LETTER FROM THE EDITOR: July 10, 2001 - Here it is July and I'm just writing the Spring Newsletter. Sorry about that. Al and I just returned from Newfoundland and Labrador the evening of July 7, another great trip. I just did not have time to get at it before we left, But as I've said too many times, "better late than never".
The newsletter contains a description of the rides that appeared on the spring schedule for which I received write-ups or went on and wrote up myself. It also contains another crossword puzzle from our clever and talented secretary and web page editor; thanks, John. And thanks to all who sent in write-ups.
The summer season is in full swing now and I have received one write-up,
thanks, Pat. Summer rides will appear in the Summer Newsletter, which should
go to press soon after the last ride on that schedule. Ride Coordinators,
please send in ride reports as soon as possible after your ride. Have a great
Twelve brave souls were begettin' a bit stir crazy and so they decided to put all common sense aside and go fer a wee bit o' a ride on the day of the big parade in honor of the great St. Patrick (or just to get out after such a long winter).
The weather cooperated - it was sunny and in the mid forties, with a bit o' wind, but mostly at our back. We rode from Easthampton into west Northampton by Roberts Reservoir on dry and surprisingly pothole-free roads into Leeds, across the small bridge on Water Street, down through Arch Street and Rt. 9 to Florence and our breakfast stop at the Florence Diner. We were concerned about seating on a Sunday morning but, when we arrived, - Luck o' the Irish behold! - twelve seats at the counter were waiting for us, and we all had a wonderful breakfast together - complaining about the winter and looking forward to great rides this year, if the potholes ever get fixed - before departing down Rt. 9 east, through Smith College (and the bulb show crowd), Rt. 66 and Park Hill Road to get back home.
Joe and Patty Pitchko led the charge (of course) on their Seven tandem; the rest of us, including John and Karen Gustin, Ken Pacquette, Sue Strange, Irv Freidman, Walt Chudzick and Jon Marcil, enjoyed the early spring jaunt at a leisurely pace. Where were the rest of you??
We were back by noon and ready for more in the coming weeks. I wore my new
St. Paddy's day bike socks (with a shamrock on them) for the occasion, and
I hope this 20+ miler will become a club tradition.
April 22, Earth Day - UP AND DOWN RIVER AND POET'S SEAT - The weather could not have been more cooperative - a beautiful sunny and very warm day. Last Sunday we were x-c skiing on three feet of snow in Savoy Mountain State Forest; this Sunday we bicycled in shorts and bike shirts down in the valley.
We were a colorful group in our FHF shirts and everybody had a good time. Well, almost everybody. Elaine had the first flat tire. We had the second - and third - and fourth! We were halfway up Mountain Road when - Pow! Gwen Blodgett, riding behind us, said, "What was that?" We crossed the road to repair it where the shoulder was wider. Al found a half-inch gash in the tire as well as the tube. Al patched both but before we even remounted it, it went flat again. This time he used a new tube.
We had already abandoned the idea of Poet's Seat when the rest of the group (we had 21 cyclists) came down the mountain. This time we got as far as the bridge. Halfway across we hit a pothole. Flat again! We walked the bike to the corner of Greenfield Road. As Al was patching the new tube, Roger Katz came along. He had bicycled from Keene, where he had taken his car for repairs. We told him he could catch the group at the Book Mill and after a brief rest, he took off. Al mounted the tire - and it went flat again! He took it off and reverted to the previously patched tire. It held air this time and off we went - gingerly.
We made it to the Book Mill but everyone had left. We rested briefly in the
shade of "Room with a Loom", enjoyed a snack then rode out to Route 63 and
home. At home we found a message from Mike Vinskey made from the Sugarloaf
parking lot on his cell phone. We returned his call and thanked him for his
concern. We later learned that Jeff Frechette had gone looking for us in his
pickup truck, thanks Jeff.
April 29 - DON MAYNARD MEMORIAL RIDE - It was a sunny and breezy day. Don would have loved it. 55 people participated in his ride led by Sally & Bob. $274 was collected to be donated to the Greenfield Bikeway, I believe. Greenfield was Don's hometown. Don was a very popular member of the club, a great guy, who was tragically murdered in his home. It hit all who knew him hard.
Don's father and brother were, as always, at the start of the ride to see us off. Missing was his mother, who died this past year, and his sister, who is ill with the same condition his mother died of. But so much for sad stuff. Don wouldn't want that. He was a cheerful guy with a big smile.
Don designed and led the popular Guilford Connection ride, which we have
continued annually in his memory. The only change has been the lunch stop,
which was originally outside the General Store in Guilford and is now in its
third location. It's a beautiful ride. Don was a beautiful person.
May 13 - AROUND THE RANGE - The weather cooperated again for this beautiful annual event around the Holyoke Range. 26 riders began the journey from the Robsham Visitor's Center parking lot at Umass through North Amherst to south Amherst into Granby and finally South Hadley for the lunch stop. A veritable feast was enjoyed by all at the Village Commons.
Following lunch, we all proceeded down Rt 47 through Hadley and made our way
back to Amherst. While the weather was warm and beautiful, there was a
strong headwind at the tail end of the trip, particularly in the flat
meadows of Hadley. It was a memorable ride enjoyed by all riding this early
May 6 - BELCHERTOWN SURPRISE - at least that's what the ride schedule
said. The cue sheet said "Joyce and Fred's fourth annual 'new' Belchertown
ride. A rose by any other name would smell as sweet" - and it was a sweet
ride. Joyce and Fred had integrated parts of three previous rides and
introduced some new roads and vistas. It was a scenic ride all the way
starting with beautiful homes and old stone walls. River Road, along the
Swift River, was especially scenic. It included lunch with the goats at the
Burgundy Brook Farm, a scenic tour of Three Rivers and a trip through
Belchertown's "bluegrass horse farm country", then another area of
beautiful homes, and finally ice cream at Hawley's Restaurant for those who
cared to ingest, and we did. A beautiful ride on a beautiful day - and
well attended. Thanks, Fred and Joyce.
June 3 - JOYCE AND FRED'S RECYCLE #1 BELCHERTOWN RIDE - Three tandems, four singles, 10 riders. Another beautiful Belchertown ride from the Morris duo, their best yet, and we've done them all. Can they top this one?
Al and Marion had a flat two miles from the end of the ride while thunder rolled overhead and the clouds threatened to open any minute. Only a brief shower occurred while Al patched the tube under cover. There was also a brief shower during the ride.
The potluck and meeting, which followed, drew additional attendance. The potluck, as usual, was delicious, including Fred's spring rolls, Joyce's hot baked beans, Pat & Mike's garden salad, Marion & Al's cold baked beans and red beans, corn and salsa concoction, Sally and Bob's veggies John's pasta, Steve and Ann's KFC wings, Julie's apple crisp and Eileen & Charlie's scrumptious cake. Nobody went hungry. How could they?
Summer schedule planning and preliminary century ride planning were the topics of the meeting. Pat and Mike are heading the Century Ride Committee and could use some help. Here's your chance; ask for an assignment. The century ride will begin at JFK Junior High in Northampton this year but otherwise will follow, essentially, the same route.
Thanks again for a great ride, Joyce and Fred, and for your hospitality.
June 10 - UP TO WENDELL - We had 23 riders who leisurely rode up to Wendell Al & Marion met us at the regroup and shared information about the great facilities at Lake Wyola. That will be next year's place to regroup. (I did notice one rider was missing?) Many riders shared their thoughts for next year's ride and all to be considered. The weather was great and everyone was pleased with returning to the starting point in time for lunch.
Old timers Elsa, Mary, Al & Marion left the ride to picnic lunch at Ruggles
Pond in Wendell State Forest, then returned home via Lake Pleasant and
Montague with stops at the Bridge of Flowers and the Book Mill.
June 24 - VINSKEY'S BEACH RIDE - Twelve sun-loving riders started off
into the mist, hoping for sun. The slight mist kept us cool for the climb
up to Shutesbury. The sun started to peak out on our return leg up from
Leverett back to the lake. By the time the charcoal was ready, the day
turned beautiful! We cooled down with a swim. Bill Martin, chef of the day,
grilled delicious burgers and dogs. Various side dishes (including more
bags of chips than people) rounded out the meal. After a muddy, competitive
badminton game, it was back into the lake, to wash off the mud. Dessert was
ice cream delivered by Schwartz catering, yummmm. Thirty-four miles ridden,
one broken spoke, lots of fun in the sun!
1. "___ the season..."
48. Hirsute Star Wars character|
52. Gelatinous culture medium
55. Numbered Rd. or St.
56. Sluggers stat
57. Don Maynard's connection
60. Extra bike tubes
65. Speed detector
66. Contents of bicycle tubes
68. Home of Brigham Young University
69. Goodnight lady of song
71. Set in place|
72. HST follower
73. British Inc.
74. Coloring solution
1. Molly Stark bike ride necessity
9. Small stream|
10. Shade tree
11. Fish eggs
15. Colonial insects
20. Bike carrying vehicles
22. By way of
24. Part of Route 2
27. CPU memory units
28. Land measure
29. Great lake
30. You can see it from Mount Sugarloaf
35. Part of IOU
37. It springs eternal
38. Lyric poems
39. Ash Wednesday to Easter
41. Compass dir.
46. Research bldgs.
49. Spanish gold
52. Soil, combining form
53. Gum found in ice cream?
58. Like some wheels?
59. Some Vermont pavement?
62. Judges garb
63. First lady?
67. Color of our president's new tandem