When you think Lexington, you think Revolutionary War–related history. And verily, though I did not tarry long there — there was some kind of street fair going on when I was passing through, and I just wanted to move along — the path will take you right into the heart of the historic downtown area, where you can find BUCKMAN TAVERN, the place where colonial soldiers gathered just before the first shot of the war was fired; the OLD BURYING GROUND, a well-preserved cemetery; and the OLD BELFRY, where the bell calling the soldiers to action was sounded.
You don't need me to tell you about those places. But a lesser-known — though admittedly hard-to-miss — landmark exists in Arlington that I thought was kind of neat: a memorial to Revolutionary badass Samuel Whittemore, who at the age of 80 took out three British soldiers. According to the stone, he was left for dead, but survived to live on to age 98 in an era when the average male could expect to live until about 37 or so. Think about that when your hip flexors and hamstrings are feeling a little sore as you climb a slight incline.
Of course, a nightmare scenario would be to be stuck in the middle of the trail and have a brake cable snap or an inner tube spring a leak. Fortunately, if you have bike needs while on the Minuteman, you have options. At the end of the trail, in Bedford, you'll find the Bikeway Source, which can take care of basically anything you need. Or, in Arlington, right on the trail, is the Bike Stop. Both places will rent a bike to you if you don't have one of your own, which can be a good option if you're coming in from out of town.
I don't doubt that I missed, like, a million things here — for example, in Lexington I saw a brightly colored, hand-painted picture of a crab on a signpost, and I have no idea what it was all about. My best advice: explore for yourself.
Ryan Stewart can be reached at email@example.com.