By Jonathan O'Keeffe
Published 03/08/2014; Updated 09/15/2021

by Jonathan O’Keeffe » Sat Mar 08, 2014 7:44 pm

It kind of seems like this winter might never end, but we got lucky with a pretty decent day today, and took full advantage of it with the first SMR of 2014. Ten hardy souls showed up at the Academy, with temperatures in the low 30s to start, but climbing quickly into the upper 40s by the end of the ride.

Tim planned the route today, and decided to keep it simple by basically doing a Thursday night loop in reverse. We rolled out of town and headed for North Farms Road, which is in truly awful condition — this was the worst road we saw all day. Despite the season’s bumper crop of potholes, the rest of the roads we traversed actually weren’t in too bad shape. The biggest hazard we faced was just lots of water from the melting snow, and the occasional small patch of slush or ice.

We climbed up into Conway, with Roberto, Clayton, and Joe doing most of the work at the front of the pack. The long gradual climb westbound on Rt. 116 was pretty fun — you’re gradually gaining elevation, but you don’t really feel it, since you’re moving along pretty fast. We turned off 116 to head south on Williamsburg Road, with a short hard climb to begin, and then a fast fun descent down into Williamsburg. We elected to just roll down Rt. 9 back into Northampton, rather than braving the bad road conditions of South/Audubon/Spring, although someone said that portions of South St. have been repaved.

We rolled back into Northampton around 12:30PM, with my computer showing 38 miles at 17.8 mph, with about 2,000′ of climbing.