The Best Destination Bike Rides in Massachusetts
A mini getaway and a great workout? It’s a win-win.
Vacation days in the summer often lead to one thing: The beach. (We’re guilty as charged.) But next time you’re blessed with no work on a beautiful day, don’t automatically grab your bikini. Karin Turer, a former member of the MassBike Board and the spokesperson for the Mass BikePike Tour, says a day spent on your bike can be the perfect way to combine an adventurous streak with a heart-pumping workout. “I really appreciate [biking] for that, that it’s not just exercise but a way to get from A to B,” Turer says. In that spirit, the biking enthusiast lets us in on her five favorite destination bike rides in Massachusetts.
This seven-year-old group ride calls itself, “The Friendliest Ride in the East.” The four-day trek, which will be August 1 to 4, starts and ends in Fitchburg, but over the course of the trip riders will see Jaffrey and Keene, NH, Brattleboro, VT, Greenfield, MA, and all the beautiful scenery in between. “It was so much fun and such camaraderie,” Turer says of her first ride last year. “It was an amazing group of people, the pace was just really carefree, and there were people of all different levels of experience.”
Turer recommends taking the new CapeFlyer train to Hyannis and spending a weekend biking and staying at hostels all along the Cape. “You can stay at the hostel on the harbor side for cheap; ride up to the Eastham hostel for a rustic night at the summer camp-like property; then continue to Truro to enjoy a historic hostel with its own beach,” Turer says. “Finish your adventure with a day in P-Town before ferrying back to Boston.”
The North Shore is practically in our backyard and it’s commuter rail accessible, so it makes for a great, easy-to-reach place to bike. “If I could pick any ride, the riding equivalent of your last supper, it would be this,” Turer says. “For an easy, one-day ride that you can stretch into more, it’s got to be the best one. It’s not too hilly, and there’s a million amazing places to stop.” Turer suggests starting in Gloucester and using Rockport as a halfway stopping point.
For the adrenaline junkies out there, Turer says this is some great mountain and road biking in a scenic setting. “It’s a beautiful campground—the sites are absolutely enormous,” she says. “It’s a great place for bringing kids because they have a really great playground and a pond to swim in.”
Explore Massachusetts inch by inch with this four-day, 240-mile ride, taking place September 18 to 22, that benefits MassBike. You’ll see everything from (obviously) the Berkshires and Boston to the Connecticut River Valley and Lexington and Concord. “It’s always a thrill to say, yup, I rode across that,” Turer says, “and that’s something you can really get from the Berkshires to Boston ride.”