bike routes near the B&B's, and breakfast recipes in the back (my favorite part). (Bonnie Friedman).
Touring New England by Bicycle, by Peter Powers, Terragraphics, 1991 I have not tried the routes in this book, but it is interesting in giving route altitude profiles and computer-generated 3D "maps" of route terrain. (Anne Anderson)
New England Over the Handlebars, by Michael H. Farny (1975, Little, Brown, Boston). Contains 41 rides through five of the six New England states. This one might be in stock at the Lincoln Guide Service, where author Farny presides. For each ride, a map and cue sheet is augmented by a running narrative describing points of interest and obstacles along the route.
25 Bicycle Tours in Vermont, John S. Freidin, Backcountry Publications, 1993 The earlier edition of this book inspired me to take my 15-year-old nephew bicycle touring for eight days in Vermont. We had a wonderful trip, using some routes from Freidin's book. (Anne Anderson)
New England Bike Paths and Trails
Great Rail-Trails in the Northeast, by Craig Della Penna, $12.95 Good descriptions of trails. Adventure Cycling carries this.
Lost Railroads of New England, by Ronald Dale Karr, Branch Line Press, Pepperell, MA, 1996 Focusing on abandoned railroad lines, this is the second edition of a book which was first published in 1989. The included maps delineate an enticing array of present or future rail trails. The contorted corporate and geographical history of the maze of rail lines in New England makes for interesting reading. Being involved in the Wayside Trail, I was particularly interested in the history of the Central Mass. Line. The history of every existing or proposed rail trail (that I know of) is included. The author is on the library staff at U. Mass Lowell. He has done a lot of work researching railroad history in New England and has written books on several subjects including railroading. It is available from the publisher for $12.95+$3.00 S&H, 1st book, $1.50/copy for subsequent books (MA residents add 5% sales tax). It is also available in many bookstores, including some Barnes & Noble, WaldenBooks, etc. (Richard C. Williamson)
The Rail Lines of Southern New England, by Ronald Dale Karr, Branch Line Press, Pepperell, MA, 1995 As the title indicates, the book focuses on Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Connecticut. All rail lines are described including those still active, those out of service, and those abandoned. As with the other book, there are lots of maps, photos, and interesting history. It is available from the publisher for $22.95+$3.00 S&H, 1st book, $1.50/copy for subsequent books (MA residents add 5% sales tax). (Richard C. Williamson)
The Turnpikes of New England, by Fredric Wood, updated by Ronald Dale Karr, Branch Line Press, 13 Cross St., Pepperell, MA 01463 This is the first paperback edition of a book first published in 1919. I've abridged it somewhat, and modified the maps. Some of these old turnpikes may be of interest to cyclists. It is available from the publisher for $22.95+$3.00 S&H, 1st book, $1.50/copy for subsequent books (MA residents add 5% sales tax). (Ron Karr)
New England Off-Road Bicycling
Mountain Biking in Southern New England (or The Mountain Biker's Guide to Southern New England) and Mountain Biking in Northern New England (or The Mountain Biker's Guide to Northern New England) by Paul Angiolillo Falcon Press. Available from Ingram. Both in third printing, with a total of over 100 rides throughout New England.
Mountain Bike Rides Around Boston, by Stuart Johnstone.
Bicycle Maintenance and Repair
Anybody's Bike Book, by Tom Cuthbertson, 10-Speed Press. When I was 13 or so, I got a book called Anybody's Bike Book by Tom Cuthbertson published by 10-Speed Press. I recently saw it out in a second edition. It's very approachable for the not-so-mechanically-inclined. My first thought puts it in the category of repair manual, but if I recall it also has other good advice like equipment selection, locks, technique, etc. (Joel Parks)
The Bike Bag Book - A Manual for Emergency Roadside Bicycle Repair, by Tom Cuthbertson and Rick Morrall, Ten Speed Press, 1981. Small, clearly-written book with essential repair operations detailed. (Anne Anderson)
Sutherland's Handbook .Great but it's expensive and really geared for professional mechanics not beginners. (Joel Parks)
Glenn's NewComplete Bicycle Manual, by Clarence W. Coles, Harold T. Glenn, and John Allen; published by Crown Publishers. I rewrote much of the book for the 1986 edition. It is unusual among repair manuals in covering geared hubs. Sutherland's also does, including newer ones, but at a higher price. (John Allen)
Richard's Bicycle Book, by Richard Ballentine, Ballentine Books. A fairly complete listing of different kinds of bikes, as well as a second half devoted to maintaining them. Much more history than most of the other books, and not nearly so technical as my description might lead you to believe. It's my favorite general book about bikes. (David Wittenberg)
Building Bicycle Wheels, by Robert Wright, Anderson World, Inc., 1982 Small book, but packed with information. (Anne Anderson)
Effective Cycling, by John Forester, MIT Press. The bible on cycling in traffic, this book also includes quite a bit on maintenance, repair, and safety.
Bicycling Street Smarts, by John S. Allen, published by Rubel BikeMaps All the information you need to hit the street on a bike. Available online or in print at bike shops and from MassBike. This 46-page booklet covers the nuts and bolts of safe and legal on-road cycling including lane-positioning, navigating intersections, expert control of brakes and steering, emergency maneuvers, and dealing with difficult situations (ordering information).
The Complete Book of Bicycle Commuting, by John S. Allen. Rodale Press. 1981. "Street Smarts" is actually a much-abridged version of this book, which I think is better than Forester's, but which Rodale Press let go out of print after one edition. Copies occasionally turn up; grab one if you can. Check Amazon's used books.
The Road of Dreams, by Bruce B. Junek. Fascinating, well-written account of a couple's two-year bicycle tour of Australia, New Zealand, Southeast Asia and Northern India, focusing on the Asian and Indian segments. Incredible scenery, incredible experiences, all by bike. A coworker loaned this to me last year, and I read it cover-to-cover. Adventure Cycling carries this. (Anne Anderson)
Beginning Bicycle Racing, by Fred Matheny, Velo-news, Brattleboro, VT, ISBN 0-941950-04-2, 1983 A good introduction, explaining the various types of bicycle races, tactics, training, etc. (Anne Anderson)
Complete Bicycle Time Trialing Book, by editors of Bike World Magazine, World Publications, Box 366, Mountain View, CA 94042, ISBN 0-89037-123-7. Has some good information, although equipment coverage is out of date. (Anne Anderson)
Other Books About Bicycling
Bicycling Science, by Frank Whitt and David Gordon Wilson, MIT Press. Full of high-powered analysis and lots of other good stuff. (Joel Parks) David Gordon Wilson is older in years than in spirit. That just shows what a daily bicycle ride will do for a man. (John Allen)
Cycling Science, on-line magazine.
BikeCult, by David B. Perry; publisher 4 walls, eight windows.
ISBN 1-56 858-027-4 570 pages, $23.95. Lots of short biographical snippets on riders, and discussion of historic races. "Neat all around stuff about bikes" (David Wittenberg)
Guidebook Issue, from Recumbent Cycling News. Recumbent Cycling. A very thorough look at what is available as cycling alternatives. Given how popular feet first bikes are with the health club crowd, they just might convert some people that were turned off 15 years ago by a saddle suited to a 100km of training daily European racer. (Jeff Del Papa)
Pedal Power in Work, Leisure, and Transportation, by James C. McCullagh, ed., Rodale Press, 1977. Apparently out of print, but a fascinating collection of pedal-powered tools and adaptations of standard tools to pedal power. Has given my 8-year-old daughter and me hours of design ideas, including a pedal-powered snowplow for our driveway which we have never built, but continue to design every time we shovel snow. (Anne Anderson).
Bicycles and Tricycles, by Archibald Sharp, reprinted by MIT Press. Interesting history and mechanics. (David Wittenberg)
EnCYCLEopedia, Open Road Press EnCycleopedia describes bikes they find "interesting". Some are quite practical, others pure racers, but always interesting. They have more information on recumbents than most other sources. EnCycleopedia is an annual put out by the same folks who publish the Bicycle Culture Quarterly. (David Wittenberg)
Bike Culture Quarterly, Open Road Press "Published in Britain, Bike Culture Quarterly (BCQ) reports on the latest technological advances in bicycling and alternative bicycling products available, covers cycling advocacy efforts around the globe and includes features on the world's fastest and wildest human-powered vehicles and their designers. Commentary, photo essays, bicycle art, humor and fictional pieces round out BCQ making it the only magazine that thoroughly examines all types of cycling everywhere." (BCQ website)
Tales from the Bike Shop, by Marynard Hershon; published by Vitesse Press. A warm, friendly collection of stories set in a bike shop, but more about the people than the bikes. Requires a little knowledge of bicycling to make sense. (David Wittenberg)
Sources for Bicycle BooksChelmsford Paperback Booksmith, 7 Summer St., Chelmsford, MA 01824-3063. (978)256-3514. This is the store that loans us books to sell during Bike to Work Week. I have found them friendly and helpful, and they have a reasonable selection. (Anne Anderson)
Globe Corner Bookstore Harvard Square, Cambridge. Guidebooks and maps to everywhere. They sponsor lectures by people who have traveled and written the guidebooks.
Eastern Mountain Sports (EMS). A good assortment of bicycle books as well as other useful wilderness access books.
Eastern New England Council of HI-American Youth Hostels. 617-779-0900 x17
Adventure Cycling Association. Excellent source for bicycle maps and books. Publishes Cyclist's Yellow Pages annually, a collection of sources for bicycle tours, maps, advocacy, etc. in the U.S. and around the world. As an organization, Adventure Cycling develops bicycle routes and advocates for bicycle access and awareness. Publishes a good monthly magazine for members in addition to Yellow Pages. (Anne Anderson)
Adventurous Traveler Bookstore, 1-800-282-3963 A search on the word bicycle returns a long list of bike books, including several of those mentioned above, and you can order from the comfort of your SSL-enabled web browser using their secure server.
CycleBooks David White-Lief has many of the books listed above and says that he "will try to work all of the ones in print into my list."
Pedaling History Bicycling Museum 3943 North Buffalo Road, Orchard Park, NY 14127-1841, 716.662.3853. A great collection of historical information about bicycling, including vintage and collector books, reprints, and proceedings of the annual Cycling History Conferences, as well as other bicycle books.
Pete & Ed Books 5506 Madison Ave., Indianapolis, IN 46227, (800)793-7801 An extensive assortment of books about bicycling available by mail or phone order through their web page. Their catalog seems to cover the Midwest quite thoroughly, including maps as well as guidebooks, but they have books covering the whole world, sorted logically, with a brief description of each book.
Tamassee Guidebooks, Maps, & More, 401 West Main Street Walhalla, South Carolina 29691 Toll Free 888 770-5463, Fax 864 718-0042, email [email protected] They carry the bulk of bike titles and give wonderful service. (Madeleine Noland).
The Globe Pequot Press They publish a lot of bicycle touring and route books, including several covering New England. You can order from their Web site if your local bikeshop or bookstore doesn't carry the books you want. They suggest ways to find a bookstore from which to buy their books.
Rubel BikeMaps, 617.776.6567 [email protected]. Andy Rubel now publishes great bike maps of Eastern, Western, and Central Massachusetts as well as the second edition of his Cape Cod and Cape Ann map. He has also updated David Weaver's Boston Bike Map, originally done for the Boston Area Bicycle Coalition in the late 1970's.
Bicycle Books, San Francisco, CA. A few interesting books, including Cycling in Cyberspace.
Seidler Productions, Crawfordville, FL. Producers of the Effective Cycling Video and a long list of others.
Today is the first workday since Daylight Savings Time ended, so almost all of us will be riding home after dark tonight. You need to be seen! What's that you say - you can see well enough by streetlight/moonlight/starlight to get home? Maybe so, but riding in the dark is about 25% seeing where you're going and 75% being seen by others on the road. So make sure the people driving 2000 pounds of steel can see you way before they get near you.
Reflectors Alone Don't Cut It: Most bikes come with reflectors, but these tend to be too small, too dim, and, worst, only shine when light is pointed directly at them (so a car pretty much has to be heading right for you to have a chance of seeing your reflectors). Lights can be seen from much further away.
Headlights And Tail Lights Are A Great Start: That's a huge improvement over reflectors alone, but think about this: most lights cannot be seen from the side. So you are only visible to cars approaching from side streets when they are coming right at you!
The Total Visibility Solution: Ideally, you want to be visible from all angles. This does not mean wrapping yourself in holiday lights or looking like a disco ball - there are many options to satisfy both safety and style. Massachusetts actually has a law about bicyclist visibility, and it provides a good checklist:
- White front light (it must be white, but it can be solid or flashing)
- Red rear light or reflector (red only, and forget the reflector and get a light)
- Pedal reflectors or reflective ankle straps (old-school pedals come with reflectors, ankle straps do double duty by keeping your pants away from your dirty chain, and some very stylish cycling shoes have reflectors built in)
- Reflectors or reflective material visible from the side (lots of options, including wheel reflectors, reflective tires, jackets, vests, and reflective tape and stickers that can go on almost anything)
You don't have to dress in fluorescent yellow clothes, but don't be a bike ninja - there are no extra points for stealth.
Check your local bike shop for lights and other safety gear. Found a great deal? Post it here so everyone can light up!
Found this little gem, you may notice cameo's from Laura Smeaton one of our board members, Nicole Freedman Boston Bicycle programs director, and David Watson our executive director. They really are nice cages.
A small taste:
How awesome is that hair! Oh 1984...
Boston Bike Film Festival:
It rained a bit, but we had a great time parking bikes for this great festival. Patrons enjoyed the silent auction, the good food, and the entertaining movies, while MassBike braved the rain. We had a great time and are looking forward to next years fest.
350.org Climate Events:
MassBike and a whole lot of people concerned about the environment converged on Christopher Columbus park. Bikes were in full force, as one of the most environmentally friendly ways to get around it made perfect sense to see people show up on two wheels.
We also had a bunch of great MassBike Spins rides this weekend. For more information about the many rides in our MassBike Spins series click here, if you have a ride you want to be part of the series, contact us, we can provide ride insurance, event insurance, and a whole lot more (and it is often free!).
We wanted to make it as easy as possible to share these events with everyone, so you can now embed our calendar! Share our events with your readers, and stay up to date on all the many bicycle events going on state wide. For instructions on embedding the calendar click here.
If that wasn't enough, you can also add our calendar to your Google Calendar, either click on the calendar icon on the right (under Stay In Touch With MassBike), or click here.
Safe Routes to School Bicycle Safety Instructor
The Massachusetts Bicycle Coalition (MassBike) is seeking part-time Instructors for our statewide Safe Routes to School (SRTS) children's bicycle safety program. Instructors will report to and work closely with the Director of Education and Outreach.
MassBike is the statewide bicycling advocacy group for Massachusetts. MassBike promotes a bicycle-friendly environment, and encourages bicycling for fun, fitness and transportation. MassBike's programs focus on promoting bicycle-friendly legislation; improving bicycle access and safety on roads and public transportation; educating bicyclists, motorists, children, and police about bicycling; encouraging bicycle commuting; and creating opportunities to ride together.
- Work part-time from 0 to 20+ hours per month depending on the number and location of participating schools, as directed by MassBike.
- Complete training program to become certified as a MassBike SRTS Instructor. Training is paid, and provided by MassBike.
- Teach the SRTS bicycle safety class to children in grades 4-8 in schools statewide. This is a fast-paced, high-energy, 45-minute presentation. Classes are often presented multiple times in one day at the same school.
- Coordinate class schedule with Director of Education and Outreach.
- Obtain class materials from MassBike as needed and distribute in schools as directed.
- Prepare report on each school as directed by MassBike.
- Collect student survey forms and return to MassBike.
- Associates degree or equivalent relevant work experience.
- Teaching or public speaking experience preferred.
- Experience teaching children ages 10-14 helpful.
- Strong interest and participation in bicycling preferred.
- Strong interpersonal skills required.
- Excellent verbal communication skills required.
- Access to email.
- Current driver's license and access to a car.
- Access to a bicycle in good repair and bicycle helmet (used as props during class).
- Availability to work during school hours, Monday-Friday, 7:30am-3:30pm
- Must pass Criminal Offenders Record Information (CORI) check.
Pay and Expenses:
Competitive hourly rate, plus reimbursement for mileage and tolls.
To apply, please submit cover letter and resume to [email protected]
This Friday and Saturday (10/23 & 10/24), we will provide our top-notch bicycle valet services at the Boston Bicycle Film Festival outside the Brattle Theater in Harvard Square. Bike valet begins at 6:30 and ends at 11:30. We'll have two 2 & 1/2 hour shifts each night. After a shift ends (or before it begins), volunteers get into the film fest the night they volunteer for free!
And just because everyone loves bicycle parking so much, we're also providing bike valet at Climate Action Day Boston on Saturday, 10/24. The event takes place at Columbus Park in Downtown Boston, near the Longwharf Marriott. Parking begins at 2:30pm and goes until 6:00pm. We will have two shifts of 1 hour, 45 minutes each. We're planning for between 200-300 bicycles, so we need all the help we can get. We also need one volunteer who can help with setup. Setup begins at 1:30 and ends at 2:30.
Bike valet is an easy way to help out and all you have to bring is yourself! RSVP to [email protected] to claim a shift or ask for more details. Learn about other MassBike volunteer events at our volunteer calendar.
Once again this year we will be providing our high quality bike valet service for the Boston Bike Film Festival. The Boston Bike film fest will be Friday and Saturday, October 23-24, 2009. Come see original films submitted by talented national and international filmmakers, and have your bike parked by the fine folks here at MassBike. A portion of the proceeds go to MassBike, so not only will you know your bike is safe and sound as you enjoy these fine movies, but you will also be helping out our advocacy efforts! Also be sure to check out the awesome silent auction items.
You can buy your tickets here, or see the list of movies and schedule here.
If that wasn't enough bike awesomeness for you we are also going to be having a very fun movie themed ride before the festival. Boston has been the set for many a fine film, join MassBike and the Boston Bike Film Fest on a fun tour of the various movie sets around Boston. The tour is free for BBFF ticketholders! (Helmets Required)
The ride is pretty flat but be aware that we will be riding on Boston city streets.
Sites we will visit include:
Two currently filming movies
The Town, directed/starring Ben Affleck with Jon Hamm and
The Tom Cruise/Cameron Diaz' Wichita project (as yet untitled)
Recently released films
Some old favorites
Good Will Hunting
Several others filmed right here in Beantown
We'll finish in Harvard Square in time for dinner at any of the Square's many restaurants prior to the Festival.
Meet at noon on Oct 24th at
103 Atlantic Ave, Boston
Special thanks to Sam Baltrusis for designing this one of a kind ride!
I was at the Dana-Farber bike commuting workshop you did yesterday.
Just wanted to let you know that I tried your trick of putting plastic bags over my socks for this morning's ride through the rain/almost-snow....it kept me dry and warm and happy! The little things make a big difference, so thanks very much. Great workshop!
Thanks Liz! I am glad you were able to stay dry and have a good ride. If you want to have someone from MassBike come talk to your employs about winter commuting (so you can learn all these tips) check out our commuter workshop information here.