Today was the big D2R2 gravel ride for Franklin Land Trust, so we only had 5 riders arrive for my planned route up to Cummington. It was yet another tropical day, 100% humidity, and the mid 70’s to start. It was fun to ride familiar routes in the opposite direction. Instead of heading through Ashfield center, we rode through the DAR State Forrest- which is all paved and has a little climb. From there we headed west on Rte 9. It was a treat to fly down into the Lithia section of Goshen instead of climb out of it. We stopped at the Creamery in Cummington to hydrate, and then headed down Fairgrounds Rd into Chesterfield, which is a gentle descent and well enjoyed.
On a Tim Cary ride (so they tell me), when there is an enjoyable descent, there is also an enjoyable (??) climb, That here is heading out of the Chesterfield Gorge area up to the apple orchards. But at least we got to go back down again into Worthington, onto 112 by the amazing Knightville Dam, and eventually rested for the last and maybe worst part of the ride. There is no good way (I think I said this before!) to get from Huntington back to Northampton. You either have to climb about 1000′ or add many more miles south. So it was a slog up Rte 66. And of course, eventually, the reward is the long, fast descent into town.
Great ride with an awesome small group, and we again got lucky with no pop-up storms. I turned off just before downtown at around 12:45, 52 miles, 16.5 MPH, 3,852′ on my Garmin.