King's Tour of the Quabbin

Discussion in 'rec.bicycles.rides archive' started by salomone, Jun 16, 2003.

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  1. salomone

    salomone Guest

    Ride Report: King's Tour of the Quabbin

    This invitational was held by the Seven Hills Wheelmen on Saturday, June 7th beginning
    in Rutland, MA. Since the elementary school's lot appeared to be full, I parked at the
    middle school down the road from Naquag Elementary. Registration was fast just sign your
    name on a sheet that I presume had a waiver at the top and pay $10. When I started the
    century, cue sheets were all taken.

    Food was available at the start of the ride. Since the weather report for Saturday
    changed from Thunderstorms late in the day to rain around noon, so I was anxious to
    begin. From the start the route went on a long descent, a most pleasant way to warm up.

    The whole ride was rural going through some small towns and villages. On some of the
    numbered states routes there was some traffic, but most of the time there were few cars.
    From the start the route went through Rutland State Park as it wound toward Barre. On
    the way I met a couple of other cyclists going about the same speed, so we formed a
    short paceline as we covered pretty but hilly countryside.

    After one of the longer climbs we reached Barre riding past a bakery in the center of town.
    Resisting the temptation to stop I decided to ride to the first rest stop guessing that I was
    already half way there. The route continued with a longer one out of Barre.

    The route was well marked, so I didn't have to use the cue sheet. There were about ten
    miles of rolling hills before a long descent into the reservoir district. The rest stop
    was at the beginning of the road that went into the reservoir district. A couple ran the
    rest stop off their tailgate. Although there were no rest rooms, there were plenty of
    trees in the forest. While I was at the rest stop, it started to sprinkle.

    Since the weather forecast was rain for the rest of the day, I decided to do the metric
    century instead of the century. Many other cyclists made the same decision including a
    group of ten from a health club in Killingly, CT, whom I rode almost all the way back
    with. As it was not sprinkling hard, the road remained dry for a while. On a road that
    said "closed, bridge out" we crossed a river going into Gilbertville on a covered
    bridge. Even an hour after it first started sprinkling, the sides of the road under
    trees were dry. After we went through some areas where it really rained, we got quite
    wet from wheel spray. A rider got a flat going up a hill, clearly the reason he was
    going slowly. A group of us changed the tube twice before we were successful.

    The route was pretty, but the sprinkles kept us from enjoying it too much. Since temperatures were
    close to 70, we didn't get cold, just soaked through by the time we finished. There were no rest
    stops on the rest of the route, so we made pretty good time back to the school.

    EVALUATION

    Brochure - I didn't have one, but info on the website was good.

    Routes - good. Excellent terrain if you like hills and lakes. Some state routes had some traffic,
    rural roads were rural.

    Intersections - well marked.

    Cue sheet - none left and that is unacceptable. Also I wished I had a map, so I could have taken a
    more direct route back from the rest stop in the rain.

    Rest stops - fair; typical food, but only one rest stop on the metric route.

    Sags - none; you must rely on your companions for support.

    Value - low price, low service. I'm reluctant to pay for an invitational that does not
    provide support.

    Conclusion - I'd like to do the century route around Quabbin. Since there is no support, I may do it
    with some friends.
     
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  2. Tom Swenson

    Tom Swenson Guest

    I am was the event coordinator for the Kings Tour of the Quabbin.

    I think it would helpful for everyone to have history on this event. Longtime Seven Hills Wheelmen
    member Dick “The King” Avery started this ride over 10 years ago. Hence, the name “King’s Tour of
    the Quabbin”.

    I am not sure exactly when the event started. When I joined the club in 1994, this was a free ride
    with 50 to 60 cyclists participating. At that time, Dick did all the work himself and there was no
    real support to speak of. Dick provided water and drinks at Quabbin Reservoir Gate 43 in Hardwick
    (the location of our first rest stop) and watermelon at the end of the ride. Other than watermelon,
    no food was provided. Dick paid for the drinks and watermelon out of his own pocket. The only route
    offered was a 100-mile loop around the Quabbin.

    The ride’s popularity grew rapidly in the mid to late 1990’s. We added double-metric and metric
    century routes. Due to the large number of riders, Dick could no-longer foot the bill for drinks and
    watermelon. The club started charging $5 to cover cost of providing more food. Later, the fee was
    increased to $10 to cover the cost of opening Naquag School so folks could use the rest rooms. Dick
    retired as event coordinator and I took over two years ago.

    This is the first year, we provided cue sheets. I had 100 cue sheets of each of the three routes
    printed. That should have been plenty based on last year’s attendance of about 150 riders for all
    three routes. 280 riders showed up for this year‘s ride. We ran out of cue sheets for the century
    route and we’re sorry about that. Perhaps there was a lot of pent-up desire for this year’s ride due
    to all the rainy weekends we’ve had lately. Next year, we’ll have more cue sheets. And, we’ll look
    into putting maps on the back.

    Also, this year, we added a second rest stop in Petersham for the century and double metric routes
    and mechanical support provided by Peter Howard of Barney’s Bicycle Shop at the start of the ride,.

    Regarding SAG support, this is an area where we can improve the event. The rain caused lots of flats
    this year. I had a flat myself. I loaned my last CO2 cartridge to a father-daughter tandem team
    about 3 miles from the end of the ride. Shortly after I finished, we received reports that the
    father-daughter team was walking up the final hill in Rutland. We sent someone with a pickup truck
    to get them. They returned the favor by picking up several other cyclists. Before leaving Naquag at
    the end of the day, we made sure all remaining cars in the parking were accounted for and nobody was
    left stranded.

    I don’t want a “broom wagon” sweeping routes picking up tired riders. A minimum level of
    self-reliance should be expected of anyone participating in an event of this nature.

    Perhaps we could have a vehicle equipped with a wireless phone to pick up riders unable to
    complete the ride due crashes or catastrophic mechanical failure. We could publish the phone
    number on the cue sheets. One problem is large portions of this route are out of wireless phone
    range. Naquag school, at the top of a large hill does have wireless reception so maybe we could
    work something out.

    These events are a gamble for the clubs that hold them. Had the rain started 3 hours earlier, this
    event would have been a financial disaster.

    While I appreciate Pete Salomone’s constructive criticism. I have to admit that I’m a bit annoyed by
    the tone of his posting. Specifically, his evaluation fails to appreciate the many hours of hard
    work by several of our volunteer members who worked very hard to make this event happen. I’d like to
    publicly thank the following people:

    Lynne Tolman -- Publicity Doug Couture -- Route planning, cue sheets and road marking Lorraine
    Stewart and Andrea Kaufman -- Registration Andrea Kaufman -- Food planning and purchasing Fran
    Benoit -- Watermelon slicing and arrow touch up Sue Hall and Paul Miller -- Rest stops Don
    Lundstrom -- Cleanup Teri Lema -- Insurance/treasury Peter Howard -- Pre-ride mechanical support

    For those of you who are interested in doing this ride on your own, you can download cue sheets the
    following locations:

    http://www.tomswenson.com/shw/QuabbinCentury.doc http://www.tomswenson.com/shw/QuabbinDouble.doc
    http://www.tomsweson.com/shw/QuabbinMetric.doc

    Also, we are offering more chances to do the metric and double metric routes as a regular club ride
    on a no-fee no-support basis. All we ask that you wear a helmet and sign our waiver if you are not a
    SHW member. See below for details

    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - Sunday, July 6

    Activity: Road ride, B, 62 miles Time: 9:00 a.m. Location: Naquag Elementary School, Route 122A,
    Rutland Leader: Fran Benoit, 508-791-9885, [email protected]

    This is a re-ride of the King’s Tour of the Quabbin metric century. No fee. No sag support.

    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - Saturday, July 12

    Activity: Road ride, B, 123 miles Time 7:00 a.m. Location: Naquag Elementary School, Route 122A,
    Rutland Leader: Tom Swenson, 508-869-3408, [email protected]

    If you cut short your Quabbin double metric century ride this year because of rain, here's another
    crack at this challenging ride. No fee. No sag support.

    ---------------------------

    Tom Swenson [email protected] http://www.tomswenson.com
     
  3. Good reply.

    Now I'm thinking of waiting til next year to tour Quabbin. SAG support for mechanical problems, etc
    (not tired cyclists) would persuade me to be on next year's ride.

    Thanks for the invitation to do the Quabbin club(SHW) rides. Right now it looks like I have a
    commitment on 7/12, but if I don't and the weather is good, I'll be on the Quabbin double metric.

    On some invitational local ham radio clubs meet their public service goals by helping with
    communications.

    I have ridden on over 20 different invitationals; many several times. I have worked on club
    invitationals for ten years and am aware of and thankful for the significant effort volunteers make.

    Tom Swenson wrote:

    > I am was the event coordinator for the Kings Tour of the Quabbin.
    >
    > I think it would helpful for everyone to have history on this event. Longtime Seven Hills Wheelmen
    > member Dick “The King” Avery started this ride over 10 years ago. Hence, the name “King’s Tour of
    > the Quabbin”.
    >
    > I am not sure exactly when the event started. When I joined the club in 1994, this was a free ride
    > with 50 to 60 cyclists participating. At that time, Dick did all the work himself and there was no
    > real support to speak of. Dick provided water and drinks at Quabbin Reservoir Gate 43 in Hardwick
    > (the location of our first rest stop) and watermelon at the end of the ride. Other than
    > watermelon, no food was provided. Dick paid for the drinks and watermelon out of his own pocket.
    > The only route offered was a 100-mile loop around the Quabbin.
    >
    > The ride’s popularity grew rapidly in the mid to late 1990’s. We added double-metric and metric
    > century routes. Due to the large number of riders, Dick could no-longer foot the bill for drinks
    > and watermelon. The club started charging $5 to cover cost of providing more food. Later, the fee
    > was increased to $10 to cover the cost of opening Naquag School so folks could use the rest rooms.
    > Dick retired as event coordinator and I took over two years ago.
    >
    > This is the first year, we provided cue sheets. I had 100 cue sheets of each of the three routes
    > printed. That should have been plenty based on last year’s attendance of about 150 riders for all
    > three routes. 280 riders showed up for this year‘s ride. We ran out of cue sheets for the century
    > route and we’re sorry about that. Perhaps there was a lot of pent-up desire for this year’s ride
    > due to all the rainy weekends we’ve had lately. Next year, we’ll have more cue sheets. And, we’ll
    > look into putting maps on the back.
    >
    > Also, this year, we added a second rest stop in Petersham for the century and double metric
    > routes and mechanical support provided by Peter Howard of Barney’s Bicycle Shop at the start of
    > the ride,.
    >
    > Regarding SAG support, this is an area where we can improve the event. The rain caused lots of
    > flats this year. I had a flat myself. I loaned my last CO2 cartridge to a father-daughter tandem
    > team about 3 miles from the end of the ride. Shortly after I finished, we received reports that
    > the father-daughter team was walking up the final hill in Rutland. We sent someone with a pickup
    > truck to get them. They returned the favor by picking up several other cyclists. Before leaving
    > Naquag at the end of the day, we made sure all remaining cars in the parking were accounted for
    > and nobody was left stranded.
    >
    > I don’t want a “broom wagon” sweeping routes picking up tired riders. A minimum level of
    > self-reliance should be expected of anyone participating in an event of this nature.
    >
    > Perhaps we could have a vehicle equipped with a wireless phone to pick up riders unable to
    > complete the ride due crashes or catastrophic mechanical failure. We could publish the phone
    > number on the cue sheets. One problem is large portions of this route are out of wireless phone
    > range. Naquag school, at the top of a large hill does have wireless reception so maybe we could
    > work something out.
    >
    > These events are a gamble for the clubs that hold them. Had the rain started 3 hours earlier, this
    > event would have been a financial disaster.
    >
    > While I appreciate Pete Salomone’s constructive criticism. I have to admit that I’m a bit annoyed
    > by the tone of his posting. Specifically, his evaluation fails to appreciate the many hours of
    > hard work by several of our volunteer members who worked very hard to make this event happen. I’d
    > like to publicly thank the following people:
    >
    > Lynne Tolman -- Publicity Doug Couture -- Route planning, cue sheets and road marking Lorraine
    > Stewart and Andrea Kaufman -- Registration Andrea Kaufman -- Food planning and purchasing Fran
    > Benoit -- Watermelon slicing and arrow touch up Sue Hall and Paul Miller -- Rest stops Don
    > Lundstrom -- Cleanup Teri Lema -- Insurance/treasury Peter Howard -- Pre-ride mechanical support
    >
    > For those of you who are interested in doing this ride on your own, you can download cue sheets
    > the following locations:
    >
    > http://www.tomswenson.com/shw/QuabbinCentury.doc http://www.tomswenson.com/shw/QuabbinDouble.doc
    > http://www.tomsweson.com/shw/QuabbinMetric.doc
    >
    > Also, we are offering more chances to do the metric and double metric routes as a regular club
    > ride on a no-fee no-support basis. All we ask that you wear a helmet and sign our waiver if you
    > are not a SHW member. See below for details
    >
    > - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - Sunday, July 6
    >
    > Activity: Road ride, B, 62 miles Time: 9:00 a.m. Location: Naquag Elementary School, Route 122A,
    > Rutland Leader: Fran Benoit, 508-791-9885, [email protected]
    >
    > This is a re-ride of the King’s Tour of the Quabbin metric century. No fee. No sag support.
    >
    > - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - Saturday, July 12
    >
    > Activity: Road ride, B, 123 miles Time 7:00 a.m. Location: Naquag Elementary School, Route 122A,
    > Rutland Leader: Tom Swenson, 508-869-3408, [email protected]
    >
    > If you cut short your Quabbin double metric century ride this year because of rain, here's another
    > crack at this challenging ride. No fee. No sag support.
    >
    > ---------------------------
    >
    > Tom Swenson [email protected] http://www.tomswenson.com
     
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