'Heritage Ride' cyclists take in Berkshires' beauty, culture, history

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Photo Gallery | Heritage Ride 2016

PITTSFIELD — Sixteen cyclists — including two from Down Under — are experiencing the beauty, culture and history of the Berkshires this week.

Part of "Heritage Ride 2016," the two-wheeled travelers stopped at Arrowhead on Monday morning for bagels and a chat with members of the Berkshire Historical Society. The nonprofit is the caretaker of the historic home where 19th-century American author Herman Melville penned "Moby-Dick."

"There were two women from Melbourne, Australia and a British couple on a tandem bike — I haven't seen a tandem bike in years," said Peter Bergman, society spokesman.

The roughly 400-mile bike trip began Saturday in Wilton, Conn. and is scheduled to end in Montreal on Sunday. The eight-day excursion primarily runs along the Western New England Greenway and Heritage Bikeway corridor that follows mostly low-volume roadways through the western portions of Connecticut, Massachusetts and Vermont.

The biking greenway was created six years ago by a group of volunteer cyclists who wanted to highlight the many beautiful bike routes available in western portions of the three states.

The long-distance peddlers try to run parallel to the rivers, in the Berkshires' case, riding along as closely as they can to the Housatonic from Sheffield to Pittsfield, then the Green River corridor in Northern Berkshire. The group stops at various cultural and historical locations along the way, having already visited the Norman Rockwell Museum in Stockbridge and Tanglewood in Lenox, the summer home of the Boston Symphony Orchestra.

Bergman noted the bikers got a 2-for-1 deal at Arrowhead.

"We're a national historic site in Massachusetts and we're a museum," he said, "not just of Herman Melville, but of the era he lived in."

The schedule later in the day include riding along the Ashuwillticook Rail Trail heading north for potential stops at the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art in North Adams, the Clark Art Institute and Williams College in Williamstown.

From there it's onto Bennington and Manchester, Vt.

Contact Dick Lindsay at 413-496-6233.


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