Worcester, Mass.
June 4, 1995

Bikers hear call of the woods

By Lynne Tolman

   Mountain bikers can be tight-lipped about their favorite trails, fearing crowds that could mar the back-to-nature experience and overuse that could lead land managers to limit public access. But this weekend, with National Trails Day celebrations spilling over from yesterday into today, trail users of all kinds are trumpeting the allure of the woods.

   It's no secret that the Massachusetts state forest and parks have hundreds of miles of rideable trails, from wide, flat fire roads to gnarly single track, suitable for all levels of off-road riders. Some area mountain bikers make their recommendations:

   Other popular areas include Upton State Forest on Westboro Road; Callahan State Park on Millwood Street in Framingham; Wells State Park, off Route 49 in Sturbridge, and Hodges Village Dam on Howarth Road in Oxford, where several area groups ride regularly. Hodges Village park ranger Keith Beecher says trails east of the French River are mostly old roads that are fairly flat, while hillier single track lies west of the river.

Always, riders are reminded to respect the environment and other trail users. The International Mountain Bicycling Association's six Rules of the Trail: Ride on open trails only. Leave no trace. Control your bicycle. Always yield trail. Never spook animals. Plan ahead.

   TIP OF THE HELMET -- To the Worcester-based Mengoni/Hot Tubes juniors, who won the Tour of Somerville, N.J., on Monday. Hot Tubes' Andrew Mills of North Brookfield had an early breakaway in the 20-mile criterium, but the pack brought him back. Teammate Mike Rozsko of Westboro attacked next and built a gap of almost 30 seconds before he ran over a staple and got a flat tire. Then teammate Matt Decanio from Virginia took the lead and won by 40 seconds. The team is not racing this weekend because all the riders are attending their high school graduations, coach Toby Stanton of Leicester said.

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