By Tim Cary
Published 08/29/2015; Updated 09/15/2021

by Tim_Cary » Sat Aug 29, 2015 9:06 pm

Fall is already showing signs, as when I left home it was 50F and I had to put the arm warmers on. But, the day turned out beautiful- sunshine and in the lower 70’s.

My plan for the day was to check out some scenic climbs in Buckland and Ashfield, but keeping the mileage manageable.

About a dozen showed up at the Academy under clear skies.

We all headed out of town via the “Thursday Night Route Reverse”- that meant climbing N. Farms and Mountain St up past the reservoir into Conway.

Early on Shelburne Falls Rd, we were rewarded with perhaps a once in a lifetime view of four horses driving a hay cutting machine! Awesome.

Continuing on Shelburne Falls Rd, Clayton and Andrew decided to make it a shorter day, but something went wrong with the communication, as Clayton went Pine Hill, and Andrew went Wilder Hill. Don was unsuccessful in resolving that- hopefully the both met up.

We stopped at McCusker’s Market to refuel for an extended period- mostly so Mike and I could hash out a new BikeFest route. My original plan had been to check out some new roads for the BikeFest century, but it would have been too long of a ride. Mike, Mike & Don decided to head east and check out the roads, and the rest of us continued west out of Shelburne Falls.

Time for some climbing. Entering Bukland, we started on the major climbing of the day- two huge climbs that I had never done. First was Charlemont Rd, and then Avery Rd. Avery seems to go on forever- I have done it from the other direction, which is shorter and steeper, but this side was a first for me. Two miles of grueling climbing. Zinj was ahead of me on this one, and at one point asked “when is this over”. It was a beautiful climb though, rewarded with miles of views at the top. The descent was recently chip-sealed, so in much better condition than the last time I had been there.

At the bottom, we land on Clesson Brook Rd, which results in another nice descent to Rte 112. After a bit of climbing on 112, we turned off on to Apple Valley Rd, which I have been on only once before. I “forgot” we had a bit more climbing to Hawley Rd, but it was worth it. Again, awesome vistas of quaint countryside.

Hawley Rd was a nice descent back to Rte 112, which we picked up Steady Lane and Norton to Creamery Rd. This is where it got interesting.

We had everyone at the turn on to Creamery. The descent down Creamery Rd was awesome- not very often I have gone down that. At the 116/Williamsburg Rd intersection we waited, and waited, and waited for three. Despite Ron and I climbing back up Creamery, nowhere to be found. Turns out they took a detour up (!!) Briar Hill instead.

One last little climb up Williambsburg Rd, and that was enough for the day. Ron lead us back most of the way to Haydenville and home.

Perfect day with some less traveled routes, and an epic climb in the middle.

I had 58 miles about when I was downtown, around 1:30