Seven Hills Wheelmen

Bicycling & more in Central Massachusetts & beyond

Home     Ride Schedule     Cue Sheets     Links    

Click for Worcester, Massachusetts Forecast
HEADS UP -- THIS IS LAST YEAR'S INFO.
We'll post 2016 details when we have them.
 
KING’S TOUR OF THE QUABBIN
2015
Frequently Asked Questions
 
Q: What time do we start? And where the heck is Rutland? I need directions.
 
Q: I heard that the double metric actually has less climbing than the century. True or false?
A: False. With all the route changes in 2015, the double has the most climbing. (In the past, the 100-miler had the most elevation gain, at least according to Routeslip.com data in 2007.) This year, according to RideWithGPS.com, the numbers are:
 
100 miles --  7,186 feet of climbing
125 miles --  8,127 feet of climbing
62 miles --  4,584 feet of climbing
 
Q: Can I start riding earlier than the listed time?
A: Sure. Check-in opens at 6:15 a.m. and you can start riding anytime after you check in. But be aware that you might reach the rest stop(s) before our volunteers, water and snacks are there. You can start late, too, but be advised that the janitor needs to start cleaning the restrooms at 5:00, and the school will be locked up at 6:00 p.m., and the volunteers and the food will be gone shortly after that.
 
Q: My buddy is a procrastinator and might miss the deadline to register online. Can he/she still do the ride?
A: Yes. Riders can sign up at the start. But preregistration saves you $5 and helps our crew get the right amount of food and drink. And look, it got you all this important info to read BEFORE the ride. Preregistration is open until 11:59 p.m. Thursday, June 4.
 
Q: I signed up a while ago and can’t find the confirmation e-mail. What should I do?
A: Not to worry. We’ll have your name on the pre-registration list and you just need to check in at the registration table. Pre-reg saves you precious seconds and some fumbling at the table when you’ve got your hands full with cue sheets, bananas, and so forth.
 
Q: I signed up for the century but I might change my mind and ride the shorter (or longer) route. Is that OK? When do I have to decide?
A: It’s no problem to change routes. We just ask that when you reach the next rest stop, you inform the staff which distance you signed up for, and which route you changed to, just in case we need to send out a search party. All three routes are the same up to mile 38, where the metric century retraces back to Ware and the longer routes go up to the Quabbin tower and exit the park farther west. The two longer routes diverge at mile 54. Also, you MUST check off your name at the finish and indicate which route you actually rode.
 
Q: Will there be cue sheets? Or should I print out the ones I found online?
A: The 2015 routes have significant changes from the old cue sheets on our web site, so please use the 2015 cue sheets that will be given out at the start. If you are doing the double metric, you MUST also take the WHITE cue sheet for the century. Not because we doubt your ability to go the distance, but because the double metric cues take up both sides of the page and thus did not leave room for other crucial info -- specifically, the inset map that shows you which roads to take within the Quabbin reservation, where we are not allowed to paint arrows. We will put down chalk arrows in there Sunday morning, but they tend to wear off quickly. Every year we have someone who never looks at the inset map and messes up on that part of the route and thus a) comes up short on mileage and b) misses some scenic highlights.
 
Post-ride update: Cue sheets are now posted! These include general maps (not detailed enough for navigation) as well as the RideWithGPS.com links.

2015 cue sheets
  Metric Century
  Century
  Double Metric Century

 
Q: Can I get the routes onto my GPS or smartphone?
A: The routes are shown here:
     Metric
 
     Century
 
     Double Metric
 
If you know how to get those maps onto your device, go for it. Don't ask us for instructions. And please take cue sheets with you anyway.
 
Q: I’m familiar with last year’s route. What are the changes?
A: We have significant changes this year.
  • Metric riders go into the Quabbin Reservation along with the century and double metric riders, for stunning views of the reservoir from Goodnough Dike (pronounced GOOD-now). (Ahem, that's the first dam, not the Winsor Dam where the visitor center is and where the longer routes exit the park. We know some of you have skipped Goodnough Dike in the past.) This change allows metric riders to see more of the Quabbin and keeps us off those bumpy roads at Gate 43, which is no longer a rest stop.

     
  • First rest stop for all routes is Hardwick Winery (mile 26), not Gate 43.

     
  • All routes stay together when you reach downtown Ware. The metric route diverges from the longer routes at mile 38, after Goodnough Dike. The metric route retraces back to Route 9 and downtown Ware, while the longer routes go up to the Quabbin tower and then exit the park farther west, at Winsor Dam.

     
  • The metric route still includes the Gilbertville Covered Bridge. Then, after the second rest stop (mile 47, New Braintree ballfield, same spot as last year), the return to Rutland is more direct, with no riding on Route 67. Total mileage is 65.

     
  • Century and double metric riders will stay together at Routes 9 & 202 in Belchertown, both heading up Route 202. The second rest stop is no longer at Routes 9 & 202; instead it is about 6 miles up Route 202 in Pelham, at mile 54.

     
  • Century and double metric diverge just after the Pelham rest stop, with the double metric heading into Shutesbury (the route doesn't touch Amherst this year), then picking up the familiar route into Leverett, Wendell, Orange and Athol before rejoining the century just before the Petersham rest stop. (From the Pelham rest stop, century riders continue north on Route 202, the same as past years.)

     
  • The double metric has an additional rest stop in Orange, at mile 85.5.
     
  • The last 10 miles of the century and double metric are different from past years. After climbing Coldbrook Road to Oakham Center and then descending to North Brookfield, riders will cross Route 148 and head for Browning Pond in Spencer, then return to Rutland via pleasant Pleasantdale Road. This avoids retracing a stretch of Route 122 that was covered at the start of the ride.
 
Q: Which arrows do I follow?
A: Big orange arrows with a "C" for Century, "M" for Metric or "D" for Double Metric. You will see "DCM" until mile 37.7, then just "M" or "DC" or "CD." Then, for the century, just "C," and then "DC" again and finally "DCM" again.
Where the double metric is alone, the arrows are red and have a triple stack of letters abbreviating Double Metric - Seven Hills Wheelmen:
   DBL
   MTC
   SHW
(Unusual, we know. Painter was very enthusiastic.)
  There are long stretches with no turns and no confirmation arrows. We don't waste paint!
 
Q: What’s the pace?
A: You decide. It’s not a race. Usually there are lots of riders and the pack fairly quickly breaks up into several small clusters. So even if you don’t have a riding buddy, you’re likely to find someone else going your pace.
 
Q: What if it rains?
A: Everybody gets wet. We can’t muster all the volunteers for a rain date, so we deal with Mother Nature as best we can.
 
Q: How many rest stops are there? At what mile marker(s)?
A: All three routes have a rest stop at mile 26 at Hardwick Winery (on the left, but it's not a busy road). The metric century has a second rest stop, at mile 47 in New Braintree. The cue sheet also describes a lovely place to buy food just before that on the metric, about half a mile off the route: Rose 32 bakery and café. The two longer routes have a second rest stop in Pelham at mile 54. The double metric riders then have a new rest stop  at Butterfield Park in Orange, at mile 85.5, thanks to the Grafton Women's Cycling Club. (Before that, double metric riders can buy food at Leverett Village Co-op at mile 72, where there are bathrooms and picnic tables, or possibly Wendell Country Store at mile 77.) The next stop for both long routes is in Petersham, at mile 75 on the century, which is mile 99 on the double metric. Volunteers from East Quabbin Land Trust, which was instrumental in reopening the Petersham Country Store last year, will staff the Petersham rest stop.
.
 
Q: What kind of food and drink will there be?
A: We’ll have bagels at the start. At the rest stops we’ll have Gatorade and water, and bananas, Fig Newtons, granola bars, peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, that sort of thing. We expect to have a limited amount of gluten-free snacks. If you’re fussy, BYO. At the finish we’ll have watermelon and some salty snacks.
 
Q: Will my cell phone work out there?
A: Probably not. Maybe in certain places. Better to have it than not.
 
Q: If I’m really tired or hurting, is there a shortcut?
A: Only near the very end of the longer routes. At mile 87 on the century, or mile 111 on the double metric, you could skip the right turn from Route 122 onto Coldbrook Road in Oakham. Just stay on Route 122 and in a couple of miles you'll pick up the "M" arrows for the last 4 miles or so back to Naquag School. You’ll miss the nice shady, quiet climb into Oakham Center, and the new route to Browning Pond, but you’ll shave about 8 miles from the day's total.
 
Q: Can I shower and change clothes at the finish?
A: Shower, no -- unless you bring a sun shower and can wash up in the parking lot without committing indecent exposure. But the bathrooms in the Naquag School will be open until 5:00 or 5:30 p.m. (Ahem: One year someone made a mess in there with talcum powder and splashed water, and the janitor was not happy. Please be considerate.)
 
Q: Can you recommend a restaurant on our way home?
A: Rutland is in the boonies and there aren’t many places on the way to I-190 or I-290. We suggest Val’s Restaurant on Route 31 in the center of Holden: Turn right from Route 122A onto Route 31 at the light at the Mobil station, and Val’s will be in a little plaza on your right. It's casual -- shorts and T-shirt are fine.
 
Q: Why is it called the King’s Tour?
A: Dick Avery, the rider from Seven Hills Wheelmen who started this ride in 1989 or so, is nicknamed the King. Actually, the Pole King, from his days installing and climbing telephone poles for the phone company.
 
Q: My question isn’t answered here or at www.sevenhillswheelmen.org/centuries.htm. Who can I hassle?
A: See Steve, Frank, Lynne, or any of the other Seven Hills Wheelmen volunteers at the ride start. We don’t recommend that you call or e-mail between now and ride day, as yours truly is straight out with other work, and our crew is very busy getting everything ready for the ride.
 
Q: What does MassBike ride partner mean? How does this help me, and how can I help out?
A: This year, MassBike and the King's Tour of the Quabbin are ride partners. This means that a portion of your registration fee helps MassBike, a statewide advocacy coalition that works for better bicycling across Massachusetts. It also means that during online registration, you can join MassBike at a discount. Remember, when it comes to creating and maintaining a bicycle-friendly environment, bicyclists will count if we can be counted. If you already signed up for the ride and missed the MassBike opportunity, you can join MassBike at the same discount price on the day of the ride with cash or check payment.
 
Q: The Quabbin Reservoir is amazing. Where can I learn more about it?
A: The visitor center next to Winsor Dam is a good start. Even if you can only stop for five minutes during the bike ride, it's worth poking your head in the front door to see the display on where the water goes. The Friends of Quabbin website offers lots of info, pictures and resources, including a book list.
 
 

Home     Ride Schedule     Cue Sheets     Links    



Copyright ©2000-2020 by Seven Hills Wheelmen, Worcester, MA.
Last Modified on:   Webmaster