By Jonathan O'Keeffe
Published 11/12/2011; Updated 12/20/2021

by Jonathan O’Keeffe » Sat Nov 12, 2011 8:08 pm
We set off with nine riders this morning – myself, Kevin, Jonathan B, Chris, Rich, Clayton, Ron, Mike, and Darren, making a special guest appearance from Keene, NH. Jonathan wanted to ride the Baptist Corner descent in Ashfield and Conway, and Clayton suggested using River Road in Hatfield northbound to take advantage of the brisk SSW wind. We combined those two ideas into a figure-eight shaped route, with a fast run up River Road to South Deerfield, followed by a long slog up Rt. 116 into Conway. Clayton set a brisk pace on the climb and the group split up a bit, but we regrouped in Conway before heading further up 116 into Ashfield.

Clayton and Ron split off at that point, while the rest of us enjoyed the screaming descent down Baptist Corner Road back into Conway, with Chris taking the town line with a big sprint. We headed on to Shelburne Falls for a much-needed warming stop at McCuskers, where we stayed much too long, hesitant to venture back out into the cold. We retraced our steps back up Shelburne Falls Road into Conway. Rich was starting to fade a bit at that point, feeling the effects of a month off the bike after an ankle injury, and elected to “phone a friend” and wait for a ride at a warm cafe in Conway.

The rest of us continued on through the second half of the Thursday night route back to Northampton, with Darren sneaking past me at the end of a long sprint to take the Williamsburg town line, and Chris taking the line at the top of North Farms Road. We split up on Bridge Road, with 57.9 miles @ 17.2 mph, 4,100′ of climbing.