By Tim Cary
Published 04/13/2013; Updated 10/15/2021

by Roberto Ludovico » Sun Apr 14, 2013 8:12 am

We left the Academy as a group of 10, with C and B rides combined as we rolled out of town. We had Aron, John, Bryant, Roger, Chris, Bryon, Rich, Ron, Clayton and myself riding together to Haydenville, with the C ride splitting toward the Whaeatly Inn, and the B group heading up to Conway via the Northampton Reservoirs. While the group attacked the Upper reservoir hill following Clayton’s lead, Roger took a right turn at the bottom of the climb looking for greener (and flatter) pastures, which he found – I understand – in the direction of Montague along with Bryant of the C group. It was great having Roger back on the Saturday rides, on a brand new super fancy bike!

In Conway the B group split gain, with Clayton heading up 116 to Ashfield and Northampton from there, and Ron heading down on 116 in the direction of South Deerfield. Rich, Chris, Bryon and myself pressed on to Shelburne Falls rd. wit a bit of climbing in mind for the rest of the day. Needless to say that passed Conway center it was winter again: fresh snow on the side of the road (and occasionally on the road as well), cold and damp temperatures and gray skies, took over the weathermen’s promise for partially sunny conditions and temperature in the 50’. Nobody complained as we approached Baptist Corner rd. from Shelburne Falls rd. and went up the scenic climb to Ashfield center, enjoying a different perspective from a road that we usually approach from the opposite direction. A brief stop for hot coffee and freshly baked goods was in order at Elmer’s, where the cozy and friendly environment warmed us up, while our bikes sat in ice and slush outside. The second part of the ride started off on the steep slope of Norton Hill rd., which kept us warm all the way to Creamery rd. Everybody’s inclination to do more climbing was, I suspect, inspired by the secret desire to postpone the freezing descent. Half way through Creamery we took a right turn on Briar rd. The steep ascent brought us the beautiful views of Mt. Monadnok under heavy grey skies but crisp-clear air. With no other reason to linger there in the cold, we came down the hill toward Ludwig rd. and eventually Williamsburg Rd. We came down fast, encouraged by the temperature going up as the altitude went down. It was spring again in Williamsburg. We had sun warming us up until we got to Northampton, where Bryon left the group to head home. Rich, Chris and I rolled toward Amherst under grey skies again, but in good spirits. I tallied 73 miles in total from/to Amherst. A great ride overall, on a classic SMR route with great buddies. Can’t ask for more.

Looking forward to next Saturday, an announcement is in order: the April 20 SMR will not leave from the Academy but from CVS in Belchertown at 9am, or from the Amherst rd./202 intersection in Pelham at 9:30. The plan is to preview the following week’s Quabbin Race route. Check the NCC calendar for all the details. See you there!

by Roger Stawasz » Sun Apr 14, 2013 1:58 pm

A follow up to Roberto’s ride report:

Many thanks to Roberto for trying to tow me along to keep up with the fast paced B group, but even with the new bike the engine (me) was not going to hang in there for much longer. After branching off I stopped at the Whately Inn where the C group, comprised of Eric, John, and Bryant, soon arrived (hope I remembered the names correctly). We continued along North Road, taking a left on S Mill River Road to Rt. 116 for a ride back down into Deerfield. At the base of Sugarloaf the group split with Eric and John heading back to Noho and Bryant and I taking a trip up Rt. 47 to the Bookmill for a cup of coffee before returning. Along with a 7.5 mile warmup ride and the 46.5 SMR ride I ended up with 54 miles for the day. It felt like a hard day for me as this was the longest of only a few outdoor rides for me this year. Nonetheless, it was great to be back with the familiar faces I knew from last year and to get to know some new ones.

by Tim_Cary » Mon Apr 15, 2013 7:10 pm

Great reports Roberto and Roger. Sorry I missed this one (but not sorry I missed the slush). Really cool (pun intended!) to be going the opposite way we usually go up to Ashfield.