Biking Around Medford
Nesting and staycation-ing have their joys, but is there anything greater than a bike ride? It's the purest escape: you're out in the fresh air, pedaling along, wind in your hair, relishing a moment away from screens and routines.
Luckily for Medford residents, there are bike paths galore. Whether you're a novice or expert, seeking solitude or a fun family outing, Medford has a just the spot for you to hop on and ride away!
Mystic River Reservation is the publicly-owned nature preserve that stretches along the towns of Medford, Somerville, Winchester, and Arlington and a popular spot for biking. Paved pathways at several entry spots are perfect for leisurely rides along the river or helping beginning bicyclists gain their bearings.
Gear up in Medford at Macdonald Park, across from Wegmans, and travel the 3-mile loop that leads to Assembly Row and the Amelia Earhart Dam. Medford Square residents can start their ride at the Condon Shell on Mystic Valley Parkway, and continue out to Duggar Park and the Mystic Lakes. Many West Medford residents enjoy the Lower Mystic trip to the Farmers Market at the Condon Shell on Thursday afternoons.
The Northern Strand Community Trail, which starts in Everett on Air Force Road, is one of the area’s best-kept biking secrets. The paved trail extends through Malden out to Revere and features modern artwork and community gardens. You can continue further on the gravel path out the Lynn/Saugus line if you're feeling adventurous. Plans for a fully paved and accessible "all ages and abilities" path going all the way to Nahant Beach are expected to be complete by 2024.
Then there’s the grand-daddy bike path of them all: The Minuteman Bikeway, which many locals pick up from Alewife Station, or the Somerville Community Path in Davis Square. This 10-mile Bikeway runs out to Bedford and takes you through several notable sites, including Spy Pond in Arlington, the Battle Green in Lexington, and Hanscom Air Force Base. While initially designed for casual bike rides, it's not uncommon to see expert riders traveling in packs, alongside people walking, jogging, and inline skating, so definitely keep your eyes peeled for those around you.
Bike Repair Shops
Feeling inspired to break out your bike but not sure if it's up to snuff? Fear not! Medford's local bike shop, Just Riding Along (JRA) Cycles on Salem Street, remains open and offers a personalized level of service that's hard to beat. Service is by appointment only, and they are featuring accessory bundles for curbside pickup. You can also browse the inventory of bikes (trading up is an option!) and accessories online and call for suggestions or a consultation.
ACE Wheelworks in Davis Square Somerville is another local repair shop option for purchases or repairs. Similarly, you can shop for bikes and accessories online or call ahead if you know what you need. Curbside pickup is available and repairs by appointment only.
Bike owners who need a tune-up but are strapped for time can contact fellow Medford resident and bike repair guru Frank Grant to lend a helping hand. Grant has been fixing resident’s bikes throughout the pandemic, and has quite a fan following around town. Contact him via his Facebook page here to arrange a time for pick-up.
No discussion of biking in Medford would be complete without mentioning The Medford Bicycle Advisory Commission, the city's local advocacy group for bike safety and education. Formed to encourage those who live, work and travel in Medford, Massachusetts, to ride bikes, the Commission's key initiative, the Bicycle Infrastructure Master Plan, is intended to create a bicycle transportation network that will make it easier and safer to bike in and around Medford streets. Some of the recent improvements around the city include bike-only travel lanes and other traffic calming measures in high-traffic neighborhoods. Learn more about the Master Plan and check out the Commission's 5 Favorite Bike Rides Around Medford at their website, www.medfordbikes.org!
What's your favorite place to ride your bike? Is there some route that maybe I don't know about? Showcasing the nooks and crannies of neighborhoods, green space, and other treasured spots around Medford is one of the many ways I help homeowners love the way they live in Medford. Reach out and share your favorites!