By Don Frank
Published 06/10/2021; Updated 06/10/2021

It was a hot one, with temperatures at about 92 degrees at the start. There was an initial warning about the heat and the need to accommodate. There were 18 A and B riders. We stayed together and we had an even split at the Hatfield Market. One of our riders pulled at a reasonable, even pace (20-22 mph) for most of the way out, to the consternation of some and relief of others (i.e. me).  We circled around the Book Mill and everyone[1] waited in the heat, suffering from it for the first time.

We included the new N. Silver detour again and all was well until one of the bumps on Rt 47, well after the town line. Then catastrophe hit. This was not the problem where one loses a few feet, then yards, and then watches the rest of the group ride off, allowing the calming of exertion and eventually the pleasure of smelling the roses. It was much worse. Two of us got gapped by a few hundred feet, then yards and then we watched the back of the group for three-to-four miles. We turned ourselves inside out trying to keep pace with the seven of them, occasionally upchucking a lung to gain several feet, only to lose those 24 inches on the next small bump.

Nevertheless, I am certain that a good time was had by all.

p.s. I left my left lung in front of the North Hadley Sugar Shack. Don’t run it over.

[1] Except the last guy, You-Know-Who.