by Jonathan O’Keeffe » Sat Jul 02, 2011 3:48 pm
A group of a dozen or so gathered at the Academy on a perfect July morning, including a special guest appearance by Bruce Tolda, fresh off completing the Race Across America last weekend with his four-man NCC team.
Jeff suggested a Cosby loop, and the crowd was game, so we headed up North Farms Road and did the second half of the Thursday night course in reverse up to Conway. Paul took the only contested town line, above the Mountain St. Reservior. After a pit stop in Conway, we headed up Shelburne Falls Road and the Bardwells Ferry Road to the narrow bridge over the Deerfield River, and then the steep climb past Bill Cosby’s house.
Regrouping at the top, half the group was looking for a relatively quick return to Northampton, while the other half wanted to get in some more miles. Jeff took charge of the former group, heading toward Greenfield via Zerah Fiske Road and the big climb on South Shelburne Road.
My group headed further north, with Paul, Kevin, Andrew, and Roberto. We took Bardwells Ferry all the way to end, a new route for me, and very scenic, passing the Shelburne Public Library, and then crossing Route 2 to climb up the poorly-named Little Mountain Road (it isn’t little). We were looking for Apex Orchards, but never got there, as we ended up doing a tough little loop on Patten, Reynolds, and then Little Mountain Road again. I’ve never been on these roads before, and they’re gorgeous, with sweeping views across open countryside.
We turned south and crossed Route 2 again, and then took the high-speed, white-knuckle descent on Old Greenfield Road down into Greenfield, and headed back via Upper Road and down through South Deerfield. Paul and Kevin continued on towards Northampton, while Andrew, Roberto and I crossed the Sunderland bridge to head back toward Amherst.
44.5 miles, 16.6 mph, 3,800 ft of climbing.