Looking for cycling north-shore aficionados
October 29, 2010 8:57 AM   Subscribe

I'd like to take a group on bicycle from Cambridge MA to Salem MA. Route suggestions?

I'm looking for any ideas/recommendations for what route to take to get from Cambridge MA to Salem MA on bicycle. Scenic is good, but not as important as avoiding lots of unpleasant bicycle-on-car action. I don't mind going a non-direct route, but I don't want to go too much over 20 miles to get there. I've been trying to figure it out using google maps, but I'd appreciate any firsthand info. Thanks!
posted by Salvor Hardin to Travel & Transportation around Massachusetts (6 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I can't give you advice on this specific point, but if you want free admission to the Peabody Essex Museum when you get to Salem, MeMail me.
posted by Miko at 9:59 AM on October 29, 2010

Can't actually recommend this as I've never taken it, but here is a user submitted route from Cambridge to Salem on Bikely.com. A commenter stated that the route had "...light traffic and lots of newly paved roads. Route is very flat." 25 miles or so to Salem.
posted by stachemaster at 10:27 AM on October 29, 2010 [1 favorite]

I've done this trip, but taking a no-so-bike-friendly route: Route 99 into Everett, then cutting across Chelsea and East Boston on industrial service roads (potholes and buckles!), then along the shoreline through Winthrop and Revere, then taking 1A to Lynn Shore Drive, 129, and finally 114 to Salem, returning along 107 and cutting over to Lincoln Ave. in Saugus, which eventually becomes Lynn St. and then merges with 99 again in Everett. There are several stretches of fast-moving traffic involved, mainly on 99 and 1A.

The route stachemaster linked looks good to me, although I've never biked it, either. But it uses one of the better places to cross the Mystic River, which I think is the trickiest part of choosing a route. The more direct river crossings (Route 16, 28, or 99) all involve multi-lane divided highways that merge into busy, fast-moving rotaries.
posted by Dixon Ticonderoga at 12:22 PM on October 29, 2010

(Oh, and you can also take the commuter train from Salem into Boston with your bike, if the distance is too great for a round-trip.)
posted by Dixon Ticonderoga at 12:39 PM on October 29, 2010

Though I would note that a large group probably couldn't get onto the train with bikes. There are about a half dozen on the train every day, and sometimes the conductors get in a snit if there are too many. The space available isn't huge.
posted by Miko at 12:49 PM on October 29, 2010

Thanks for the advice folks! And thanks for the offer Miko - probably won't have time on this trip, but maybe the next one.
posted by Salvor Hardin at 6:33 PM on October 29, 2010

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