Monday, June 14, 2010

Greenbush and Beyond: Biking off the Commuter Rail

On Saturday my sister and I took the Commuter Rail to the end of the Greenbush line for some biking along the south shore. Having learned my lesson the previous weekend, I planned out the route the night before. I wanted an improvement over paper directions so I used Google Maps bike feature, took a screen shot, and sent it to my iPhone (unfortunately the iPhone Google Maps app doesn't have the bike feature yet - can we have it please?). If anyone knows a better (yet free or very inexpensive) way of doing this that's please let me know!

Part of my interest in doing this route was I had read that "summer weekends you can enjoy [the MBTA's] Greenbush and Rockport Line bike coaches" on the MBTA website. Maybe mid June doesn't count as summer, but unfortunately there wasn't a bike coach and the conductor hadn't heard of such a thing for the Greenbush line.

A little disappointing, but not a big deal as the 7:48 train wasn't crowded. We arrived at Greenbush Station and set out on this route at about 9:00 AM:

**There is a Dunkin' Donuts (hereafter referred to as DD) near Greenbush Station that made a great staging point! 

There was a 15 mile Fun Ride going on at the same time so there were a lot of other bikers out and about. The weather was beautiful and we found ourselves cruising along the shore in no time!

We stopped for a picture opp at the first sight of ocean - Ocean Bluff in Marshfield

The roads were in great condition for the most part, with a few small hills but nothing too daunting. After a nice cruise along Ocean Bluff and Brant Rock we quickly found ourselves in Duxbury.

Brant Rock


We tried to make it all the way out down Gurnet Rd. on the peninsula that reaches out into Duxbury bay, which would have added a good 15 miles onto the trip, but the road was too sandy and when I wasn't lying on my side under my bike it felt like riding over a washboard. After a mile or so we turned around in search a more fun surface.

Shortly thereafter we stopped for lunch at a nice little cafe called French Memories at 459 Washington St. We also grabbed some french fries from the Snug Harbor Fish Company next door. The rest of  their food looked delicious but we weren't feeling salmon or lobster rolls at the moment, and mainly bought the fries so we could enjoy their lovely outdoor seating.

Tasty lunch at French Memories in Duxbury: One pesto sandwich, one egg salad sandwich, some tasty fries, and a cranberry juice (probably not the best choice as it's a natural diuretic I've heard)

We decided to take the straight shot back to Greenbush along 3A. Very doable, not too busy or dangerous feeling on a Saturday. It started to rain, which really put a damper on things (sorry), and we were in a hustle to get back. However, we arrived back at our DD only to find that we had missed a train back into the city by 15 minutes and would have to wait another 2 hours for the next one.

Savoring a nice warm coffee at our DD in order to keep warm and dry!

After waiting about 30 minutes we decided we would continue on 3A to the red line in Quincyand make up for the mileage we lost by not doing the peninsula in Duxbury. This ride made for some nice views until we got through Hingham, at which point it became much less pleasant and much more dangerous a ride. Cars also going fast along this road. We do not recommend this!!

All in all it was a great 50 mile ride. 

Lessons of the trip:
  • Check when the trains are going back into Boston so you don't get stranded!! 
  • If you're willing to carry a backpack, bring a change of clothes if you think it might rain!


  1. Hey charlotte!
    psyched that you have a new blog devoted to biking in boston. the top reason for this: I will be an avid biker in the boston area for August (I got some summer employment there). I'll hit you up for a ride when I get to town. (also, probably hitting you up for a directions, and a beer.)

  2. Awesome!!

    I am training for a 150 mile ride next weekend to benefit MS; Quincy (Bostonish) to Provincetown on the tip of Cape Cod. Will be over two days but if this last ride was any indication it will kick my butt!

    Excited to see you in August!