Furthest Points: Newport, RI & Plymouth, MA
Start Location: Wellesley Center, MA (Start & Parking info below)
Start Time: 6:30am
Length: 300k / 190mi
Time Limit: 20 Hours
Lights & Reflective Gear: Required
Ride Leader: Jacob Layer
Controls: Rehoboth, MA; Middletown, RI; New Bedford, MA; Plymouth, MA; Easton, MA
Sanctioning: RUSA Only
Cue Sheet: Download Cue (PDF) Updated July 19th 2019
Online Map/GPS: https://ridewithgps.com/routes/30424871 (Updated July 15th 2019)
Registration: Register at BikeReg
In 2019 we’ll use a revised version of the route first used in 2018. Big thanks for Jacob Layer for designing the route and running the ride. Please also note 2019 NER Membership is required for this and other events.
Start, Finish, and Parking Info
Riders driving to the start should park in the Wellesley Square MBTA / Tailby Parking Lot (map).
The event will start outside the Peet’s Coffee in Wellesley Center, MA @ 6:30am. (Map) Peet’s and other nearby breakfast places open at 6am for riders who want a quick breakfast or coffee. Peet’s is about 2 blocks from the Tailby parking lot.
The event will finish at the Wellesley Square JP Licks Ice Cream shop (map) which is a few doors down from the Peet’s start location. JP Licks is open until Midnight. NER Volunteers will be on-site outside until 2:30am. We’ll have some snacks for riders finishing Midnight – 2:30am but there won’t be bathrooms.
Route Description (Updated July 2019)
This ride starts in laid-back, luxurious Wellesley, at the Peets Coffee Shop. Riders will head south, pedaling through Dover, Medfield, Norfolk, and Rehoboth, MA through rolling terrain and gorgeous countryside. You might see a few alpacas grazing when you ride by the Happy Snowman Alpaca Farm on Slater Street at Mile 31. Once you tear yourself away from your new wooly friends, you’ll stop at the first control at a Cumberland Farms.
Continuing south, you’ll ride through some quaint residential areas until you reach the Rhode Island state line at mile 47.5, at which point you’ll follow the Warren Reservoir into downtown Warren. You might catch a glimpse of a Wildlife Refuge or the local beach before catching the East Bay Bike Path. You’ll follow the East Bay Bike Path for 4 miles before entering downtown Bristol, a town that was bombarded twice by the British Navy in the Revolutionary War. Once you’re done admiring Bristol, you’ll ride toward and cross the Mt. Hope Bridge. ALL riders should take care as the bridge is elevated, exposed, and has large expansion grates that can swallow tires.
Once you cross the bridge, you’ll gaze upon a gorgeous view of the Naragansett Bay before you head inland. At this point, you might decide to ditch the bike and swim back to Boston – watch out for sharks. If you’re clipped in and pedaling, you’ll have some great food options. Anna D.’s café has great sandwiches, and you’ll have two opportunities to stop there and get the thing you regretted not ordering the first time around, after you lick your fingers clean.
Now that you’re full, you’re going to work that sandwich off on a short ride along Route 138, a busy beach travel route. However, the time spent on this road is short. You’ll join up with the backroads along farmland and, eventually, beaches, in Middletown RI, where you’ll head into the second control: Sachuest Point National Wildlife Refuge.
After the second control, the route doubles back, eventually reaching Park Ave, where riders will continue heading east and cross the cyclist/pedestrian bridge along the Sakonnet River Bridge before joining Route 77 and heading south into Tiverton. If you need a caffeine boost, I recommend stopping at Coastal Rollers, a snazzy local favorite coffee shop. Once you’re properly sugared or caffeinated up, you’ll turn east along Route 177 and cross back into MA before turning northeast. You’ll cycle past some more wildlife refuges – don’t pick up any furry or feathered hitchhikers – and reach the third control point: a Dunkin Donuts in Acushnet, MA. If you’re looking for something non-Dunkin, the Country Whip is a short ride away from the control, but is cash only. Riders will continue heading east, passing several bodies of water, including Mary’s Pond, before setting their sights on Wareham and Myles Standish State Forest. This would be a good spot to chug your energy boost, as it’s easy to miss turns in the park after dusk. Stay alert! Once you’re out of the dark maze of the forest, you’ll breeze toward the open control in downtown Plymouth. Let history come alive at the Plymouth Rock and the historic waterfront, and grab some seafood – you’ve earned it!
Afterwards, you’ll start pedaling northwest through Halifax and West Bridgewater before reaching the Easton control (a gas station). You’ll continue north, passing by Borderlands State Park and Lake Mossapoag in Sharon, a great spot for some swimming. You’ll eventually cross I-95 and Route 1, reaching the Neponset River. Riders are on notice – make sure you save some strength for Mansion Drive, the last “major climb” of the ride. If you haven’t stopped at every tourist stop on the ride and have the time to do so, stop for ice cream at the Bubbling Brook Restaurant (cash only). Riders will then continue north, reaching Willet Pond, Dover, and finally finish the ride at the JP Licks in Wellesley, where you can stop for ice cream pt. 2, because, let’s face it, you’ve deserved it.