June thru September 2002

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!!!


WEDNESDAY NIGHT rides with Joe Pitchko
Rides leave from Southampton Bicycle Center at 6:00 PM sharp. Contact Joe at 413-527-9784 or JPitchko@aol.com
Email from Joe dated 09/17/02:
HI All,
This weds nights ride starts at 5:30 sharp at the shop. We should have 1.5 hours of ride time. Expect 25miles w 2500 feet of climbing. Hope you can make it,

CENTURY RIDES every weekend with Russ Loomis
UltraMarathon Cycling Assoc (UMCA) has Hub Rides throughout the US. Russ is the Hub leader for Western Mass. Hub rides are recognized rides of between 100-200 miles. He leads these rides every Sat and or Sunday from Ashfield. If interested contact Russ Loomis 413-628-4002 or rloomis@crocker.com before 9pm Friday.
07/28/02: Russ says he's still doing these each weekend, he already has 4 signed up for next weekend.

TUESDAY & THURSDAY night rides from Amherst
Meet at the Mill River Recreation Area off Rt. 63 in North Amherst (on right 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. Last of these rides for this season is Tuesday, Sep. 17 !


JUNE 23 (SUN) - THE ICE CREAM RIDE; F-R/L-M/38 miles. Ride and eat ice cream or frozen yogurt until you are totally satisfied (or sick). This ride will visit ice cream parlors in the Pioneer Valley. Meet at the Dunphy School behind the Williamsburg Historical Society of Rt. 9 in Williamsburg at 10:00 AM. Bring plenty of WATER, but don't bother to bring lunch or any nutritious food with you, as the object of this ride is to eat as much ice cream as possible.
COORDINATOR: John Clifford

JUNE 23 (SUN) - GREYLOCK CENTURY (This is a non-FHF ride); The Body Shoppe and Bicycles Unlimited of Greenfield are sponsoring a supported ride to the top of Greylock and back. 100 miles of fun in the sun. Stop by the Body Shoppe in Greenfield to sign up or sign up online at www.bikes-unlimited.com. Ride leaves from Bicycles Unlimited (located on High St. in Greenfield) at 9:00 AM. Cost is $8 mainly to cover food.

JUNE 30 (SUN) - ANOTHER FRED & JOYCE BELCHERTOWN RIDE; R/M/40 ish miles. We will ride more rural Belchertown area roads. Meet at the CVS parking lot in Belchertown at the intersection of Rt. 9 & Rt. 202 at 10:00 AM.
COORDINATORS: Fred & Joyce Morris
Sunny, high 80's. 12-15 riders, no tandems this time. I didn't get to finish this ride, but the first half looked good.

JULY 7 (SUN) - RIDE 'N' SWIM; R/M/36 miles. Meet at Colrain School on Rt. 112, 1/3 mile north of Colrain center at 10:00 AM. We will ride up to Harriman Reservoir in Wilmington, VT, where we'll picnic and swim at the beach. Bring lunch and beverage or buy food at the Jacksonville General store (6 miles before the reservoir). The return ride is mostly downhill.
COORDINATOR: John Clifford
Hazy day due to forest fire in Quebec! Otherwise, this was a great day. 20 riders, including 2 tandems, did all or part of the ride. Some were dropped off at the reservoir and only did the downhill part back to the school. No incidents to report, but Fred announced that the frame on his Lemond broke while he was out riding on the 4th.

JULY 14 (SUN) - PATTY'S ICE CREAM RIDE in REVERSE; R-H/M-B/45 miles. Joe says "It's easier! Brisk pace, hilly ride with down hills for recovery." Ride is Southampton, Williamsburg, Whately, Westhampton & Northampton. Meet at Conant Park ½ mile south of Southampton Center off Rt. 10 at 9:00 AM.
COORDINATORS: Pat & Joe Pitchko
17 riders today, including Joe & Pat on their tandem. Weather was nice; some high, thin clouds. Temps starting in the 70's, going up to the high 80's. This was actually a fairly nice ride, the pace was not as brisk as I expected and not as hilly (I never shifted out of my large chain ring). We also had a number of regroups, which helped everyone feel more connected. Sadly, no one was in the mood for ice cream during the ride, despite stopping at the Williamsburg General Store and Sisters Convenience Store (in West Hatfield). No mishaps today, except for Karen, who got stung by a bee while riding down towards the Whately Inn. Everyone made it back to the park safely and many headed over to Shelden's for some refreshments after the ride.

JULY 21 (SUN) - BACK ROADS TO QUABBIN SUMMIT; F-R/L-M/52 miles. 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.
COORDINATOR: Ken Paquette - Cue sheet available online.  
17 riders, including 2 tandems, contested today's stage which started at 10:00 AM from the village of Chicopee. Our first casualty of this 86.6-km stage came at the 13-km mark, when Kenny Rogers punctured and decided to abandon. The pack lost another rider when Ray fell off the back of the peloton after the Subway feed zone and discovered he had lost his cue sheet somewhere on the course. There were several attacks preceding the "hors category" climb up Mt. Quabbin, mostly by Joyce and a 13-year old newcomer to the tour, named Eric. But in the end, it was John G. who answered all challengers and arrived first at the summit.
The Top 10...
Top ten results to the summit, at the 45.7-km mark, were as follows:
1. John G. (Specialized) in 1h50'25"
2. Eric (PMC 2000) @ 2'04"
3. Joyce (Orange Butterfly) @ 2'19"
4. Ken P. (Blazin' Saddle) @ 4'02"
5. Fred (Dark Blue) @ 5'11"
6. Mike V. (Black & White) @ 6'18"
7. Pat V. (Black & White) @ same time
8. Bob K. (FHF) @ same time
9. Sally P. (FHF) @ same time
10. John M. (FHF) @ same time
On the descent of Mt Quabbin, we lost two other riders, Dave? & his son, Eric, but we met up with Ray, who re-joined the pack. Because of accessibility concerns, the tour bypassed Windsor Dam this year. It turns out that the dam is open to bicycles and pedestrians, but it is still closed to motor vehicles. Owing to the high temperatures, over 32° C, the stage finished with a relatively slow average speed of 24.95 km/h.
P.S. despite some riders losing their way, I thought the cue sheet was very clear. The mileages were dead-on. Good job Ken, excellent ride.

JULY 28 (SUN) - DON MAYNARD'S MEMORIAL GUILFORD CONNECTION; R/L-M/45 miles. Rescheduled: 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. 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. 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.
COORDINATOR: Bob Kowaleski - Cue sheet available online.   Pictures from this ride available online
Overcast, 70°, but very humid. 26 riders, including 2 tandems, took to the streets today heading for Vermont. Unfortunately, the rain was, once again, a factor in our second attempt at this ride. All was dry until the lunchstop. At 12:30, the rain started to fall. Lightly at first, but by 12:50, it was coming down pretty good. Joe, Pat & Russ, and then Kenny Rogers, actually left the lunch stop before the rain started. The rest of us ended up waiting until it was too late.
Only a few mishaps to note. Curt, one of the people I see a lot on the Greenfield rides, ran over a staple in the parking lot at the start of the ride and punctured. Jack, on the other hand, forgot his bike shoes. He showed up, and did the ride, in sandals! Several people pointed out that one can buy sandals with SPD cleats in them. Jack responded, "I know, I have some, but they're at home too!". Aside from a little rain, I think spirits were high and everyone had a nice time.

AUGUST 2, 3 & 4 - LEAGUE OF AMERICAN BICYCLISTS BIKE FEST 2002 at Umass. Come escort rides or ride with cyclists from all over the U.S. Pictures from Theresa's ride available online

AUGUST 4 (SUN) - SHOW & GO. Not going to BIKE FEST 2002? Meet at 10:00 AM at the Mill River Recreation Area of Rt. 63 in North Amherst (on right ¼ mile north of the church at the lights). Those present will decide upon route and distance.
Sunny, hot, slight breeze. I don't know where everyone was today (although I did spot Steve & Anne's SUV next to Pat & Mike's along with two other vans over at the Robsham Visitor Center at Umass), but they certainly were not on this ride. Karen & I drove into the parking lot at 9:52, and there was no one there. Angelo rode his bike in around 10:00, but that was the only other rider there.

AUGUST 11 (SUN) - JOYCE & FRED'S "W" TOWNS RIDE; R-H/M/50 miles. Ride through the towns of Ware, Warren, Wales & Wilbraham on beautiful back roads. Bring lunch, lots of water and low gears. Meet at the CVS parking lot in Belchertown at the intersection of Rtes. 9 & 202 at 10:00 AM.
COORDINATORS: Joyce & Fred Morris
Sunny, hot & humid.

AUGUST 18 (SUN) - McCUSKERS LAST STAND; R-H/M/45 miles. 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. We'll bike UP Rt. 116 to Ashfield, DOWN to Buckland/Shelburne Falls where we'll eat lunch at McCusker's Market & Deli. We can also tour the Glacial Potholes (07/21/02: sadly, the access stairway to the potholes has been fenced off by the town, making them inaccessible) and the Bridge of Flowers. Afterward, we'll ride UP along back roads to Conway & Whately and back DOWN to Mt. Sugarloaf. Bring plenty of water, you can buy delicious deli/bakery stuff at McCusker's.
COORDINATOR: John & Karen Gustin - Cue sheet available online.   Pictures from this ride available online

Hot & humid, high 80's. We had 12 cyclists all together (Elsa & Mary started at 9:00 AM). The group thinned out early going up the long gradual climb to Ashfield. Most of us were taking it easy, except Joe Pitchko who's training for next week's race up Mt Washington. Go Joe! When we arrived at McCusker's, we had company. There were bicyclists everywhere. This was an official stop for Mass Bike. They had a snack table set up and everything. After about 10 minutes, we heard loud claps of thunder. Dark clouds came out of nowhere and it started raining! Joe and I decided to leave early. We got ahead of the rain after a few miles and stayed dry and "pacelined" (by that I mean, Joe was in front and I tried to stay on his wheel) the rest of the way. Back at the parking lot we met several riders who "cheated" by coming straight back down Rt 116, avoiding Whately. Sorry I had to eat and run, but I needed to get home early. Hope everyone enjoyed the ride.

AUGUST 22-25 - BOSTON-MONTREAL-BOSTON; 750 miles. Russ Loomis completed the ride again this year. One of his goals was to qualify for the RAAM (Race Across AMerica) by finishing in under 70 hours. He finished in 69h58! Here is his ride report:

I completed BMB in 69:58, just enough time to qualify for RAAM, I needed to do it in less than 70:00. I started at 4:00am Thursday and rode to Montreal and back to Middlebury (510 miles) and then slept for 2 hrs. I rode the rest of the way (240 miles) before sleeping again.

Thursday 8/22/02:
It was nice at the start but by the time I left Ludlow (out) it started to rain hard. This was around 4pm Thursday and I was soaked and cold. I got over Middlebury Gap in the daylight but it was dark by the time I got into the checkpoint at 8:51pm Thursday. It stopped raining so I changed into dry clothes for the all night ride to Rouse's point. Three miles out it started to rain again and I was soon wet and cold for the rest of the night.

Friday 8/23/02:
I got into Rouse's Point checkpoint at 5:54am Friday. After breakfast I headed for Montreal(Huntingdon)in a cold wind, I was still in wet clothes but thought they would dry as I rode. It was not raining and I hoped I was through with rain on the ride. I was warm by the time I got to Montreal(Huntingdon)so I took off some clothes and headed back to Rouse's point. I checked in at 2:49pm Friday. It was warm and hot as I left for Middlebury but after the sun went down, it got very cold (37 degs). I was damp from sweat and with the windchill from riding. I froze all night. It was 10:53pm Friday when I checked in. I decided to sleep for 2 hrs, this was my first sleep. I crawled into bed with my wet clothes on and slept.

Saturday 8/24/02:
When I awoke, I ate and was out into the cold damp air once again to head for Ludlow at 3:26am Saturday. It was freezing cold but I knew that I would get warm after the sun came up. It was light after the Gap and I started to get warm for the first time in 12 hrs. I got into Ludlow at 9:27am Saturday. As I was leaving at 9:48 am, it started to rain. I was disappointed as the weather forecast predicted good weather for Saturday and Sunday. In just a few miles, it was really coming down and I just couldn't get warm, I was soaked. I had on long underwear, tights, shorts, a long-sleeved jersey, vest, and jacket and I was soaked and frozen. I still had around 160 miles to go. Before I got to Brattleboro, I had to stop in Putney to beg a large trash bag at a gas station to put on to try to get warm. I finally made it to Brattleboro at 3:02pm Saturday. I ate and left for Bullard Farm at 3:30pm soaked and freezing all the way. At 6:50pm Saturday I checked in and had a hot meal but never got warm and headed for the end at 7:37pm Saturday.

Sunday 8/25/02:
The rain never let up and I never stopped shivering until I got to the finish at 1:58am Sunday, just in time to RAAM qualify. I ate and got cleaned up in the bathroom and crawled into my bed in the back of Susan's truck until [later that] morning. When I got up, I ate and ate and ate and waited for the riders to come in. I was told that the riders trickle in and then the masses start to arrive between 12 and 3 pm. The groups didn't start coming in until 4 - 7pm this year. The weather slowed everyone down by 4 hrs. Maybe if the weather wasn't so horrid, I might have come in 4 hrs sooner. But, I finished in under 70hrs and that was all that mattered.

- Russ

AUGUST 24 (SAT) - MT WASHINGTON HILL CLIMB; 7.6 miles, only 1 hill. I see Theresa and Joe listed on the official website, good luck.
Results are in:
Joe - 1:34:58
Theresa - 1:49:45 (beating last year's time by 9:19!)

AUGUST 25 (SUN) - ROWE ROUNDABOUT (I've looked at Rowe from both sides now); R-H/M/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. Meet at 10:00 AM at Shunpike Roadside Rest Area beside the Deerfield River on Rt. 2, one mile west of Charlemont. 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.
Beautiful weather, sunny in the 70's, nice breeze. 10 riders, including 1 tandem, challenged the hills up to Vermont. John Fitzpatrick biked 40 miles to the start. He said it took him about 2 hours. The group was pretty strung out for most of the ride due to all the hills, but the cool temperature made it ideal for climbing.

SEPT. 1 (SUN) - LABOR DAY WEEK-END SHOW & GO. 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.

6:00 PM - Arrive & Socialize
6:30 PM - Potluck Dinner
7:00 PM - Meeting
To get to Pat & Mike's, follow Main St. east from the center of Amherst for 2.6 miles. Turn left onto N. Valley Rd. (after small trailer park). Go 1.3 miles and turn Left onto Buffam Rd. Go 0.2 miles and turn right into driveway (looks like a street, but no street sign). Proceed to first house on left.

SEPT. 8 (SUN) - EXTENDED WYBEN RIDE; F-H/M/40 miles. Come see a side of Southampton and Westfield you never saw before. Meet at 10:00 AM at Jack & Suzanne's house on Westview Terrace in Easthampton. Bring lunch, as route is rural.
COORDINATORS: Jack & Suzanne Fitz-Gibbon

SEPT. 14 (SAT) - CONNECTICUT VALLEY CENTURY - There is a NEW starting point at the Hatfield Lions Club Pavilion on Billings Way, behind Breor Elementary School off Main St. in Hatfield. The 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 for FHF members and $12 for non-members and is only available online 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 ($20 provided the 250 rider limit has not been met) 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 (road changes to Maple St, then to Main St) to Billings Way on the left. The Pavilion is at the end of Billings Way.
COORDINATORS: Pat & Mike Vinskey

SEPT. 21 OR 22 (SAT or 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. Sign-in starts at 7:00 AM at Hampton Beach State Park, Rt. 1A, Hampton Beach, NH. Cost is $20.00 per person for one day or both. The registration fee will cover parking at the state park, route maps, sag wagon coverage, rest room facilities, & trip time log, and a $1 donation to the LAB's Bicycling for Bicyclists education fund. The event will be held rain or shine - no rain dates. For more info about this ride, check out the Granite State Wheelemen's website.

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.