New England Tri-State Cycling

Pedal Turns in the Connecticut River Valley

There are two sections of New England called "the tri-State area." One is the Tri-state area of Maine, New Hampshire, and Vermont, which issues the Tri-state Lottery tickets. But before these lottery tickets, the term "tri-state" referred to the region described as follows: the Connecticut River Valley from Northampton, Massachusetts, to Bellows Falls, Vermont, including areas of northwest Massachusetts, southern New Hampshire, and southern Vermont.

New England was not only the birthplace of American independence, it was the birthplace of American cycling. Alfred Chandler, a Boston lawyer, is said to have been the first American cyclist. In cycling's first "ultramarathon event," a W. R. Pitman rode the 42 miles from Boston to Haverhill in a little under 6 hours. On July 4, 1878, Pitman won the first amateur race at Lynn, Massachusetts, and in that same year 14 riders of high-wheeled bikes formed the Boston Bicycle Club and rode from Boston to Brookline, Massachusetts.

Why did American cycling begin here? the Atlantic Ocean was the 19th century's version of our information superhighway. Technical advances began in Europe, and New England was the closest to Europe and it had the manufacturing skill to turn the European ideas into American reality.

The following three tours give you a fine taste of the grace of the region.

Published: 29 Apr 2002 | Last Updated: 15 Sep 2010
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication


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