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After a mile, turn right onto Massachusetts Avenue -- where parking was eliminated in early 2012 to make way for bike lanes -- and pedal three blocks north to the Charles River. Here you can hop on the Paul Dudley White bike path, a 17-mile riverside trail named for a prominent local physician who was a founder of the American Heart Association and an advocate of exercise and diet to prevent heart disease.

Heading east, the trail traverses the Charles River Esplanade, an enticing waterside urban escape with plenty of grassy knolls and cooling waterways. The lack of traffic leaves you free to focus on the magnificently-coloured leaves reflected in the river. It is about two miles back to the Museum of Science.  

Practicalities
Rolled out in 2011, Boston's bike-share program, the Hubway, offers an excellent opportunity for visitors to get around Boston on two wheels. Purchase a temporary membership at any Hubway kiosk, pay by the half hour to use the bike (free under 30 minutes) and return the bike to a kiosk close to your destination. The Hubway starts to get expensive after 90 minutes, so visitors wanting to do this itinerary in one go might be better off renting a bike from a local shop, such as Cambridge Bicycle, Urban Adventours in downtown or Back Bay Bicycles .

If you get tired, you can bring your bike on the MBTA subway or bus for no additional fare. Bicycles are not allowed on green-line trains or silver-line buses, nor are they allowed on any train during rush hours (7 am to 10 am and 4 pm to 7 pm Monday through Friday).

If you prefer to let the experts show you the way to go, sign up with Urban Adventours. In addition to their daily City Bike Tour, this environmentally-friendly company offers a seasonal 15-mile autumn foliage tour along the Emerald Necklace, a network of parks and green spaces southwest of the city centre.

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