Merrimack River from Newburyport allows all riders to enjoy very scenic stretches along both sides of the Merrimack River. All routes head out of Newburyport on Hale Street then along the Upper Artichoke Lake before doing several scenic miles along the river. The 30 mile medium route follows the short route but avoids Rocks Village Bridge by continuing through West Newbury to cross the Merrimack on 113 in Groveland then follows scenic E Broadway to rejoin the short on the north side of Rocks Village Bridge. The long route is almost the entire medium route (excludes the right on Kent) and continues on Merrimac St to Water then a right on Rolfe's Lane. Turning South on 1A riders have a chance to stop at Tender Crop Farms for refreshments before continuing to Rowley and a special treat of climbing up to Sea View for a sea view. Back down and head over to a short piece of Rte. 1 then return to Newburyport following Middle. Highfield, Parker and Johnson. The extra-long route includes going out to Plum Island, north to the lighthouse and back. The route does not include the southern end of Plum Island and the Parker River National Wildlife Refuge but it can be added for a rather enjoyable and excessively flat 8.5 miles for a beautiful metric century.
Some challenging hills lead to Chester NH, a historic small town with a good General Store for lunch or a snack. Expect mostly wooded roads, old farms, and out-of-the-way historic districts such as North Danville. In the fall, Chester's scarecrow festival adds great local color. The 27 and 54 mile routes depart from the Amesbury Elementary School. New for 2022 is a 40-mile remote start option in Newton, NH that’s partway into the long ride. That will allow more riders to get to Chester and the scarecrows!
Flat to rolling loops through the North Shore. All rides pass through Boxford, Topsfield and Rowley. Medium ride adds Newbury and Newburyport. Long ride adds Plum Island including the paved bike lane on the Plum Island Causeway. Short ride lunch stop is in Topsfield. Long and medium ride lunch stop is in Newburyport at Abraham's Bagels. Abraham's is in the same block where a 17th century woman named Elizabeth Morse lived. She was convicted of witchcraft a dozen years before the Salem witch trials. Visit the plaque dedicated to her on the north side of the building. An optional stop is at Tendercrop Farm on the long and medium rides. Feel free to visit the farm store for coffee and fresh local products!
Costumes on your person and on your bike are encouraged (but not required) on this spooky and scary ride through Newburyport to return to Newburyport Brewing Company for an NSC sponsored lunch of pizza and drinks for all participating members (those who sign in and ride the ride or come in costume). No pre-registration required. This is just a fun ride and time! No scary hammer head riding allowed on Halloween. Road bikes, gravel bikes, mountain bikes, trikes or anything else you wish to ride is welcome. Helmets required (duh) and please be sure your costume and bike are "ride safe". The ride starts at Newburyport Brewing Company and meaders through Newburyport with the goal to have fun and entertain the folks in Newburyport.
This ride takes us on familiar roads, some a bit hilly, and travels north of the Merrimack River into Merrimac and Amesbury, with longer rides continuing through Newton, Kingston and South Hampton in New Hampshire.