Furthest Points: Newport, RI & Plymouth, MA
Start Location: Dedham, MA, exact location see RWGPS
Start Time: 5:00AM
Length: 300k / 188mi
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: ACP and RUSA
Cue Sheet: See RWGPS to print cue sheet
Online Map/GPS: Some minor start/end changes to start closer to good parking options may be coming, but this is very close to the final route: https://ridewithgps.com/routes/39901234
In 2022 we’ll use a revised version of the route first used in 2018. This time around it’s right at 300k, and starts in Dedham. Big thanks for Jacob Layer for designing the route and running the ride.
Start, Finish, and Parking Info
Start and finish will be at or near ride leader’s home in Dedham MA. Details will be communicated to registered riders, including parking information. If you are looking for nearby hotels, the start is very close to the Dedham exit of 95 (intersection with MA-1) where there are several options.
The 2019 ride started in laid-back, luxurious Wellesley, at the Peets Coffee Shop. The 2022 ride starts a little further south-east. Either way, riders will head south through the suburbs, pedaling through Norwood and Mansfield (instead of Dover, Medfield, and Norfolk), down to 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 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. It’s totally fine to hop off and walk over them, and recommended even if you have wide 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. After that, a few more rollers will bring you through Canton and thread the needle to cross over various highways on quiet roads back to the start in Dedham.