by Peter Crowley » Sat Mar 02, 2013 4:49 pm
Under overcast skies with a minor threat of rain or snow, seven of us: Roberto, Rich, Ron, Tim, Joe, Chris and I met at the Academy for the inaugural SMR. There was a pretty good breeze out of the north, so we headed off into the wind, taking River Road as far as it went to Greenfield. We crossed the River and headed back to Montague where we split up with the Northampton contingent heading back through Hadley and the left-bankers heading to Lake Wyola and then Amherst. Just under 60 miles for me, at a blistering 16 mph pace (at least it felt that way)
by Tim_Cary » Sat Mar 02, 2013 5:54 pm
We had a pretty good turnout today for this time of year. Seven of us arrived under cloudy skies with the temperature around 37ºF. The group consisted of Ron, Rich Wu, Peter C., Joe L., Chris O., Roberto, and myself.
The route plan was ultimately to keep it simple and safe, since this time of year there can be surprise ice and snow, along with deep potholes and plenty of sand. We all had road bikes (except for Joe if you go by the tires- one road and one ‘cross!), so this plan fit well. Destination was Montague, with the option to climb to Lake Wyola.
The ride out of town and well into Hatfield was quite social and at a moderate (18 MPH) pace, which everyone seemed to like. A moderate headwind once past Hatfield center had us working hard and changing the lead quite a bit, though Ron and Joe remained up front for significant amounts of time. I enjoyed this section of the ride because of the Mt. Sugarloaf view- it is not very often that we are out on the bikes and get to see how beautiful Sugarloaf looks covered in snow.
Roberto drew the first town line battle at the Whatley/S. Deerfield line just before the 116 intersection, and won it by just centimeters with Peter right on him.
We crossed 116 and continued along the river on the northern part of River Road- again facing those headwinds. Ron and Joe once again helped make that stretch a bit easier for the rest of us. On the climbs we had a significant break, but regrouped at Rte 5.
We continued north on Rte 5 briefly, over the Deerfield river, then headed over the Connecticut river and onto Greenfield Rd, and up into Montague center where we stopped briefly for fuel.
Joe, Rich, and Ron were pressed for time and headed home via Rte 47, while the rest of us headed up N. Leverett Rd toward Lake Wylola. We had a break in the group and I was able to pause at the lake to take in yet another beautiful vista of the frozen lake (or just a reminder that it’s still cold out?).
The final climb of the day up Locks Pond/Wendell Rd was great, and we were rewarded with our efforts with a great descent down the Shutesbury s-curves.
Peter and Chris peeled off in Amherst for home, while Roberto graciously accompanied me through Hadley until we split at North Lane.
From Northampton to Northampton I had 58.25 miles @ 17.2 MPH with around 2358 feet of climbing.
by Tim_Cary » Sat Mar 02, 2013 5:56 pm
Thanks for the post Peter and sorry about the double ride reports!
by Roberto Ludovico » Sun Mar 03, 2013 8:29 am
Thanks for the ride reports, Peter and Tim. Let me just add the obvious for the benefit of those who will visit this thread: this was the first Saturday Morning Ride of the 2013 season. A great ride for early March, despite the gray skies and the relatively low temperatures. More rides to come: please check the NCC calendar for details on all the SMRs of this season. Note the departure time changing to 9am in May, and, new this year, the extended SMRs on the first Saturday of every the month, beginning in May, leaving the academy at 7:30 for a considerably longer route into new areas of the valley that we usually cannot get to on regular rides.