April, May & June '04

Please note: HELMETS are now MANDATORY for all rides!

PACE: Cuesheets are provided so that everyone can ride at there own pace. However, I have found that our avg. speed is generally 12-16 mph overall (not including regroups/lunch stops) and about 17-18 mph on the flat parts, unless stated otherwise. We usually get pretty spread out if there is a significant climb and come together at the next regroup.
TERRAIN: Most of our rides are on rolling terrain, see ride description for details.
Please note: If there is a question of bad weather, call the ride coordinator whose number is listed with the ride description [only the printed copies of the ride schedule contain phone numbers - web ed]. If you get no answer, (s)he is at the designated meeting area!!!


TUESDAY & THURSDAY night rides from Amherst (Starting May 4)
Meet at the Mill River Recreation Area off Rt. 63 in North Amherst (on right ľ mile north of the church at the lights) at 5:15 PM Pace is 14-16 mph. Distance is between 20 - 28 miles until daylight diminishes. Ride as a group. There are NO Cue sheets.

TUESDAY & THURSDAY night rides from Greenfield (Starting April 8)
Meet at Bicycles Unlimited on High St. in Greenfield at 6:00 PM. Thursday ride is usually a little faster than Tuesday. Select a group based on how fast you want to go (fast group rides at ~20 mph avg.), fast and slow groups have separate leaders. No cue sheets. For more info, contact Bob Perry 413-772-2700 or BikeBob@crocker .com
Tue. June 10 - I finally managed to stay with the "big dogs" on this relatively flat, 38.8-mile ride down to Hatfield and back. My avg. speed - 21.8 mph, ~980 ft of climbing.

WEDNESDAY night rides from Southampton Bike (Starting April 7)
1. If possible, Joe is emailing out the ride so riders can get a better idea of where they will be going before hand.
2. 20+ riders is hard to control. Joe wants to break up the group into 3 riding groups starting at different times. Each group has a "group leader". They will know who's in the group and will help guide the group. No one in the group will be left behind. EACH RIDER MUST KEEP AN EYE ON THE PERSON BEHIND THEM. IF THEY LOSE SIGHT, SLOW DOWN AND HAVE THEM CATCH UP (UNLESS they say it's OK).
Group definitions and start times:
     Fast - leave at 5:25 - Newer riders. Less experienced, 15-17 mph average.
     Faster - leave at 5:30 - example, but not the rule, 2nd year Team Soho riders. Experienced, 17-18 mph average with hills.
     Fastest - leave at 5:35 - Folks who normally are in the front of the pack. Very experienced riders, 18-20 mph average with hills.
3. BE ON TIME, Bike in riding condition.
Please note: as we improve we can change groups. We want to make our rides fun and challenging.


MARCH 28 (SUN) - HADLEY; approx. 30-40 miles with minimal stops. Patti and Joe are planning on a ride. Most likely they will be going north. Meet at 10:30 AM at the new Hadley Middle School on Rt. 47 or meet at the shop at 10:00 AM to carpool or follow up. Joe will try to make up a route sheet on Saturday. Directions to school: From Southampton, take Route 9 to Hadley. At the intersection of Rt 9 & Rt 47, take Rt 47 north for approx 1 mile. New school on your right just before Rocky Hill Rd.
COORDINATORS: Joe & Patti Pitchko
What a great day for a bike ride!

MARCH 28 (SUN) - GREENFIELD; 20 or 35 miles. Meet at Bicycles Unlimited in Greenfield at 1:00 PM. There will be a variety of ride intensities and distances. If you have any questions about the suitability of a ride for you, you are invited to ask Bob Perry and he will help you. There is a description of the rides and some tips on his web page. There will be a ride for the Leisure Group (formally Beginners) of 15-20 miles. This ride will have average speed of about 14mph.
There will be an Advanced Beginner ride of 20-25 miles. This ride will have average speed of about 16mph.
There will be an Intermediate ride of 35-45 miles. This ride will have average speed of about 19mph.
As always the speed and distance is an estimate. The size of the group, the weather, road conditions and your personal skills and fitness will determine your actual results. If the pace of one group is too much for you, you should drop back and ride with a following group. You should not expect that others will necessarily wait or slow for you (although we do from time to time). You are responsible for your equipment and itís suitability for the distance you will attempt. You must wear a helmet at all times. You are responsible to know the route that we will take and to ask for assistance if you do not.

APRIL 3 (SAT) - MOUNTAIN BIKING. Meet at Ashley Reservoir - Ride with lots of variety. Meet at 9:00 AM off Rt 20 just north of Homestead Ave in Holyoke. From the North take 91 South to Exit 16. Go right at end of ramp, take first left onto Homestead Rd. Follow it to Rt. 202 take a right & park on the left 0.2 miles. From the South, take Rt 91 north to Exit 15. Go left onto Homestead Rd. Follow to Rt 202 & take a left at the light. Left 0.2 mile on the left.


APRIL 4 (SUN) - BOOKMILL BONANZA; 25 miles, fairly flat. We'll ride to the Montague Bookmill that has books and a little cafe where we might be able to buy juices, pastries, cookies & coffee. Meet at the Mill River Recreation Area off Rt. 63 in North Amherst (on right 1/4 mile north of the church at the lights) at 1:00 PM. Bring drinking water and DRESS APPROPRIATELY FOR THE WEATHER!
COORDINATORS: Sally Peters & Bob Kowaleski - Cue sheet available online.
Only 2 people went on the ride: Julie M. and Susan W. A few sprinkles, but never the heavy rain that had been predicted. Many great views of the river and the mountains, thanks to the leafless trees. No wind, no sun, lots of birds singing. A fine early spring ride, even with the 2 flat tires near the end.

APRIL 11 (SUN) - PACE-LINING IN GREENFIELD; 25 or 35 miles, rolling terrain, no regroups. There will be at least 2 (maybe 3) separate groups going at different paces/distances. The faster group is for riders looking to challenge themselves, riding in a pace line most of the way, and will try to average 19 mph (don't be surprised if a small group goes off the front), the slower group will be around 15 mph. Meet at 1:00 PM at Bicycles Unlimited on High St. in Greenfield. Route won't be decided until night before, watch website for updates. Cuesheets will be provided for those who fall "off the back".
COORDINATOR: Bob Perry (413) 772-2700
Partly sunny, mid-50's on this Easter Sunday. Avg. speeds were slower than advertised, but, as always, "your mileage may vary". There were 11 riders altogether, 6 in the fast group (40-mile loop, 17.5 mph avg) and 5 in the slower group (30-mile loop, 13.5 mph avg, ~700 ft of climbing). Being my first ride of the season (and that I'm nursing an aching right knee), I went with the slower group. It was good to get out on the open road after a long winter.

APRIL 18 (SUN) - FREEWHEELERS PARADIGM RIDE; 50 miles, hilly, no scheduled stops. Ride will start at 10:00 AM from Conant Park in Southampton (off Rt 10 on Clark Street). Similar to Patti's ice cream ride of last year. Will include a shorter ride approx 20 miles. Contact Joe @ sohobikes.com for details. Rain/showers cancels.
COORDINATOR: Joe Pitchko (413) 527-9784 during shop hours
See what you missed! Did 51.5 miles at 18.2 avg. Great weather. Great roads except for Noho roads. Nice seeing the sun again w/o wind. Fun climbing up Ashfield Rd. We climbed up Main Poland Road to Rt 116 this year. Must have changed at least 4 flats. 9 riders showed up.

APRIL 18 (SUN) - THE E-RIDE - East Windsor, Enfield, East Longmeadow and Ellington. 40 miles, flat (900 feet of climbing). Enjoy this spring warm-up ride through three counties in two states. Meet at 10:00 AM at Chester's Plaza on Route 140 in East Windsor. Take exit 45 off I-91 and follow Route 140 east for 1.5 miles. Bring food and drink or buy lunch at the Ellington Town Green. This is a joint FHF - Yankee Pedalers - Cyclonauts ride. Rain or wet roads cancels.
COORDINATORS: Steve and Suzanne Petke

APRIL 25 (SUN) - UP & DOWN THE RIVER & POET'S SEAT CLIMB; 25 miles, mostly flat with a 1-mile climb UP to Poet's Seat. The view will be worth the effort. Meet at 1:00 PM in the Mt. Sugarloaf parking lot in South Deerfield on Rt. 116 just across the Connecticut River from Sunderland center. Bring water & munchies for the stop at the top of Poet's Seat.
COORDINATORS: Al Shane & Marion Gorham - Cue sheet available online.
Overcast day. Temps ranging from 60° at the beginning to 54° at the end. I didn't find out until later that some riders didn't make it through the green light at Sugarloaf at the start of the ride and were left way behind. We need to be more aware of this. Otherwise, the ride went well with 20 people starting. Although there was some brief sprinkling of what appeared to be sleet as we were coming down Falls Road towards the end of the ride.
(My avg. speed: 15.4 mph with ~1060 ft of climbing)

APRIL 25 (SUN) - THE VALLEY RIDE; 30-35 miles, a few hills, but a steady pace (14-16 mph). Will tour East Windsor/Broad Brook, CT. Meet in Longmeadow, Ma at the Longmeadow Shops (Strip Mall) - Friendly's end, on Williams St. Ride will leave at 9:30 AM. Bring snack, No long lunch stop. If it's cool, we may stop for a coffee. Maps will be available. This is a joint ride with the Cyclonauts. If weather is a question, please call or email.
COORDINATOR: Bill Grigaitis

MAY 2 (SUN) - AROUND THE RANGE; 33 miles, rolling terrain. Ride around the Holyoke Range with a chance to see "The Seven Sisters" from both sides. The route passes by an old water-powered gristmill and scenic Mill pond. The route has some nice roller-coaster hills on the south side of the range. Meet at 10:00 AM in the Robsham Visitor's Center parking lot on Mass. Ave. on the U. Mass. Campus. To get there follow Rt. 9 to Rt. 116 North. Follow signs for the U. Mass. exit off Rt. 116. Bear right at the end of the exit ramp and you'll be on Mass. Ave. At the top of the hill, you will see a huge parking lot on the right.
COORDINATORS: Jack & Suzanne Fitz-Gibbon - Cue sheet available online.
At 9:20 AM it was precipitating lightly. Too damp and dreary looking for me, sorry. I heard that 7 riders showed up and had a good ride. Occasional light sprinkles.

MAY 9 (SUN) Mother's Day - TOUR OF OLD DEERFIELD; 31 miles, rolling terrain. A fairly direct route to the restored Colonial Village of Old Deerfield. The Deerfield Inn has a Cafeteria. Across the street are picnic tables and public restrooms. Meet at 10:00 AM at the Robsham Visitors Center parking lot on Mass. Ave. on the U. Mass Campus in Amherst.
COORDINATORS: Irv and Dian Friedman - Cue sheet available online.
Pretty steady rain from 10am - 2pm. People showed up at the ride start, but it was raining too hard to ride, so they went to Rooster's for breakfast instead.

MAY 16 (SUN) - DON MAYNARD'S MEMORIAL GUILFORD CONNECTION; 45 miles, rolling, one significant climb at the 5-mile mark. This ride is a tribute to Don Maynard who was murdered in 1994. This year we will pass the hat to accept voluntary contributions for the Franklin County Bikeway. Come join fellow cyclists who will carry on the Guilford Connection ride in Don's memory. We'll cycle through Guilford and Vernon VT encountering a few "good" hills and 2 miles of Vermont DIRT (which is better than some Mass. pavement). Lunch will be at the Schoolhouse Grocery in Vernon, VT. Meet at 10:00 AM at Greenfield Community College Parking lot, which is off Colrain Road just north of the I-91/Rt. 2 interchange. From I-91, take Exit 26 - Follow signs for Rt. 2 West (Mohawk Trail). Colrain Road is the FIRST right.
COORDINATORS: Bob Kowaleski & Sally Peters - Cue sheet available online.
An excellent ride. Cool & cloudy at the start, warm & sunny at the finish. 20 riders, I think (including 3 tandems), plus one more rider joined us at the lunch stop. The only casualty was Pat P. After biking to GCC from Southampton, she flatted just 7 miles into the ride. It looked like the tread on her rear tire had worn through in several spots and caused the flat. She & Joe fixed it the best they could, turned around and "limped" back to Southampton. The group spread out considerably after the lunch stop, and started filtering back to the parking lot around 3:00. A bunch of us made the requisite stop at Friendly's after the ride.
(My avg. speed: 16.4 mph with ~1700 feet of climbing)

MAY 23 (SUN) - SCENIC SUFFIELD; 32, 40 or 44 miles, moderate. Enjoy a rolling, rural, road ride mainly through the back roads of town. Meet at 10:00 AM at Suffield Village Shopping Center on Bridge Street just east of the junction of Routes 75 and 168 in the center of Suffield, CT. Bring food and drink as there are few stores along the route. This is a joint Yankee Pedalers - Franklin Hampshire Freewheelers ride. Be prepared for a traditionally windy day. Rain or wet roads cancels.
COORDINATORS: Steve and Suzanne Petke
30 riders, the initially dreary day turned sunny and beautiful.

MAY 30 (SUN) - UP TO WENDELL; 44 miles, rolling to hilly (4-mile climb from Leverett to Shutesbury). The title says it all. There will be several rest stops, including Lake Wyola. Meet at 9:00 AM at the new Hadley Elementary School on Rt 47, north of Rt 9 in Hadley. This is a joint club ride with the Cyclonauts.
COORDINATOR: Walt Chudzik Cue sheet available online.
     About 15 cyclists showed up, some new folk from the other side of the Quabbin and several Cyclonauts, for what was an earlier start than usual (9AM) and one that we initially thought was going to be quite chilly with dawn temps below 40°. But the sun shown strongly while we prepared our bikes for departure and most of the fluorescent vests and jackets came off before we hit the road.
     Riders headed out in two well separated groups which became further distanced by the 4 mile climb into Shutesbury (we started with 14 riders and this is where we picked up number 15). However we regrouped at the top and most had a well deserved rest until the red lantern finally arrived, so we gave her an ample 6 seconds (some of the riders were getting cold just hanging out-can't wait any longer) of rest before we began the brisk descent to the shores of Lake Wyola which looked so inviting under the bright blue skies. After a short stop and snack there, we continued past the apex of our climb at Wendell State Forest and then down, down, down to Miller's Falls with speeds over 40 mph for many of us (the reason for the short break was so you could be back in time for lunch). The group then split into three, each going slightly different paths back to the Hadley start site, returning about 1:00 under a warm sun and light breeze (you had a choice of the Express Route or Scenic Route).
     The visiting easterners loved the trip and we suggested they come back for more over the following months. I wish that more of the regulars would have been on this ride, but maybe it was the earlier than usual start. Kudos to Walter for a well designed ride with route options for the latter half and his connections to get us a beautiful day.

JUNE 5 (SAT) - Katelynn's Ride; 10, 25, 50 or 100 miles. This is an annual fundraiser for the Jimmy Fund. The ride starts at Hampshire College in Amherst. Visit www.kride.com for details.

JUNE 6 (SUN) - GOING WEST; 40-50 miles (climbing required for the first hour). Will visit the Barkhamsted Reservoir / Riverton, CT. Half-hour lunch stop at Satan's Kingdom. Return through Simsbury, CT. Meet at the strip mall at the corner of Rt. 20 & Rt. 187 in East Granby, CT. Ride will leave at 8:30 AM. Maps will be available. This is a joint ride with the Cyclonauts. If weather is a question, please call or e-mail.
COORDINATOR: Bill Grigaitis

6:00 PM --Arrive & Socialize
6:30 PM --Potluck Dinner
7:00 PM --Meeting
After dinner we'll plan the Summer Rides Schedule for July, August & September.

JUNE 13 (SUN) - 5th ANNUAL "NEW" BELCHERTOWN SURPRISE; 35 miles, rolling terrain. Meet at 9:45 AM at Fred & Joyce's house at 51 Brandywine Drive in Belchertown (park in driveway). Bring water and munchies to provide enough energy to get you to the lunch stop.
COORDINATORS: Fred & Joyce Morris
Picture perfect weather today. 15 riders, no tandems.

JUNE 20 (SUN) Father's Day - RIDE TO THE FLOWERS; 40 miles, rolling terrain, 1400 feet of ascent. Ride through Suffield, Agawam & Southwick to Stanley Park in Westfield, MA. Meet at 10:00 AM in Suffield Village parking lot, Suffield CT. Bring snacks/lunch (sorry, no Latin Festival this year).

JUNE 27 (SUN) - McCUSKERS LAST STAND; 45 miles, hilly. We'll bike UP Rt. 116 to Ashfield, DOWN to Buckland/Shelburne Falls where we'll eat lunch at McCusker's Market & Deli. One can also walk across the street and admire the Bridge of Flowers. Afterward, we'll ride UP along back roads to Conway & Whately and back DOWN to Mt. Sugarloaf. Meet at 10:00 AM in the Mt. Sugarloaf parking lot in South Deerfield off Rt. 116 just across the Connecticut River from Sunderland center. Bring plenty of water, you can buy delicious deli/bakery stuff at McCusker's.
COORDINATORS: Jack & Suzanne Fitz-Gibbon - Cue sheet available online.
A beautiful day, with just the right mix of sun and clouds. A good crowd, around 20 people, including at least 1 tandem. This ride had it all, some "late-comers", some "early-starters", and even some "wrong-turners" and "long-time-no-see'ers". But everyone managed to find their way to McCusker's (and back). After the ride, most people drove down to Sugarloaf Frosty for a bite.
Another happy ending.


The complete Summer Rides Schedule will be available this shortly, however, as a reminder, our next ride is:

JULY 4 (Sun) - AROUND POCUMTUCK & POTLUCK PICNIC; 42 miles, fairly flat. The headquarters will be the Mill River Recreation area off Rt. 63 in North Amherst (on right ľ mile north of the church at the lights). The FHF will provide Beverages, Ice and Utensils; Please bring a POTLUCK DISH in your own cooler. The coolers will be placed on tables at the recreation area or left in cars until all riders are back.
- The Ride begins along one side of the Connecticut River and crosses over to visit Old Deerfield then proceeds through S. Deerfield, Whately and Hatfield before returning to the other side of the river. The ride will leave PROMPTLY at 11:00 AM from the Mill River Recreation Area Parking Lot.
- The Food will be served at 3:30 PM or when the riders return. (Whichever occurs first.) If the weather is foul, we'll take shelter under the Pavilion and start the proceedings at 11:00 AM for a LUNCH Potluck. If we can't ride, we can always EAT!
COORDINATORS: Sally Peters & Bob Kowaleski - Cue sheet available online.

PLEASE NOTE: Helmets are REQUIRED for all FHF rides. Bring drinking water, a spare inner tube that fits your bike & snack food. Prospective club members are welcome on FHF rides.