LOCAL BIKE SHOPS YOU SHOULD BE FRIENDS WITH
Beloved local repair and service all-season Union Square shop (with a gorgeous website) run by two ex bike mechanics, which went under recent renovations resulting in a slicker shop and more workspace. somervelo.com
Massive Mass-based full-service bike shop chain, great resource for bike knowledge on gear, local group rides, and bike clubs. They’ve been around since 1922, and it’s clear why. landrys.com
Small Harvard-based nonprofit bike shop for repairs, new and used bikes, and accessories. quadbikes.org
Jamaica Plain nonprofit shop with full range of repair services, voted best in town by readers in the 2015 DigThis Awards. bikesnotbombs.org
Tourist favorite in the North End for rentals and general urban biking guidance, chats with world-known professional cyclers, and eco-friendly tendencies. urbanadventours.com
A shop old enough to drink legally (and it has a 12-year-old sibling in Portsmouth, NH: Papa Wheelies). An everything-you-need kind of local spot. Uses a 15-step personal bike fitting procedure called BG FIT to create a “marriage between rider and bicycle.” papa-wheelies.com
One of the largest resources for all manner of biking, specializing in gear for the serious cyclist, with pretty much every major cycling brand and product available and a soup-to-nuts service ability. Go ahead, try and stump them. communitybicycle.com
Porter/Davis Square bike emporium, and an offshoot of the larger Belmont sister store. Great staff, voted “best of” by several media outlets, and former Olympic cyclists and college stars are often found either working or shopping here. wheelworks.com
LOCAL BIKE MAKERS
Chances are if you are even slightly serious about biking, you have at least heard the name Seven Cycles. And that’s for good reason. They’re a top-notch custom titanium and carbon fiber bicycle frame manufacturer that uses the best steels to create a variety of frames. Besides doing a range of frame styles (road, tandems, triathlon, touring, mountain), they’ve developed a revolutionary “Seven Fit Methodology” for perfectly fitting a bike to its owner, partnered with industry icon Paul Turner on the first customizable full suspension bike in 2001, and is one of the world’s largest custom bike builders. Besides knowing how to build bicycles, these guys are no slouches in racing either, with their Team Seven riders winning national and international championships over the years, and even achieving the highest American finish for any mountain biker competing in the 2008 Beijing Summer Olympics. Not that their bikes will necessarily allow the likes of you to do the same, but finding a way to procure one is probably a step in the right direction. sevencycles.com
Custom hand-made bicycles right in Boston near the South Bay Center, helmed by a trio of locals making gorgeous road and utility bicycles since 2011. In addition to the killer rides and range of services, this custom shop features an art gallery highlighting the work of local artists and craftspeople. fireflybicycles.com
Innovation District ground zero for killer brazed jointed steel bikes with nine categories of styles from touring to fixed gear, and even time trial. The owner actually learned the precision bike-frame trade from the gods at Seven Cycles. Wait lists run around three months out, so if you’re ready to drop some coin on new wheels, plan accordingly. royalhcycles.com
Multi-billion-dollar bike company founded by Marty Walsh in 2002 (no, not the Mayor, a different Marty Walsh). Makers of insanely gorgeous custom-fitted welded steel frame bikes in seven styles, all bikes hand-built in Mass with the cyclocross lines geared toward the tough courses found in the Northeast. geekhousebikes.com
Creators of The Montague Boston, the Cambridge-born first full-size single-speed folding bike which collapses in 20 seconds. The founder is an MIT grad and designed the model bearing in mind the need of tactical paratroopers for immediate all-terrain functionality from their mountain bikes. Gun turrets sold separately. Well, not really. Still: badass. montaguebikes.com
POWDER FRESH: MAKE YOUR BIKE GLOW IN THE DARK WITH POWDER
Riding your bike at night can be fun, provided cars and other things that could crash into you can see you. If they can’t, then not so much.
To ensure you and your bike are visible in the dark hours, you could just drape your ride in all manner of reflective tape, blinking battery powered lights, cat-collar bells, air horns, and whatever else you think will increase your personal safety on the road.
Or, you could employ the services of Hub Powderworks, a subsidiary of Cambridge-based Hub Bicycle Co., which employs a “retro-reflective” industrial-strength powder coating initially designed for highway and mining safety. In short, they can make your bike appear to glow when light is shined on it after dark.
Here’s how it works: Once you set up the job you turn your bike into the shop (standard bikes only at this point, so no tandems and the like). The team there disassembles your bike and strips it of any existing paint, and the frame and forks are then prepped for the process. According to the company itself, this is the only bike shop in the world licensed to refinish bikes with the material.
Once your bike is attached to a ground wire it’s sprayed with electrostatically charged powder particles that cling to grounded metal “like a sock fresh out of the dryer,” per the Powderworks website. After the bike has been completely covered by the Halo process, it’s transferred to an oven that bakes the powder on permanently, setting it into the bike’s frame.
The compound causes any light shined on it to be sent right back in the direction it came in. So headlights shining on bikes can see anything coated with this retro-reflective material from a greater distance, and make the Zakim Gray color it comes in appear to glow blue. The process for locals costs $329, and takes roughly a week depending on how busy they are.
Which is far less expensive than the hospital bills that come with being mowed down by a car at night.
FOR MORE INFORMATION CHECK OUT HUBPOWDERWORKS.COM
TRAIL LEADER: BIKE PATHS
RESEARCH: JASMINE FERRELL
FOR: 30-40 MILES OF GORGEOUS LONG RIDES THROUGH THE MEADOWS, FARMHOUSES, AND NATURE-RICH PATHS OF SEVERAL HISTORIC TOWNS LIKE CONCORD AND LINCOLN.
FOR: KILLER VIEWS OF BOSTON, AND PETER’S HILL IN ROSLINDALE.
FOR: ONE OF THE FEW TRAILS THROUGH LANDSCAPED CEMETERY.
FOR: 14-MILE LOOP OF DCR MAINTAINED PATHS, RIVER VIEWS.
FOR: LONG RIDES ALONG RESTORED PATHWAYS FROM THE EMERALD NECKLACE GREENWAY PROJECT.
FOR: INTERLACING PATHS FOR ROAD AND OFF-ROAD RIDING, SLICING THROUGH 34 TOWNS IN MASS.
BONUS: CONNECTS THE BEACHES OF NEWBURYPORT AND DUXBURY.
FOR: JAUNTS THROUGH THE MARSHES AND POPE JOHN PAUL II PARK.
BONUS: POSSIBLE DEAD BODY SIGHTINGS IN THE MARSHES.
FOR: WINDING RIDES THROUGH BOSTON’S HIGHEST NATURAL POINT, BELLEVUE HILL, AND ON TO THE CHARLES AND NEPONSET RIVERS.
FOR: CRUISES THROUGH LUSH FOLIAGE AND PAST COLONIAL HOUSING REMNANTS ALONG THE ASSABET RIVER RAIL TRAIL AFTER A HEARTY JOINT. OR THREE.
FOR: WHAT IS CONSISTENTLY NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BIKE PATHS IN MASS, NAMED FOR THE INVENTOR OF THE PEDAL BIKE.