Canto dos

The first two legs (read: circles) were going to be bad, but we knew that. But we thought that there would be a bike path for the first leg. When we got to the “bike path”, we thought it looked strange, but by then it was too late:

Admiral Ackbar was right, of course. Google bike maps is a motherfucking trap. We, the three travelers, naively thought that this bike path would be worth it. It was not worth it. It was a sidewalk. See diagram below for illustration of the first and second legs.

After the sidewalk of the first leg ended…..we were trapped. There was nowhere to go but a 3 lane highway; so we went.

It sucked. Biking on a highway sucks. The view was actually quite beautiful, because we could see East Boston and old New England homes rising on a hilltop like a Montmartre with more trees. I feel like saying that there was nowhere to pull over, but the fact was there were some places where we could have. None of us wanted to stop to take photos because all of us were driven by the single thought: “make this end.”

As the cars flew past us, some of them honked, some of them cut in too close, and some of them yelled at us. The second leg didn’t end soon enough, but we were only half way through.

5 Responses to “Canto dos”

  1. matt
    July 13th, 2010 | 10:40 pm

    i too have been burned by google bike directions. drove an hour to what looked like a great bike path, only to find it was a mountain biking path. oh well…

  2. Aaron
    July 14th, 2010 | 11:37 am

    I’ve found that it’s always worth using the “street view” along the suggested route to look for possible highways, etc.

    I hope you used the feedback feature on the google bike directions to let them know about the problems with the route. It seems their plan is to slowly revise the system using feedback, so it’s essential to let them know that the road isn’t good for bikes.

    I had a similar experience when the bike route was first available. It tried to send me up Route 9 through Brookline, which, luckily, I knew ahead would be a bad idea.

  3. Bike to the Sea
    July 14th, 2010 | 2:52 pm

    Sounds pretty difficult. If you’d like to get involved to make this type of ride more pleasant, you can contact Bike to the Sea ( who is working to build a trail from Everett, through Malden, Revere, Saugus and Lynn to Nahant. See the following map for the proposed rail trail:,-71.007385&spn=0.07437,0.154324&t=h&z=13

  4. cyclostat
    July 14th, 2010 | 9:19 pm

    Matt: YES I have noticed the lack of a distinction between mountain bike paths and road bike paths. I reported that to google maps.


    Aaron: It took me a few days to recover from this trip. After I recovered and thought about reporting the path to google, I noticed that it had already been changed. Google bike directions no longer takes you through this route.


    BTTS: I would love to help out in any way. I whole-heartedly endorse a bike trail to the sea. However, I should add that this bike trail will not turn the population living in between the mystic and marblehead into intelligent humans, living in a society. I am convinced that civilization has been paused anywhere north of the mystic river, and the only inhabitants are semi-conscious savages. Perhaps with time, we can teach them to love.


    In the meantime, good luck in your trail through hell. My advice is to make it well lit.

  5. February 28th, 2012 | 10:07 am

    I’m glad many people notice this too. I do hope that google will do a better job in creating their maps especially bike riders like us.

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