By Jonathan O'Keeffe
Published 12/03/2011; Updated 11/25/2021

by Jonathan O’Keeffe » Sat Dec 03, 2011 11:14 pm
Kevin, we missed you today, and we’re disappointed that you’re going to miss the rest of the year. You’re going to have to ride every Saturday in January to make up for your missed December rides 🙂

Without Kevin, we were down to five riders on our coldest SMR of the year so far – myself, Mike Y, Roberto, Joe, and Andrew, just back from a series of trips around the world and (he claims) six weeks off the bike. The temperature was below freezing when I set out, and never really warmed up much, although the abundant sunshine felt good throughout the ride. After a couple weeks of climbfests in the hilltowns west of the river, I thought that today we might try to ease up a bit by finding some flatter terrain east of the river (at least to start).

We took Bay Road through Hadley and Amherst, past the ongoing construction at Atkins Market, and then north on South East Street and North East Street through Amherst. It was kind of a quiet ride today, with the small group and the odd number of riders discouraging a chatty double paceline, and instead leading to a hard-working single paceline with short pulls and a robust pace through the flatter sections early in the ride.

We turned off on Flat Hills Road, with Joe noting its oxymoronic nomenclature as we struggled up the decidedly not-flat initial climb. Northward into Leverett, where Andrew and Roberto battled it out on Cave Hill Road. We headed into the wilderness on the super-steep climb up East Chestnut Hill Road, and then turned off for a short out-and-back diversion up Laurel Hill Road, just to get a couple hundred extra feet of climbing, before continuing up East Chestnut Hill to a steep, remote loop where we met a very friendly three-legged dog with scary-looking eyes.

Super-steep descent down West Chestnut, then onward past the Bookmill to a non-traditional approach to the Wednesday Night Ride hill in Montague, via North Taylor Road. We regrouped after the hill, again working smoothly together as we rolled down into Sunderland, where Mike and Joe split off to head back to NoHo, while Andrew, Roberto, and I headed back to Amherst.

At the split in Sunderland, I had 41.2 miles @ 16.7 mph, 2,900′ of climbing.

We’re going to keep rolling all the way through December, or at least until the snow flies, so bundle up and join us next Saturday (be sure to check the board for updates if the weather is questionable).


by admin » Mon Dec 05, 2011 7:43 am
. . . another gorgeous route selection by Jonathan but there is some obvious sarcasm to the statement “some flatter terrain east of the river” – – – it seems every road we went up had “Hill” in the title – and as last man up every hill I had the longest time to enjoy the climbs (I think)

Awesome ride as usual – Joe and I slogged back to FloHo and my legs were rubber by the end. I’ll have to take 6 weeks off the bike like Andrew to see if I can improve my form



by Jonathan O’Keeffe » Mon Dec 05, 2011 10:17 am
Mike – It wasn’t planned that way, but I guess you’re right. Looking at the map, we traversed (in order):

Flat Hills Road
Market Hill Road
January Hill Road
Cave Hill Road
East Chestnut Hill Road
Laurel Hill Road
East Chestnut Hill Road (again)
Chestnut Hill Loop
East Chestnut Hill Road (again)
West Chestnut Hill Road
North Taylor Hill Road
Taylor Hill Road