He stood mid-field under the Friday night lights with lots of smiles, a fresh Sharpie…
Boston. Beantown. The Olde Towne. The Cradle of Liberty. The Hub. Boston is known by many names. Its history is interwoven with the fabric of America from the fabled Boston Tea Party to Paul Revere and his fabled ride from North Church to Lexington.
Today it is a true hub of education, technology, business and sports. With over 4.8 million people within the greater Boston area, Boston is often known for aggressive citizens with thick accents and offensive driving skills. Over 20 million visitors come to Boston to see its historic sights and culture. Boston proper is packed into 89.6 square miles with almost half of it covered by water.
The Boston area has a long history with cycling – from the birthplace of Major Taylor in neighboring Worcester to its moniker in the 19th century as “the bicycling paradise of America.” In recent years, this dense, hive of activity has worked hard to reclaim its cycling heritage with the increase in rideable greenspace, commuter programs and safe streets.
The city is often known as “City of Neighborhoods” While passing through from California to Girona, came to visit the Lawson CraddockEF home office where he had a chance to experience many of these neighborhoods.
Leaving the EF office in Cambridge, we traveled along the Charles River through the Esplanade, watching students, families and individuals, relaxing, running, cycling, walking, rowing and sailing. This gave Lawson an orientation of the cityscape with a quick lay of the land.
This site seeing spin led us first to Fenway Park, home of the Boston Red Sox, and a required stop when in Boston. First opened in 1912, not much has changed with “America’s Most Beloved Ballpark.”
From the Green Monster, we then took a tour of the Emerald Necklace, a bike and walking path that links multiple Boston neighborhoods, and was designed by famed landscape architect, Frederick Law Olmsted.
As our bellies started to grumble, we found our way to Back Bay, a neighborhood inspired by Paris and known for its boutiques, shopping, patio cafes and elegant 1800s brick townhouses. We stopped to visit Michael Serpa, the Executive Chef and Partner at Select Oyster Bar. Michael is a nationally acclaimed chef and avid road cyclist. We talked cycling and his plans for a Grand Tour inspired restaurant while slurping oysters and local seafood.
After sampling the native cuisine, we rode to Jamaica Plain, the home of Bikes not Bombs. There we learned the true power of the bike, and how old, refurbished bicycles can be an agent for social change on a local and global level. The store / warehouse / office is a veritable treasure trove of bike parts and memorabilia.
With the sun beating down on our backs and as the humidity rose, we snuck away to the shade of the Neponset River Greenway. Originally settled by Native Americans, this lush corridor provides a welcome respite from the chaos of the city. Local, Vivian Ortiz shared her secrets, letting us know that this route will take you south to the end of the Boston Harbor.
Hour after hour I’ve been really surprised with how we can go from the hustle and bustle to a quiet, secluded forest.
We timed it perfectly to end Lawson’s trip at Dorchester Heights Park. During the American Revolutionary War, this site served as an important protection from the British Navy due to its elevation and commanding view of Boston and its harbor. Now, we used that view to gaze appreciatively at the city while the sun set on a beautiful day.
Want to travel through these neighborhoods? Join us at Hub on Wheels to experience by bike all the neighborhoods of Boston.