Sunday, July 10, 2016

Minuteman Bikeway Mini-Vacation (but we call it the Bike Path.)

There is so much to see along the Minuteman Bikeway which runs between the Alewife T through Arlington, past Lexington then all the way into Bedford, please plan a trip soon. Start by looking at the Bikeway map here.
A view from the Minuteman Bikeway

No bike?  If you love to walk, you might try grabbing a cab or 62/76 bus to Lexington Center and walking back towards Alewife.  

Need to Rent a Bike?  Check out the Bike Stop in Arlington Center (literally has a back door on the Bikeway) or Bedford’s Bikeway Source which is at the very end of the bikepath.

Have a Bike and a Car?  You might want to drive to Lexington Center and park behind CVS or Starbucks (1465 Massachusetts Ave) since that parking lot borders right on the Bikeway. The parking meters require quarters and mostly give you two hours from M-Sat. No need to pay for parking at all on Sundays. 

Take Your Bike on the T and Buses:  All you need to know about that here.  MBTA and Bikes

Shorter mini-vacation:  If you only have an hour or two and mostly want to ride your bike, start at Alewife, pedal to Arlington Center where the Bikeway crosses Mass Ave, grab a coffee (or pastry or lunch) at Kickstand Café If you still need lunch as you come into Arlington Heights (see the Trader Joes and Starbucks signs and stairway), try D’Agostino’s Deli where the Special Sub of the day is around $5.00 and the locals who run it are terrific.  Then ride on to Lexington and swing by the Ride Studio Café for your afternoon tea or coffee. 

Longer mini-vacation:  Leave Alewife and head for the Arlington Lexington line where you’ll find an authentic French cheese and creperie store called MA France.  The owners François and Cecile Attard are from the Perigord region and everything about them and the store is very French. Since they are across the street from Berman’s Liquors you might want to do a bread cheese and wine picnic at the place off the bikepath right near their shop. Bring a blanket if you want to just sunbathe on the grass. (The photo in this post is very close to their shop, on the Bikeway.)

Ride into Lexington Center and past the stores (CVS, Starbucks, Dunkin Donuts) a few blocks towards the Minuteman Statue and then you'll see Buckman’s Tavern (painted yellow on the left) where our forefathers and mothers were drinking and hanging out when they heard the British were coming. Well, that's not really what they heard.  Take the tour and you’ll learn what all insiders know, the cry was “the Regulars are coming!” since the British soldiers were part of the “Regular Army” in those days. 

Walk your bike back through the center of Lexington to the RideStudio Café where serious cyclists meet serious caffeine. More details on this amazing place at the link above. 

Keep Going or Go Back: At Lexington, you can ride further away from Boston towards Bedford (adds about an hour to your trip if you're a fast rider). The path is in deep woods, green and quiet for the most part and ends at the great Bikeway Source bike store.  Or, if you need to get back to Alewife, head the other way and make a stop at Wilson Farms when you get to Pleasant Street. This is a garden and gourmet grocer where you can get a range of prepared foods, whole fruits and vegetables and enjoy seasonal events like hayrides in fall and Farm Tours in spring and summer.  

Bring the Kids: If your kids are riding with you and you're fine with them eating sweets, don't miss  Rancatore’s (corner of Mass Ave and Waltham St.) in Lexington Center is not to be beat.  A great lunch place (but closed Sundays) is Via Lago opposite the Lexington Library. Their cold case has pasta salads and other treats, and they make sandwiches and hot lunch to order. 

One last thing: We know it's officially called the "Bikeway" but most of us locals call it the Bike Path. So if you get lost and ask for the "bike path" or nobody will know what you're saying. 

Bikeway Map:

Bike Stop

Ride Studio Café

Via Lago


Wilson Farms


MA France


Kickstand Café

Historic Lexington: