By Jonathan O'Keeffe
Published 06/10/2016; Updated 09/15/2021

by Jonathan O’Keeffe » Sat Jun 11, 2016 1:52 pm

It was unseasonably chilly in the morning, with temperatures in the low 50s, as we rolled from the Academy with a dozen+ riders at 7:30 AM. We first climbed up into Chesterfield, where we lost Chris fairly early with a badly-cut tire. Hope you made it home OK, Chris. The rest of us continued on down the screaming descent into Chesterfield Gorge, followed by the climb up toward Worthington on Ireland Street. At Worthington center, a few riders split off to do a shorter ride, while the remaining group of eight continued on.

From Worthington center we rolled north-west on Buffington Hill Road, which turns into Lindsay Hill Road. This is a great section, with a short steep climb at the beginning, after which the road turns to well-maintained dirt on a beautiful stretch passing through Worthington State Forest.

After a brief stretch of 143, we enjoyed another fun descent heading north on Windsor Road/Cole Street, with nice fresh pavement once you cross the Windsor town line. This took us to Route 9, where a few miles of gradual descending (powered by Todd) brought us to our rest stop at the Olde Creamery in Cummington. Fortunately, Nathan had the good sense to check the radar on his phone, which revealed a wall of rapidly-approaching storms. We decided to bail on the second half of the ride through Plainfield and Ashfield, and instead to head straight home on Route 9.

Heading straight home sounds good on paper, but in reality Cummington is a long way from Northampton. The rain overtook us fairly quickly, and what resulted was a long slog up to Goshen in a light drizzle, followed by a long (and fast) descent back to Hamp in moderate to occasionally-heavy rain. We were soaked through by the time we got back to Northampton, after which Roberto and I enjoyed another slog back to Amherst as the rain got really heavy.

Although it finished wet and fairly miserable, the first half of the ride was terrific, with some challenging climbing, nice roads, and great company. When we got back to Northampton, I had 51 miles at 17.0 mph, with 4,400′ of climbing.