By Jonathan O'Keeffe
Published 11/19/2011; Updated 12/20/2021

by Jonathan O’Keeffe » Sat Nov 19, 2011 6:41 pm
We set out from the Academy with eight riders – Jonathan B, Chris, Mike F, Mike Y, Kevin, Clayton, Ron, and I. Jonathan had a new road in Williamsburg off of Ashfield Road that he wanted us to try, so we headed toward toward Williamsburg, taking a different route than normal via North Farms Rd, Adams Rd, and O’Neill Rd. We started up the Thursday night climb up Ashfield Rd, but then turned right about halfway up on Conway Rd, following Jonathan’s suggestion.

I had never been up there before, thinking it was dirt, but it actually turned out to be almost entirely paved, and a spectacular climb. The bottom is fresh pavement, and super-steep, as it climbs past incredibly scenic farms. The pavement is less-fresh higher up, but still fine, and the scenery is just as good, with dozens of towering maples lining the road. It briefly turns to dirt near the top, for maybe a half-mile or so (hard-packed and easily navigable on a road bike) before rejoining the TNR on Main Poland Road. This road was on Jeremy Powers’ Grand Hundo this year, but apart from that it doesn’t appear to get much traffic – it’s definitely worth checking out.

We took Poland Road out to Rt 116, and then descended into Conway, where Clayton split off. The rest of us headed north toward Bardwell’s Ferry Road for the big descent to the one-lane bridge, followed by the big climb past Bill Cosby’s house. We climbed South Shelburne Rd and then descended into Greenfield for a pit stop. After turning south in Greenfield, it was a non-stop battle with a brisk southern wind as we headed down River Rd and then crossed over the bridge in Sunderland to continue south on Rt. 47.

Chris and I split off on Rocky Hill Road, and the rest of the group headed back to Northampton. From NoHo to the split, I had 54 miles @ 16.6 mph, 4,400′ of climbing.

I know lots of folks are out of town or busy next weekend, but we’ll be trying to squeeze in a SMR regardless, to try to burn off some of that tryptophan.