By Frank Sleegers
Published 04/12/2014; Updated 09/15/2021

by Frank Sleegers » Sun Apr 13, 2014 1:43 pm

Many riders showed up at the Academy in aspiration of a great spring ride.
We split up into two groups- the first planned to go to the bookmill and around, the second trying to get some quick hilly miles under the wheels.

The second group of 6 people – (I may miss some names here – sorry) Andrew, Clayton, Chris Owen, Michael (?), Joe’s Garage rider, Joe L (to”warm” up for tomorrow’s race joined us for 10 miles ) and myself . Another rider in a white jersey stayed with us in the beginning …
We rode the first segment of the Thursday course almost up to Ashfield, took Creamery Road up and North Hill Rd down – we were all surprised by the amount of sand on the road- a quite sketchy downhill – happy I did not go faster. In Ashfield we went up and down Baptist Corner Road – fast- peaked 42 mph, Shelbourne Falls Road southwards and then back the usual Whately /Conway Rd along the Reservoirs to Florence/Northampton.

In Northampton I had around 49 miles, 17.5 miles average in 2:45 h.
That was pretty quick – my legs were done back in Conway – and it was good that most of the climbing was done by then.

I think we all enjoyed the fabulous weather and some good training miles.


by Roger Stawasz » Sun Apr 13, 2014 4:59 pm

Frank, thanks for the write up of your version of the SMR. Since no one else has posted about the other, I’ll take a stab at it.

The other group planned to ride up to the bookmill and, for some, beyond. I may be missing some here but as I recall we started out with Bryant, Rob, Arron, Dr. Ellen, Dr. Rich, Jonathan B., Kevin (Southampton), Thres (SP), Anna, and a fellow I didn’t know. Before following the WNR route we detoured to Jonathan’s house to get a helmet for the new guy. We lost Bryant at that point when someone noticed that his brake pads looked pretty bad. He bee lined to the LBS for replacements then did a solo ride.

With the new guy helmeted the group headed up to River Road in Hatfield where the lead riders pulled into the WNR A/B split location to allow others to catch up. Apparently the others went looking for Anna who seemed to disappear somewhere leading up to or around the overpass. She didn’t reappear at any point and so they moved on. Anna – sorry if there was any confusion.

Approaching the intersection of 116 & 47 Aaron (at that time the lead rider) had his front tire blow out on him as he made a quick stop due to a light change. As if catapulted, he and the bike flipped in the air and he came down landing first on his shoulder then rolling along. The rest of us quickly got him and his bike off the road where Drs. Ellen & Rich looked him over. Fortunately neither Aaron nor his bike were damaged badly, however, the consensus was that he shouldn’t continue riding. He agreed and called for a pick up. Jonathan B. also departed at this point as he had intended.

Those remaining then ran up to the bookmill where Rob and Thres decided to lay over for a bit of nourishment leaving five of us to head up to the Leverett co-op where a short nature stop was called, and where Dr. Ellen took her leave from the group.

Remaining for the rest of the ride was Dr. Rich, Kevin, me, and the new fellow (quite a strong climber & rider). We ventured up to Lake Wyola, headed to Wendall and then bypassed the Montague Road route into Miller’s Falls for the Farley Road route to Morman Hollow and Miller’s. As always Farley Road to Morman Hollow was a glorious romp down a beautiful descent on a hardly traveled wide road that’s in great shape. Of course there are those little climbs back up at the end, but still….

The trip back started on 63 turned right on Swamp Road then pretty much followed the route back from the bookmill down 47 and onto River Road in Hatfield for the round trip. It was a good hard ride on what turned out to be a beautiful day in which I logged 66 miles from Northampton center and back.