Riding in Boston area

Questions about bike hire abroad and everything light bike related. No off-topic chat please

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wintershade
Posts: 242
Joined: Mon Apr 16, 2018 7:12 pm
Location: San Francisco, CA

by wintershade

I live in the San Francisco Bay Area and do most of my riding in Marin, probably average 100-150miles/week over 3-4 rides. My wife is suggesting we move to the Boston area to be closer to family. A primary concern is the quality of outdoor riding. A primary advantage is more garage space for bikes and sports cars.

How will riding in the Boston area compare? If we were to index San Francisco to 100, where 200 would be 2x better and 50 would be half as good, how does Boston compare? (Also just out of curiosity, how does the French Alps compare to SF/Marin)?

I’ve lived in Chicago, and rode year round and am not afraid of the cold. The lack of interesting terrain without riding into WI sucked though. I’d rate Chicago a 40.

by Weenie


MoPho
Posts: 534
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Location: NorCal/SoCal

by MoPho

Well I moved to the Bay Area (Via 10 years in Los Angeles) from Boston and I would give the Boston Area perhaps a 55 on your scale, especially compared to Marin and without factoring the suck of winter. And a 35 for the Sports car fun compared to all the amazing roads in CA, though I did enjoy driving my WRX in the snow post Rally driving school, my current sports cars would have to be put away in a Boston winter which would be a bummer.
That said, I loved bike commuting year round in Boston, riding in traffic was a rush, but I was also in my 20's and dumb then.
There are nice smooth rolling hill roads in the surrounding areas of Boston, and fall foliage is wonderful, but it doesn't compare to the climbs/descents, variety of terrain and views you can find in CA... IMO


.

kode54
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by kode54

You're closer to Vermont...but if you plan on riding in Boston, there are several bike paths along the river although very flat in comparison to SF. Residental streets are narrow and you essentially need to get out of the Boston city area to do any serious riding. There's rail trails by Lexington and Bedford but again, flat as a pancake. You're spoiled by SF weather which I think yearound is exceptional unlike SoCal which tends to always be summer. You'll need 4WD vehicle but can have fun on the snowy days with winter tires on. I would rate Boston slightly above Chicago at 50. Marin is really nice and I always look forward to riding out there.
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HammerTime2
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by HammerTime2

It's a good thing your Boston area residence will have more garage space for bikes, because you'll want to keep the bikes in the garage rather than riding them.

I grew up in the Boston area, so that's all the riding I ever knew, until I moved to the greater Palo Alto area for graduate school. The difference is night and day. Simply put, if your wife wants to move to the Boston area, and you love her more than cycling, then move there, otherwise, don't. On the other hand, if you make your cycling preferences clear, then if your wide loves you more than her family members in aggregate, she won't make you move, otherwise she will. Because there are several family members, your wide could still love you more than other family members on a per capita basis, yet love her family members more in aggregate. Similarly, you could love your wife more than any one bike, yet love your bikes in aggregate more than your wide.

wintershade
Posts: 242
Joined: Mon Apr 16, 2018 7:12 pm
Location: San Francisco, CA

by wintershade

Okay, so it looks like the move to Boston is going to happen because I love my wife (and more so our son) even more than cycling.

Are there any suburbs that are more ideal for cycling, for example suburbs where many good long rides start? Basically I’m looking for suburbs where there would be minimal “junk” miles to get to the good routes.

dogrange
Posts: 35
Joined: Mon Sep 10, 2012 3:44 pm

by dogrange

I’m having to move to Boston area from Chicago. The riding has got to be better than Chicago!


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Catagory6
Posts: 399
Joined: Thu Feb 09, 2017 2:36 am

by Catagory6

move to the western side of the state
on a 100 scale of boring, where watching metal rust is a 100, then southern berkshire county is is about 49,753,412
unless you live in pittsfield. that place can get kind of exciting. maybe not the kind of "exciting" you'd be looking for?
but the riding is pretty good around here. if you can survive the winters
its really, REALLY boring though
like "aimlessly wandering around a grocery store on friday evening because there is absolutely NOTHING else to do"-boring

Catagory6
Posts: 399
Joined: Thu Feb 09, 2017 2:36 am

by Catagory6

MoPho wrote:
Wed Dec 26, 2018 11:27 am
Well I moved to the Bay Area (Via 10 years in Los Angeles) from Boston and I would give the Boston Area perhaps a 55 on your scale, especially compared to Marin and without factoring the suck of winter. And a 35 for the Sports car fun compared to all the amazing roads in CA, though I did enjoy driving my WRX in the snow post Rally driving school, my current sports cars would have to be put away in a Boston winter which would be a bummer.
That said, I loved bike commuting year round in Boston, riding in traffic was a rush, but I was also in my 20's and dumb then.
There are nice smooth rolling hill roads in the surrounding areas of Boston, and fall foliage is wonderful, but it doesn't compare to the climbs/descents, variety of terrain and views you can find in CA... IMO


.
driving in and around BOSTON???!!!!

i'd rather chew sand and push thumb-tacks into my knee caps

dogrange
Posts: 35
Joined: Mon Sep 10, 2012 3:44 pm

by dogrange

Catagory6 wrote:move to the western side of the state
on a 100 scale of boring, where watching metal rust is a 100, then southern berkshire county is is about 49,753,412
unless you live in pittsfield. that place can get kind of exciting. maybe not the kind of "exciting" you'd be looking for?
but the riding is pretty good around here. if you can survive the winters
its really, REALLY boring though
like "aimlessly wandering around a grocery store on friday evening because there is absolutely NOTHING else to do"-boring
Not sure what to make of this. Still guessing it’s better than Chicago.


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MoPho
Posts: 534
Joined: Sun Jul 10, 2011 7:48 pm
Location: NorCal/SoCal

by MoPho

Catagory6 wrote:
Tue Apr 09, 2019 9:59 pm
move to the western side of the state
on a 100 scale of boring, where watching metal rust is a 100, then southern berkshire county is is about 49,753,412
unless you live in pittsfield. that place can get kind of exciting. maybe not the kind of "exciting" you'd be looking for?
but the riding is pretty good around here. if you can survive the winters
its really, REALLY boring though
like "aimlessly wandering around a grocery store on friday evening because there is absolutely NOTHING else to do"-boring
Whoa! you mean like west o Woostah?! That'd be a wicked pissah!
Hey I grew up in Southern Berkshire county, if it's too boring, you're too sober! :lol:

The Berkshires were great for riding (and sports cars)... and cow tipping

driving in and around BOSTON???!!!!

i'd rather chew sand and push thumb-tacks into my knee caps
We used to go out in the middle of the night 4-wheel drifting the corners during snow storms, no other cars on the road, it was a blast. Rest of the time it sucked, used bike to get around.

Catagory6
Posts: 399
Joined: Thu Feb 09, 2017 2:36 am

by Catagory6

MoPho wrote:
Wed Apr 10, 2019 1:01 am
Catagory6 wrote:
Tue Apr 09, 2019 9:59 pm
move to the western side of the state
on a 100 scale of boring, where watching metal rust is a 100, then southern berkshire county is is about 49,753,412
unless you live in pittsfield. that place can get kind of exciting. maybe not the kind of "exciting" you'd be looking for?
but the riding is pretty good around here. if you can survive the winters
its really, REALLY boring though
like "aimlessly wandering around a grocery store on friday evening because there is absolutely NOTHING else to do"-boring
Whoa! you mean like west o Woostah?! That'd be a wicked pissah!
Hey I grew up in Southern Berkshire county, if it's too boring, you're too sober! :lol:

The Berkshires were great for riding (and sports cars)... and cow tipping

driving in and around BOSTON???!!!!

i'd rather chew sand and push thumb-tacks into my knee caps
We used to go out in the middle of the night 4-wheel drifting the corners during snow storms, no other cars on the road, it was a blast. Rest of the time it sucked, used bike to get around.
true story:

back in the mid 90s a buddy and i drove to boston to visit another friend during a blizzard
it was like driving into an MC Escher drawing
i was driving down a one way street that ended in a T, with two one-way side streets, going the wrong way
constantly saw "detour" signs with no other indication of where to go. just "detour"
traffic lights and stop signs were inexplicable.
one way street became a one way street... going the opposite way
stopped for directions, and the guy actually said "you can't get there from here". no joke
i don't even remember if we got to our friends place, or if we just abandoned the trip. i really can't.
that city is 100% inexplicable
haven't been back, purposely

real men go bull-tipping

Catagory6
Posts: 399
Joined: Thu Feb 09, 2017 2:36 am

by Catagory6

dogrange wrote:
Tue Apr 09, 2019 11:23 pm
Catagory6 wrote:move to the western side of the state
on a 100 scale of boring, where watching metal rust is a 100, then southern berkshire county is is about 49,753,412
unless you live in pittsfield. that place can get kind of exciting. maybe not the kind of "exciting" you'd be looking for?
but the riding is pretty good around here. if you can survive the winters
its really, REALLY boring though
like "aimlessly wandering around a grocery store on friday evening because there is absolutely NOTHING else to do"-boring
Not sure what to make of this. Still guessing it’s better than Chicago.


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well, i sure as heck wouldn't move to chicago

wintershade
Posts: 242
Joined: Mon Apr 16, 2018 7:12 pm
Location: San Francisco, CA

by wintershade

I'm trying to figure out where to live in Boston metro area. My wife and I will both be working in downtown Boston. Living in Pittsfield or Northamton is not an option. Some of the neighborhoods my wife is considering are "West Subburbs" such as Newton and Weston (which are probably about as far west as we'd want to go), and Northwest subburbs such as Belmont, Lexington, and Wincheter (which is probably the outer NW limits for a reasonable work commute), or maybe something closer in such as Brookline.

Any guidance there? Like -- how far west or north do you need to get before the roads get emptier for nice long road rides?

sped540
Posts: 3
Joined: Sat Apr 09, 2016 3:45 am

by sped540

wintershade wrote:
Tue Apr 16, 2019 5:50 pm
I'm trying to figure out where to live in Boston metro area. My wife and I will both be working in downtown Boston. Living in Pittsfield or Northamton is not an option. Some of the neighborhoods my wife is considering are "West Subburbs" such as Newton and Weston (which are probably about as far west as we'd want to go), and Northwest subburbs such as Belmont, Lexington, and Wincheter (which is probably the outer NW limits for a reasonable work commute), or maybe something closer in such as Brookline.

Any guidance there? Like -- how far west or north do you need to get before the roads get emptier for nice long road rides?
I think all of these places are fine.
Netwon definitely is a little more developed...Not quite a classic city, but effectively a collection of 13 villages. So theres sorta like several town centers. Ultimately its closest to Boston. That also means you get more traffic...but once you get outside it, and head SW in particular, it does open up towards the Dover/Sheborn area.

Lexington/Winchester/Belmont are IMO better launching pads for rides - Lexington in particular. A ton of rides (individual and group) head primarily out west.

Really to answer your question, once you get outside of the Route 128/I-95 crescent, which is 20-25mi from true Boston downtown, it opens up a lot w/ alot of land that was historically farmland 1700's, farmstands, apple orchards, etc.

thedanplasse
Posts: 72
Joined: Sat Nov 03, 2018 11:04 pm
Location: Massachusetts

by thedanplasse

Suburbs are fun for back roads. There's a lot of people riding around the city though. If you're in it for long rides any suburb will do just fine. I live south of Boston in Fall River. City riding sucks IMO, but riding out of the city, and into the back roads is what I do. MA weather in late spring-early fall is nice. I havent ridden up in the Boston area, but I'd imagine there are plenty of awesome rides up there.

Winter sucks though....Buy an Audi, and thank me later. :lol:
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by Weenie


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