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50-miler in MA


Active member
Apr 28, 2004
flatlands of Mass.
Got out this past weekend and did a 50-mile ride with my 17YO son for a Boy Scout merit badge requirement. Route was basically as follows:

  • Bruce Freeman Rail Trail from Cross Point in Lowell to Rt. 27 and 225 in Carlisle
  • Rt. 225 in Carlisle to Bedford to start of Minutemen Trail
  • Minutemen Trail to Rt. 2A in Lexington
  • Rt. 2A to Minutemen National Park
  • Part of Battle Road Trail (stopped for lunch)
  • Return Rt. 2A to Lexington
  • Minuteman Trail to Arlington Center
  • Return on Minutemen Trail to Bedford
Total ride time was 4 hours for an average speed of 12.5 MPH...slow but given that neither of us ride regularly and that we were riding with "hybridized" mountain bikes I'm mainly glad that we finished. Main comments I have on the ride are

  • At the end I really didn't feel all that tired...I've felt more drained after a longer day of skiing. Could have been the slower pace (which I let my son set).
  • The rail trails are easy rides...basically flat (slight incline from Arlington to Lexington on the Minutemen Trail). The Minuteman Trail was not as crowded as I was expecting.
  • The segment through Carlisle was pretty easy, mainly because it was mostly downhill and because we did it on a weekend when the traffic was lighter.
  • Uphill segments make a big difference; we only had a few but they were still tough.
  • The rides on 2A were a pain...the road surface leaves a bit to be desired and there's a lot of traffic.
  • The Battle Road Trail is hard-packed but unsuitable for road bikes IMO.
  • One rant...riders are very poor about calling out when they pass you. I'm surprised that there aren't more accidents on the trail. :angry: