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King's Tour offers sights, challenges.

Byline: Mark Conti

COLUMN: CYCLING

Cyclists will get a chance to take in great views of the Quabbin Reservoir when the annual century ride rolls out in two weeks.

In addition to the scenery are plenty of challenging hills in Central Massachusetts.

The King's Tour of the Quabbin, presented by Seven Hills Wheelmen, will be held June 13. The popular recreational ride offers three options - a double metric century of 200 kilometers or 125 miles; a century or 100 miles; and a metric century of 100 kilometers or 62 miles. All three courses start at Naquag Elementary School on Route 122A, Main Street in Rutland.

The century offers about 6,000 feet of climb and features a loop around the Quabbin Reservoir on roads with little traffic. Though the double metric century is a longer ride, some riders say it is easier than the century because the loop covers gentler grades and the 100-mile route includes about 20 miles of tough roller-coaster hills along Route 202 on the west side of the Quabbin.

The best view of the Quabbin could be the second rest stop of the century in Ware. The Quabbin Hill lookout gives riders a chance to see the expanse of the reservoir, one of the largest manmade water supplies in the country.

The annual event began more than 20 years ago when Dick "The King" Avery was challenged by a few friends in the Seven Hills Wheelmen. Avery was actually called the "Pole King" from his days installing and climbing utility poles for the telephone company.

The double metric century begins at 7 a.m., the century at 8, and the metric century at 9. The ride is held rain or shine. Cue sheets are available for the arrowed routes, and snacks are provided, including watermelon, after the ride. Preregistration is available this year at sevenhillswheelmen.org. The preregistration cost is $15 for Seven Hills members, $20 for nonmembers, and deadline is June 9. The day-of-event cost is $20 for members, $25 for nonmembers.

To get to the Naquag Elementary School on Route 122A, take Interstate 190 to Exit 2, follow the signs to Holden, and go west on West Mountain Street/Doyle Street, left onto Shrewsbury Street, right onto Main Street/Route 122A, and stay on Route 122A north into Rutland. The school is at the top of the hill on the left.

A mountain bike adventure

The Kona Bicycles-Fox Shox Mountain Bike Adventure Series has more than doubled the number of events this year, expanding from five to 11.

The mountain bike festival series, presented by the New England Mountain Bike Association, begins next weekend and includes three events less than an hour from Worcester - at Wendell State Forest, Great Brook Farm in Carlisle, and F. Gilbert Hills State Forest in Foxboro.

The events give mountain bikers a chance to ride new trails, meet other cyclists, check out new products in an expo area, and get something to eat after the ride. Each venue offers marked courses for riders of all levels, riding in groups large or small. There are also rides with leaders. Each event raises money for a charity.

NEMBA held its first festival, called NEMBAfest, in 1997 and has folded that into the Mountain Bike Adventure Series. NEMBAfest continues to be the biggest event of the series, which is in its eighth season.

The series kicks off next weekend in Western Massachusetts at Pittsfield State Forest in Pittsfield. The next event is June 27, the Happening at Huntington, at Collis P. Huntington State Park in Redding, Conn.

The series makes its first stop in Central Mass. on July 11 at Wendell State Forest in Wendell, not far off Route 2. The series continues July 25 at Bradbury Mountain in Pownal, Maine. On Aug. 1, it stops in North Conway, N.H. The next stop is Aug. 8 at Cockaponset State Forest in Haddam, Conn. On Aug. 29, the series heads to Lynn Woods.

On Sept. 19, the series heads to F. Gilbert Hills State Forest in Foxboro. Staying in the area, the next event is Oct. 4 at Great Brook Farm State Park in Carlisle. The big event of the series, though not the last, is NEMBAfest on Oct. 9-10 at Bear Brook State Forest in Allenstown, N.H. The final event is Oct. 31 with the Wicked Ride of the East at Harold Parker State Forest in North Andover.

Registration for most events will be held from 8:30 or 9 a.m. to 11. The rides start about 9 and continue to about midafternoon. The cost for most events is $10 for NEMBA members and $25 for nonmembers; they are free for anyone who joins NEMBA on the day of the event.

Mark Conti can be reached by e-mail at mconti@telegram.com.

Cycling calendar

Today - The Coyote Hill Classic Mountain Bike Race, West Fairlee, Vt. Root 66 Northeast XC Race Series. Information: root66raceseries.com.

Saturday - Trail maintenance. National Trails Day, Hodges Village Dam, Oxford. New England Mountain Bike Association. Information: nemba.org.

9:30 a.m. Saturday - Seven Hills Wheelmen 55-mile road ride. Meet at Paxton Center School, Route 31, Paxton. Information: sevenhillswheelmen.org, (508) 831-0301.

Next Sunday - Domnarski Farm Mountain Bike Race, Domnarski Farm, Ware. Root 66 Northeast XC Race Series. Information: root66raceseries.com.

Next Sunday - Bear Brook Blast-off Mountain Bike Race, Bear Brook State Park, Allenstown, N.H. Race No. 3 in the Eastern Fat Tire Association New England Championship Series. Information: efta.com.

Next Sunday - Kona Bicycles-Fox Shox Mountain Bike Adventure Series event, Pittsfield State Forest, Pittsfield. The New England Mountain Bike Association. Information: nemba.org.

Next Sunday - Bikes Not Bombs 23rd annual Bike-A-Thon, rides of 15, 25 and 62 miles. Stony Brook T-stop at Boylston and Lamartine streets in Jamaica Plain. Information: (617) 522-0222, bikesnotbombs.org.

June 12 - Valley Friendship Tour 25th anniversary, noncompetitive routes of 25 and 50 miles in the Blackstone Valley. Individuals or teams, $100 minimum fundraising. Information: (508) 234-6232, alternativesnet.org.

June 13 - King's Tour of the Quabbin, Seven Hills Wheelmen rides of 62, 100 and 125 miles on roads around Quabbin Reservoir. Start from Naquag School, Route 122A, Rutland. Start times are 7 a.m. for the double metric century (200 km or 125 miles), 8 for the century (100 miles) and 9 for the metric century (100 km or 62 miles). Information: (508) 831-0301, sevenhillswheelmen.org/centuries.htm.

June 13 - Whaling City Cyclone road race, New London, Conn. Presented by Bike Guy LLC/Mystic Velo Club/Exodus Racing. Information: bikeguy.biz/.

7 p.m. June 18 - Let's Pick a Fight with Cancer - Benefiting The Lance Armstrong Foundation LIVESTRONG. Casino event at the Chocksett Inn, Sterling. Information: letspickafightwithcancer.com/The_Jeff_Mogensen_Event_ZCF.html.

June 19 - Purgatory Road Race, Sutton, presented by Green Line Velo. Info: greenlinevelo.com.

9 a.m. June 27 - Seven Hills Wheelmen 24-mile road ride. Meet at Dudley District Court, Route 197 and Lyons Road, Dudley. Information: sevenhillswheelmen.org, (508) 831-0301.

6 p.m. every Monday - Seven Hills Wheelmen 12- to 14-mile road ride around Holden Reservoir. Meet at Barney's Bicycle,165 Chandler St., Worcester. Information: (508) 831-0301, sevenhillswheelmen.org.

6 p.m. every Wednesday - Seven Hills Wheelmen 15- to 25-mile road ride, meet at the Old Stone Church, Routes 12 and 140 in West Boylston for a 25-mile ride. Details for Wednesday night rides at sevenhillswheelmen.org/weds.htm.

Submit bike listings to mconti@telegram.com; Mark Conti, Telegram & Gazette, P.O. Box 15012, Worcester, MA 01615-0012; or fax attention to Mark Conti at (508) 793-9363.
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Title Annotation:SPORTS
Publication:Telegram & Gazette (Worcester, MA)
Date:May 30, 2010
Words:1262
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