Guided Bicycle Tours of some of the neighborhoods and
the bike path / rail trail network in the Pioneer Valley.
For 2010, there will be FREE guided bike tours every Tuesday in May, June, July and
August. These are all rides that are not difficult, not fast and more of an educational experience.. All rides will gather at 6:00 p.m. and get underway at p.m. promptly. There will be no rides on the 5th Tuesday of the month.
THREE OF THE FOUR RIDES WILL START AT PEDAL TO PROPERTIES 14 STRONG AVENUE, NORTHAMPTON,
MA. THERE IS ONE RIDE EACH MONTH THAT WILL START IN EASTHAMPTON AT THE INTERSECTION OF THE MANHAN RAIL TRAIL AND
of each ride will be 20 riders and all participants must RSVP at least 24 hours ahead of time. (cell phone
at 413-575-2277 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org )
heavy hills will be encountered though some safe, on-road portions will be a part of each ride. All rides
will be two-way and end back at the point of departure, by dusk.
Aerial ca. 1935 courtesy of Florence Casket Co.
Ride 1. [1st Tuesday
of the month] The ride will start at Pedal to Properties 14 Strong Ave
in downtown Northampton. We will get underway promptly at 6:15 and head north on the rail trail and then head east along the state park agency's regional gem--the Norwottuck Rail Trail--aka the MassCentral Rail Trail.
We will discuss the history of one of the state's most interesting railroads--the MassCentral branch of
the Boston & Maine Railroad as well as a discussion of the politics of long distance trails in a state without
any regional governance. There will also be an update on the efforts to build out the rest of the corridor from Northampton
to Boston as a rail trail. AND we will head onto the longest town green in the U.S. and go past the oldest
continuously operated farmland in North America. We will also go past several houses that have sold recently and
we'll discuss the dynamics of the various neigborhoods we go past. Dates are: May 4, June 1, July 6, AUGUST, 3.
The long gone Florence Station by Bob's Photos
Ride 2 [2nd Tuesday of
the month] The ride will start at Pedal to Properties 14 Strong Ave in downtown
Northampton. We will get underway promptly at 6:15 and head north on the rail trail and then head west across Rt 5 and up
into Florence. Educational component will focus
on history of the New Haven Railroad's Williamsburg Branch, the industrial villages of Florence and Leeds and the politics of trail building. We will also point out recent sales
of residential property that we go past in Florence. May
11, June 8, July 13, August 10.
Northampton circa 1915
Anon. artist painting Easthampton Station
Ride 3. [3rd Tuesday of
the month] This ride will start at the intersection of the Manhan Rail Trail with Union Street
in downtown Easthmpton. We will get underway at 6:15 and head
nroth on the ex New Haven Railroad's Canal Division and then head east on the ex Boston & Maine RR's Mt Tom Branch.Together these two storied branchlines make up the Manhan Rail Trail--a
component of the larger Farmington Canal Greenway, being constructed north from New Haven, CT. The educational component will focus on the politics of trail building,
the meaning of the abundant railroad archaeology found along the Manhan Rail Trail, the economic development
aspects of rail trails, and a discussion of brownfield redevelopment along rail trails. We will also point out recent
sales of residential property in several Easthampton neighborhoods. May 18, June 15, July 20, August 17.
RR Archeaology on the Manhan Trail
Railroads in the Valley
Ride 4. [4th Tuesday
of the month] The ride will start at Pedal to Properties 14 Strong Ave in downtown Northampton.
We will get underway promptly at 6:15 and head south the politics
of long distance trails in a state without any regional governance. TWe will then head into downtown Northampton for a tour of future rail
trail connections, and a exploration of the diverted MillRiver. The educational component will include theory of remaking streets into places more attractive for bikes and pedestrians,
design of rail trails, and a short history of downtown Northampton and the long diverted MillRiver. An update about progress to develop the trail to New Haven will be given too. We will also point
out recent sales of residential property and what each neibhborhood is like. May 25, June 22, July 27,