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475April 12: Historic Middlesex Canal Bike Tour

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  • kenmedford
    Apr 8, 2014
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      *The Middlesex Canal Association Presents:*
      *Spring Bicycle Tour of **Historic **Middlesex Canal*

      On *Saturday, April 12, 2014*, the *Middlesex Canal **Association* will
      present a spring bicycle tour of the Middlesex Canal. The Canal was the
      "big dig" of the end of the 18th century. Completed in 1803 after 10 years
      of construction, the Canal connected the Merrimac River in what is now
      Lowell with the Charles River at Sullivan Square in Charlestown. In many
      ways it served as a model for later canals including the Erie Canal. The
      Canal remained in operation for 50 years, providing both passenger and
      freight service, but could not compete successfully with the Boston and
      Lowell Railroad which began operation in the 1830's.

      The ride will meet at 9:30 AM at North Station (commuter rail) and take our
      bicycles on the 10 AM train to Lowell. (Riders can also board at West
      Medford at 10:11 or meet the Train when it arrives in Lowell at 10:43). This
      year an early group will take the 8:00AM train from North Station to allow
      more time in Lowell and breakfast at the historic Owl Diner (<
      http://www.owldiner.com/>, aka the Four Sisters). Route visits the
      Pawtucket and otherLowell canals, river walk, Francis Gate, and then
      Middlesex Canal remnants in Chelmsford. Quick visit to Canal Museum, then
      on to Boston.

      Lunch at Route 3A mini-mall in Billerica. Long day, but sunset is late.
      Riders needing to leave early can get the train to Boston at 1:07 at North
      Billerica or at 3:14 at Wilmington. Participants are responsible for
      one-way train fare [$8.75 from Boston to Lowell]. Complete Lowell line
      schedules can be downloaded at www.mbcr.net if anyone wishes to plan a rail
      travel itinerary specific to their needs.
      The route is pretty flat and level and we will average 5 miles per hour,
      so the ride will be an easy one for most cyclists. Along the way we will
      stop at a number of remnants and restored sections of the Canal, as well as
      the Mansion of Loammi Baldwin, the chief engineer of the Canal (who
      discovered the Baldwin apple while building the Canal), the two remaining
      aqueducts (which carried the Canal over rivers and brooks), and the
      northern end of the floating towpath that carried horses over the Millpond.
      The ride will be led by Bill Kuttner (617-241-9383, bkuttner@...) and
      Dick Bauer (857-540-6293, dick.bauer@...) of the Middlesex Canal
      Commission . Helmets required. Steady rain cancels.

      For more information about the Middlesex Canal go to:

      Dick Bauer