Bicycling to Boston for Troop 76
Ballard Vale’s Boy Scout Troop 76 — also known as the Super Ducks — spent Saturday, June 8, bicycling to Boston along the Blue Heron and Charles River bikeway trails, part of the larger East Coast Greenway.
The outing began Friday, June 7, with a bike safety check and overnight stay at the troop’s home base, Ballard Vale United Church, 23 Clark Road. In addition to the equipment review, the Scouts watched a movie and enjoyed a chocolate fondue with fruit and marshmallows, sort of a s’mores indoors.
The next morning, they loaded their bicycles onto a trailer bound for Waltham. Troop members started their ride on the Blue Heron Trail by the falls at the Charles River Museum of Industry, which many of the Scouts had visited in February for a model engine show. They followed the trail as it paralleled the river and got a quick lesson in safety when one member slipped on the boardwalk, setting off a chain reaction with those following too close. There were no injuries aside from a couple scrapes and it was the only incident of the excursion.
When the Blue Heron Trail merged with the Charles River Greenway, the troop followed the path on the south side of the river, bringing them in view of a large steel arch suspension bridge, Newton Yacht Club and the Northeastern University boat house. The troop stopped for lunch at the Hatch Shell on the Esplanade and took time to visit the Tobin and Fiedler Memorials and climb on the howitzer.
Then, the Super Ducks crossed the river at the Charles River Dam Bridge, and followed the north side back to Waltham, making an ice cream stop in Harvard Square. In all, the trip covered more than 27 miles and counted as one of the rides to obtain the Cycling Merit Badge, one of the required badges for Eagle Scout.