July thru September 2003

Please note: HELMETS are now MANDATORY for all rides!

TERRAIN F = Flat with a few easy grades
R = Rolling hills with enough flat places to provide relief
H = Hilly, steep grades with some relief
S = Steep, for strong riders
PACE L = Leisurely with plenty of rest stops. Riding speed 10 to 12 mph
M = Moderate with occasional rest stops. Riding speed 12 to 16 mph
B = Brisk with fewer rest stops. Riding speed greater than 16 mph
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!!!

JULY 6 (Sun) - POTLUCK PICNIC, AND RIDE EXTRAVAGANZA! The headquarters will be the Mill River Recreation area off Rt. 63 in North Amherst (on right 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: AROUND POCUMTUCK - NEW VERSION; F-R/L-M/43 miles. 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 Potluck: 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: Bob Kowaleski and Sally Peters
Hot & Sunny. I think hydration, or lack thereof, played a part in today's ride for some people.

JULY 13 (Sun) 4th ANNUAL "NEW" BELCHERTOWN SURPRISE; F-R/M/45 miles. Meet at Fred & Joyce's house in Belchertown at 10:00 AM. (Park in Driveway) Bring water and munchies to provide enough energy to get you to the lunch stop.
COORDINATORS: Fred & Joyce Morris
Absolutely beautiful weather for a bike ride! I think we had around 20 riders, including 1 tandem. There were some faster riders, but they "decided" (read: were too busy going fast to look at the cue sheet and ended up getting lost) to skip the first regroup and take a longer route to the lunch stop. I think Fred got a flat, but otherwise the ride was quite nice. There were some good views and nice stone walls.

JULY 20 (Sun) - Patty's Ice Cream Ride; R-H/M/50-60 miles. New Route for 2003, Hilly ride, but down hills provide relief from climbing. Ride in Southampton, Williamsburg, Whately, Westhampton, & Northampton, Meet at Conant Park mile South of Southampton Center off Rt. 10 at 9:00 AM.
COORDINATORS: Pat & Joe Pitchko
Another perfect day for biking! 20 riders altogether. Joe's "red train", clad in their new, red SoHoBike.com jerseys, were out in full force. The ride started off a little hilly, but there were no major climbs (or killer descents). Joe picked some good roads; not much traffic and nice scenery. Well worth the trip. Joe said that his Cue Sheet was too detailed due to a new computer program. When we got back to the parking lot, Joe and Pat handed out some watermelon they had on ice in the back of their SUV. Since no one had ice cream, I think we should rename this Patty's Watermelon Ride!

JULY 27 (Sun) Ted's Tour de Manure (a.k.a. Close Encounters of the Herd Kind). 49 miles, rolling (1,700 feet of climbing). It's Deja Moo all over again for our annual barn-to-barn excursion. This rural ride explores some of the Farmington Valley's many dairy farms, maximizing the BPM (Bovines Per Mile), with inevitable stops for ice cream. We'll ride through the region's cow towns and "graze" at Gran-Val Farms, which has ice cream, outdoor tables and a restroom. Meet at 10:00 AM at the Center Shops, at the junction of Routes 20 and 187 in East Granby, CT. Bovine-inspired apparel/accessories are encouraged for this moo-ving experience. This is a joint Yankee Pedalers - Franklin Hampshire Freewheelers ride. Rain or wet roads cancels.
COORDINATORS: Steve and Suzanne Petke

AUG 3 (Sun) - Back Roads to Quabbin Summit; R/L-M /52 mi. We will ride mostly back roads to the Quabbin via S. Hadley, Granby, Belchertown etc. with a stop at a Subway in Bondsville for those that want to pick up a lunch to be eaten at the Summit. Meet at the Grossman's Bargain Outlet (former Big Y) shopping center Rt 33 Chicopee, (across from Jiffy Lube). Ride leaves at 10:00 AM SHARP
I counted at least 17 riders today, including 1 tandem, on what is becoming a perennial favorite. Despite the threatening forecast, the rain held off until almost everyone finished the ride, but it was extremely muggy. The rolling terrain and the climb up to the Quabbin Summit really strung the riders out, but I don't think anyone lost their way this year.

AUG 10 (SUN) HILL & DALE; H-S/M/50 miles. (Only one hill) Meet at the Hadley Elementary School on Rt. 47 North of Rt. 9 in Hadley. Ride leaves at 9:00 AM. We will be riding up to the beautiful scenic hills of Conway, Shelburne (past Bill Cosby's House) and back down to Greenfield. Food stop in S. Deerfield. Bring water and snacks as the route is rural and there are no stores.

AUG 16 (SAT) MT WASHINGTON Kenny, Stew, Andrew, Stephanie, Theresa, Patti, Scott, Brian and Joe are climbing Mt Washington. Good Luck.
Official results:
Andrew Watson - 1:22:40
Brian Caraker - 1:31:23
Joe Pitchko - 1:35:08
Scott Soutra - 1:37:38
Ken Rogers - 1:48:47
Theresa Lak - 1:49:11 (beating last year's time by 34 seconds!)
Stewart King - 2:02:04
Stephanie Brown - 2:04:50
Pat Pitchko - 2:09:33

AUG 17 (Sun) NORTHFIELD RAMBLE; F-R/L-M/35 miles. Meet at 10:00 AM in the Mt. Sugarloaf Parking lot in South Deerfield on Rt. 116 just across the Connecticut River from Sunderland center. Bring LUNCH - The ride will include a short section of Dirt Road, a bridge that is closed to cars, some spectacular views of the Connecticut & Millers Rivers, and a picnic. Bring food and water for the lunch stop at Northfield Mountain's Picnic Area on the bank of the Connecticut River.
There were 22 riders total with 2 tandems that joined in this scenic trip up and down the CT River. A partly cloudy day with decreased humidity made the ride enjoyable.
Pictures from this ride available online

AUGUST 23 (Sat) Century WORKERS Ride 100, 75, 50 mile options. To Volunteer to work on the century ride, contact Pat & Mike Vinskey

5:00 PM -----Arrive & Socialize
5:30 PM -----Pizza Dinner
6:30 PM-----Meeting

Joe was planning the following ride for Aug. 10, but it rained.
AUG 24 (SUN) VERMONT DELIGHTS; H-S/M/95+ miles. Ride starts off at the Greenfield Cinema's at 8am. Very scenic ride. If you want to carpool up to the start from the shop, meet at Sohobike in Southampton at 7am. Weather permitting. Joe & others will be doing this ride. This is a last minute change, so call him if you are interested in going.
Russ, Kenny, Bob G., Stew K., Steve R. and I started the ride. Conditions: Very Cool at 8am start. Strong head winds along RT30 in Vt as well as on Rt100 South for the 14-mile climb up to Mt Snow. 5 out of 6 riders survived three flats, crash and a broken stem. On the way back to Greenfield we took a chance on a detour, due to bridge construction. The bridge was taken out so we crossed the stream to get back to the start. Very interesting ride. 95.4 miles. Russ added another 55 miles to make it 150+. -Joe

AUGUST 24 (Sun) - Show & Go ride 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.

AUG 31 (SUN) - LABOR DAY WEEK-END SHOW & GO. Meet at 10:00 AM at the Mill River Recreation Area off Rt. 63 in North Amherst (on right mile north of the church at the lights. Those present will decide upon route and distance

SEPT. 7 (Sun) - Show & Go ride 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.

SEPT. 13 (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 $7.00 for FHF members and $12.00 for NON members. Pre-Registration is available ONLY on-line through Active.com. There will be NO refunds. The fee will cover map, juice, snack foods and sag stops. The event will be held Rain or Shine! Check-In and Ride Day Registration (cost $20.00) will start at 7:00 AM and continue until 9:00 AM at the Lions Club Pavilion.
From the South, take I-91 N to Exit 21. Go RIGHT at the end of the off ramp onto Elm St. Follow for 2.5 miles to Billings Way on the Left. The Pavilion is at the end of Billings Way.
COORDINATORS: Pat & Mike Vinskey
Well, the weather wasn't that bad after all, cloudy (but dry) all day with temps between 57-67°. My 16-year-old son (in his first century) and I started just before 8:00. We passed a number of others on our way to the 25-mile sag, but had yet to be passed ourselves. Our avg speed to the sag was 17.7. So far, so good.
At our next stop at Streeter's Market in Bernardston, Theresa and Andrew (who both rode with Joe Pitchko & others up Mt. Washington) went zipping by. We re-mounted but they were already out of sight. I knew there was no way we could catch them, but within a few minutes, a group of 5 riders overtook us. It turned out to be people from the Bicycles Unlimited group that we've (my son and I) been riding with all season. We hopped in the draft and the race was on! We caught Theresa and Andrew before the 50-mile sag and, in turn, were all caught by a much larger group of 30-40 riders. Avg speed so far was 17.9.
Seven of us left the sag and pushed on to Brattleboro, but 3 hours of riding had taken its toll. My son was low on energy and we couldn't stay with the group as they climbed into Hinsdale. We dropped back and then attempted to stay with the larger group as it passed a few minutes later. We hung on for a few miles but dropped off the back and rode the rest of "no man's land" (between 60 and 75 miles) by ourselves. Avg speed was 17.6.
We left the sag feeling a little more refreshed but still totally alone. We didn't see any other riders until we finished. Total ride time: 5 hours and 38 minutes for an avg speed of 18.0 mph (thank goodness for that tailwind on the return trip).
At the pavilion, we grabbed some baked potatoes and thanked the COVAC volunteers for a job well done! They tell me there were 165 riders this year (but curiously, we don't recall seeing any tandems).

SEPT. 20 (SAT only) GRANITE STATE WHEELMEN'S SEACOAST TRI-STATE CENTURY - an invitational 100, 75, 62, 50, or 25-mile ride along the Mass., NH, and Maine Coastlines on relatively flat terrain. Pre-registration only! NO WALK_INS Fee of $25.00 includes a T-Shirt. Pre-register through active.com. Ride starts at 7:00 AM at Hampton Beach State Park, Rt. 1A, Hampton Beach, NH. The registration fee will cover parking at the State Park, route maps, sag wagon coverage, rest room facilities. The event will be held rain or shine. Contact GraniteStateWheelmen.org for pre-registration information.
Saturday: The remains of hurricane Isabel cleared out just in time for plenty of sunshine and some unseasonably warm temps along the coast. The roads were still wet and the air was thick with moisture as a large group of FHFers started around 7:15 AM this morning. Many had to remove their glasses to see. The roads were drying quickly, however, and Karen and I finally got under way closer to 9:00 AM. Visibility of the ocean and scenery was still limited. We met up with the others at the Fort McClary sag stop, but they were on their way south. We were debriefed on plans for dinner. Continuing north, we made the requisite stop at Nubble Light where we had some ice cream and bought some post cards.

After turning the corner at Cape Neddick, we headed back south to the sag. It was getting pretty warm and we were starting to get tired. I was looking forward to our next stop at the Ice House for some of their excellent onion rings. There was a slight wind out of the southwest, as usual, and we both just wanted to get back to the hotel. We skipped the "inland loop" and made a bee-line for the Ashworth hotel.
Total miles: 70, average speed: 15 mph.
Sixteen of us had dinner at the "new" Old Salt restaurant. The food was excellent. Even the corn off the cob. Everyone had a great time socializing.

Sunday: A beautiful day right from the start, sunny, drier and cooler with a slight breeze from the northwest. Most of us had the buffet breakfast at the Ashworth and then went out riding. Karen & I headed north to Rye Harbor State Park. Low tide was approaching, and this is a great place to walk out and explore the tidal pools amongst the rocks.

In the past, I've found starfish, sea urchins, even a sea slug, along with numerous crabs and snails. This year, however, I only managed to find a golf ball (aside from the crabs and snails).
Total miles: 20, average speed: 15.4 mph.

We finished the day with a walk on the beach, where we ran in to some others having lunch, before packing up and heading home.

SEPT. 28 (SUN) THE GREAT FRANKLIN COUNTY TOUR - 100, 50, or 25-mile options. Early registration (before Sept 15) is $25, after is $35. For full details, visit the DIAL/SELF Teen Services website.

OCT. 5 (SUN) MASSBIKE RALLY - The Massbike Fall Bike Rally is an all-day biking extravaganza, including road and mtn bike rides, workshops, bar-b-q and yard sale, that will take place at the scenic Friendly Crossways hostel in Harvard, MA. All participants will be required to raise $50 in pledges. Pre-registration is only $5 for MassBike members; Families and non-members pay $20 for pre-registration. Non-members will also receive a one year membership in MassBike with their registration (beforehand or day-of). Day of event registration is $25. Check out www.massbike.org for more information.

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.