By Tim Cary
Published 10/31/2015; Updated 09/15/2021

by Tim_Cary »

Well, no ghosts or goblins on this ride today. Just tired legs.

I left the house with 33 degrees showing on the thermometer. At the Academy, it was 37, with just Zinj and Roger waiting. The skies were bright and the sunshine stayed in full all day.

We headed out of town the Thursday night route in reverse- up N.Farms and into Whatley and Conway via the reservoir. Zinj set a pretty fast pace up to Conway, as usual.

On to Bardwell’s Ferry, where it was the same story- Zinj way out ahead, crushing our souls. After regrouping at the top of the climb we continued on to cross Rte 2 and head up to the Patten district- one of my favorite destinations. At the top of that climb we took a moment to shed some clothes- as it was near 50 degrees finally, and to chat about what Patten means. (we never did come up with an answer).

A bit more climbing up Renolds Rd landed us at what I always think of as the most scenic in this area. A great panoramic view with many of the fall colors still hanging on and shining through the bright sunlight. Zinj captured a nice snap of this.

With most of the climbing out of the way, we headed toward Old Greenfield Rd, which is always a fun one. It is a nice quiet road, but has a quick climb and switchback, followed by a fun, but sometimes sketchy descent with potholes, landing you down at the rotary in Greenfield.

We took a quick rest stop at the rotary and, all decided to stay on as planned to Poet Seat and Turners Falls, rather than go head home (kudos guys!)

After a slow tour of Downtown Greenfield, We headed up Mountain Rd, and climbed up to Poet Seat, which affords a spectacular view of Greenfield and the autumn colors beyond.

After our group selfie, we headed down the other side, over the river, into Montague, taking in the scenic canal surroundings into Turners Falls, then climbing out of town, heading into stiff winds to the BookMiil.

From the BookMill, it was the Wednesday Night route until Sunderland Center, were we decided to take River Rd. Of course, it is never easy- even though all the climbing was long done, we had headwinds to deal with. Zinj worked hard most of the way, taking the longest pulls, and even gave us a break with a flat in Hatfield. Unfortunately, it was one of the fastest flat changes I have ever seen, so we did not have much time to rest.

The three of us eventually parted ways in Northampton. I had 67 miles when I rode past Smith College- just as planned, but it was nearly 3:30. My legs felt like we did much more than 4000′ of climbing!

Despite this being a long ride for this time of year- the weather was great, and too good to not take advantage to the max. I said it last week, but this time it is probably true that this will be the last long ride of the season. The sun will be setting sooner and probably won’t be as warm. But as I have posted for the next month- we still plan to ride, so check the calendar!

Top of Renolyds Rd in Shelburne:


Poet’s Seat View with bikes:



by Jonathan O’Keeffe » Sat Oct 31, 2015 10:24 pm

Impressive ride, y’all. Since Tim asked about the Patten district, here’s a bit of background.