The upcoming “King’s Tour of the Quabbin” (Sunday, June 7, 2009) reminds me of the fantastic riding out in the Central/Western part of the state where numbered routes take on a whole new meaning (ridable, scenic).
The Quabbin Reservoir is a unique Massachusetts landmark. It is the former site of four towns that were “discontinued” in order to develop a resource to supply drinking water for most of the rest of the state. At the time it was built, it was the largest man made reservoir in the world, holding some 412 billion gallons of drinking water and stretching 18 miles from north to south.
In addition to the rich history, the area is full of spectacular scenery and great views from many nooks and crannys of the reservoir. The area is featured in a couple of the rides in Road Biking Massachusetts, including the “Quabbin Century Classic” which circumnavigates the reservoir. The upcoming tour by the Seven Hills Wheelmen provides three options to explore the area, each a “century” of sorts. A 62-mile metric century, a 100-mile century, and a 125-mile double-metric-century. I believe all (even the 62) circumnavigate the reservoir. This is a good chance to go out and ride in a great area. All riding out that way is hilly and challenging, but the effort is well worth it – stunning views, great little towns, and just as many exciting downhills as there are challenging uphills.