by Tim_Cary » Sat May 21, 2016 11:25 pm
We had around a dozen gather up this morning under sunny skies temps near 50- enough for arm warmers for many.
We headed south on the planned route, with Park Hill Road warming us up. Making our way into Southampton, the pace was brisk up the Russelville Rd climb.
After turning onto Wyben Rd, we made our way into Westfield via some beautiful roads- offering a small climb up W. Road, dropping onto Pochassic Rd with spectacular views of the Hawks Nest Conservation area to the northeast, and the Westfield River to the south.
After weaving our way though downtown Westfield ( there is just no good way to avoid the big roads to get to better roads across the river), we headed out on Granville Rd, which turns into Old Westfield Rd, and was also the big climb of the day- starting very steep, and then rolling for around 7 miles. This was a nice choice- as I had never ridden it and just picked it off the map. If you have a chance to breathe (I did not- went pretty hard), there is actually plenty of nice scenery, including the Granville Reservoir.
The end of that climb put us on Rte 57 in Granville, where we stopped at the country store to refuel.
After the break, we continued south to the whole point of the route- cross the state line into Connecticut. Turns out the state line was on a fast descent, which was lots of fun to sprint- Chris got me on that one.
A turn into a residential neighborhood had us starting back north to head back over the state line again- this time the state line was on a little climb, and more hidden- Jonathan attempted to grab it, but Zinj and I responded, and I think I got that one by an inch.
We made our way back out to Rte 57, on an awesome descent for at least 9 miles- which made the big climb worth it. Don flatted somewhere on the way down, so we waited at the 202 intersection.
After that, we continued on some more back roads in Southwick and Westfield that I have come to like, and we have ridden the opposite way on in the past. Then had to get through the high traffic crossing of Rte 20, bringing us up PaperMill Rd, which I really like.
Finally, the homestretch- East Mountain Road- Zinj had what we will now call the 40 minute flat. Turns out whatever he hit caused some issues with the tubeless and it was tough to get a tube locked in.
A few in the group had time constraints, and did not stick around, but the long rest was worth it. We had a very brisk paceline, aided by a tailwind all the way back into Easthampton. Even though I live in Easthampton, I stayed with the group (and beyond!)- arrived back in Northampton about 2:00 PM with 67 miles and around 3100′ or climbing, at an average pace of 19 MPH.
I really enjoy taking us south- as it is a nice change, and offers so much beautiful scenery and riding within way reach. I don’t love navigating Westfield, but it is worth it!