Welcome guest, is this your first visit? Click the "Create Account" button now to join.

To disable ads, please log-in.

Shop at TeamEstrogen.com for women's cycling apparel.

Results 1 to 8 of 8
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Concord, MA
    Posts
    13,103

    Berkhsires round 4

    To disable ads, please log-in.

    We left Thursday for our fourth trip to the Berkshires with our friends. This is primarily a cycling (and eating) trip, but this year we added some variation. We stayed at the Lakeside B & B in Otis, MA, across the street from the largest recreational lake in the state. This is part of the Tolland State Forest. Although this location is a little further away from eating and shopping and where we start some of our rides, it was really nice!
    After eating lunch at the Otis Poultry Farm (mmmm), we took our canoe out on the lake. We just don't use it enough. Our friends rented a canoe and followed us across the lake, to a small beach where we swam. Since it was not the weekend, there weren't too many jet skis out. I can't really understand why people love those things, but anyway, it was a good upper body workout and I think we rowed about about 3 miles. After a great Mexican food dinner and sangria, we went to bed, to get ready for our adventure to meet Lisa (Bleeker St. Girl) for lunch on Friday. We started out from Great Barrington around 10 AM, on a sunny day, with fairly low humidity. There were some clouds, but compared to the high heat/humidity days we've had, this was perfect. The ride started out with a mile climb, but the first 10 miles were roads we are very familiar with. Lots of rolling hills until we got to the NY border, where we were greeted by a one way bridge and a long red light. A driver from Tennessee decided to go on the red, and then another car came the other way, sending the flag woman into fits. The driver had to back up, while we waited and laughed at the stupidity. Once we crossed into NY, we stopped at a gas station, refilled our water bottles and started mostly downhill to Chatham, NY. The ride was mostly on a main road at this point, with a wide shoulder. After stopping to call Lisa at a Buddhist retreat, we got to Chatham at the 30 mile mark. Lisa had reserved a table at Ralph's Pretty Good Cafe, which had delicious food. We had a great lunch; I had a Caprese sandwich. Soooo... Lisa said the first 8 miles out of Chatham were a "gentle climb." Well, once we turned onto Rt. 302, the fun began. This was a seven and a half mile climb that never relented! Of course, the sun came out and I thought I was going to pass out, but of course, I didn't. We got to the end and all agreed that the climb kind of sucked, since the road conditions were not that good. However, the rest of the ride was mostly flat and my husband and I were able to maintain an average of about 20 for the last ten miles back to the car. We waited for our friends, ate our Clif Bars, and drove to the store to buy Corona, chips, and salsa, whcih we enjoyed by the lake. The total ride was 53 miles, with 3900 feet of climbing. I felt really tired, but not too tired for Cafe Luccia in Lenox that night, followed by ice cream. Unfortunately, I had mocha ice cream, which kept me up all of Friday night.
    So, on Saturday there was a 60% chance of rain predicted. We had wanted to do a 50 mile ride we did last year, but we knew that was out of the question. With the help of the B and B owners, we planned a 25 mile route and headed out early, around 9. The first 15 miles were fine; then we turned onto Blanford Rd. I will never forget this as long as I live. I got behind my husband and went up the first part, about a 12% grade. OK, no problem. Then, we rounded a corner and I saw the road go up and up and up! I was in the granniest of granny gear (and I was thinking of Lisa's 24 tooth granny), pushing as hard as I could, when I heard my friend say, "I'm getting off!" I went a few more feet and I accepted defeat and got off of my bike. I have NEVER walked up a hill. However, this was about half a mile at 18%; I ride up 18% regularly, but not for half a mile. I was so demoralized, but the walk up that stretch, probably about 1/4 of a mile in road shoes, was not too easy, either. We got to a spot where it flattened out and I got back on my bike. After another half of a mile or so, we got to the summit (or so we thought). After a downhill, lo and behold, the second part of the hill began.I was dying, but I got behind my friend, who is very slow and finally got up to speed and passed her. After another 2 miles or so of climbing, at maybe 12%, we got to the real summit, where it was cold and my husband and my friend's husband were waiting. The rest of the ride was rolling, with beautiful scenery, but my legs were shot and not sleeping had just about zapped all of my energy. When we got back, it was 30.3 miles and I flicked my computer off, because I didn't want to see how slow I was. Another 3900 feet of climbing. We had a great lunch at a local place and i even allowed myself to eat some onion rings, due to my "trauma"of having to walk my bike. By now it was pouring out, and we headed to the Arcadian Shop, where a huge sale was in progress. It was mobbed, and there was not a lot of stuff in my size, but I got 2 Ibex short sleeved t shirts, some socks, and a hand made cotton hoody sweater, all at a good discount. We then went into the cafe and I had herbal tea and talked to my son who had called us from Iraq on my husband's cell phone.
    Saturday night we had another awesome dinner at Chez Nous in Lenox. I got a good night's sleep and we had a leisurely breakfast and left around 9 AM today. When we got home, my older son was here, with his girlfriend, so we went on a 4 mile hike in the local conservation land. I am now exhausted, about to make dinner. It was a great vacation, good food, good friends, and very challenging riding. I have to get stronger!
    Pictures to follow.
    Last edited by Crankin; 08-03-2008 at 02:37 PM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Riding my Luna & Rivendell in the Hudson Valley, NY
    Posts
    8,409
    Oh wow cool, you made it home safe and succeeded in all your outings!

    Quote Originally Posted by Crankin View Post
    Soooo... Lisa said the first 8 miles out of Chatham were a "gentle climb." Well, once we turned onto Rt. 302, the fun began. This was a seven and a half mile climb that never relented! ...The total ride was 53 miles, with 3900 feet of climbing.
    Hey, it's not so bad! It's all spread out over several miles! I do it all the time! Maybe your bikes weren't heavy enough.

    So, on Saturday there was a 60% chance of rain predicted....we planned a 25 mile route and headed out early, around 9. The first 15 miles were fine; then we turned onto Blanford Rd. I will never forget this as long as I live. I got behind my husband and went up the first part, about a 12% grade. OK, no problem. Then, we rounded a corner and I saw the road go up and up and up! I was in the granniest of granny gear (and I was thinking of Lisa's 24 tooth granny), pushing as hard as I could, when I heard my friend say, "I'm getting off!" I went a few more feet and I accepted defeat and got off of my bike. I have NEVER walked up a hill. However, this was about half a mile at 18%; I ride up 18% regularly, but not for half a mile. I was so demoralized....After a downhill, lo and behold, the second part of the hill began.I was dying
    Now THAT sounds pretty challenging. No shame in walking- helps you recover for the next climb.

    It was great fun to meet for lunch with you guys.
    I should have escorted you up the 'gentle climb' on 203 out of Chatham and seen you off proper.

    On the flats I never ever could have kept up with you speedsters.
    Lisa
    Our bikes...OurBikes...and my mountain dulcimer blog
    Ruby's Website and My blog
    ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Massachusetts
    Posts
    2,559
    Robyn, I was in the Arcadian Shop yesterday too, around 4:00 pm, but I didn't buy anything. We were putting a new roof on a shelter in October Mountain State Forest. We got the old roof off and a full coating of self-stick tar paper on before it started raining. Then we finished carrying in the metal roofing material and quit for the day around 3:00 pm.
    Oil is good, grease is better.

    2007 Peter Mooney w/S&S couplers/Terry Butterfly
    1993 Bridgestone MB-3/Avocet O2 Air 40W
    1980 Columbus Frame with 1970 Campy parts
    1954 Raleigh 3-speed/Brooks B72

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Concord, MA
    Posts
    13,103
    Deb, that is funny. I think we were probably still in the cafe at 4. We sat there a long time. It had rained much earlier in Otis, but it had stopped by the time we got to the Arcadian Shop.
    I've always wanted to go in the October Mountain State Forest. I've driven by it a lot of times. Next time! We didn't get to do "the wall" on Tyringham Rd. this time, but that almost seems tame compared to what we did this weekend.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Western Massachusetts
    Posts
    304
    I think I saw your group late on Saturday morning, as I was leaving the farmer's market in East Otis center. There were 2 couples, and one of the women was wearing sort of an olive green and black jersey.

    As far as the gigantic hill that goes into Blandford Center on Route 23, that is a mile or so from my house, and I will never even attempt to ride up it, believe me! There are tons of huge hills around us, and I have walked up plenty of them in the last few years that I have been cycling. We ride regularly around Otis Reservoir, and it is especially quiet and beautiful in the fall after all the summer folks have gone home.

    That hill is also lot of fun in an ice storm in the winter , and the state police close the road when it gets really bad, at least a few times every winter.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Concord, MA
    Posts
    13,103
    Bambu, that probably was us; my friend was wearing a green and blue jersey. And it wasn't the hills on Rt. 23; that would have been our alternative, which I nixed, based on our ride on them into town in the car! This was a street called Old Blanford Rd and I think it might have been called Chester Rd. at one point. It starts off of Rt. 20. I should have had a hint when I was riding down Rt. 20 and looked to the right and saw a dirt street called Quarry Rd. It looked like it had about a 40% grade. I knew we were in trouble.
    Can you ride completely around the reservoir on paved roads? I would like to do that maybe in the fall.
    I was going to ride today, but it's been raining on and off and I have stuff to do. I guess it's a yoga day. We have our Mass Bike Tour in 2 weeks and I have to get set for 4 days in the saddle...
    Last edited by Crankin; 08-04-2008 at 11:00 AM.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Western Massachusetts
    Posts
    304
    OK- I know where you are talking about. I have been down part of Quarry Road from the other direction towards Route 20, and it is brutal. I had to walk back up most of the way. It is a real treat for me to go somewhere relatively flat for a bike ride, since there are so many hills around us!

    You can only cycle about 3/4 of the way around Otis Reservoir, from East Otis Center to Camp Overflow, which I think is about 13 miles one way. After that, there is a lot of Tolland State Forest property and old logging roads, and lots of good mountain biking.

    Wendy

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Riding my Luna & Rivendell in the Hudson Valley, NY
    Posts
    8,409
    Crankin (Robyn) and I pooled our photos of their 50+ mile ride from Great Barrington to Chatham and back, and she asked me to post them all together. She and her husband are in the red jerseys, their two friends are in blue, and I am in the flower skirt. (They rode 50+ miles that day, I only rode down the hill to Ralph's and back!) The first picture gives a good view of the very pretty rolling countryside I get to ride in all the time.
    There's one picture of them with RALPH from Ralph's Pretty Good Cafe (where I eat several times a week and always fuel up before my rides). I warned them not to irritate Ralph in any way or they might get thrown out, and they were very well behaved.
    Lunch was fun and they are a great bunch of people!















    Last edited by BleeckerSt_Girl; 08-07-2008 at 06:05 PM.
    Lisa
    Our bikes...OurBikes...and my mountain dulcimer blog
    Ruby's Website and My blog
    ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

 

 

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •