by Tim_Cary » Sun Jan 13, 2013 11:41 pm
Well, I am glad I was not the only one with lots of optimism for the weather forecasts this weekend. Better conditions today than yesterday? No way.
Surprisingly, four other (crazy? hardy? determined? optimistic?) guys arrived in the dense fog downtown Northampton with my GPS reading 36°. I actually rode from home (7 miles), and I was already wet from drizzle, something we did not have yesterday. Assembled and ready to go were Joel, Bryant J., Rich W., and myself. We picked up Joe L. just as we pulled out of the Academy.
The plan was for a modified/extended Wednesday Night route, making it a mostly flat 47 miles.
We rolled out of town and headed into Hatfield/River Rd with high spirits and plenty of conversation. Once over the highway Joel kept us plenty honest leading us through Hatfield Center into Whatley with a rapid pace for this time of year.
A bit of excitement commenced just a couple of miles before River Rd intersects Rte 116. We witnessed a near head-on automobile vs automobile crash, as the auto passing Rich, Joel and Joe (Bryant and I were back quite a bit), did not see an oncoming auto, since it did not have headlights on. Luckily, there was a pocket for the auto to fall back in, and no one was close to being injured. Ah, we are reminded of the importance of lights on foggy days (the cars and bikes!).
At Rte 116, Bryant opted to head over the bridge and head back home via Rte 47 for a shorter day. The rest of us continued across to the northern segment of River Rd. Joel stayed up front for most of the stretch (as he did most of the day), hit the gas on a couple of segments, to which I tried to respond and failed. Joe kept up with him for some portions however.
At the end of River Rd, we hung a right to cross the Deerfield River into Greenfield, and shortly thereafter crossed the Connecticut River into Montague and hung another right onto Greenfield Rd, and continued on toward Montague center.
As we approached the BookMill, I took a vote as to if we wanted to climb the Taylor Hill section, or just cut out around it back down Meadow. Pretty much it was a “whatever” consensus, and I wanted the climb, so we did it. Joel and Joe flew out of sight while Rich and I climbed together.
Unfortunately, somehow the only guy with the road bike (Joel) had to be slowed down. At the top of the final descent to Falls Rd, Joel flatted out. Interestingly, this seemed to be the coldest, darkest part of the day, and not just because we stopped.
Once back down in Sunderland, we took a quick re-fuel stop, and decided to head back River Rd. Not surprisingly, Joel led us back at a very quick pace, which we eventually had to cut down in Hatfield Center.
We all split ways once we got back into Northampton, with damp clothes, foggy glasses, but a great social endurance ride in the books. The temperature never moved significantly, nor did the fog density.
It is worth noting that we passed quite a few other cyclists and cyclist groups today, including Chris D. and someone else from NCC whom I can’t remember. Glad to see that others were also willing to get lost in the fog too.
Back in Northampton I had 48.51 miles at 15.7MPH average.
by Chris deHahn » Mon Jan 14, 2013 8:42 pm
I had planned on meeting up with you guys in Noho but at 10am when I was ready to leave Belchertown it was 36 degrees and drizzling. I punted and decided to wait until noon. Not much was different, 38 degrees and fog, but no steady drizzle. My plan was 3-4 hours tempo but I ended up with 2:45. Next Saturday I have four hours high endurance/low tempo on the plan so I may be able to ride with you guys at least at the start. I have to stick to the plan so if someone hits the gas, you can just go.
by Jonathan O’Keeffe » Mon Jan 14, 2013 11:25 pm
You guys rock for getting out in seriously lousy conditions; nice work all!