By Jonathan O'Keeffe
Published 06/24/2024; Updated 06/24/2024

Now that the heat wave has finally broken, we had a gorgeous night for our Monday Night Intro Ride on the Northampton loop, with some dramatic clouds in the sky and a bit of a brisk northwest breeze, and finally some lower humidity. Ari couldn’t make it tonight, so I deputized Adam to share the ride-leader duties, and he did a great job of watching out for the back of the pack throughout the ride. Jared and Jerome joined us, along with first-timer Tony and and Rebecca on her second ride with us.

We conquered the hill on Burt’s Pit Rd and rolled up to the intersection with Florence Rd, which I’ve passed probably 50 times, but have never noticed the giant communications infrastructure in the yard at the northeast corner of the intersection.

We marvelled at what this could be, spinning various theories, until Jared, who, it turns out, happens to be a ham-radio enthusiast, filled us in on the details — apparently this is a local ham-radio super-enthusiast, who uses these antenna arrays to communicate with others around the world, and (I’m not kidding) bounce radio signals off the moon.

The rest of us earthbound riders continued on over the rolling hills on Sylvester Rd and paused for a pic at the Chesterfield Rd intersection.

We then enjoyed the gorgeous fresh pavement on the Reservoir Rd descent toward Musante Beach, which had previously been pockmarked with lunar craters but is now nice and clean. Thanks Northampton DPW! We finished up with a stretch on the bike path through Florence, with a brief detour bypassing the Jackson St construction, and rolled back into Sheldon Field at around 7:15 PM.

Next week we’ll be in Hatfield for a nice flat route along the Connecticut River — come out and join us!