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Edge of the City Bike Tour - The 20th Annual Tour de Somerville
On Saturday, October 13, the Somerville Bicycle Committee will lead the 20th annual Tour de Somerville.
This year's theme is "Edge of the City". We'll ride as close as possible to the Somerville city limits, in a 15-mile counter-clockwise loop. Our tour will visit the industrial grit of Boynton Yards and Inner Belt, the emerging development of Assembly Row, the leafy campus of Tufts University, and the parklands of the Mystic River and Alewife Brook.
Somerville police will help escort the ride, and Redbones will provide light refreshments at a rest stop by the Mystic River.
Meet on Saturday, October 13, at 10 am, at Seven Hills Park (behind the Holland Street MBTA entrance in Davis Square). We will depart promptly at 10:15.
In case of steady rain, we'll postpone the ride to Sunday, October 14, same time and location.
A map of the ride route is at http://www.bikely.com/maps/bike-path/Edges-of-Somerville-counter-clockwise-route
More About Seven Hills Park
Tucked behind the Davis Square T station on Holland Ave., this petit park pays homage to Somerville's seven hills—including the two that were hauled away. A tree-lined promenade runs along one side. Making up the rest is a triangle of open grass, which forms a soft carpet for the outdoor concerts and movie nights held here. But what makes the park unusual are its seven towering poles each topped by unlikely figures like a cherry tree, a fish or a big Jersey milk cow.
Each pole represents one of the city's seven hills: Cobble, Spring, Winter, Clarendon, Ploughed, Prospect and Central. The figures depict a symbol from the hill's past. The fish atop the Clarendon Hill pole, for example, recalls the days when hill residents fished at Alewife Brook and exported their dried catch to the West Indies.
A plaque at the base of most poles (two are missing), tells each hill's history including the sorry fate of Ploughed Hill, which was dug up and used for landfill. The same fate befell Cobble Hill, also known as Asylum Hill because it was the site of Mclean Asylum (now Mclean Hospital in Belmont). Today, the Cobble Hill area is the flat industrial park at Innerbelt Road.
And that cow? It turns out Spring Hill was great grazing ground for milk cows in the 18th and early 19th centuries. Their milk was delivered via Milk Row, which today is Somerville Ave. Get the rest of the scoop the next time you visit the park.