by Jonathan O’Keeffe » Sun Oct 21, 2012 10:43 pm
A little bit different ride on Saturday, both in terms of weather conditions and the route.
Weather-wise, we couldn’t have asked for a bigger (or more welcome) change from last week’s frigid conditions. This week, it was 62° when I left home, and temperatures climbed through the day into the upper 60’s.
Route-wise, I plotted a route with a bit less climbing than usual, on some unfamiliar roads to the south and west, with the primary goal being to climb Montgomery Mountain, which I’ve never done on a Saturday ride.
We started with a group of seven — Roberto, Steve, Ron, Tim, Chris, Frank, and I — and headed west on Route 66 to Glendale Road, and then south into Southampton. We had a brief encounter with an angry horn-blowing motorist on Route 10 in Southampton, one of several angry drivers we encountered during the day — must be the phase of the moon or something. A scenic stretch on Brickyard Road brought us to the base of the big climb, on Montgomery Road.
I had been planning to reprise a portion of the Great River Ride route up Montgomery Mountain, but I screwed up the course a little bit by directing us up Montgomery Road and on to Main Road, instead of using the GRR route, which goes up Southampton Road. It’s six of one, half-dozen of the other, as they both climb to the same point at the top of the col on the long ridge of Montgomery Mountain. We missed the couple of super-steep sections from the GRR route, but we got to experience a different route to the summit, which probably pleased Tim and Steve, both of whom rode the full GRR a couple weeks ago.
The descent on the other side of the mountain is a blast, but it was hampered a bit by a damp road surface with lots of wet leaves, which kept speeds down. A rolling and scenic stretch on Carrington Road brought us to Route 20, where a bunch of rollers led us toward Westfield. Tim taunted us by pointing out the huge climb that leads up Route 23 towards Blandford and Otis, something that will definitely be on the agenda as soon as possible.
We pit-stopped in Westfield, and then headed towards home on some nice back country roads in Westfield. The group was moving fast at this point and I always seemed to be on the rivet at key navigational points, and therefore botched a couple turns in this section — sorry about that! We had a good time trading fast pulls with a tailwind on County Road / Line Road into Easthampton, and from there took the scenic route home by taking Clapp Road towards the Oxbow. The pavement here is a disaster, with huge gaping holes (eventually turning to dirt for about a mile), but it hugs the western edge of the Oxbow and then runs through the meadows to the north, and is well worth checking out.
Frank and Tim and I for some reason decided to hammer the washboarded stretch of dirt through the meadows, and lost contact with Chris and Roberto at that point — sorry about that! We spent some time riding around and retracing our steps but never managed to hook up (Strava later confirmed that they were just a little behind us, and turned left at an intersection where we bore right, slipping past us just before we started looking for them). Back in NoHo, I ended up with about 64 miles @ 17.8 mph, 4,300′ of climbing.
by Chris deHahn » Mon Oct 22, 2012 6:31 pm
Thanks for another great route, except for the end. 😀 Roberto had slowed to save his Pinarello from essploding, and I started to hear some weird noises coming out of my Redline, so I backed off. It was nothing major, just a loose fender clamp. We found our way back to Route 10 and to Pulaski Park where Roberto headed off to the bike shop, and I headed to Pinocchio’s for a slice of pizza.
I ended up with 5:11, 91 miles, 444 TSS. Riding the commuter bike is hard work. I should hear about the Felt late this week.
by Frank Sleegers » Tue Oct 23, 2012 3:50 pm
Was a great Saturday again – also nice to have not cooked legs for two days – but this might be also the result of more regular riding.
I loved all the roads you have selected – of course some roads around Westfield are a little bit dominated by traffic.
I also liked the short washboard stretch – will do this section with my family when they are visiting next time. You love them or hate the the dirt roads. I love them.
Cannot believe we did 4300 feet of climbing.