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Autumn, a Great Time to Take in Boston by Bike

The sky is blue, the air is crisp and the leaves are aflame with gold, crimson and orange. It is autumn in Boston — and a perfect day for a bicycle ride.

Boston’s compact and relatively flat geography is ideal for cycling, and in the last five years the city has implemented a cutting-edge bike share program, the Hubway, and made major improvements to its cycling infrastructure. Using on-street bike lanes and off-street bike trails, three routes through the New England city are perfect for peeping its autumnal colours. Each segment is five miles or less — easy to complete in an hour, with plenty of time to stop and look around. Or, string them all together to see the whole city in its finest fall colours.

Boston lies on the south shore of the Charles River, which wends its way out to Boston Harbour. On the river’s north shore is the city of Cambridge, where this bike tour begins. Start at the Anderson Memorial Bridge near Harvard Square and pedal east along Memorial Drive to get a glimpse inside the gates of Harvard University and theMassachusetts Institute of Technology. Exuding a stately academic atmosphere, the college campuses are especially attractive when decked out in autumnal hues. The Cambridge side also yields a fantastic vista of the Boston city skyline with jewel-toned trees and  blue-green waters in the foreground.

After about four miles, the path comes to an abrupt end at the Museum of Science. Cross the Monsignor O’Brien Highway and head into North Point Park. Just a few years ago, this was an industrial wasteland; now it is an impressive expanse of bike trails and landscaped greenery, with wonderful views of the Charles River Basin. The new North Bank Bridge crosses over the railroad tracks and under the Zakim Bridge, giving cyclists a direct route to Paul Revere Park in Boston’s Charlestown neighbourhood.

From Paul Revere Park, it is a quick ride over the Charlestown Bridge (keep on the sidewalk, to be safe) into downtown Boston. Here, newly painted bike lanes designate the Harbour Route, which loops one mile around the North End neighbourhood on Commercial Street. This  is Boston’s Italian district; if you have a hankering for a cannoli, take a detour down Hanover Street…

Read more: Mara Vorhees, BBC

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