By Jonathan O'Keeffe
Published 06/10/2024; Updated 06/11/2024

Our fourth Monday Night Intro Ride of the year was the largest group we’ve seen yet this year, with Adam, Dave, Emily, Gaja, Jack, Jared, Jerome, and Nathan joining Ari and me. We rehearsed the names about a dozen times at the start as people drifted in one by one, and I probably still messed them up — apologies if I missed or misspelled anyone.

Tonight we tackled the Easthampton loop, which is the longest and hilliest of the four routes in our rotation. This was another strong group of riders, and we made quick work of the introductory section on the bike path taking us through Easthampton. From there we popped onto Route 10 for a mile or so, and then took Pomeroy Meadow Road back to the southern end of Park Hill Road. We paused there momentarily to regroup, while a Turkey Vulture circled overhead a couple of times, sizing us up, but eventually he decided we weren’t far enough gone to be worth his while, and moved on.

We moved on as well, with the group splitting up for the climb up Park Hill Road, with Emily and several other riders pushing a fast pace in the front. We regrouped at the top for a photo op at the Big Red Frame, and compared notes on the biennial Art in the Orchard festival held there (some great photos from previous years on Instagram if you’re not familiar with that event). Then it was back to the start via Route 66 and downtown Northampton. We arrived back at Sheldon Field at around 7:15 PM with 18.5 miles at around 12 mph.