by Tim_Cary » Sun Sep 01, 2013 10:44 am
We had a good sized group (~15) meet up at the Academy despite scattered early morning showers and the continued threat of thunderstorms. By 9 , it was overcast, muggy and around 70°F- the same story most of the day.
I had route duty this week and decided to take us northwest to Huntington/Worthington and Ireland St, as we had not been up that way yet this season on a SMR.
To get there, I routed us a bit differently for a change of scenery- through downtown Easthampton, then out along the Southampton/Holyoke line, up Whiteloaf mountain (a fun, quick climb), and then past the Hampton Ponds area in Westfield.
Finally, we found ourselves at the first major climb of the day- Montgomery Mountain. We climbed the Main Rd side of it, and here is where the first gaps formed. Clayon and Mike H. were way ahead while the rest of us chugged along (flattening tire and all) to a quick rest stop near the top.
A fun (and wet) descent into Huntington had us make our first fuel stop at the Huntington Country Store.
As we proceeded back onto 112 to conquer the long, slow climb into Worthington, we met scarified pavement, which lasted all the way to the Worthington line. It was like riding on cobblestones, and is where I got the dirtiest of the day.
Plenty dirty and bones all shaken down, we began the beautiful climb into West Chesterfield on Ireland St. The route plan was to take us off of Ireland St at the to to Old Post Rd, and then over a short dirt section, but at this point some folks decided to opt out of that and continue to Rte 143 and head home.
The six of us remaining enjoyed beautiful views on Old Post Rd, and the dirt section was a fun and manageable descent back onto Rte 143. The final big climb was out of West Chesterfield into Chesterfield center.
After a quick re-fuel stop (this was one of those 6 bottle days) in Chesterfield center, we headed toward Goshen, and in keeping with the pond theme, we went by Damon Pond and Hammond Ponds, eventually finding our second and final dirt segment for the day. Again, no mud, in fact the dirt sections were better than the nasty Rte 112!
Eventually we entered Williamsburg, Hyde Hill Rd dirt turned to pavement and we had a fun descent onto Rte 9. Mike H. suggested we cross Rte 9 and take Village Hill Rd down to the center of Williamsburg, which turned out to be an awesome suggestion- a nice quiet descent. From there, we took South St back home (reverse Thursday night route).
A tiring day for all- the humidity really took a toll, but the change in scenery and the variety of having some of the course on dirt was great. Back in the center of Northampton, I had 62 miles (Noho to Noho) with around 5000 feet of climbing.