3 bike rides for falling in love with Burlington

 

A bicycle gives you access to places off the beaten path while slowing you down enough to notice Burlington's charms and funk. From lake views to funky thrift shops to perfect picnic locations and good eats, you're can get to know our fair city with the wind in your hair and the sun on your shoulders.

Whether you're a student, a recent transplant to the area, or a longtime resident with a new set of wheels, you're guaranteed to fall in love with Burlington by bicycle on these three rides:

 

1. Cycle the City Route

Riding the Intervale trail by the Winooski River. Photo credit: Doug Roach

The Cycle the City route is the Greatest Hits album of Burlington bike rides. You'll see it all: organic veggie farms of the Intervale, the Winooski River, sweeping views of the Adirondacks and Green Mountains from Ehtan Allen Tower, the overgrown flower beds and brightly painted houses of the Old North End, the historic architecture peppering the University of Vermont green and the Hill Section, and a whole lot more. It's a great introductory ride to the Queen City.

 

Ethan Allen Tower. Photo credit: Maipo

Favorite stops along the way: Old Spokes Home (that's us!), our neighbors Junktiques for thrifting, Maglianero for coffee, Ethan Allen Tower for the best view and picnic spot, and the fire tower on the left side of Williams Hall on UVM campus for the sunset.

Click here for the mobile-friendly Cycle the City map.


2. Along the waterfront bike path to the Colchester Causeway

The Colchester Causeway

You can't go wrong with 10 miles of off-road bike path along Lake Champlain to one of the most scenic bike paths in the country, the Colchester Causeway. A former railroad converted into a path for people on foot or on bike means you can virtually walk or ride across the lake. It's amazing.

This bike path is flat, offers nonstop views of the Adirondacks, and there are plenty swim spots: North Beach, Texaco Beach, Leddy Beach, and the Causeway itself are all worthy stops for a quick dip before you continue on your adventure.

Favorite stops along the way: You must stop at Auer Family Boat House to buy some penny candy and sit in an Adirondack chair or a hammock for a while. If you're looking for a longer ride we recommend taking Local Motion's Bike Ferry to the Champlain Islands and going to Seb's for a maple creemee.

Click here for a map of the Island Line Trail to the Colchester Causeway.


3. The South End Circuit

Oakledge Park

The South End Arts District is the creative nexus of Burlington -- and it's easy to miss the magic and see only decrepit warehouses and empty industrial sites when you're going 25mph in a car down Pine Street, the district's major throughfare. A bicycle allows you to tap into the neighborhood's magic by navigating down alleyways between behemoth buildings that house print makers, potters, stained glass artists, painters, and metal workers.  We've plotted out a route, but it's important to let yourself wander astray when something interesting catches your eye. Give yourself time to join in on an impromptu dance class or get caught up in conversation with an artist or shop owner.

South End Truck Stop. Photo credit: ArtsRiot

Stops along the way: Stop first at the nonprofit ReSource Homegoods store to look for treasures. If you're hungry, ride a few hundred feet away to Myer's Bagels for a Montreal-style bagel (we like the Montreal Spice bagel with Montreal Spice cream cheese). If it's a Friday night, stop at the South End Truck Stop to check out the food truck scene. Bike a little further and stop at Battery Street Jeans for affordable and funky thrifting. If you're thirsty (and 21+), stop at Zero Gravity for a beer. Even better, get a growler and head to Oakledge Park where you can drink it by the beach or in the tree house. Continue on to Red Rocks Park for more park-and-beach time. If you're the daring type, jump off the famed Red Rocks cliffs into the lake (but not the 76er, that's just crazy).

 

Red Rocks park. Photo credit: City of South Burlington

Click here for the South End Circuit Route.


Need a bike?

We're here to set you up for endless adventures around Burlington and beyond. Old Spokes Home offers the largest selection of professionally refurbished used bikes in Burlington. We meticulously refurbish our used bikes so they ride like new. Each used bike comes with a season guarantee and a free 30-day check-up. We also sell new bikes, offer full repair services, and sell used parts and accessories.

 

Come visit us! We're open Monday through Saturday 10-6 and Sunday 12-6.