By Jonathan O'Keeffe
Published 09/15/2012; Updated 10/29/2021

by Jonathan O’Keeffe » Sat Sep 15, 2012 11:33 pm
Today’s route was a joint effort between Roberto and I — he had scouted out an interesting new climb on Old Village Rd in the southern part of the Patten District in Shelburne, while I had put together some new (to me) roads further north in Colrain and Leyden.

We set out with a group of seven — Roberto and I, along with Ron, Andrew, T, Tim, and Don. We climbed up North Farms Rd into Whately, and pushed north into Deerfield via Stillwater and Lower Roads. After a quick pit stop in Greenfield, we climbed Old Greenfield Rd, which was closed to automotive traffic at the base, making for a nice quiet climb. Andrew and T turned back due to time constraints, and the remaining group of five pressed on over a bit of dirt on South Shelburne Rd and on across Rt 2.

After a bit of climbing on Little Mohawk Rd, we hit Roberto’s steep climb on Old Village Road, which twists and turns through some super-steep sections before flattening out near the top amid some amazing farm scenery. Frank Williams Rd brought us into the Patten District, which is one of my absolute favorite cycling locations in the valley, with wide-open rolling landscapes reminiscent of the Scottish Highlands.

We continued further north on Shelburne Line Rd, with Ron putting the hammer down at the front of the pack (into a strong north wind, no less). We crossed the Green River in Leyden to confront another long climb on West Leyden Road, before turning south to head back toward Greenfield. A high-speed series of rolling descents, with a tailwind, at last, brought us back to Greenfield for another pit stop, before hitting the final stretch with a high-speed run over the southbound portion of the TT course on River Rd in Deerfield, and then back to NoHo via River Rd in Hatfield.

I got back to NoHo with 75 miles at 17.6 mph, 6,400′ of climbing. Roberto and I headed back to Amherst, where Roberto subsequently tacked on an additional half-dozen miles to get to 100+ for the day — nice work!

No SMR next weekend — Saturday is the NCC BikeFest and Tour of the Valley — please help out by volunteering or riding (or both) in the NCC’s premier event of the fall season (details here)


Ron Bush » Sun Sep 16, 2012 9:00 am
Thanks to Jonathon O and Roberto for a great route. That was a fantastic ride. Also thanks to the aforementioned for the monster pulls throughout the day and especially the impressive long pulls you both did on the final leg from greenfield to northamton.


by Roberto Ludovico » Sun Sep 16, 2012 9:44 am
Jonathan patched together another splendid route for a memorable ride in the hills: beautiful views, breathtaking colors and challenging climbs (also breathtaking, but for a different reason). This ride in fact inaugurates the fall SMR season, for many reasons the best for long challenging rides, and introduces a big appointment like the NCC Bikefest, next Saturday, for a set of supported rides followed by a big party at Look Park. Please consider joining us at Bikefest and for the rest of the following fall SMRs, for some of the best rides of the year. Our Saturday morning appointments will continue until snow covers the roads.


by Tim_Cary » Sun Sep 16, 2012 2:09 pm
I have to add to this thread too. Thank you all for an awesome day. Such good riding with you guys. This is the best SMR I have been on this year. Plenty of climbing, awesome descents, plenty of surprises, and some real good teamwork on the speedy(windy) flat stretches. It was good to finally settle how to pronounce Leyden too! (kudos to Don for asking the locals…) Thanks to Jonathan and Roberto for putting together this fantastic ride. As I said to Jonathan up in Patten- I’ve lived in Western MA all my life and never knew these places existed… and it is so awesome that the bikes being us there. A whole different country. We are so lucky to live here in the valley. I continue to look forward to SMR’s in the coming months. Being a member of the club has really helped me improve my riding skill inclusive of climbs, sprints, pacelines and attacks and more. See you all at BikeFest!