Denny LaForce

Denny LaForce

Touring Coordinator at Seven Hills Wheelmen gallery

Location:
P.O. Box 20232, Worcester, Massachusetts, United States

Recent News  

Seven Hills Wheelmen

A standing invitation from our touring coordinator, Denny LaForce:
Denny LaForce jadehill3@verizon.net 508-476-7081 What's in the works

Read More
http://www.telegram.com/article/20160430/NEWS/160439960/101485

Denny LaForce has ridden his Waterford 1900 steel touring bike over the Rocky Mountains, across the North Cascades, along the Mississippi River and through the forests of the Blue Ridge Mountains.
He has pedaled more than 15,000 miles crisscrossing the country, all while loaded down with 30 to 40 pounds of gear. These were not fully supported, organized bike rides with vans hauling his equipment. These were fully independent trips in which LaForce carried everything he needed: food, clothing, camping gear and cooking supplies. It's called cycle touring. "Cycle touring is an adventure, a unique adventure. Every day is an adventure. Every one has been something unique. I've ridden some spectacular places. People ask you, 'Where are you going, where have you been?' It's an experience you don't get with any other mode of transportation," LaForce said. "It's a wonderful way to see the world. I've never been that enthusiastic about coming home and riding the same old loop," LaForce said. "There's so many places to go." LaForce and a few other members of the Worcester Chapter of the Appalachian Mountain Club will be presenting a workshop from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday, May 7, called "The Essentials of Cycle Touring. LaForce, 68, a Sutton resident and member of the Seven Hills Wheelmen, said he got started in cycle touring after his second trek of the Appalachian Trail. He had been an avid backpacker but after two completions of section-hiking the 2,140-mile trail that stretches from Springer Mountain, Georgia to Mount Katahdin, Maine, LaForce concluded cycling would be a great way to see more places. LaForce made a couple of overnight cycle tours in the Quabbin area, carrying camping equipment and all the necessary gear in panniers on his bike in preparation for his first excursion. After researching routes though Adventure Cycling Association, LaForce loaded up the panniers and headed out solo for Bar Harbor, Maine, on his first extended cycle tour in 2006. The trip took four days to get there and four days back, 360 miles each way for a total of about 720 miles. "It was great," LaForce said. "It was wonderful. I was hooked. Traveling by bicycle is a wonderful way to see things." The next season LaForce made a trip through Vermont into Quebec, Canada, along the St. Lawrence River to Riviere-du-Loup and then south through Maine along Route 1 and back home to Sutton. About 1,700 miles in three weeks. LaForce continued to expand his destinations. He made a few trips heading southward and eventually rode the entire Atlantic Coast. One of the highlights of the East Coast, LaForce said, was riding Skyline Drive in Shenandoah National Park in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia and the Blue Ridge Parkway in Virginia and North Carolina. Over three stages, LaForce completed a cross-country trip across the northern states. LaForce said the North Cascades in Washington state was one of his best rides. The scenic Going-to-the-Sun Road in the Rocky Mountains in Glacier National Park was "spectacular," he said. There are basically three types of cycle touring, according to LaForce. LaForce said he cannot get excited about riding the same loops every day after work. "I couldn't do that. I would be so bored. I like to see new places and ride new loops. I am an enthusiastic bicycle tourist," he said. LaForce said having a good working, comfortable bike is key to cycle touring. He said it does not have to be a touring specific bike, but those are best because they have lugs to which you can attach racks. However, there are plenty of rack systems that can be attached to almost any bike. He said touring bikes also have room for fenders. "If you're going to do distance, you're going to get caught in the rain," he said. LaForce said only twice in 10 years of cycle touring has he had to push the bike up a hill: both at the end of a long day of riding on steep hills in Maine and northern New Hampshire. Speed is not the objective in cycle touring. LaForce said with all the gear he usually rides about 11 to 12 mph. "Go slow and enjoy it. It's not a race. Find the rhythm," he said. As far as equipment and gear for cycle touring, LaForce said you need a tent, sleeping bag, backpacking stove, cooking pot, three or four sets of clothes, several bike shorts and bike jerseys, rain gear, bike gear, two or three days of food, and cycling gear, such as a pump, multi-tool, spare tire, tubes and tire levers. All of which can be packed in panniers and a large saddle bag. The Worcester Chapter of AMC is planning two cycle tours this season: a two-day beginner trip in June and a four-day trip to Plymouth and Cape Cod in August. LaForce said the workshop is a great opportunity to not only learn the basics of cycle touring, but also meet people also interested in the adventure.

Read More
Seven Hills Wheelmen

A standing invitation from our touring coordinator, Denny LaForce:
Denny LaForce jadehill3@verizon.net 508-476-7081 What's in the works

Read More

Browse ZoomInfo’s Directories