I ended my summer doing two of my favorite things – riding my bicycle and connecting with the friends I have made through my work in Haiti. Len and Cheryl Ann Gengel invited me to their beach house in Wells, ME. I had to say yes to the good people, good food, and good beach. Then I decided to ride my bike, 95 miles each way, to experience New England at that turning point of summer to fall. I biked through 26 towns in three states, eight hours each way. Here is a bit of what I saw along the way.
Cambridge, MA – Fresh Pond was my start and end point.
Somerville, MA – I crossed over Powderhouse Blvd, where I lived when my children were born.
Medford, MA – The Royall Mansion
Malden, MA – Salem Street is full of aging commercial
Stoneham, MA – The Fellsway is a great bike route close to the city
Melrose, MA – Melrose has a smashing new Middle School
Wakefield, MA – Lake Quannapowitt and the gazebo are this town’s landmarks
Lynnfield, MA – Beyond Route 128 everything spreads out. Lynnfield has an extensive historic district.
Peabody, MA – Yikes! The bike trail that was supposed to by-pass Route 1 is not paved so I have to navigate the spaghetti of highways as best I can.
Danvers, MA – Sylvan Street seems to be the best way to keep off the highways…
Ipswich, MA – I have a long slog on Route 1, but there is little traffic and a wide shoulder and the view across the marshes is still spectacular.
Rowley, MA – I skirt the highway to explore Rowley, where I find great barbeque for lunch on my return.
Newburyport, MA – This is the midway point. The worst stretch of the whole trip is the mile leading to the Merrimac River bridge. A sudden cloud douses me with rain, there is no shoulder, I hit a pothole, and my front light goes flying. It’s a minor inconvenience but it rattles.
Salisbury, MA – Route 1A turns east and I finally get to the beach!
Seabrook, NH – The ride up the NH coast is incredible. Even the Seabrook nuclear plant cannot diminish the exhilaration of a perfect cycling day. 75 degrees and overcast; by now my legs rotate on their own accord.
Hampton Beach, NH – On my way up, I take a break to enjoy the honky-tonk and have a sausage and pepper sub along the beach.
North Hampton, NH – After climbing a cliff out of the strip, mansions surround me.
Rye Beach, NH – I pass one beautiful beach after another…
Portsmouth, NH – …and descend into the lovely city of Portsmouth, where all kinds of festivals spill into the street.
York Harbor, ME – Going north, the coastline gets more and more dramatic.
York Beach, ME – I stop for a soft serve at Fox’s, right on the beach.