by Jonathan O’Keeffe » Sun Nov 17, 2013 8:44 pm
We had a glorious November day under sunny skies, with temperatures starting around 45° and rising into the upper 50s. A group of a dozen riders showed up to enjoy the beautiful day. We chose a relatively flat route, to contrast with all the climbing that we’ve been doing lately, choosing to emphasize working together in a fast paceline on the flats, rather than grinding up the hills.
We rode up River Road through Hatfield and Whately and across 116, and then a bit further north before turning off onto our one significant climb of the day. Pine Nook Road crosses the Pocumtuck Ridge, from River Road in the east to emerge on Route 5/10 in Deerfield. It starts with a moderately steep dirt climb of about a mile or so, featuring some very loose sandy patches, and then briefly turns to pavement, before returning to dirt for the last steep climb up to the top of the ridge. From there it’s a fun steep twisty paved descent past the Eaglebrook School. Clayton overcooked one of the corners and laid it down, but emerged unscathed, apart from a mysterious puncture that burst unexpectedly as we were stopped waiting to regroup at the bottom of the descent.
We continued further north and crossed the river on the bike path bridge, and continued along the bike path into Turners Falls. From there we turned south and sped through Montague, Sunderland, and Hadley, with some fast pacelining along the way. At the point where I turned off, we had 43.5 miles at 19.0 mph, with 1,500 feet of climbing.