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Our friend and blogger extraordinaire Gabi Valladares shares her bike friendly tips.

Mon Sept 25, 2017

**Please note: While this article was published in the fall, Cambridge is bike-friendly year round!

Fall is finally here. Who else is totally ready for cooler temps and fall flavors? It’s really the best season of the year if you ask me. Oh, and if you’re wondering who ‘me’ is...I’m Gabi Valladares and I’m the founder and editor of By Gabriella, a site where I share entertaining tips, travel guides, and tasty recipes - and where I get to collaborate with amazing people, like the team at the Cambridge Office for Tourism!

Since last summer, we’ve been working together to share bike-friendly guides for exploring Cambridge, Massachusetts. So far, we’ve explored Harvard Square, Kendall Square, Central Square, and Porter Square. And, here we find ourselves on the final Cambridge Biking Guide (I’m in denial) exploring Inman Square and East Cambridge.

Where to eat and drink:

Curio Coffee:This sweet spot is home to delicious coffee, fresh greenery (a cafe favorite!) and a super chill environment. While it may be tiny, it’s also absolutely adorable. Grab a seat if you can and enjoy a morning latte (or afternoon, no one’s judging you here).

BISq:Take one look at BISq’s menu and you’ll see why it’s on here, plus it’s a cozy and inviting spot for unwinding after a day of biking. Small plates and wine, need I say more?

Lone Star Taco Bar:If you’re going to get tacos just once while you’re in Cambridge, you have to make your way to Lonestar. When I say e-v-e-r-y-t-h-i-n-g is delicious, I mean it. From the margaritas to dessert, and everything in between, Lone Star’s menu totally rocks.

Oleana :When you hear ‘James Beard’ you know exactly what you’re going to get - award-winning food, without a doubt. And at Oleana, where James Beard Chef Ana Sortun has created the menu, you’re sure to be treated to a meal full of big flavor.

What to see and do:

Loyal Nine:Technically, Loyal Nine could fit into the ‘where to eat & drink category’, too. But, I’m keeping it here in the ‘what to see and do’ section because it really is a sight. It’s downright gorgeous in there. Natural light pours in through the outdoor patio and cafe, which makes for the perfect fall morning or afternoon spot. If I could just sit in there all day, I would. I so would.

Gather Here:If you’re into crafting, Gather Here is the spot for you. And even if you’re not - it’s a gorgeous little shop that you should definitely check out while exploring Inman Square. If you’re planning ahead for a future trip, sign up for one of their classes!

Charles Riverboat Company:Want to soak in the views without kayaking the Charles? Grab a ticket for a ride with the Charles Riverboat Company! I was lucky enough to take an early summer sunset cruise and oh my, was it gorgeous. If you can, make yours a sunset cruise, too! You’ll see exactly what I mean.

Museum of Science:I’m not a museum person. I’m just not. But the Museum of Science? I love it! It doesn’t matter how young or old (let’s say...experienced instead) you are, the Museum of Science is SO much fun! I still love playing around with all the fun interactive science demos they’ve got on display. Just give in and have fun while you’re there, you’ll be happy you did.

Ryles Jazz Club:You certainly don’t have to be a performer to enjoy a night full of jazz. Ryles has live jazz music every night! And to top it off, you’ll also find dancing there, too - salsa, ballroom, and swing, to be specific. If you’re up for it (you should be!), Ryles is a cornerstone in the square for sure.

North Point Park:This park is one of the most gorgeous in Cambridge, at least in my opinion. You’ve got a gorgeous view of the city, a smooth bike path (the best!), and flowers everywhere. What more could you want in a park, right?

Where to stay:

Hotel Marlowe:This hotel is it. It’s the bee’s knees; it’s located so close to the Charles River it might as well be floating in it. Don’t worry - Hotel Marlowe is definitely not a houseboat or anything of the sort. It’s actually the opposite - an East Cambridge gem with one of the most delicious restaurants in town, and a totally decked out interior. And guess what? You can even borrow their nifty hotel bikes!

My bike safety tips:

Always, always wear your helmet. Is a good hair day worth it? Accidents happen and it's not always someone's fault, but you're extremely vulnerable on your bike in comparison to drivers in cars.

Cambridge is full of roads that have a bike lane. Do your best to bike down those streets, and if you're biking near parked cars, be alert. Drivers exiting their vehicles don't always think to look for cyclists and might open their door as you're biking by. I always suggest biking closer to the moving cars than the parked cars! Sounds backwards, but you definitely don't want to bike into a car door. Alert drivers will see you better than those in parked cars.

Bike with lights! The bike shops in Cambridge are sure to have some and they are worth it. If you think you're going to be out past dark, grab your lights. It's extremely hard to see cyclists in the dark without them - it's always better to err on the side of safety.

Obey traffic laws. Even though you're not in a car, your bike is still a vehicle. Bike with the traffic pattern and stop for lights, stop signs, etc.

For more safety tips and biking rules, click here!

*All photos courtesy of Gabi Valladares