Quick Quabbin Loop

I had a busy weekend, with much to do off the bike. I finally freed up around 4:30pm, too late to take any decent ride, right? Well, I have a stubborn streak, and I needed to get out for a couple of hours to process some bad news I got and clear my mind, so I looked at Google maps and whipped up a route.

A disadvantage of where I live now is that it’s farther away from the fun roads of central Massachusetts that I enjoy riding. But an advantage I discovered is that this distance can be overcome by hopping on Route 2 near my home and superslabbing it west to get to the fun roads. The slab isn’t fun, but when there isn’t much traffic it’s not bad at all, and my newly discovered throttle locker works well as cruise control. It gets me to the roads I want to ride more quickly.

So I sped halfway across the state and took Route 202 south, down the west side of the Quabbin Reservoir. It’s a fun, rolling road all the way down to Belchertown (you can’t make up some of these Massachusetts towns), where I turned east on Route 9. This took me through Ware (where?) A Jeep nearly took me out when it changed lanes without looking. My horn works. A while later I turned north on Route 32, which I followed up to Barre. I picked up Route 62 at its western end and headed east toward home.

I could’ve take 62 all the way to Maynard, the town over from where I live, but by now it was dinner time and I was hungry, so once I rode the fun section out west I followed the signs back to I-190 in Sterling and took Route 2 home.

This works. I’m very confident with this bike on the highway, both in handling it as well as having enough power. I’m going to start doing this more often, because, like yesterday, I can squeeze in a fun ride somewhere not near home in a matter of 2-3 hours.

But I hate how my TomTom GPS still thinks that 2 and 190 are not highways when I use its “avoid highways” function. How is a clearly marked Interstate not a highway? I know I’d pondered switching to my iPhone for navigation, but it has downsides, too – a smaller screen, and unlike my GPS I can’t operate it with gloves on. I should try updating my old TomTom sometime to see if that helps, but it never has before. Since I’m so reliant on GPS technology for my trips, I should consider additional options.

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