by Roger Stawasz » Fri Nov 23, 2012 4:35 pm
Tim C. and a rider called Joe (someone new to me) met for a FMR out of Northampton into the hills of Westhampton, Huntington, and finally Montgomery before returning via Southampton and Easthampton.
At the start it was still foggy and on the colder side. We headed up Rt. 9 to the high school and then took Nonotuck St. to Spring St. and continued up Chesterfield Rd. By the time we got up into Westhampton the sun started breaking through enough where the, up to then, necessary pieces of cold weather clothing became increasingly unnecessary.
We continued up North Rd. to the center of Westhampton then down South Rd. to catch Rt. 66 for the ride up toward Huntington. I didn’t get Joe’s last name but learned he is from Florence and does some cyclocross racing. Tim informed me that Joe was a very good climber, an assessment that clearly was supported on this hilly ride. On pretty much all the hills it was Joe out in front followed by Tim with me last in line. I got a pretty good workout just trying to keep them in sight.
The downside of Rt. 66 heading toward Huntington and Rt. 112 is one that I have climbed on many occasions but have rarely descended. It got quite intense because of its steepness and the high speeds that could be reached. Adding to my concerns was the residual wetness to the road from the overnight fog and the fact that a cement truck, heading in the same direction, came along at about the same time we started the descent. I had no intention of having the truck behind me all that time and allowed it to pass. Joe and Tim remained out in front of the truck and clearly out raced it to the intersection of Rt. 112.
As we headed along Rt. 112 to the Montgomery climb we noticed that rock salt had been spread along sections of the road (most likely overnight) due to the black ice that the fog could create.
As we headed up toward Montgomery, Joe mentioned that it was his first time up that hill. As before though he climbed it like a champ, I felt like I was trying to follow a mountain goat.
At the peak we took the northern most descent bringing us out onto Russellville Road then to Fomer Rd. in Southampton. We took High St. off of Fomer Rd. to Rt. 10 then quickly turned off on Pomeroy Meadow Rd. At the intersection of Glendale Rd. in Easthampton Tim peeled off for home leaving Joe and me to make our way via Park Hill Rd. to Florence Rd. where we went our own ways.
I recorded 41.4 miles @ 15.5 mph for the ride and hopefully burned off a great deal of the holiday eating excesses. As a bonus, at the end of the ride, I passed the 8,000 mile mark for the year. Cheers!
by Tim_Cary » Fri Nov 23, 2012 6:32 pm
Thanks for the writeup Roger, and thanks for posting and setting this up. It was a great ride, and even pushed me further than I would have done today (I kept thinking, go easy, save for the SMR- ha!). Congrats on the 8000- thats both amazing and inspiring!
Here’s the map: