By Tim Cary
Published 10/03/2021; Updated 10/02/2021

Although we are not organizing official weekly outdoor rides at the moment, any club member is welcome to post to the group to organize a ride.  In a “normal” year we do continue official rides up until the roads get hazardous, but with COVID-19 still a concern, small, unofficial, member organized group rides are a good and safe option.

Fall is definitely in the air, but I looked at the weather forecast and today was to be near 70 and sunny- so a perfect day to get outside and pedal.  It was cool to start- upper 50’s- enough for the arm and leg warmers.  We had a group of five head out toward Leeds and to Williamsburg center.

My route plan for the day was simple- up to Ashfield and back via Baptist Corner Rd.  Nothing out of the ordinary, but enough miles and climbing to make it a good day.

We certainly opened up our leg muscles when we turned off Ashfield Rd up the Main Poland Rd wall!  But the reward is the smooth descent back down- and then up again, and meeting Rte 116.  This is the route the Thursday Night Ride has been taking and seems to have rave reviews.

Instead of heading back south on Rte 116, we turned left and eventually took Creamery and Norton- dropping us in Ashfield center for a hydration break.

The second half of the ride was the best in my opinion.  The other Tim on the ride suggested we take a little shortcut- Beldingville Rd- instead of going direct to Shelburne Falls Rd. Baptist Corner Rd is always a beautiful descent, and so adding in this excursion was the height of my day.  I have routed us on this in past SMR’s so I was appreciative of Tim’s suggestion.  Beldingville features some twisting fast descents, then opens up to panoramic views of farms, with cattle, and backgrounded by the beginning of the fall colors… and some more screaming descents, and nice little climbs and town lines which some of us had fun sprinting across.  The road names change but eventually spits us out back on Shelburne Falls Rd just below the steep descent to the intersection of Bardwell’s Ferry.

From here it was back to the Thursday Night route again back home.  We had some fun with the multiple town lines along the way again, and the descent down North Farms was a pleasure, as I had not ridden it in that direction since it had been repaved.

We split off our separate ways in Florence at about 12:30, making it a great ride with plenty of time and energy to enjoy (or do chores!) the rest of our Saturday.

I hope to post more rides in coming Saturdays before the weather turns.  I know many are busy racing CX this time of year, but keep a lookout on the calendar and e-mail. It certainly is so much better riding with friends than solo.