bikingandbaking: photo of my road bike in front of a statue of an apple (baldwin monument)
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This is the information page for my 118-km (~74mi) Permanent Populaire (RUSA Route #3389) from West Medford to Ipswich and back.

Route map and GPS file on RideWithGPS, (also available to ride in the reverse direction).

The route starts in West Medford -- Magnificent Muffins (cash only) is a small local coffee-and-breakfast shop that has been a friendly starting spot for a number of team events, but any business/ATM in the blocks on either side of the commuter rail station is fine.

From Medford, it takes my "usual route" north avoiding major roads, passing the Baldwin Apple Monument:

on its way up to the first info control at the ruins of the Shawsheen Aqueduct on the Middlesex Canal. When you see this, it's time to answer a question:
photo of the ruins of the Shawsheen Aqueduct on the Middlesex Canal

From there, the route turns east, heading through parks and past lakes on its way to the coast. It cuts through an old road turned paved bike path in Harold Parker State Forest, and then along roads familiar to CRW Spring Century and NER 400k riders for a while, until leaving them to head eastwards.
Brand-New pavement in Harold Parker State Forest
Picture of a lake in Boxford MA

The second (and penultimate) control is in Ipswich. A Cumberland farms is the no-frills, always-open option, but there are several nice coffee shops/sandwich places. (Fried clam aficionados with a bit of extra time can head a bit north off-route to the famous Clam Box, if time allows.)

From Ipswich, the route turns southwest, follows the Ipswich River upstream for a little while before leaving it in search of some rolling hills south to Wakefield on its way back to the start.
wakefield gazebo

Magnificent Muffins will be closed by the time you return, unless you are very fast and starting very early -- the Dunkin Donuts across the street is the easy choice. If you want ice cream as your finish reward/final control, head just east of the train tracks on High St/MA-60 (turn left instead of right at the end of the route). Otherwise, again, any business/ATM is fine.

A quick note on routing: this route has a lot of quick turns in some areas, some poorly signed. The cue sheet has been checked carefully, but a GPS will make your life easier.
middlesex confusion

If you're interested in riding this route, please email me from the link on the RUSA page for the permanent; I do not always check comments here as quickly as I do my email. I will be happy to help you with any questions and information on parking if driving to the start.


bikingandbaking: photo of my road bike with a tag reading "51" on it (Default)
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