by Tim_Cary » Sun Oct 26, 2014 10:35 pm
Indeed, the weather finally cooperated for us on Saturday. It was close to 50°F and sunny as about 12 gathered at the Academy for a somewhat challenging route I had planned…. but it had a purpose- attempting to gather the last fall foliage vistas of the season! Among the usual folks, we had three new faces- Becca, Darrien, & Jay (welcome!).
We headed out south on Rte 10 toward Easthampton at a social pace, and had an early rest while Chris was repairing a flat. We then continued on toward the plains section of Easthampton which gave us vistas of the microburst damage on Mt. Tom (areal video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JQhHNpZksHc and https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ju1yJRvpH24 ) .
After a bit of stops and turns in Southampton, we were ascending the first (and biggest) climb of the day- up Montgomery Mountain. I don’t know who “won” this, because I was taking it easy, but there sure was a good number in the group out front really hammering it to the top. http://app.strava.com/activities/211577 … 4992822641 is one of the segments, and nothing to sneeze at. There are parts that reach 11%!
After a cool and fast descent into Huntington, about half the group opted to cut the ride short and take Rte 66 back to Northampton. We continued on Rte 112, not enjoying the slow ascent to Worthington, but took in the views of the Knighville Dam.
More beautiful views were (hopefully) taken in as we climbed (more!) up Ireland St through West Chesterfield. We were likely relived to have another nice descent to the the Rte 143 crossing.
We continued on along the west branch of the Westfield River into Cummington, past the fairgrounds on nice quiet roads. Once we met Rte 9, we took a left up (!) to our rest stop at the Creamery to refuel and stretch.
After being tempted (and for some, filled with) tasty fresh baked goods), we headed east on Rte 9. But, not for too long. I found us a final leg bursting climb! Up, up, we went on Loomis, which eventually turns to (nice graded) dirt, and dumps us out on Damon Pond Rd in Chesterfield (after plenty of good climbing and an awesome descent).
Pavement again- taking us down a very fast decent on Sugar Hill Rd, and then crossing over Rte 143 and hooking up on East St. Finally, we all enjoyed a screaming descent down Chesterfield Rd through Westhampton, and a rather fast pace back up and over to Spring St for a rousing return to downtown.
I had 64.1 miles, 4281′ of climbing when I arrived back downtown. Super day, super group of people!