The four-day Berkshires to Boston Bicycle Tour is set to take place September 17th through the 21st this year. The annual event, which intersects with four scenic byways, attracts more than 5,000 cycling enthusiasts each year.
Known for its scenic beauty and low traffic volume, the 240-mile bike tour starts at the New York border in the lovely Berkshire hills. It then continues along the Connecticut River Valley before going through historic communities such as Lexington and Concord. The tour ultimately arrives in Boston.
This year’s event will offer a new feature that has not been included in previous years. On September 17th, Bicycle Tour participants are invited to participate in a special warm up event. This event involves riding 8 miles up Mt. Greylock, which is the highest peak in Massachusetts. The paved Scenic Byway up the mountain, which has recently been rebuilt, offers stunning views of five states from its summit.
The first day of the tour takes place on September 18th. On this day, participants ride 59 miles from Hancock, Massachusetts to Sunderland, Massachusetts. The route passes through Pittsfield and runs along the Ashuwiliticook Rail Trail for a period of time. Overall, the ride climbs 3,589 feet, but also features 4,600 feet of descent.
The following day is the longest day of the event, with a 79-mile stretch from the Valley farmlands to the Central Highlands of Devens, Massachusetts. The route runs along the Connecticut River before climbing 11 miles to the town of Wendell. The quaint New England towns of Petersham and Princeton are also included in the route.
The third day has the shortest trek, with a 50-mile ride that passes by the Minutemen National Historical Park and the historic towns of Lexington and Cambridge. The route ends in Boston’s Innovation District.
On the final day, participants can choose from among several different routes of varying length. Whether choosing a 10, 25 or 50 mile route, participants can explore parts of the city on car-free thoroughfares.
In addition to being a fun event for participants and spectators, the Berkshires to Boston Bicycle Tour serves as a fundraiser for the Massachusetts Bicycle Coalition (MassBike) and other similar organizations. These organizations advocate for a bicycle-friendly environment and offer special programs and events throughout the year. Thanks to their efforts, Massachusetts is ranked as one of the most Bike Friendly States in America by the League of American Bicyclists.
Even those who are not participating in the Berkshires to Boston Bicycle Tour are encouraged to leave the car at home and to travel by bicycle throughout the week of September 14th through September 20th. Dubbed as “Car Free Week,” this week in September promotes biking, walking and other methods of transportation that are more environmentally and financially sound.