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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Auckland...Honolulu... now San Diego.... where next ?!?
    Posts
    211

    Northampton/Amherst

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    So it looks like our next stop will be Amherst/Northampton, Mass

    Looking forward to getting out on the trails and the roads........any riders from this area ? Anyone tell me more about the trails around the area ?

    Also keen to check out cyclocross, there is a small interest here in Hawaii... but it looks like FUN and hiking ?? Winter sports ?? I'm guessing a lot of crosscountry skiing ?!

    Looking forward to the move... Hawaii great but just a bit too hot,small and commercial for me
    People do not decide to become extraordinary. They decide to accomplish extraordinary things - Sir Edmund Hillary

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Perth, Western Australia
    Posts
    5,316

    ooooo

    Ooo...does this mean you'll be able to do more mountain biking

    We're venturing to auckland in July for the Canada-USA exhibition hockey game & are doin some dirt tiiiimee at Woodhill and whaka of course

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Auckland...Honolulu... now San Diego.... where next ?!?
    Posts
    211

    Kia Ora CC !

    Yep, definitely want to find all the trails to explore Which leads to getting a new bike since I didn't bring mine over here.....

    Sigh... nice.....Woodhill forest.....Redwoods........yummy........ I miss home !
    People do not decide to become extraordinary. They decide to accomplish extraordinary things - Sir Edmund Hillary

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    Greenville, SC
    Posts
    84
    My boyfriend grew up in easthampton and rode for the NCC (northampton cycling club) when he gets home from his trip I can give you more details. He defintiely has a favorite bike shop in northampton for mountain biking. Its a great area for that. Its also easy to go up into vermont for skiing and more biking. I really liked it up there, I've visited twice... but only in the summer. Also, get beer at opa-opa steakhouse in southampton. The F15 is so good.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Concord, MA
    Posts
    13,394
    Excellent road and mountain biking. Big hills. I don't know a lot about the mountain biking, but I do know that cross is popular. There is a huge cross event on the U Mass campus in October, that is part of the national circuit. I've been to watch it twice. The area has tons of excellent restaurants and shops.

    I love the "Happy Valley." You can guess where that name came from....
    2015 Trek Silque SSL
    Specialized Oura

    2011 Guru Praemio
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    2017 Specialized Ariel Sport

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    Somerville, MA
    Posts
    78
    Not sure about MTB, but the roads out there are great. I went to college in Amherst, and I miss the biking more than anything else!
    "By perseverance the snail reached the ark."

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Auckland...Honolulu... now San Diego.... where next ?!?
    Posts
    211
    Thanks for the replies.....

    Looks like I'll be back in biking heaven.......bit out of fitness for big hills though !

    Hopefully we'll be there for October and the Cross event
    People do not decide to become extraordinary. They decide to accomplish extraordinary things - Sir Edmund Hillary

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Suburban MA and Western ME
    Posts
    1,815
    Quote Originally Posted by MillieNZ View Post
    Thanks for the replies.....

    Looks like I'll be back in biking heaven.......bit out of fitness for big hills though !

    Hopefully we'll be there for October and the Cross event
    The cross event is the first weekend in November in Look Park. This year, it is on the calendar for November 5 and 6.

    Welcome, and enjoy. Great [hilly] riding in that area!

    SheFly
    "Well behaved women rarely make history." including me!
    http://twoadventures.blogspot.com

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Phillipston, MA
    Posts
    445
    Quote Originally Posted by MillieNZ View Post
    Thanks for the replies.....

    Looks like I'll be back in biking heaven.......bit out of fitness for big hills though !
    I grew up in that area and have done a lot of road riding there over the years. Amherst and Northampton are located in the large wide valley floodplain of the Connectictut River that runs north-south, and for the most part, not excessively hilly. For road riding, there is a lot of flat level riding in that area since a good part of it is in heart of the floodplain region. Obviously with any valley there are the hills on either side. If you were to ride in the east part of Amherst and head to the east or northeast towards the hilltowns of Pelham or Shutesbury, or south towards Granby, you will start to encounter hills because you are leaving the valley (you will start to encounter hills on Main St/W Pelham Road and Belchertown Road, and definately East Leverett Road into Leverett and Shutesbury). If you are riding on a north south road in the east part of Amherst you'll have some rolling topography since it's still following the valley contours. Likewise if you are on the west side of Northampton you will be heading towards the hilltowns on the other side of the valley such as Westhampton and Chesterfield.

    Don't worry about bigs hills. You can certainly find hours of level flat (0-3% grades) comfortable enjoyable riding between Amherst and Northampton, and points north. If you take a route leaving north Amherst you can find an easy level ride with mild topography if you let's say, take rt 116 into Sunderland/South Deerfield and then hook up to route 5&10 into Whately and that leads you right into Northampton with hardly a hill encountered - maybe some short gradual terrain once or twice. From South Deerfield you could even follow route 5 into Greenfield right up to Northfield and still not encounter difficult hills. Venture off onto upper or lower roads in the Deerfields and you'll see some very picturesque valley farmlands. Or, leaving north Amherst and finding your way towards River Road/route 47 from Sunderland you will also have some very enjoyable flat rides closer to the river that meander through the farmlands of Sunderland, Whately and Hadley.

    Points north have safer wide-shouldered roads. Route 9 between Amherst and Northampton is also level but it is a commercial road with sometimes crazy traffic and you wouldn't see the beautiful adjacent farmlands that are typical of the region at all. However, in the vicinity of route 9, you could avoid all that traffic and mayhem if you are looking for a fast connection, by taking the Norwottuck Rail Trail that connects Amherst and Northampton routing through Hadley. (The fact that there is a rail trail should indicate how flat that area is). But then, it's a rail trail, and if you don't want a MUP and all of that associated, then stay away.

    As for mt biking...I used to live in Shutesbury and primarily mt biked when I lived there because (tongue in cheek) there were more dirt roads than paved. These are lands I knew well hidden to the general public, some being privately owned ones. But for the public, the closest area might be the Mt Holyoke Range, one of the ranges that surrounds the valley towards the south (there's a trail map to look at in the hyperlink). There is also smaller and milder Mt. Toby in Sunderland/Leverett to the north. These have some mt bike trails and some fire roads.
    Last edited by mudmucker; 04-16-2011 at 09:47 AM. Reason: Fixed hyperlink

 

 

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