Here You will find the reports of our exploits for the month of August . If you have a ride you want listed or want to submit a report of a ride you went on, please leave me a note.
8/1 to 8/6: I have been doing a lot of catch up at the shop this week so I will just summarize our activities. We had an average of 25 riders on both Tuesday and Thursday for our usual ride. I rode with the front group on both nights and we did one ride to the Coke Plant and a ride up on the ridge. Everyone did well and we all got back with no mishaps.
Sunday 8/9: I drove several kids over to Montague Center where I was met by a group of 13 riders who assembled for our trip to the Plains. The group was divided in two with CTD and Maxine leading one faction and myself the other. My group rode up the telephone pole trail and then over to Willis Hill. We made a run up red rock and then down to the power lines. As I was climbing the hill to our rendezvous point I heard Nancy Fields call out to me. I cut across the hill to where she was, only to find out that Our Hero was waiting with a flat for me to fix. It seems that he had left home without his complete on trail repair shop. He had a broken pump and no tube, so I offered him a tube and a Co2 cartridge. After I helped him get his tire on and his wheel back on the bike, I told him that he owed me BIG. After a moment spent deep in thought, he suggested that he would repay my kindness with a cold beer. It being a hot and humid August day I said that a cold beer would be all that I could ever ask for. Well, much to my surprise, he reaches down into his hydro-pack and pulls out a cold beer. I was stunned! I absolutely couldn't believe that he had a cold beer for me out in the middle of nowhere. I grabbed the frosty brew, called him 'bro and off I went, never again to doubt his amazing ability. When I rejoined the rest of the crew at the top of the hill, with my cold beer in hand, everyone was impressed. With not much else to top that with, we all rode back to the cars, secure in the knowledge that we are in the presence of greatness when we ride with CTD.
Tuesday 8/11: After riding for 6 hours training police officers I was a little tired, but when 23 people showed up I found the energy to go out for a rip on the ridge. I was not even going to try to lead this ride, and lucky for me MPM was along and did the honors. We headed up the trail and quickly we we all stalled at the first steep climb. After a few moments pause, we all made the assault one at a time with most people getting up without difficulty. We then headed down the red trail and over to Sachem's head trail. After a brief stop to fix Billy Schaefer's flat we headed down to rejoin the group and begin the return trip back to Poet's Seat. When we got to the parking lot some of the people wanted to do another lap, so that group headed down the white trail and the rest of us followed. When we got to the end of the white trail everyone decided that they had had enough, so the whole group headed back to the shop..
Wed 8/12: Today I went up to the Buckland Recreation Area to help them with their bike day program. Cathy, Pat,Tom, Heider along with 28 other people started on a ride from Sanderson Academy in Ashfield. Although I was briefed on the ride I was not aware of the actual route until I arrived at the 'Rec area. It was then that the course and the riders that were to attempt it were clear to me. I was somewhat anxious, but we set out anyway, for what was to be a four hour ride/hike. The kids and adults did very well on a hot and humid afternoon. I was riding at the back of the group to help with the newer riders, and I was amazed at the tenacity of the kids who were mostly riding 40 lb. Huffy's. These kids showed that it is not the bike but the rider that is most important. All the kids got back to the 'Rec Ok and we all were glad that the course wasn't any longer.
Thurs. 8/13: Tonight we decided to ride the ridge as the rain of earlier this morning did not get the rocks too wet. We had 21 people along for the ride and I was sort of the ride leader/navigator. I have been so busy that my rides and reports are sporadic and unpredictable. I did pretty well even though I was not able to climb as well as I like to. I have to get more rest between rides. Some of the riders including Martin Agusto and Miss May have suggested that we use a somewhat different route next week to take some of the off camber trails out of the descent. I will try to get a new route ready for our next trip.
Saturday 8/15: It is Montague Center's Old Home Day's celebration this weekend and we decided to do a "family ride" to help raise fund for the committee that runs the event. I along with MaryEllen, the Heider's, CTD,Maxine, Dave M., Hughes and Noah, Bob A., Don Sadler, Jon O'Gara, and several other kids headed off towards the Plains. My group went along at a good clip as we headed for Willis Hill, while CTD led the slower paced group in the general direction of the sand pit. My group did very well to keep a pace that got us over the "hill" and to the rendezvous point. MaryEllen and her group was on time to the appointed place but CTD managed to get a flat tire and he also managed to break his pump, so that Dave and I had to "rescue" him. After we got CTD back on two wheels, we rejoined the group and headed back to the cars for our usual refreshments provided by CTD.
Tuesday 8/18: It was
raining at 5:00 when the road riders arrived for their trip. The ride was led by Becky and
Steve Shattuck who were joined by Nate (their son), Chuck Adams, and Marsha Martin. They
waited for a few minutes and then they were off for a two hour trip. I will publish their
report when I get it.
The following report was submitted by Steve Shattuck
After debating a bit as to whether or not we were going to ride and looking at the darkening sky we opted to head out on a 25 to 30 mile ride. It hadn't rained for days if not weeks and it hadn't rained all day. Lucky us it waited till the hour that we decided to leave. So it goes.Five of us headed south on High St., Marsha Martin, Becky, Nate and myself (Steve) on road bikes and Chuck Adams on a mountain bike. Up over Mountain Rd. to the General Pierce Bridge and over the CT. River. At this point the rain is gentle and cooling. The worst part of it was riding into the back wheel spray of the bike in front of you. We took a right onto Greenfield Rd. and headed towards the Montague Book Mill for a quick water stop and short debate on continuing on or going back. The rain wasn't getting any
worse and we were all having a great time, so we pushed ahead though it was tempting to stop at the Blue Heron Café for a snack and an expresso. Went on through Montague Center and headed south about a mile out of town where we took a left and cut across Rt. 63 onto North Leverett Rd. This is a gentle hill heading towards Lake Wyola but when we got to the North Leverett Center we took a right and cross the Saw Mill River on Cave Hill Rd. This is a bugger of a hill but we took it easy and all of us made it with no problem. The Peace Pagoda is located at the top of this hill and is a wonderful stop to make if you have the time but seeing how we wanted to get back by 7:30 or so we opted not to stop.A great downhill eventually brought us back out to route 63 and we wound our way back to the area of the Book Mill and eventually back to Bikes Unlimited. If not for being wet and a wee bit chilly, we would have made a stop at the Airport Creemee but pending goosebumps won out. The ride ended up being 25 miles and we averaged about 15 1/2 mph. It was a great ride.
Next ride will be Tuesday night, 8/25/98 from Bikes Unlimited at 5:30, pending the weather and any other natural disasters. We'll be shooting for 25 to 30 miles again, at the same pace. All are welcome and we won't leave anyone behind....(it's a GROUP ride). It starts out that way and finishes that way. Any questions feel free to call Steve or Becky Shattuck at 773-8972. Shattuck@crocker.com
The race is not always to the swift....but to those who keep on riding.
Today I was paid a visit by Rod Perez, who is on the mend after an operation to repair damage to his shoulder. Rod crashed on the run down the power lines in July and is just now getting back on the bike. He is doing well and hopes to get back to work soon. It was nice to see him and I conveyed everyone's best wishes.
Our group was somewhat diminished by the looming rain clouds but 18 hardy souls showed up anyway. Along for the trip to the Coke Plant was Cathy, Ken, Patrick and Tommy Heider, James Ruddock, Hughes, Eli and Noah Pack, Thad, Matt K., Dom U., Matt C., Bill S., Thad O., Craig Hefner, myself and two unknown riders. We all rode at a slower than usual pace as the trail was somewhat slick in spots. We had a pretty good climb up the streambed, but we had to take it easy on the power line trail, as the rocks were slippery in spots. After waiting at the red rock for a while I noticed that Bill S., wasn't in the group so I sent Craig off back up the hill to find him. After a few minutes I saw Bill walking down the trail carrying his bike. He was OK, but he ruined his tire when he flatted going fast down the hill and had to roll to a stop on the on the deflated tire. I sent Bill down to the road and I rode with the rest of the group back to the shop. I got the van and went back to get Bill and brought him back to the shop where we fixed his flat and sent him on his way. Everyone had a good time and we look forward to our next trip.
Thursday 8/20: Today
was a pretty warm day so I was looking forward for a cool evening ride. I closed the shop
at 6 o'clock and joined the twenty-two people who assembled in the parking lot for a ride
up the ridge. We started out a reasonable pace and headed for the steep climb to the red
dot trail. CTD, Miss May, Dave, and several other riders took the short-cut, while I made
the trip up the hill. Most of us did not make the climb and we all regrouped on the main
trail. We rode down the red dot trail to the parking lot at the bottom of Poet's Seat. It
was the last climb up to the parking lot that did me in. When I got to the parking lot I
was whipped. I decided to follow the group over the Sachem's run trail rather than lead.
James Ruddock and a bunch of the kids were running strong, so I was content to let them
ride, and I waited for Miss May, Bill, and Cathy. I rode with them to the Bear's Den road,
and down to Five Point's where we were joined by MPM. Dave M. mentioned that we were going
to get caught by darkness if we delayed any longer, so we headed for the top of the ridge.
I like this route as it gives us the most light at the end of the day. We all made the run
back to the parking lot and then down the white dot trail. After a head count at the end
of the trail we all sprinted back to the shop for the usual refreshments provided by CTD.
Sunday 8/23: This was the Sunday family ride and a fair amount of people showed up for our ride out to the Montage Plains. Cindy S; showed up for her first ride today. After getting multiple opinions on the fashinablility of her helmet she strapped it on and was ready for the ride. We started out on our usual entrance; when we came about half way up that trail we hung a left on the single track trail. I was ahead of the rest of the group before we pulled in and I missed the trail and I ended up attempting to pass people on the single track, its hard, believe me.
After we raced through the hard packed single track trail we regrouped at the end of it at the 'toilet bowl trail' Bob advised everyone NOT to follow me as I tend to, well, overshoot some trail entrances. We then made our way down a VERY sandy trail, we all made it about a quarter of the way and then bogged down in the fine sand. We took a left after that and went on a moderately sandy trail. We raced down that trail which was a little wider then the single track, but not quite wide enough for two bikes. After a few minutes we came up on a person in a big golf cart going down the trail. He was going awfully slow for us so I tailgated him and he moved faster. (I failed to mention that in my attempt to get behind the golf cart, I had to pass Matt Chickering, in doing so I hooked my bar end on his and almost wrecked him, he made an excellent recovery and then began to congratulate me on my 'Alex' type maneuver)
After that we rode around on some other trails until we came up to this Big, Steep downhill that at the bottom lead up to an even steeper rock face. Most of us made it about half way up. The hill was very steep. After we all made it up we headed out again in a frenzy. Everyone was charged up from waiting at the top of the hill. Everyone was again warned not to follow me as I had missed many trails! The rest of the ride was uneventful. On the last leg of the trip Pat H, Matt Chickering, Alex S, and I were all racing down the smooth hard packed trails at high rates of speed. It was great fun. Matt C was very happy with his new drive train as I was with my new tire. Cindy S. thoroughly enjoyed the ride and will be back again ASAP! Until next time, thank you for reading!
Tues. 8/25: Tonight
was one of the last rides that will not be a "night ride". Everyone will need to
be prepared to return in the dark. We started out for the ridge at 6:15 PM with a group of
14 riders. We went up the steep climb to the red dot trail. I stayed at the back with the
younger kids. Hughes and Gary offered to help and I graciously accepted. We regrouped at
the the top of the red dot trail and after everyone arrived I sent the crew down the
trail. I soon came upon Ken H. helping Alex S., with his broken chain. After giving them a
hand, I sent Alex on his way. At this point Ken offered to stay back and ride with the 4
kids. I took off to catch up with the others at the front. When I arrived at the parking
lot I found the crew waiting to press on. Dave Minor had gone on another lap of the white
trail so I sent the remaining bunch down the red dot trail in Temple Woods. We rode all
the way to Five Points without mishap, although we saw several groups of hikers along the
way. We also ran into the trail terrorists from IMBA. John Dudeck and one of his henchmen
was out looking for trouble as usual. My guess is that they heard that there were hikers
out and the were going to make sure that those hikers didn't ruin "their"
trails. We headed back to the shop on the high ridge as it was getting dark and I forgot
to put my lights on. I left Ken and Hughes to ride back with the younger kids as they had
their lights. I rode back with Gary and his bunch and we made it back to the shop as
darkness fell. It took about ten more minutes before the younger kids got back. It was a
great night for a ride and our gang did very well.
Tuesday 8/28: We were a small (6) but mighty group on the road. Well at least we looked mighty! Our second Tuesday night ride from Bikes Unlimited was a grand success. Hopefully as time goes on our group will build in size. Our rides are billed as fun and relaxing, as opposed to a tough workout, and that's what they are. All newcomers are welcome and if it means you have to dust off that bike in the cellar because its been so long since you road it, just do it, you'll be glad you did. Becky and I love bringing new people into the group and watching them enjoy the experience of a group ride. We're going about 25 miles each Tuesday night at about a 15mph pace. Tonight's riders were Billie Dobosz, Chuck Adams, Marsha Martin, Nate, Becky and Steve Shattuck. We headed East on the French King Highway and took a left onto Adams Rd for our first little climb of the night, but what a downhill after reaching the top. We took a right off Lampblack Rd. onto
Hoe Shop Rd and eventually made our way out to Route 10 heading towards Northfield. Headed back towards Gill on Main Rd and followed Route 2 to just past the French King Bridge where Marsha informed me (a little late) that she hates bridges, especially high ones. Oops. Oh well. We took a right on Dorsey Rd. and a left on West Mineral Rd which took us over a little bridge over the Millers River where it meets the Connecticut, right below the French King Bridge. The view here is absolutely spectacular. We worked our way home from there and hit 25 miles just about on the nose. To all who read this post, we do have a great time and look forward to more and more riders, of all abilities.
Yours in health,
Thursday 8/30: I was
again busy at the shop today, and as usual I was faced with lots of last minute repairs
and adjustments. I also had two people who needed to get their demo bikes ready. I have
got to get better at this, as the groups are getting bigger and we cannot afford to wait
to long, because we will be riding in the dark. I hope that people are getting ready for
the night riding season, as it is upon us. ( I will finish this report later)