Sunday, Sept. 20th, Providence Start
All riders and staff will meet at our hotel in historic downtown Providence. In the evening get acquainted with your riding companions and tour staff. Enjoy the nearby RISD Museum, Waterplace Park, Thayer Street Art Festival in the heart of Brown University.
Day 1, Providence to New Bedford
Monday, Sept. 21st
Leaving Providence by way of the beautiful East Bay Bike Path, cyclists will travel 10 miles of greenway, weaving through several small Rhode Island towns, with views of Narragansett Bay and a few distant islands. Crossing into the South Coast of Massachusetts, the group will make their way to New Bedford by way of Fall River. Fall River hosts the world’s largest collection of World War Two naval vessels at Battleship Cove. New Bedford, “Whaling City”, was once one of the most important whaling and fishing ports in the world. After settling into our rooms, there will be ample opportunity to explore the city’s many cultural attractions including the New Bedford Whaling Museum, Whaling National Historic Park, the Museum of Glass, lots of great Portuguese food, and charming narrow cobblestone streets and wharf buildings harkening to a different era.
Day 2, New Bedford to Hyannis
Tuesday, Sept 22nd
Heading eastward to the Lower Cape, we will enjoy 4.5 miles of rail-trail through Fairhaven to Mattapoisett. From Mattapoisett, we’ll weave inland past historic farms and cranberry bogs, through charming downtown Wareham, the villages of Onset and Buzzards Bay, along the historic Cape Cod Canal, and across the Sagamore Bridge. The 50 mile ride ends in Hyannis, where you can see the headquarters of the famous Cape Cod Potato Chips. Grab a bag to chomp on while strolling the historic downtown or watching the boats sail in and out of the Cape’s busiest seaport.
Day 3, Hyannis to Provincetown
Wednesday, Sept 23rd
Our last day of travel by land will take us up the narrow arm of the Cape, including the 22-mile Cape Cod Rail Trail. Midway through the day, pause in Wellfleet for some of New England’s most famous oysters, gaze toward Europe from Cape Cod National Seashore, or look for a seal pod from the bluffs at the end of the Meadows Trail. We’ll end the day in Provincetown, often referred to as “P-Town”, a colorful tourist destination known for an active nightlife and impressive art scene. P-Town is home to the oldest continuous art colony in America and some of the top rated beaches in country. It was also the first landing point of the Massachusetts Bay Colony settlers (despite what Plymouth says!). Take it all in, stash your bike away, and stroll down the beach.
Day 4, Provincetown to Boston
Thursday, Sept 24th
We’ll have a leisurely few hours on Thursday to enjoy Provincetown and its environs before catching the an afternoon fast ferry back to Boston. Make sure to look for whales and dolphins as we skirt the Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary!
Day 5, Explore Boston
Friday, Sept 25th
Enjoy the best that Boston has to offer by bike as we spend the day visiting the largest city in New England with all that it has to offer. A guided tour of the city will be available as an option, or, walk the Freedom Trail, Ride to Lexington and Concord and back, or visit many of the fine museums (Boston MFA, Aquarium, Isabella Stuart Gardener Museum, Computer Museum and lots more).
Day 6, Boston to Worcester
Saturday, Sept 26th
After gathering for a good cup of coffee and fueling up with breakfast, riders will stash their belongings in the van and head out for our first day of adventure. Following the scenic Charles River Bikepath for approximately 12 miles, we will reach the city of Waltham, once a bustling 19th century industrial New England town and a testament to time. Waltham was the first city to manufacture watches on an assembly line earning it the nickname “Watch City”. We will then continue westward through the charming & historic towns of Weston, Wayland, Sudbury, Hudson, and Berlin, and end the day in the city of Worcester – the second largest city in New England (behind Boston). Visit the Major Taylor monument, celebrating the cyclist who became the first African-American world champion in any sport, and Worcester’s Union Station, arguably the finest example of a Victorian train station found anywhere in the Northeast.
Day 7, Worcester to Providence
Sunday, Sept. 27thd
The group will head out of Worcester on the Blackstone River Bikeway, through the Blackstone River National Heritage Corridor (Designated the Blackstone Valley National Park in 2014). Hugging the banks of the river, you will travel through time crossing through 15 cities and towns in Massachusetts and Rhode Island. The Blackstone Valley is the birthplace of the American Industrial Revolution, and thick with historic sites. About 14 miles of this day’s ride are on paved multi-use trail, enabling you to absorb views of the many historic landmarks, canal remnants, and winding river banks. Only a few miles from our destination city, we will cross through Pawtucket, which is home to America’s first textile mill, Slater Mill, a National Historic Landmark. The day will end in Providence, RI where you can explore great restaurants, impressive architecture, and a booming arts and music scene.
We are pleased to have an excellent guest speaker line-up for each night of the tour. All talks are open to the public and led by local experts covering the history and culture of the region.
Speaker Schedule (all talks scheduled for 7:30-8:30pm):
In 2014, we had the following guest speakers throughout the week, we are working to get speakers for all nights of the tour, including persuading some of these fantastic people to return again.
Chuck Arning, Blackstone River Valley NPS Ranger – Mill Towns and industrial history of the Blackstone Valley.
Kevin Klyberg, Blackstone River Valley, NPS Ranger – Providence and additional Blackstone Valley history.
Jerrie Lyndon, New Bedford Marketing and Cultural Tourism Manager – Attractions of New Bedford
David Shropfer, Eastham Historical Society – Cape Cod and Eastham
Roger Chauvette (former editor of Provincetown Magazine and current member of the Provincetown Bicycling Committee) – History and culture of Provincetown.