By Tim Cary
Published 01/19/2013; Updated 10/27/2021

by Tim_Cary » Mon Jan 21, 2013 12:44 am

Finally, it seems the weather held as forecasted. As Roberto (returning from an extended holiday break due to the flu), Chris D. , and Joe L. joined me at the start, we were greeted with 36°F and cloudy skies that were starting to break up, along with dry roads.

My plan was a very easy, 40 miles taking us up into Conway and back. But, Roberto, being so well rested (or maybe fooling us all and being on the trainer the last month), asks “Why not Ashfield?”.

Joe and I had cross bikes, but Roberto and Chris had road bikes. This was sure to be an interesting ride.

Once over on the North Farms climbs, Roberto eventually jumped out of sight on the last climb, and Chris- with the light as feather bike (or shall I say, light as Felt?)- was gone just as soon as the small descent started.

That was the pattern of the day- Roberto and Chris pretty much leading, and Joe and I taking up the back. To be expected with the equipment we had.

In South Ashfield, Roberto suggested (surprisingly?) we avoid the wall up into Ashfield center, so we took on the Creamery Rd climb instead.

We took a quick re-fuel stop in Ashfield center. It was real nice to have sunshine here and 40°, as it seems every stop in recent memory here has been cold or wet.

Once re-fueled, we headed out Baptist Corner Rd- one of my favorite routes. The day was at it’s peak here and as with most of the ride, we were treated to beautiful, bright white snow covered landscapes. A much different perspective than we get most of the year when we ride.

Somewhere along here in casual conversation, Roberto called the town line, but like a 1/2 mile ahead, once again showing us all how rested he is (or just kicking our butts in a clever way!). None of us could sprint as fast and long to catch him.

Chris and Roberto took turns fighting the wind (which seemed to be a steady 10-15MPH against us all day), out Shelburne Falls Rd into Conway corners. After a fairly quiet descent toward S. Deerfield, Joe and I cut off to S. Mill River Rd, while Roberto and Chris continued on toward Amherst.

Joe and I had a challenging return home to Northampton via Whatley and Hatfield with a constant fight into the headwinds. I am sure it was not easy going for Roberto and Chris either.

A challenging, but dry, scenic, and somewhat comfortable day, I ended with a total of 68.3 miles with 3415 feet of climbing. From Northampton, it would have been about 54 miles. Pretty good miles and weather for January! Glad you guys came out, lets keep this winter riding thing going!