July, August & September '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!!!

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 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.
Warm & sunny, ~85. 15 riders, including 2 tandems. We enjoyed a leisurely ride to historic Deerfield where we regrouped at the picnic tables. Arriving back at Mill River, we were all feeling rather peckish and were ready to dig in to the table full of delectable comestibles (say that 3 times fast!).
Our special guest rider this week was Gerry Weinstein. He hasn't ridden with us in years, and it was great to see him back on the bike again.
Happy 4th everyone!

JULY 11 (SUN) - VERMONT DELIGHTS Century Ride; 100 miles, several great climbs. Starts at closed Greenfield Cinema's on Route 2, Near Rt. 91 Rotary. Ride starts at 8:00 AM. We will ride up past Mount Snow. One climb is 14 miles long on Rt. 100. Find someone to ride with at your own pace. No scheduled regroups except for lunch stop in Wilmington VT, but there will be several stops for water and food. Very scenic. This sounds like an excellent ride for anyone looking for an early-season century.
We rode 100.7 miles. Average speed 17+ mph. The 14-mile climb turned out to be only 12 miles. Climb time around 55 mins. At the top of the climb, we saw, I would guess, a gentleman in his 70's climbing up the mtn. He was an inspiration to us all. Scott, Elaine, Patti, Kenny, Canoli Bob, Theresa and Joe rode. Route was changed this year to make it a true century, and detour around Rt. 5 and Rt. 2. Wonderful weather and riding companions. Many nice waterfalls, wildflowers and scenery. Started to bonk on Rt. 112. Felt like an elephant being fed by the kids. Here's some peanuts, candy... I took it all in and it helped. At the end, Kenny had some refreshments. It was very welcome. It was Elaine's and Canoli Bob's first Century. Great Job!!!

JULY 18 (SUN) - RT. 19 EXPRESS; 40-50 miles (climbing required for first & last part of the ride). Enjoy a 15-mile rolling hill ride with no stop signs or traffic lights. Very low traffic & great roads. A place to open up the throttle. Half-hour lunch stop at the Brimfield Green. Meet at the Hamden Mini Mall in Hamden, MA (at the end of Allen St. & E. Longmeadow Rd.) Ride will leave at 7:30 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
An excellent turnout today with many different colored jerseys out there. The pace was fast right from the start with many breakaway attempts. Eventually the pace eased up (as riders needed to get water and make pit stops) and a successful breakaway group did form. The breakaway group worked very well as everyone was willing to take a turn at the front of the paceline. With about 5 km to go before the finish, one of the riders went off the front and was able to hold on for the win. The rest of the breakaway group came thru 25 to 45 seconds later, with the main pack another 14 minutes back.
Well...that's what happened in the Tour de France. As for the ride with the Cyclonauts & Freewheelers, I don't know.

JULY 25 (SUN) - PEDALING MADLY, BUT GLADLY, IN SOUTH HADLEY; 50 miles. Ride details are not yet available, but this promises to be a new and unique experience. Meet at 9:00 AM in the Big Y parking lot on Rt. 33, about mile south of the intersection of Rtes. 202 & 33. Bring snack & water (and come prepared to talk about the Tour de France, including yesterday's dramatic time trial).
COORDINATORS: Steve & Ann Schwartz
I wasn't on today's ride with the Freewheelers, but I hope they had a great ride. I and some others rode 60 miles from Greenfield to the summit house on Mt. Greylock (elev. 3491 feet) on Saturday, stayed the night, then rode back on Sunday. The ride Saturday was a hilly 50-mile ride to North Adams, following Rt. 116, culminating in a 9-mile climb up the mountain (which has a avg grade of 5.7%). For a total of 5880 feet of climbing. Sunday's ride was a little easier but still had 2800 feet of climbing. The weather was perfect both days, and, oh, by the way, Lance won the Tour de France, again.

AUG 1 (SUN) - BACK ROADS TO QUABBIN SUMMIT; 52 miles, rolling terrain except for 4-mile climb up to the summit. We will ride mostly back roads to the Quabbin via S. Hadley, Granby, Belchertown etc. with a stop at the 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.
COORDINATOR: Ken Paquette Cue sheet available online
Apparantly this ride was canceled due to the rain that came thru just before the ride started. Too bad ... the rain stopped, the roads dried up and the showers didn't return until 3:30 or so, which should have been a big enough window for the ride. We had very similar weather on this ride last year (very muggy with rain around 3:30). This ride is being rescheduled for Oct. 3rd.

AUG 8 (SUN) - NORTHFIELD RAMBLE; 35 miles. The ride will include a short section of dirt road, some spectacular views of the Connecticut River and a picnic. Bring food and water for the lunch stop at Northfield Mountain's Picnic Area on the bank of the Connecticut River. 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.
Hope everyone is enjoying the unseasonably cool temps.

51 Brandywine Drive in Belchertown
6:00 PM      --Arrive & Socialize
6:30 PM      --Potluck Dinner      [ Actually, around 7:15 ]
7:00 PM      --Meeting      [ More like 8:00 ]
After dinner we'll finalize preparations for the century and plan the Fall Rides Schedule for October & November.
PHONE: Fred or Joyce Morris
19 people tonight. On the business side, Mike secured volunteers for the century and I secured coordinators for the Fall Rides Schedule. On the non-business side, Joyce shared her photos and stories of her trip to France this year, where she viewed the Tour and biked some of the same routes, including Alpe d'Huez and Mont Ventoux. Congratulations, good luck and farewell were given to Angelo, who will soon be receiving his PHd in Polymer Science and will be moving to Philadelphia.

AUG 15 (SUN) - EDNA PFRUIT REVISITED; 30 miles with some hills thrown in here and there (2200 ft altogether, just the way Edna likes it). We'll ride UP to Chesterfield, then UP to the DAR State Forest for lunch. (It's all downhill after we leave the DAR.) Meet at 10:00 AM at the Anne Dunphy School parking lot in Williamsburg (the entrance is off of Petticoat Hill Rd. which is after the hysterical Historical Society building). Those that arrive early can stock up on some yummy snacks at the country store!
COORDINATOR: Edna Pfruit Cue sheet available online
No Ride. I drove over at 10:00 AM, but no one else was there. Remnants of Hurricane Charley came through earlier this morning. Roads were still damp but drying quickly. Completely overcast, but no rain the rest of the day.

Aug 21 (SAT) - MT WASHINGTON - Team Sohobikes: Joe, Patti, Stephanie, Brian, Theresa, Ken, Scott, Andrew & others are once again attacking Mt Washington. Good Luck.
The weather was really lousy this year. Heavy rain, wind gusts and fog.
Official results:
Andrew Watson - 1:21:34 (beating last year's time by 1:06)
Scott Soutra - 1:42:33
Brian Caraker - 1:44:42
Theresa Lak - 1:50:46
Elaine Skawski - 1:57:37
Bill Sharp - 2:09:14
Stephanie Brown - 2:34:07
Joe Pitchko - did not ride
Pat Pitchko - did not ride
Kenny Rogers - did not ride

AUG 22 (SUN) - BELCHERTOWN SURPRISE (Part 2); 50 miles. The ride will start in Belchertown and swing around the Quabbin from the Hardwick side. Meet at 9:00 AM at Fred & Joyce's house at 51 Brandywine Drive in Belchertown (park in driveway).
COORDINATORS: Fred & Joyce Morris

AUG 29 (SUN) - THE GREAT FRANKLIN COUNTY TOUR Choose 1 of 3 tours:
...the 4 town 25 mile tour,
...the 10 town 50 mile tour (experienced and well conditioned riders only),
...the 100 mile Great Tour along the scenic roads of Franklin County (VERY experienced and well conditioned riders only).
Proceeds will support DIAL/SELF Teen Services. All tours start and finish at The Greenfield Community Youth Center, 20 Sanderson Street, Greenfield, MA, with a 9 AM start. Early registration ends Aug. 20. For more info, go to the DIAL/SELF website

AUG 29 (SUN) - ROWE ROUNDABOUT (I've looked at Rowe from both sides now); 38 miles, 2500 feet of climbing. This will be a very scenic ride on remote back roads. Be sure to bring munchies, lots of water AND a lunch. We'll bike UP Zoar Rd. to Rowe and on UP into Vermont, eat lunch at the Whitingham Common (No STORES), continue on to Readsboro, and back down into Mass. along the Deerfield River, past the RETIRED Yankee Rowe Atomic Power Plant in Rowe and the Hoosac Tunnel in Florida. Meet at 10:00 AM at Shunpike Roadside Rest Area beside the Deerfield River on Rt. 2, one mile west of Charlemont.
COORDINATORS: Jack & Suzanne Fitz-Gibbon Cue sheet available online
Sunny, hot and humid. 12 riders (including 1 tandem). My avg speed 15.4 mph (12.7 mph up to the lunch stop, 17.7 mph on the way back down). Very scenic ride, despite the humidity. We all survived, but agreed that it was a better day for being IN the water than riding NEXT to it. A bunch of us stopped by the river after lunch and splashed water on ourselves. This was also after we found out that the Bear Swamp visitor's center was closed. It was good to see Dale on today's ride. He rode his bike from Athol, so looks like he'll being doing 120 miles today! I anticipate a link to some pics he took of the ride. (Coincidently, it was John Fitzpatrick who rode 40 miles to the start of this ride 2 years ago.) Hope to see everyone at our club century in 2 weeks!

SEPT 5 (SUN) - LABOR DAY WEEKEND 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 11 (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. Ride day registration is $20.00. 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 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 (Elm St. changes to Main St.) to Billings Way on the Left. The Pavilion is at the end of Billings Way.
COORDINATORS: Pat & Mike Vinskey
What a great day for a bike ride! As I was driving to the start (around 8:30 AM), I saw a large group of riders coming towards me at the I-91 overpass; the group from Leominster. I knew it was too late to try and catch these guys, but I was hoping to paceline with some other riders. It was kind of late and not many more riders were starting. I finally got under way, by myself, at 8:48 AM. My plan, now, was to get to the 25-mile sag and hook up with someone there. (Backup plan: If any faster riders overtook me, I would hop on the back and ride with them.) As it turns out, I rode the first 25 miles by myself. Avg Speed: 18.2 MPH.

After the sag, I met up with another rider named Larry. He had already done a few centuries this year. We took turns pulling and drafting until the 50-mile sag. Avg. Speed: 19.0 MPH. As I arrived at the sag, there was a group of about 10 riders just leaving. I opted to make a quick pit stop, then hopped on my bike to chase these guys down. It took me 3 miles, but I caught them.

So far, I passed several people with flat tires, but nothing more serious. Although, as we were approaching Brattleboro, I saw 3 riders on the side of the road next to one of the three, treacherous sets of RR crossings on this ride. I found out later that at least 2 women crashed crossing RR tracks.
Our group's only accident came as we were cresting the last hill before the 75-mile sag. We were overtaking a slower rider and, somehow, the guy in front of me collided with him. I watched as they did this slow-motion kind of thing where the slower rider went off the road and fell sideways onto the dirt embankment. The rider from our group basically just fell right on top of him. Fortunately, neither rider (or their bikes) were seriously injured.

I ran out of water before the 75-mile sag and was really looking forward to a "real" rest stop (my first two were almost non-existent). So when I saw the Leominster group leaving the sag just as I was getting there, I decided that hooking on with them would really be pushing it. I decided to stop and consume mass quantities. Avg. speed 19.3 MPH.

Leaving the sag, the group of 10 riders I wanted to stay with decided to take the right turn before the RR tracks. This road follows the river and rejoins the route before the bridge, but it starts off as dirt (it's also longer). I decided not to go that way. I followed the cue sheet and took a right onto Rt 63, riding by myself until those guys finally caught me I let those guys catch me on Meadow St. With most of the hills behind us, we pace-lined back to the parking lot. Final average speed: 19.5 MPH. My computer tells me that's an average of 3 minutes and 5 seconds per mile. If I could have shaved a mere 5 seconds off of each mile I would have averaged 20 MPH! Oh well, maybe next year.

SEPT 18 (SAT) - FRYEBURG FROLIC CENTURY - Attempts to be a kinder, gentler century even thought it passes through the hills of western Maine, up to the edge of the White Mountains. Cost is $17.00 for advanced registration and $19.00 after Sept. 8. This ride is sponsored by the Casco Bay Bicycle Club, but some of the Freewheelers are already planning on going.
Contact Steve or Ann Schwartz if you would like to coordinate with them.
Don't know how the weather was up there, but it poured all morning down here.

SEPT 19 (SUN) - 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.
Nicer day than Saturday, albeit cold and windy.

SEPT 25 or 26 (SAT & SUN) 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 is $25.00 for one day or $40 for both days. Pre-register through active.com. Check-in is from 7:00 AM to 1:00 PM each day 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 & T-shirt. The event will be held rain or shine. Contact the club sponsoring the event, the Granite State Wheelmen, 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.