by Kevin Schott » Sun Sep 09, 2012 6:15 pm
We had two goals as we headed out — to go south INTO the wind to start, and to keep the ride relatively short. We succeeded on both.
The first leg of the route was through Easthampton and into Southampton. Clayton jumped on the front and kept us at a manageable tempo, as well as punching a nice hole into that southerly breeze. Before long, we found ourselves on Main Road on the edge of Montgomery having gone up Montgomery/Southampton Road. Clayton was on deadline and had to head back. Jonathan B, Jonathan S, and I looked right (a short climb then a ripping descent that would eventually lead to Rt 112 and then Rt 66), and then looked left (a nice descent taking us into Westfield). On a coin toss (that’s my story), we ended up heading left.
At the base of Main Road we followed Montgomery Road for 1/2 a mile before I realized we should have taken a left. After a quick U-turn we were back on course. All was going well until my pre-ride prediction came true: I forgot (for the first time this year) my spare tube and inflator, so I announced that I would be flatting today. Sure enough, I got my first flat of the year. Jonathan and Jonathan were gracious, tossing me a tube and pump. The tube change was quick and then I spent another 10 minutes putting the wheel back on. I don’t think I’ve ever had trouble putting a rear wheel on, yet there I was. C’est la vie.
Back on the road, we headed down North Road and then onto Russelville Road and back onto our original path from Southampton. Truth be told, I was trying for Brickyard Road for some variety, but the scenery is similar so nothing really missed. We wound our way over to Easthampton and then finally back to NoHo around 11:30. Jonathan B headed home, and Jonathan S and I took the well-traveled path of Rocky Hill Road over toward his home in Amherst. I did a loop through campus and was headed up to Sunderland when I decided the skies were starting to look a bit threatening. I certainly felt that southerly wind while on North Maple Street (ouch), and got back to the Academy of Music at about 12:30, encountering only a couple of sprinkles along the way. Unfortunately, I’m about another 30 minutes up the road and ended up getting soaked in a torrential downpour 15 minutes before home. Missed it by that much.
I don’t have a GPS on my bike, but mapped the route here: