By Tim Cary
Published 06/01/2024; Updated 06/01/2024

The first day of meteorological summer sure proved to be as such (or shall I say, “shined”)!  Under clear blue skies, a light breeze and temps in the low 60’s (f) to start, only three riders besides myself gathered at Pulaski Park.  Either folks were afraid of my route , or (more likely) attending the abundance of other activities here in the valley happening on beautiful weather weekends.

Rigo has been carrying the SMR B leader flag the last couple of weeks (thanks Rigo!), so I chose a route he hadn’t recently taken the club.  The destination was Plainfield.  I was going to name the ride “a bunch of fields”, but in retrospect, we only rode through three “fields” (Chesterfield, Plainfield, Ashfield).  At the start, Kevin informed me he had only 90 minutes before needing to turn around, and Austin said he was “tired”.  All good though, I am always open to adjusting the route if we have a small group. (spoiler alert— we finished the entire planned route just fine- feeling better too!)

I pushed the pace early on heading up Rte 66 toward our turn off on Easthampton Rd. Because, well, warming up is a good thing (??).  But, eight miles in, we were presented with one of the well known “walls” in the valley… Kings Highway.  That was the first of many “ouch” climbs.  Once we descended into Indian Hollow, we talked Kevin out of him heading back the same way we came and sent him home via East St, which, I am sure he cursed us, since there is yet more climbing before heading back to town.

With just three now, we enjoyed the screaming descent into W. Chesterfield, and turned onto Cummington Rd, where we had a casual. social ride to Rte 9.  At the intersection, we headed up to the Creamery Co-Op to refuel and rest.  The “Cowch” always grabs my humor… here I decided to have him look over my bike.

 

And so we set off to climb up to Plainfield.  Yet another beautiful climb to the center of town.  We don’t get up this way often enough, but it is so much worth it.  Plainfield Rd out of Cummington.  Endless farms, open hay fields, wildflowers… take it all in.

Instead of heading down Rte 116 (boring!), I kept us going across to N. Union and then to North St.  I don’t think I have ever ridden North St / Plainfield Rd in this direction… it was beautiful, and slower, since it was a little climb.

But, worth all this work… brought is to the highlight of the ride…Watson Road.  In my opinion, Watson is one of the most beautiful roads in the valley, offering miles of vistas to the south, east and west- huge views of Bear Mountain.

From there, the ride through Bear Swamp is always nice and quiet, then the reward down Hawley to Rte 112.

I opted to take us home the most scenic route, which meant not Rte 112 and 9… instead down (which we usually climb) Creamery Rd, and then the home stretch down Ashfield Rd into Williamsburg.

It was a beautiful ride, not too many automobiles, quiet and scenic.  We rolled into downtown just before 1:30 PM, I had 55.5 miles, 4564′ of climb, and 15 MPH average.

Next Saturday please consider riding the Hatfield Lions Club Annual Bike Tour .  NCC is a major sponsor, and we’d love to see you there and ride with us!

 

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One response to “Saturday Morning B Ride Report, 06-01-2024”

  1. Kevin Schott says:

    What a great route and a great ride! Sorry/not-sorry I couldn’t do the whole thing. I did not realize I could go so slowly on a bicycle and not fall over (Reservoir Road). I appreciated the re-groups and thanks for taking care of me — East Street was a very good choice, and I even made it home a little early (whew!).