April, May & June '06

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 April 18)
Meet at the Mill River Recreation Area off Rt. 63 in North Amherst (on right ¼ 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 18)
Meet at Bicycles Unlimited on High St. in Greenfield at 6:00 PM. Thursday has been attracting more people than Tuesday. Select a group based on how fast you want to go (fast group rides at >20 mph avg., intermediates are 19-20 mph avg, slow group is around 14-15 mph avg), each group has a separate leader. No cue sheets. For more info, contact Bob Perry 413-772-2700 or BikeBob@crocker .com

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.



APRIL 2 (SUN) - BOOKMILL BONANZA; 25 miles, fairly flat. We'll ride to the Montague Bookmill, a place that has a bookstore, an arts & crafts store, and a café serving coffee, juices, soups, sandwiches, etc. 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 11:00 AM. Bring drinking water.
COORDINATORS: Bob Kowaleski & Sally Peters (413) 527-4877 Cue sheet available online
100% sun, 100% fun! Not a cloud in the sky, 55-65°. What a great start to the season. 12 riders today, including 2 tandems. There was a little bit of a breeze out of the NW that was in our face up to the Bookmill, but it made for a nice tailwind on the way back down Rt. 116. We were coasting along at 20 MPH! No casualties today except for the ride coordinators, who showed up 10 minutes late. Total ride time was 1 hour & 38 minutes with an avg speed of 14.8 mph and total climbing of just 480 ft. In other news, there is a new bike shop in South Deerfield that just opened yesterday. Flye Cycles is located right across the street from the Mt. Sugarloaf parking lot. The owner is Norm Flye who had been working at Bicycles Unlimited in Greenfield for several years. Make sure to stop in and say "Hi".

APRIL 9 (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 11:00 AM 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.
COORDINATOR: Julie Miles (413) 549-0456 Cue sheet available online.
2 for 2! More great weather, sunny, 53-59°. 20 riders today. The pack got strung out going up River Rd into a chilly headwind. Most of us had the usual rest stop at Poet's Seat tower, but a few riders skipped the hill and headed for the bookmill. Another great ride. My total ride time was 1 hour & 37 minutes with an avg speed of 15.5 mph and total climbing of just 1020 feet (only 365 ft was from the 1-mile climb up to the tower).

APRIL 16 (SUN) Easter Sunday - SHOW & GO from Mt. Sugarloaf. Meet at 11:00 AM in the Mt. Sugarloaf parking lot in South Deerfield off Rt. 116 just across the Connecticut River from Sunderland center. Those present will decide upon route and distance.
Partly cloudy, definite wind out of the NW, 55-59°. Only 5 riders today. Karen & I arrived at the parking lot at 10:50. There were cars in the parking lot, but none appeared to have bikes. Before we got out, we saw Theresa Lak ride her bike past the parking lot and take a left onto 116. We had passed her driving through S. Deerfield, and thought she may be going to the ride, but apparently not.
As we soon as we got out of the car, the Red Bull truck, with two women inside, pulled in to the parking lot. The driver rolled down the window and asked me if I knew where the "race" was that going on around here today. I said I didn't know of any race, but added that the Freewheelers were having a ride that was meeting here at 11:00. The woman in the passenger seat looked at here clipboard and said, "the show & go?". I said, "that's us". I explained that our regular Sunday rides attract a lot less riders than the century ride, and that this, being a show & go would probably draw even less riders. She joked that maybe it should be called a "no show & go". We all laughed. Three more riders showed up, and the women managed to give away 2 cans of Red Bull all together.
We decided on a fairly flat ride, taking Rt 47 South, over the Noho bridge, Damon Rd, Rt 5, Elm St and back up River Rd. Total distance was 24.8 miles, avg. speed of 13.6 mph, with only 299 feet of total climbing (our biggest hill was either the Elm St bridge going over Rt 91 or the Sugarloaf Extension Rd getting back to the parking lot).

APRIL 23 (SUN) RIVER ROAD RAMBLE; 24 miles. We'll Ride along the banks of the Mill River and the Connecticut River. There will be a couple of hills to climb, bu the descents will be worth the effort. Meet at 10:00 AM at the Wal-Mart parking lot in Northampton. Bring snacks & water as the ride is rural.
COORDINATOR: John Clifford (413) 498-2275
I have a feeling today's ride was cancelled. It's been raining steadily since Saturday afternoon.

APRIL 30 (SUN) - RIDING THRU THE ‘FIELDS; 42 miles, gently rolling hills. We’ll ride up through Lake Pleasant, crossing over the "bridge of names" as well as the new bridge near the French King, on our way to NorthField for lunch at a quaint little store/deli, returning thru GreenField and DeerField. Meet at 10:00 AM at the Mt. Sugarloaf parking lot in South Deerfield off Rt. 116 just across the Connecticut River from Sunderland center.
COORDINATORS: John & Karen Gustin (413) 772-6192 Cue sheet available online.
A wonderful day for a bike ride. 18 riders, including 2 tandems. Lots of sun, although it did start out a little bit on the cool side at 55°, but it got up to almost 80° by the time we got back. I started out with my long tights and a windbreaker as we headed north into the wind. I was wearing shorts & shorts on the way back. The only casualty was Ann, who flatted her rear tire just before the lunch stop. I rode sweep most of the way. My total ride time was 3 hours & 2 minutes for an avg speed of 14.0 mph, with total climbing of 1660 feet.

MAY 7 (SUN) - 7th ANNUAL "NEW" BELCHERTOWN SURPRISE; 40-45 miles, rolling terrain. Enjoy the beautiful backroads of Ludlow. Meet at 9:15 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 (413) 323-4183
Sunny day, but started off cool (in the 50's). Joyce reports around 12 riders. Nice ride.

MAY 14 (SUN) Mother's Day - SHOW & GO from 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. Those present will decide upon route and distance.
Rain all day...

MAY 21 (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: John & Karen Gustin (413) 772-6192 Cue sheet available online.
To rain, or not to rain...that is the question. Only 5 riders today partly due to a forecast for afteroon showers. My simultaneous thanks and apologies to those that showed up. We shortened the ride before we started by avoiding North Amherst. Even so, on the other side of the range, after a few raindrops I decided to cut over the notch and take Rt 116 back. It started raining steadily around 11:30 as I came through downtown Amherst and back to the parking lot. But the rain was short-lived. The sun actually came out again. More rain by 2:30, followed by a clearing, then thundershowers at 5:00. Crazy weather.

MEMORIAL DAY WEEKEND - MARTHA'S VINEYARD; George Drake is coordinating (or maybe I should say, facilitating) camping at the Martha's Vinyard Family Campground and rides over Memorial Day weekend. This is also listed with the Yankee Pedalers. Please contact George for further info.
COORDINATOR: George Drake (413) 545-2625

MAY 28 (SUN) – MEMORIAL DAY WEEKEND SHOW & GO; Meet at 10:00 AM at the Mill River Recreation Area off Rt. 63 in North Amherst, on right ¼ mile north of the church at the lights. Those present will decide upon route and distance.
Much better weather this weekend. 4 riders all together. We decided to do Around the Range. Looks like good weather on the Vineyard as well.

JUNE 4 (SUN) UP TO WENDELL; 45-50 miles, rolling to hilly. The title says it all. There will be a rest stop at 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 (413) 586-3956

JUNE 4 (SUN) - 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 Katelynn's Website for details.
Started off kind of soggy, but they had a good turn out and the weather improved throughout the day.

JUNE 10 (SAT) – 3rd ANNUAL WORLD NAKED BIKE RIDE DAY; Grassroots body-positive biketivism. For more information, check out their website.

51 Brandywine Drive in Belchertown. All interested are invited to come and share in the merriment. We always have a great time.
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.
HOSTS: Fred & Joyce Morris (413) 323-4183

JUNE 11 (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. 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. 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 (413) 527-4877 Cue sheet available online.
What a gorgious day! 18 or 19 riders, I think. We split into two basic groups. I finished with the first group, we left the lunch stop a little earlier. Couldn't ask for better weather for this ride, sunny, 59° to start & 75° by the end. 44.8 miles total, avg speed of 17.7, total climbing 1680 feet.

JUNE 18 (SUN) - GOING NORTH (to get ice cream); 42 miles, rolling to flat terrain. We’ll head north to Turners Falls. Early lunch stop at the Country Creemee. Return thru Lake Pleasant and Sunderland. Meet at the Hadley Elementary School on Rt 47 in Hadley. Ride starts at 10:00 AM.
COORDINATOR: Walt Chudzik (413) 586-3956
Happy Father's Day! 6 riders today. I biked from Greenfield to the start, leaving at 8:10 AM. I was nice then, only 72° by 10:00. By the time we got to the Creamee, it was hot. 91° and humid. We all had ice cream. Several of us, including me, had a medium soft serve (which is huge). I went back home instead of back to Hadley, as planned. Hope the other 5 made it back okay.


JUNE 25 (SUN) - 5 BURROS FOR PAT & ELAINE; 41 miles, fairly flat. A bicycling adventure through the 5 boroughs of Montague. Meet at 9:00 AM at the Mill River Recreation Area off Rt. 63 in North Amherst (on right ¼ mile north of the church at the lights).
COORDINATORS: Pat Vinskey (413) 253-4260 & Elaine Stafford (413) 423-3165
Rain? There's no rain. Despite the ominous forecast, there wasn't the slightest hint of rain until well after the ride ended. We started with 9 riders, then we lost 2, then we lost 2 more, then we lost another, then we gained the first two back again. We rode on the part of the new Turners Falls bike trail that has been paved and saw where they're going to be paving this year. An excellent ride, too bad most of you missed it. Our average speed: 15.7 mph with just 800 feet of climbing.
In case you're wondering, the five buroughs are (in order of appearance): Montague Center, Montague City, Turners Falls, Millers Falls and Lake Pleasant.

JULY 2 (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 ¼ mile north of the church at the lights).
- 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.
Watch for more details in the Summer Rides Schedule.
COORDINATORS: Sally Peters & Bob Kowaleski (413) 527-4877 Cue sheet available online.

- mark your calendar - mark your calendar - mark your calendar - mark your calendar - mark your calendar -

SEPT 9 (SAT) - COVAC (COnnecticut VAlley Century) - Will be starting at the Hatfield Lions Club Pavilion on Billings Way, behind Breor Elementary School off Main St. in Hatfield. FHF is offering rides of 100, 75, 50, or 25 miles along the Connecticut River through Mass., Vermont and New Hampshire over rolling terrain. Pre-Registration will cost $7.50 for FHF members and $12.50 for NON members and is available ONLY on-line through Active.com (pre-registration closes Thurs, Sept. 8th at midnight). Ride day registration is $20.00. There will be NO refunds. The fee will cover map, juice, snack foods, restrooms (available every 25 miles at sag stops), and sag support. The event will be hel