As I mentioned in last week’s post, the road season is winding down, and school is starting. This week I sent out a “poll” to the club’s discussion group to get a feel for if anyone wanted to do something different. I did not get much response. I ultimately decided on a classic route up to the Patten area of Shelburne, but in the counter-clockwise direction, which we rarely go. Reversing a typical route does change the dynamics, but also increases the scenery. It made for a beautiful route today.
Before I get to my detailed report, a reminder that the Greylock Hillclimb Time-Trial is just two weeks away. Club members get a discount on the registration fee, and we always can use volunteers. And speaking of Greyock, there is rumor that I may lead a ride there and up next Saturday as a preview for those planning on racing it.
And now back to our report…
The fog burnt off and the sun started coming out, it was humid and the low 70’s to start. Only 3 B riders gathered at Pulaski for this ride. We set off up Elm St, the Wednesday Night Ride route, and picked up Benny at Big Y. Thank goodness, because it was all headwind out on River Rd through Hatfield and Whatley. Rigo joined us somewhere on River Rd. It was now a party of five, which helped keep us moving into the wind. Benny’s “myWindsock Report” said we had headwind 49% of the ride. No kidding!
We kept the group together well (thank you!) on the northern section of River Rd throughout the little rises. It is still pretty bumpy on some of the descents, but better than earlier this summer when I did the time trial.
We headed through Greenfield’s Mill St and over to Colrain Rd where we stopped at the friendly Harper’s Store for refreshments and prepared to get the climbing in for the day. It is not often that my routes have 25 miles of mostly flat, right?
Brook Rd is where we started climbing. I love this road and don’t get to ride it often enough. I discovered it before the pandemic, and I took the SMR over it in both directions, even one when it was closed for bridge repair. It is quiet and low traffic and gives a great workout.
We continued the climbing on Colrain-Shelburne Rd, for a short bit, then, over to Little Mohawk (ouch -15%), and then up (see the pattern here?) Renolyds Rd, where we stopped at the Wheel-View farm. This was an unplanned stop, as Roberto needed some lube for his chain. It turned out to be a wonderful stop though. The farm owner not only found some “oil”, but offered us water, and gave us a tour of the view at 1300′ elevation. She let us know that they have a farm equipment museum, as the farm has been in the family for many generations, and anyone is welcome to come visit anytime. We usually are speeding past here down the hill the other way, so it was s treat to take in the views. I am not sure I am ready to see pumpkins though.
Onward, downward and into the Patten district we went. But apparently thought I needed some cyclo-cross training on the way down, and/or wanted to take in some additional scenery:
At the bottom, we crossed Rte 2, and headed down to cross the beautiful Bardwells’ Ferry bridge, which meant some ouchy climbing again out to Shelburne Falls Rd and regrouping at the Rte 116 intersection. Rigo and Roberto headed south for home, and the rest of us continued north on 116 up to Ashfield, taking it up Ashfield/Williamsburg Rd to complete the second big climb of the day.
The rest was all “downhill” to Williamsburg center for a quick water stop, and then the finale over River Rd to Leeds and into downtown where we all split off.
I had 65 miles, 3625′ ascent, 16.1 MPH, at 1:30 PM when I split off for home. A very beautiful ride with our awesome New England classic scenery- the best way to enjoy it is on a bike.