Today’s Saturday morning C ride featured nice weather conditions (except for the headwinds from the north), an unpleasant encounter at Pulaski Park and, highlighted the challenges of keeping track of everyone when leading larger groups.
The encounter at Pulaski Park happened just about at 9am while a group of us were gathered by the long platform. As a guy rode by us on a bike I said hello and he responded “f*** you, you don’t know me so don’t talk to me.” He then proceeded to ride over to some other guys sitting on the big stone platform and continued with a loud rant. Realizing it was already 9am I asked for a show of hands for the C ride and we departed. This is where we lost our first rider.
As we headed out onto Elm Street the light was green and we went through without having to stop. Later as we were approaching the high school I pulled off from the front and let the others go by to get a head count (8) and heard that someone had a flat back at the park. I had no idea who it was at the time but because we weren’t riding at a fast pace I hoped that they would catch on. Unfortunately that didn’t happen. I communicated with that rider later and found that he got a ride in with another rider who showed up after we left, so that felt good to know.
As we started up Chesterfield Road we picked up two more riders (10 now). For most of the climb I rode toward the back of the group. As we reached the turn onto NW Road we regrouped and realized that another rider was missing. We regrouped a couple more times, and again at Chesterfield Center, but didn’t see that rider again. At Chesterfield Center another of our group headed back so now we were down to 8 again, and remained that way.
One of the things I get the most enjoyment out of is planning rides and seeing the enjoyment from riders who, either don’t know the roads or who ride them in frequently. That seemed to be the case today for at least a couple of people with the Chesterfield Wall, NW Road up to Chesterfield Center, Damon Pond Road and then later, Baptist Corner and Beldingville Road in Ashfield.
Anyways, from Chesterfield Center I choose to divert from the planned route and take North Road to Damon Pond with everyone but two who wanted to check out the partial descent down 143 to Smith Road which connects to Damon Pond Road from another direction. Smith Road is rarely taken but is quite beautiful and is nicely paved. Lynda, who is no stranger to these roads, loved it.
We made only one refueling stop on the ride at the Goshen General Store. That got us ready for the 112 stretch up to Ashfield. This is where we were greeted by the headwinds. Fortunately, it was for only a few miles and then we were off to Baptist Corner and Beldingville Road. The remainder of the ride was a pretty straight forward return through Conway, Whately and, Haydenville to North Farms Road to Rt. 9.
I ended with 53.75 miles, 4244’ elevation and 5 PR’s for my efforts. It was a strong group and I had to work hard to stay with them.