TELEGRAM & GAZETTE
April 18, 1999
Central Mass. is on bicyclists' mapBy Lynne Tolman
Central Massachusetts finally has a bike map worthy of the name,
published in December by Rubel BikeMaps
of Cambridge. Several members of the Worcester-based Seven Hills Wheelmen helped
the mapmakers get it right.
Many of the sweetest roads for
cycling in this area were not even shown on the state bike map last printed
during the Dukakis administration. And road maps for driving typically offer few
clues about which roads are truly suitable for pedaling. Out-of-state cyclists
who peruse a Rand McNally or AAA map might guess, after ruling out the
Massachusetts Turnpike, that Route 9 or Route 20 would be a good way to bike
across Massachusetts. While parts of those roads are OK, that would still be a
Mapmaker Andy Rubel takes into account traffic
levels, pavement quality, road shoulder widths, topography and scenery when
deciding which roads to highlight -- green for recommended, pink for secondary.
All the other roads are still shown, so riders who stray from the recommended
routes can still figure out where they are, and riders who want to get somewhere
off the beaten path can find their way.
Massachusetts Bicycle & Road Map, which covers roughly the area between
Interstate 495 and the Quabbin Reservoir, also shows places to mountain bike,
bed-and-breakfasts, bike shops, topography (arrows on significant hills showing
which way goes up), swimming spots, parks and forests, and ice cream shops.
Rubel BikeMaps also has maps of Boston, Western Massachusetts,
Eastern Massachusetts, and Cape Cod & the North Shore. The maps are
available in bike shops, and by mail order, for $5.25 apiece including postage
and handling or $14.95 for the four-map set, from Rubel BikeMaps, PO Box 401035,
Cambridge, MA 02140.
In addition, Rubel has a Martha's Vineyard
& Nantucket bike map for $1.95 and a series of little maps called Pocket
Rides (these are for areas outside Central Mass.) for $1.95 each or $8.95 for a
five-pack. For more information, call (617) 776-6567, send e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org or visit http://www.bikemaps.com/.
The Central Mass. bike map also will be sold at the Earth Day celebration
Saturday at Green Hill Park in Worcester. Adding to the two-wheel appeal of the
festivities, MassBike will provide free
valet bicycle parking at Green Hill Park on Saturday afternoon. You can pedal to
the park and leave your bike in a guarded, secure area while you walk around
checking out the attractions.
Some other good bike maps for
southern New England:
- MetroWest Bike Map -- This map covers Marlboro, Hudson, Southboro
and 10 other towns, as far east as Newton. Roads are color-coded as "best
routes for cycling," "OK for experienced bicyclists" and "not recommended for
bicycling." The flip side has cues (turn-by-turn directions, with mileage at
each turn) for three 30-mile loops that start in Wellesley, Weston and
Framingham. For a copy send $3 to MetroWest Growth Management, 14 Vernon St.,
Suite 106, Framingham, MA 01701. Or contact the agency at (508) 620-7330 or email@example.com.
- A Guide to Cycling in the Ocean State -- The Rhode Island
Department of Transportation published this map in 1997 and is printing an
updated version this spring. One side shows the whole state, with "suitable"
and "more suitable" roads highlighted. The other side has blow-ups of Newport,
Providence, and the popular East Bay Bike Path, a 14.5-mile paved trail from
Providence to Bristol. For a free copy, call (401) 222-4203, Ext. 4042, or
send e-mail to Steve Church, firstname.lastname@example.org, after May
- Northeast Connecticut's Bike Guide -- This fold-out
collection of bike routes in the state's "Quiet Corner" was published in 1996.
It has maps and cues for 10 loop rides, each 10 to 25 miles long, and "spokes"
showing roads that connect the loops. It doesn't show the whole region in one
map. For a free copy, call the Northeast Connecticut Visitors District (860
- Connecticut Bicycle Map -- An update of this 1992 map is in the
works for 2000. For a free copy of the old map, write to Bicycle Coordinator,
Connecticut Department of Transportation, 2800 Berlin Turnpike, PO Box 317546,
Newington, CT 06131.
Handcyclists will precede
the wheelchair racers in the Boston
Marathon tomorrow, their second year with exhibition status in the race.
They start cranking at 11:35 a.m.
The Boston Athletic
Association gave handcyclists four slots in the race last year. Afterward
handcyclists sued the BAA, seeking competition status rather than an exhibition
race for 1999. They settled for an increasing number of exhibition slots: eight
this year and 16 next year.
Double amputee Brian Willson, 57,
who lives in Wendell in the summer and Santa Cruz, Calif., in the winter, is the
only East Coast handcycling entrant.
handcyclists prefer to compete in running races, bicycle racing is giving them a
warmer welcome this year. For the first time, the U.S. Cycling Federation will award
national championship titles -- complete with the coveted stars-and-stripes
jerseys -- in two handcycling events, time trial and criterium. The crit will be
May 2 during the Golden Pantry Twilight bike race in Athens, Ga., and the TT
will be July 17 during the Duluth Cycling Classic in Minnesota.
After handcyclists competed for the first time in the World Cycling
Championships for the Disabled last September in Colorado, they formed the U.S. Handcycling Federation. USHF has eight
races on its calendar this year, most of them integrated with regular bicycle
Tom Foran of West Hartford, Conn., won the season opener
last weekend in California, the Red Bluff 2-Day Handcycle Race. Monica Bascio of
Santa Cruz was the women's winner. Bike-style handcycle racing comes to New
England on May 31 at the Charleston Criterium in Rhode Island.
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