By Henry van den Broek
Published 05/30/2024; Updated 05/30/2024

TL;DR: 4 riders: 20.3 miles, 2260ft of climbing, unpaved 31%. steepest grade 11% rwgps, strava

It was much cooler higher up in Ashfield, our remote start location for today’s gravel ride. With 4 riders: Meg, David, Tim, and myself, we first did a southernly loop along West, Creamery, and via Murray Road back to  Ashfield. The northernly loop was inspired by the book I’m currently reading called Northwoods. It talks about a town called Oakfield, and an orchard up in the hills. After we descended Smith Rd, we climbed up Apple Valley Rd. When we finished the climb there was an orchard called Bear Swamp Orchard. Is it the one from the book? Who knows. We then continued to Bear Swamp Rd, and just before we turned onto it we admired the view into the valley and saw Shelburne Falls (Shepp Falls). A little later we passed the Ashfield reservoir, where we saw two big herons fly by, The last gravel section was Bug Hill Rd, where I decided to keep my mouth closed as I had already swallowed 2 bugs on this ride. We admired some of the neat stone walls and then descended towards rt 112 which we crossed to check out all the cows at Steady Lane Farm. Keith and Lauren would have had a field day. And with a quick blast along rt 112, we turned back into the parking lot, neatly finishing just within 2 hours.