Filling in for our regular ride leader the 6/2/22 version of the C+ ride headed out of Easthampton with a relatively small group of six riders. Amongst us was Mark who had recently returned from his winter stay in Florida. Welcome back!
Without some of our regular pace leaders the ride seemed to move along comfortably as we made our way through downtown, and then onto Glendale and Pomeroy Meadow before starting the climbs leading to the first regroup spot by the Outlook Farm. Usually I have to give it 105% on the climbs and still find myself toward the back of the group but at the estimated 95% effort I was making to stay with one other, it actually felt harder than all out.
From the Outlook Farm we briefly returned to a pleasant pace to allow a number of vehicles to pass before making turns on Stage, Easthampton, and North Roads where speeds picked up again. In particular North Road, with its slight descent, is one of my favorite spots to hit the gas to close gaps, or see how long I can carry the speed to Chesterfield Rd.
Usually, at this point of the ride with a lot of descending or flats ahead, I’m computing our average speed and projecting what we’ll end up with. We were at about 16mph at the time, the best average I’ve had being just over 18mph, and for tonight 17 seemed possible but would take some hard work.
The descent along Chesterfield and Reservoir Roads saw the group split up again before we regrouped by the Leeds PO where Lynda departed for home, reducing our group to five. More splits happened along the High St, Mountain Rd, Haydenville Road stretch to our last regroup spot by the Whately Inn where Peter split off and we were down to four.
All that lay ahead was the descent down Christian Lane and the River Road flat section where we each took our turn in the paceline at 20+mph pulls. Sean, in particular deserves mention for his efforts. Strong pulls. At the intersection of Rt. 5 Paula split off for home and the remaining three of us made our way back. The final results for me were 17.2mph average, over 40.7 miles, and 1500’ of climbing. Another great ride!