By Tim Cary
Published 08/30/2014; Updated 09/15/2021

by Tim_Cary » Sun Aug 31, 2014 9:05 pm

On a beautiful morning about 16 riders gathered at the Academy. The C group decided to join us, as for some reason (some may have suggested it was a rest week for me!) I planned out a “flat” route.

Actually, I plotted out a route taking us south, just over the state line into Connecticut, circling the Congamond Lakes. We usually don’t get to many places south because of many factors, but it seemed like a nice change, and the lakes worked out to be a perfect destination for mileage.

We headed out of town by taking the classic “washboard” road that parallels the Oxbow area of the Connecticut River, and then over some back roads through Easthampton and Southampton along the west side of Mt. Tom.

After crossing Rte 202, we took E. Mountain Rd, which parallels the extension of the Holyoke Range. At Roger’s suggestion, we cut over to PaperMill Rd, saving us quite a bit of rolling on Rte 20, which was necessary to get to our destination.

We successfully navigated the “big city roads”, which got us back on to the scenic, lower traffic roads again, and headed over the state line. Before we knew it, we had crossed back into Massachusetts as we looked at the Congamond lakes. Congamond is pretty unique because the state lines run right along it.

The return route brought us on some more small rolling hills through Southwick and across the Greenway rail trail, and then back into Westfield, where someone timed a flat perfectly near a convenience store so we could re-fuel.

Refreshed, we navigated downtown Westfield, and took the newly opened Pocassic Bridge over to Montgomery St, again suggested by Roger to cut out some busy traffic. Heading into Southampton, on the steepest climb of the day, Roger had a major mechanical (broken derailer), and we had to press on. I later found out he was able to convert to a single speed and get home.

We returned to Northampton via Glendale and enjoyed a nice fast descent to downtown on Rte 66. We arrived back at the Academy at about 12:30, with 56.5 miles on the odometer and 2119′ of climbing. I thought this ride was one of the most enjoyable of the season because it was not a hammerfest, and it also was rather social the whole ride- since the route conditions favored a tight paceline environment.

Here’s the map of the ride: