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Biking the Boston Marathon

The Next Running of the Boston Marathon is on Monday, April 15, 2024!

So you want to enjoy the Boston Marathon by bike, huh?

The Boston Marathon is by and large the most iconic sporting event in Boston, with the Head of the Charles coming in at a possible close second. It’s the oldest active marathon in the world, and the second oldest footrace in the US, narrowly beaten out by the Buffalo Turkey Trot by just five months.

The Marathon’s 26.2 mile route winds through eight cities and suburbs: Hopkinton, Ashland, Framingham, Natick, Wellesley, Newton, Brookline, and of course, Boston! The route includes charming downtown areas, bustling city streets, and wooded roads between farmland. It’s picturesque, elegant, and a perfect place for a running race. And with those settings also come great places for our favorite activity: biking!

Need a bike?

Make a reservation on our website and book your bike now! For best results with your rental, plan to pick up on Sunday (April 14th), so you can get an early start the next morning. Or take part in the (now famous) Midnight Marathon Bike Ride the night before! We offer 24-hour rentals so you can join in on the fun!

Cycling is one of the most popular ways to follow the marathon route – there are many ways to jump from place to place on the marathon route to see loved ones and friends that are running and to catch the best action as the runners vie for position. Here are some tips on how to best get around:

  • Plan your vantage points ahead of time
    Use a mapping software like Google Maps to find the best routes between places on the routes.
  • Obey the law and rules of the road!
    Also, obey any instructions given by Marathon staff, police, or route marshals.
  • Crossing the course
    Cross only at specific crossing points. Don’t disrupt the race!
  • It gets crowded!
    If you want to watch at the finish line, or where there will be crowds, consider locking your bike a safe distance away and walking. This is as much for your safety as it is for the other spectators! It also minimizes the risk of theft or damage of your bike.
  • See something, Say something:
    If you see something that seems suspicious, out of place, or potentially hazardous, tell emergency personnel or marathon staff as soon as possible.
  • Have Fun!

Here are some of the most common questions about the marathon:

  • How do I book a bike? How early can I reserve?
    You may reserve a bicycle on our website. We are open year-round and can make reservations as early as you want. The Marathon is a VERY busy day and we usually do sell out. Please familiarize yourself with our cancellation policy prior to booking. Please note that we do close at 5pm on Sundays and so you will need to pickup your bicycle prior to this time.
  • Okay, where’s the best action?
    Realistically, anywhere is going to have loads of people running by all day. “Heartbreak Hill,” just west of Boston College, is where many people say is the best place to watch the race. Coolidge Corner, Cleveland Circle, and Kenmore Square are usually very crowded but are also just before the final stretch of the race. Anywhere from Kenmore inbound to Copley Square is going to be very, very crowded, but have a lot of action.
  • My friend/loved one is running. When can I see them at what location?
    A list of estimated arrival times is available closer to the date. Remember: these are estimated. You can use the Course Map to plan your route between points.
  • I heard that there’s no cycling allowed in the city at all on Marathon day.
    This is false. The course is closed off during the race, and there are other road closures and restrictions around the city, but there is definitely no ban on cycling in the city. That would be preposterous!
  • I don’t like crowds. How do I avoid this whole thing?
    Consider taking a ride on one of our longer routes. Mountain biking is also great at this time of the year! Or, head out of town on the Amtrak Downeaster and enjoy the other great states in New England. You can generally bring your bike right on the train!

Other Resources and Information

The official resource for information on the Boston Marathon is the Boston Athletic Association. The course map, with landmarks, can be found here.

A Facebook group for people who love biking the Marathon route can be found here. They are a welcoming community and have a wealth of information and experience to share.

Know something that we don’t? Share it on our Facebook or email us!