By Jonathan O'Keeffe
Published 07/28/2012; Updated 10/29/2021

by Jonathan O’Keeffe » Sat Jul 28, 2012 5:02 pm
OK, so a bit of timing confusion today. In the post for the most recent SMR, Jonathan indicated that we were changing the ride time to 8AM, but this change never made its way to the calendar, so today’s ride was still posted as a 9AM ride. A group of us showed up at 8, though, and it looks like some other folks rode at 9, so we ended up with duelling double-SMRs today.

The 8AM edition of the ride consisted of Don, Morgan, Clayton, Joe, and me. I’ve been itching to ride East Hawley Road since driving it in a follow car for Hilltowns last week. I’m pretty sure we’ve never gotten there on a SMR before (at least not recently), so I figured it would make a good target. Don pitched in by suggesting a good route to the base of the climb, and off we went.

We climbed all the way up Rt. 9 to Goshen, and headed north on 112/116. Clayton and Joe were under time pressure and headed home on 116, while the remaining group of three forged ahead, bombing down the 112 descent into Buckland, and then making the left-hand turn onto Upper Rd/Charlemont Rd, which features a short but steep climb and some great scenery.

We filled bottles in Charlemont as the first rain showers of the day appeared, but the skies cleared by the time we got to the base of the East Hawley climb at the foot of Berkshire East. This is a long grind with several steep pitches of about 15%. I pushed hard and got to the top two minutes faster than my race pace from two years ago, which was satisfying.

We continued south on the nice descent on Plainfield Road to cross Route 9 onto Fairgrounds Road, descending further to Chesterfield Gorge on Route 143. The rain showers started again as we climbed out of Chesterfield Gorge, subsiding briefly near the top, but then turning into a full-fledged downpour as we began to descend from Chesterfield on Northwest Road. We continued all the way back to NoHo in the pouring rain, looking like drowned rats by the time we finished. From start to finish in Northampton, I ended up with 71 miles at 16 mph, 6,300′ of climbing.

What do people think about the 8AM/9AM question going forward? Post your thoughts here.


by Mike Hempstead » Sat Jul 28, 2012 5:48 pm
Too bad we missed each other. I will give a brief report of the 9am SMR.

The B crew consisted of myself, Paul D., Patrick from Belchertown, David G., Roberto, Kevin S., and T. We were also joined for the first 20 miles or so by approx. 6 members of the C group that elected to start the ride with us. I did not get any names there.

David had a ride planned taking us up 47 N to Falls Rd then Turners Falls Rd into Miller’s Falls. From there we headed up a long climb into Wendell which was to be the signature climb of the day.

At the base of the climb, David, Patrick and Roberto shot of the front. Paul mentioned to me, “there goes my KOM,” at which point I decided to go after it myself. I rode free of the others and then realized I had no idea where the end point of the segment was b/c the terrain rolls upwards all the way to Wendell without an obvious peak.

I decided I better keep on truckin’ to Wendell Center just in case. I later learned I raced about two miles further than I had needed to. I did nip the KOM to get my first. I will have to find some more obscure climbs.

From the store in Wendell we descended to Lake Wayola to Cave Hill Rd. I decided to see if I could get on the board here as well when Paul took off. I caught him, pulled him for a minute or two, then he came around me, I stayed on his wheel as long as I could, then I heard his bike squeaking away from me . I think Paul moved up to within a second of Andrew’s time.

After descending into N. Amherst we went our separate ways as the rain came in. Paul, Kevin, T and I headed towards Northampton and got absolutely drenched. I got in 59 miles from the Academy averaging 18.0 mph.

As for 8am vs 9am, I probably have a slight preference for 8am.


by David Goodwin » Sat Jul 28, 2012 6:12 pm
This flip flopping of 8 am/9 am start times for Saturday rides is stupid. It has only led to confusion and bad feelings. My thought is to leave it at one time or the other the entire season so everyone knows what to expect. Personally, I will hardly ever make an 8 am ride and prefer the 9 am start. Kind of a moot point now because I am about to enter ‘cross season and will probably only ride 1 or 2 more Saturdays. However, my vote is to keep it at 9 am through the summer months and maybe 10 am in the spring.

by Roberto Ludovico » Sun Jul 29, 2012 7:11 am
To answer to Kevin’s question: yes, I made it home dry, while the rain was just beginning to fall. I suppose the same is true for David. Patrick must have been hit by the first round of heavy pours on his way to B’town. I guess It was good to keep the ride to the east side of the Valley as the storms approached from the West. Good job, David, planning a distance that would take us home in time before the rain.
The confusion on the start time is a mishap. It can happen. What really matters is that we all had excellent rides and got home safe.


by Tim_Cary » Sun Jul 29, 2012 1:03 pm
Just back from a vacation week offline (and no bike, unfortunately!)

I prefer to start SMR’s at 8. My reasoning is that it gives me a little more of the day Saturday to do other things, and as the days get shorter, that helps. And, the original reason, the lower temperature, is also a factor.

by Kevin Schott » Mon Jul 30, 2012 7:45 pm
8am or 9am — let’s choose one and get it plastered all over the website. Right now, the next SMR is listed as 9am.

I prefer 9am, but whatever start time is decided is fine. When it gets cold it has to be a 10am start, and even then I may be a DNS. Brrrr.

by jonathanbrody » Tue Jul 31, 2012 10:28 pm
Upon feedback generated here on this discussion boards, and conferring with my esteemed comrade, Jonathan OK, it is decided that we will move Saturday morning right back to 9AM for the remainder of the year. For those of us with any lingering upset around the ride-time change expirement, I offer the following short list of things that are stupid and generate bad feelings:
1) Hemroids
2) Child Slavery
3) Those eye itches when you think something is in your eye, but you can’t find anything and so someone has to pull down your eye lid, but that just makes it worse…

Let’s ride. See you Saturday at 9am!