Where Should I Ride?
The intent of the E-Bike Lending Library is to let folks try an e-bike in their day to day lives: this means that you can borrow an e-bike and ride it wherever you’d like! However, if you’d just like to try out an e-bike for the first time and see what they’re like, there are a couple of simple rides you can do starting from the library to experience some of what an e-bike has to offer.
Community Path to Paul Revere Park
From the library, this ride proceeds in an on-street painted bike lane for approximately four blocks to connect to the Somerville Community Path. From the path, proceed east, passing through Cambridge Crossing to reach the Charles River. From here, proceed through North Point Park, passing over the pedestrian bridge to connect to Paul Revere Park in Charlestown.
This ride is almost entirely off-street, taking advantage of the newly completed Community Path to reach previously difficult to reach parts of east Cambridge and Charlestown. (Currently, there is a small on-street detour near Somerville High School, along a well-marked and flexpost + concrete barrier protected on-street lane that is low stress.)
The Community Path includes a number of hills up and down, and is a good demonstration of the benefits of an e-bike over a normal bike. Both the Community Path flyover prior to Cambridge Crossing and the pedestrian bridge into Paul Revere Park provide a good sense of the added value of an e-bike in navigating hills.
The return route will take the same route back, with a slightly earlier cut-off from the Community Path at Lexington Park to return on Cedar (as Willow is one way northbound).
Minuteman Out and Back
From the library, this ride proceeds in an on-street painted bike lane for approximately four blocks to connect to the Somerville Community Path. From the Somerville Community Path, you can ride west, connecting to the Alewife Linear Park, then proceeding northwest on the Minuteman Rail Trail, a 10-mile path that will take you to downtown Bedford. The return route will be a direct return.
There are two short stretches where you will need to navigate on-street – one through Davis Square, and one in Arlington Center. (In Davis, you will proceed behind the Davis Square T stop; in Arlington, the trail is clearly marked and well-travelled.) Round trip distance is 23 miles. Comfortable cyclists will likely complete this trip in around 1.5 hours; all riders will complete with less than 2 hours of moving time.
This route is very flat and straightforward, and the Minuteman is regularly ranked one of the best rail trails in the country. This is an easy ride for folks to experience a relaxing ride with the comfort of an e-bike.
Bike Path Loop Ride
This loop ride is designed to connect a number of off-street paths in a loop with more opportunity for sightseeing and exploring more of the city.
It involves a small amount of on-street riding in painted lanes, as well as some on-street riding with no bike accomodations. (These are designed to be in relatively low-stress connection points where possible, minimizing conflicts with traffic.) The route is on widely used pedestrian / bike routes in the city, so will involve a fair amount of negotiating shared multi-use paths.
There are a number of potential sight-seeing stops along this route: It provides good views of Kendall Square (from the Esplanade side) as well as a nice spot for taking photos of the Zakim Bridge.
Nightshift Brewing has a permanant location immediately next to North Station which is easily accessible, as well as two seasonal “Owl’s Nest” locations along the Esplanade; for folks seeking a more relaxed ride, the opportunity to stop is here.
For those seeking to take to take in tourist attractions, both the USS Constitution Museum + site, as well as the Bunker Hill monument, are easily accessible from Paul Revere Park, and require only an additional 1 mile detour.
This route is best with at least one person with some experience navigating Boston. If you’re interested in having a guide for this ride, let me know so we can arrange a time.
Beginning at the Community Path in Somerville, proceed East through Cambridge Crossing and Paul Revere Park. Cross over into Boston by walking your bike across the locks. Head south on Causeway Street in the center street bike lanes, proceeding up to Staniford Street. Take the right at Staniford, and proceed down to Storrow Drive, where you will dismount and cross over on a footbridge to the Esplanade.
Follow the path to proceed along the Esplanade. At Soldiers Field Rd (before crossing the river), you will take a right and follow the path under the bridge to continue on the south side of the Charles to Arsenal St.
At Arsenal St., cross the bridge and connect to the bike path along Greenough Blvd. Follow the sidewalk-level multi-use path to a connection point in the rear of the Watertown Arsenal, where you will head north to the Arsenal St. off-street path to connect to the Cambridge/Watertown Greenway.
Follow the Greenway past Fresh Pond; once past the twin rotaries on Concord Ave., switch to the north side of Concord Ave and ride in the sidewalk bike lane through the Belmont border. You will then ride two blocks of on-street painted bike lane to Baker St., following it to the intersection with Blanchard, where you will take a quick jog north and then west onto the Fitchburg Cutoff Path.
The Fitchburg Cutoff path will lead to Alewife, where you will connect to the Alewife Linear Park, then proceed through to Davis Square, returning to the Bike Library via Elm St.