By Tim Cary
Published 11/21/2015; Updated 09/15/2021

by Tim_Cary » Sat Nov 21, 2015 3:41 pm

While some may say it is too cold in the morning to do these rides, I say suck it up and enjoy. The roads are still (relatively) clean and salt free, so why not take advantage? It was about 38F at the start downtown- I was pleased to have a decent (for this time of year!) sized group- Zinj, Roger, Chris, Mike, Eric & myself. The day warmed up to a comfortable 45F under full sun.

One of the things I love about the valley is you don’t have to go far to get excellent miles in. We pretty much spent the day in the Deerfield area.

To get there, we headed out of town via Spring St and up into Leeds and then Mountain St through Haydenville, into Whatley. Just a tad of climbing to warm us up. From there it was on to familiar territory on North St, into Deerfield, with Zinj out sprinting me on the townline. From there, down and over the Stillwater bridge, and then the rolling climb up Wisdom Way into Greenfield.

Of course, that is not enough for a Tim planned ride. As we turned onto Rte 5, Chris turned off to River Road, opting out of the Pine Nook climb. We headed up Pine Nook Rd- which goes through the EagleBrook School campus, and has twists and turns and about a 12% in there somewhere. One of my favorites. Zinj and I went wheel and wheel to the top of that, I think I got it by a wheel. It then flattens out a bit and turns to nice packed dirt for a while with some nice curvy descending, and then to pavement for a bit again. At the bottom, the pavement ends again, and back to dirt, which is a bit rougher, and still descends for a bit on to River Rd. That last section had a couple hairy spots, but nothing too nasty.

Zinj took us into the headwinds on River Rd for about 2 miles, where- yeah- instead of just going home, I had us climb up Hillside Rd- just to make sure we got our workouts in! Not a major climb, but it hurts. That dumped us back down into the center of S. Deerfield, where I mentioned Sugarloaf. Not much response.

As we got to the Sugarloaf entrance, Eric peeled off quietly, and Mike said he had to go home on 47 (sure…). Zinj was all for being crazy with me, and Roger did it for the photo. (thanks guys.. probably the last trip up there for the season).

After reflecting on the beautiful view, we carefully headed back down. Zinj and I had one more town line battle- on the descent to River Rd- I got it this time by inches. And as usual lately, Zinj pulled us most of the way home on River Rd. I arrived back in downtown Northampton at around 1:45, with miles. Another fun day out there.