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  1. #1
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    Rubel bike maps, or favorite (hardcopy) resources and maps for Western Massachusetts?

    Sorry to sound like the old man in this age GPX tracks, but can anyone recommend a current set of maps or a guidebook for the Western Massachusetts area (especially west of Pioneer Valley, to the NY and CT borders)?

    I know of the Rubel maps, but I wonder if they've been updated lately, or if there are others that are better.

    Although I use Google Maps, RWGPS and Strava, IMHO there's no substitute for something you can dog ear and notate.

  2. #2
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    I like technology but I really like paper or in the case of Rubel, plastic maps. The Rubels are pretty old now but I still use them a lot. For route books I like Tom Catalini's Road Biking Massachusetts, Paul Thomas' Best Bike Rides in New England (actually the 2nd edition has a couple of nice routes not in the current 4th). It also might be worth checking out Marion Gorham'sBicycling the Pioneer Valley and Beyond, Howard Stones Short bikes rides in Western MA, The Lisnof's Biking in Paradise or AM Cantele's Backroad Bicycling in Western MA...

  3. #3
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    Treasure chest, thanks. I have some of the Backroads Bicycling books, I found their definition of backroad to be too generous for my liking but will give it a shot. I had emailed Rubel to ask when their maps were last updated and haven't received a response.


    Quote Originally Posted by guidoStow View Post
    I like technology but I really like paper or in the case of Rubel, plastic maps. The Rubels are pretty old now but I still use them a lot. For route books I like Tom Catalini's Road Biking Massachusetts, Paul Thomas' Best Bike Rides in New England (actually the 2nd edition has a couple of nice routes not in the current 4th). It also might be worth checking out Marion Gorham'sBicycling the Pioneer Valley and Beyond, Howard Stones Short bikes rides in Western MA, The Lisnof's Biking in Paradise or AM Cantele's Backroad Bicycling in Western MA...

  4. #4
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    Sounds like it might be in the wrong direction, but if you are interested in some unpaved riding, check out the web site for D2R2, which is a mostly dirt randonee ride held every year. The organizers make the cue sheets available to anyone who wants to ride the routes themselves. It starts and ends in Deerfield, MA and heads north into VT.

  5. #5
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    Definitely. That's a good idea. I hope to ride D2R2 this year. Such a beautiful area.

    For regular weekend routes I'm coming from the NYC side of the border without a car... so, closer to the Great Barrington, Egremont, Taconic area is where I'm trying to get more familiar.

    Quote Originally Posted by indyfabz View Post
    Sounds like it might be in the wrong direction, but if you are interested in some unpaved riding, check out the web site for D2R2, which is a mostly dirt randonee ride held every year. The organizers make the cue sheets available to anyone who wants to ride the routes themselves. It starts and ends in Deerfield, MA and heads north into VT.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by ChipSeals View Post
    Definitely. That's a good idea. I hope to ride D2R2 this year. Such a beautiful area.
    I did the 60-whatver route the first time and the easy Green River route out to lunch the second time, coming back on the metric century route. It's a fun event, and they feed you well. Both times I camped at the start/finish. Very friendly atmosphere. I went to high school at Deerfield Academy (class of '83), so going back is like a homecoming for me. If you do it, make sure you take a spin around the town and campus. There is a historic inn and church and some historic houses on the old main street that runs north.

  7. #7
    Senior Member Jim from Boston's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ChipSeals View Post
    Sorry to sound like the old man in this age GPX tracks, but can anyone recommend a current set of maps or a guidebook for the Western Massachusetts area (especially west of Pioneer Valley, to the NY and CT borders)?

    I know of the Rubel maps, but I wonder if they've been updated lately, or if there are others that are better.

    Although I use Google Maps, RWGPS and Strava, IMHO there's no substitute for something you can dog ear and notate.
    Hi ChipSeals,

    From here on the "right (lateral)" side of Massachusetts, I am of a similar opinion. For Metro Boston, I have occasionally posted that I like AAA metropolitan maps, in my case for Boston.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim from Boston View Post
    ...For some generalities, my favorite map is the AAA road map of metropolitan Boston....Even though I've lived here for over 30 years, I always get lost on a new ride. Streets are laid out in a haphazard fashion; many streets, particularly the one you are riding on are not marked; they surreptiously change names; and in rotary intersections it's easy to lose your sense of direction. (I don't have a GPS.)
    The scale is such that there is enough detail to indicate pleasant cycling back roads, yet covers a wide enough area that I have planned centuries. This past summer I got an I-phone with GPS, and it is convenient to be able to easily pinpoint my position, as opposed to scouring the paper map. But the paper map gets me home.

    I'd next like to learn about the Ridewithgps app. Nonetheless after all this time I know my way around pretty well, but I always crave the novelty of new Roads.

  8. #8
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    Mostly missing from (the now aging) Western Mass Rubel maps are the various rail trails.

    You can find (printable) hardcopy maps at MassParks.

    There are several bike clubs in central and western mass who have good cue sheets/maps. For example Seven Hills Wheelmen Worcester and beyond and Yankee Pedalers from CT but with trips up the valley and mountains in Massachusetts.

    TOPO MAPS are also VERY USEFUL in Western Massachusetts.

    And of course Strava Heatmap at least gives you an idea where other people on bicycles (well, a subset of people on bicycles) have gone before.

    -mr. bill
    Don't blame me, I'm from Massachusetts.

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