By Jonathan O'Keeffe
Published 03/29/2014; Updated 09/15/2021

by Jonathan O’Keeffe » Sat Mar 29, 2014 4:25 pm

Ended up being a little surprised that we were able to sneak this ride in — the weather cooperated, and delivered a mostly-dry and fairly tolerable morning. The roads were still a bit wet at the start, but dried out fairly quickly. We set out with a group of nine from the Academy — myself, Tim, Roberto, Patrick, Kevin, Mike, Rich W, Chris O, and Joe. I didn’t want to take us too far afield, with rain threatening later in the day, so I planned a fairly conservative route up into Goshen and Chesterfield, with several options to cut it short if conditions deteriorated.

We headed up North Farms Road, with Chris pushing me hard on this initial climb, and then cut across to Williamsburg on the lovely Adams and O’Neil Roads, which are quite scenic but pack some short but intense climbs. From Williamsburg we climbed Village Hill Road, another short but steep climb, and then crossed over to Route 9 to climb further up toward Goshen, with Joe setting a brisk pace at the outset and myself trying to hang on after that.

Some back roads in Chesterfield took us down near Hammond Pond, and then to Sugar Hill Road, where we got a glimpse of Tim’s old house (just a brief glimpse, because it’s on a screaming descent) as well as a look at the Gate to Nowhere. We crossed Rt. 143, then climbed and descended a bit more on Northwest Road before the big descent down Reservoir Road toward King’s Highway. We headed back into town over the wreck of a roadway that is the lower part of Chesterfield Road (be very careful if you’re descending this towards Spring Street — there’s a giant washed out section near the bottom that comes up quickly after a bend in the road).

We rolled back into Northampton around 1:20 PM, with 39 miles at 16.0 mph, and about 3,000 feet of climbing. Tim, Roberto, and I lingered for a while at NoHo Bikes, a bit too long as it turned out, and got caught in a bit of rain heading home, but nothing too bad.