By Tim Cary
Published 12/21/2013; Updated 09/16/2021

by Tim_Cary » Sat Dec 21, 2013 3:50 pm

Indeed we got lucky with a day that warmed up to feel like March. Unfortunately, only Michael S. and Ellen S. came out to take advantage of it with me. Maybe it is the several inches of snow pack we have on the ground this year, or maybe it is just too close to the holidays. In any case I sure was not going to cancel this with a forecast temp in the upper 40’s.

At the start in Northampton I had about 37°F on the Garmin. The plan for the day was to take it easy, which sort of worked well because I also had concerns that up in the higher elevations the roads may not be in good shape (though we all had cx bikes).

We headed out the Wednesday Night route up through Hatfield and Whatley where we kept what I thought was a darn good pace (~20MPH) for cx bikes and this time of year- pretty much all the way up to 116.

Once across 116 on the northern part of River Road, we soon turned off to do a little climbing up Hillside Rd. This is the east side of the Pocumtuck Range, part of Sugarloaf Mountain. Eventually we descended down to Rte 5/10 and then took N. Main St back into South Deerfield, essentially circling Mt. Sugarloaf. Unfortunately (??), unlike the similar ride last year, we were not able to climb Sugarloaf due to the snow cover.

We headed back home via the center of Whatley, which meant some more moderate climbs up into Hadyenville. We skipped the North Farms climb because Ellen wanted to see where Joe’s Garage was, and Michael wanted to show Ellen some great snow riding trails for fat bikes. We indeed passed by the people doing an indoor workout at Joe’s (why, on a day like today??).

After River Rd, not quite ready to head back the normal way, we took a little detour up Reservoir Rd past Roberts Meadow, and then back down into town. Turned out to be a great day of riding, with the only issue being tire spray because the roads just had not dried enough.

I rolled past the Academy with 39.4 miles, with just about 1100′ of climbing, and 46°F on the Garmin.

We’ve still got another Saturday this month, so keep checking back to see if we are riding. Also, don’t forget about our New Years day temperature ride. There will be a post about that soon.