User Experience Design & Research

Brooklyn to Boston by Bike (blog)

I spent five days biking from Brooklyn to Boston with my friends Matt and Jen in the spring of 2016. The weather didn't quite cooperate, but it ended up being an incredible and memorable journey nevertheless.

our 6-day totals

Sunset Park to Jamaica Plain: 300.5 miles (484 km)
Prospect Heights to West Roxbury: 302.6 miles (487 km)

Elevation Gain: 10,340 feet (3,152 m)

Katarina Yee
Marshfield – Boston

Distance: 38 miles (61.3 km)
Elevation Gain: 1,463 feet (446 m)

It was heartbreaking to leave Holly the Golden Doodle in Marshfield, but Matt saw rain coming in on the radar, so we got going early.

Yesterday's wind continued to bluster as we rode down route 3A through Marshfield and Scituate. We stayed along the coast for a bit, spotting cormorants fishing in the choppy waters. But we skipped the mini detour to the lighthouse, and Matt rerouted us inland to try to avoid the fierce headwind. It was beautiful to see the rough seas from afar, and funny to think about how different the same ride would be tomorrow, if the weather is, as forecasted, partly cloudy.

In Cohasset, Matt called his mom to let her know we'd drop by for a quick visit at the school where she works in Hingham—a gentle surprise. Hugs from Thalia were the perfect way to start the welcome home.

We left Hingham, rode through Weymouth, and then arrived in Quincy, where much of my family lives. Seeing Wollaston Beach, a path I've often included on running routes, was my first sign of home. As we crossed Furnace Brook Parkway on Shore Drive approaching the beach, our bikes might have rolled back had we not been using all of our might to move forward. We saw the Atlantic Ocean crashing up over the walls and onto the street ahead, and crossed to ride on the dry sidewalk. After one last whole-belly fried clams stop at Tony's, we went to see my grandma and aunts, Di Phung and Di Minh. We drank warm tea, ate yummy leftovers, and bonded over recent travels to Vietnam. Jen tried to tell them the town where her mom is from, but they couldn't understand because her tones were off. Good thing Matt was there—he said it once, and they knew immediately!

Both Matt and I forgot our Boston house keys in Brooklyn, but he was able to grab them from his mom in Hingham. We left Quincy, and rode through Milton, entering Boston on Blue Hill Avenue in Mattapan, and made it to Jamaica Plain by 3:30. We did it!

Matt's dad was there to greet us—he was completely thrilled, injecting us—cold, exhausted, and relieved—with his energy. We had more hot tea as we recounted our trip with Gerry and Matt's sister Emily. And then it was time for me to get home to West Roxbury.

By the time I left, the rain had started, and roadwork near Forest Hills made traffic a mess. But the route is familiar, and the bike lanes are well-marked down Washington Street, around Roslindale Square, and up Belgrade Avenue (well done, Boston!).

No hugs from my mom upon my arrival—I was too gross, covered in 6 miles of wet urban grime. She thinks we're crazy to have done the ride, and crazier to have biked 38 miles together on such a cold and windy day. But she was excited for the fried clams I delivered! And hugs came after a shower and dry, clean clothes.

Katarina Yee
We did it!

Received the warmest, most enthusiastic welcome home from Matt's dad in Jamaica Plain.

Katarina Yee