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Fab4 Local Recommendations | Bike Check

Cycling Chronicles: Riding, Repairs & Routes


With Memorial Day signaling the start of the unofficial summer season, it's the perfect time to embrace the great outdoors in all its splendor. What better way to do that than by going for a bike ride?


For many Medford residents, bicycling isn't just a mode of transport; it's a lifestyle, an adventure, and a ticket to freedom. With the wind in your hair, the sun on your face, and the world unfolding at the perfect pace, cycling through city streets, scenic byways, and hidden trails in and around Medford is an unparalleled experience.


Whether you're a seasoned cyclist or just starting, this blog is your one-stop destination for all things bicycling. From finding the perfect bike to discovering the best trails and mastering the art of bike maintenance, the 4Squares Team has got you covered.


Photo: Bike paths along the Mystic River at Macdonald Park in Medford.


Learn to Ride


Somerville Bike Riding School, 14 William Street, Somerville, MA


The expression "it's like riding a bike" usually refers to returning to a skill you've already mastered. But what if you've never had the chance to learn how to ride a bike in the first place? Enter the Somerville Bike Riding School, where the magic of cycling comes alive under the guidance of Susan McLucas, lovingly known as “The Bike Whisperer,” who’s been teaching people to glide on two wheels for over 40 years.


Whether you're a novice eager to take your first spin or seeking to master advanced techniques, Susan and her team's wisdom and expertise make learning to ride a fun-filled experience, regardless of age. Ask 4Squares writer Judi Harrington, who learned to ride a bike with SBRS’s help when she was in her forties!


You can learn more about SBRS - and bikes and bike riding and even how to try to teach yourself - at https://www.bicycleridingschool.org/. Or make it easy and schedule a lesson there.


Bike Rental & Repair Shops


JRA (Just Riding Along) Cycles, 229 Salem Street, Medford, MA, 781-391-3636

From the classic charm of traditional bikes to the electrifying innovation of e-bikes, JRA has two-wheelers to match every style and adventure. Feel the thrill of off-road exploration with our mountain bikes, designed to conquer any terrain and only go uphill from there (no pun intended). JRA’s arsenal of accessories—bike racks, parts, and gear—elevate your ride to a new level of comfort, convenience, and style. They also offer a “try before you buy” option, which you can learn more about at their website, www.jracycles.com. Call to book one of their 30-minute same-day appointments or schedule a tune-up online.


ACE Wheelworks, 145 Elm Street, Somerville, MA 617-776-2100

Located in the heart of Davis Square, Somerville, ACE Wheelworks is your premier store for all things cargo biking. Step inside their shop, where an impressive selection of cargo bikes awaits. Among these shining wheels and a plethora of accessories, each item vows to elevate your cycling endeavors.


But wait, there's more! For the tech-savvy or those pressed for time, their online platform offers the convenience of browsing through bikes and accessories from the comfort of your home. And hey, if you've already figured out what you need, a simple call ahead could have your desired items ready for pickup or delivery.


Battle Road Bikes, 145 Massachusetts Avenue, Lexington, MA 781-734-6464

Conveniently located on the Minuteman Bikeway, Battle Road Bikes is your gateway to exploring Lexington's history and local charm. Rent a bike for half-day and full-day adventures and dive into the accessible historical treasures and local flavors alongside this iconic route. Or join them for one of their meticulously crafted bike tours.


Whether you crave a leisurely exploration or a thrilling adventure, stay tuned by visiting their events page or join their email list to stay up-to-date on upcoming tours and details.


Photos, clockwise from upper left: water bottle set up from JRA in Medford; the backside of Battle Road Bikes, facing the Minuteman Path; the new bathhouse at Shannon Beach on the Mystic Lakes and a view from the Northern Strand Community Path.


Bike Path-aPalooza


Now that you’re all tuned up and ready to roll, it’s a matter of where to ride. 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 just the spot for you to hop on and ride away!


Mystic River Reservation is a publicly owned nature preserve that stretches along the towns of Medford, Somerville, Winchester, and Arlington and is a popular biking spot. 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 Wegman's, and travel the 3-mile loop that leads to Assembly Row and the Amelia Earhart Dam. For a lake ride, Medford Square residents can start at the Condon Shell on Mystic Valley Parkway and continue to Duggar Park and the Mystic Lakes, where they can pick up the Tri-Community Greenway (hosted by Winchester, Woburn & Stoneham) to Horn Pond and beyond. 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 to Revere and features modern artwork and community gardens. You can continue on the gravel path out the Lynn/Saugus line if you're feeling adventurous.


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 keep your eyes peeled for those around you.


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Whether you’re pedaling on a bicycle built for two, an aspiring weekend road warrior, or happy to remain a pedestrian, 4Squares Residential Group knows the places to see and be seen. Stay up-to-date on all our hot tips for loving the way you live in Medford and beyond by subscribing to our newsletter today!


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