Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Green River Ride

I went for a ride last weekend which is called the Green River Ride.  It is legitimately part of the D2R2 but the distance and the lack of hills makes it something different and the organizers recognize that and I agree.  But the ride did get us on dirt roads in western Massachusetts and that was fabulous.  If you don't know about the D2R2, it is worth reading about here and search around the web for stories about doing this ride.  In short, think hills on dirt roads and those hills are frequently steep.  I did the 2009 version of 100K D2R2 and it was indeed marked by steep hills and dirt roads.

I rode the D2R2 with Carl, Alex, and Carla.  Alex and Carla dropped off their tandem (which didn't fit in their car) Friday evening and went out to stay in western Massachusetts, a half hour or so from the start of the ride.  I left my house on Saturday around 6:30 AM and picked up Carl around 7 and made it to the starting point before 9.  Alex and Carla, with Carla's mom, arrived around the same time and put the wheels on the tandem after we all checked in.  It looked like we were ready to roll.

As he headed over to the start, Carl's chain jammed and in the process he bent or twisted his front derailleur.  While Carl and I messed with it, Alex and Carla went off on their own, expecting Carl and I to ride faster than they would (it didn't happen).  While we were finishing up, Alex called to say that one of his crank arms was too loose to continue.  We arranged to have the sweeper, who we thought had tools, check on them.  The sweeper didn't have tools and instead brought them back to the start.  Carl happened to have the tool and after tightening the crank arm, we finally got started around 10AM with one tightened but suspect crank and one dubious front derailleur.  It all turned out well despite some initial worries.

The approach to Greenfield was nondescript and uneventful.  We did get to ride on a lightly traveled bike path (except for the other Green River riders) and made our way north to Green River Road and dirt.  By then we had picked up Dave, who I met briefly at Ride Studio Cafe when he came in for a test ride and fitting for the bike he was riding.  The river road, while not spectacular, was very pleasant and scenic.  There were some sections that were right above the river with a significant drop from road to river.   The river road was was smooth enough - although there were certainly a decent amount of rocks on the road - and not too steep.  The section on Jelly Mill and Jacksonville Stage Roads were the nearest that we came to anything similar to the D2R2 proper.  They were quiet roads with some hill climbing and some great views of hills across cleared fields.  These roads led to the lunch stop at the covered bridge.

Lunch was good enough to keep all of us going, consisting of sandwiches, snacks and water.  There was sufficient space to find a place to sit despite the crowds already there.  Carl and I sat together after losing siight of Alex and Carla.  The more amusing part of lunch was the range of cool bicycles and the well known and local (to Boston) bicycle people.  The people who I talked with included Somerville Bike, Elton from Harris Cyclery, Rob Vandermark, and Jamie Maderos from Firefly.  I saw Tyler Evans from Firefly and J.P. Weigle but didn't talk with them.  And there were others who I didn't recognize - I hear the owner of Boulder Bicycles was there.

The return trip was fast or it seemed fast to me.  It was largely downhill and the return past Greenfield was less urban than the Route 5 approach that used on the way north.  We were back at the start/headquarters of the ride by 2:30, in time for dinner and the Preservation Ale, which is a great beer.  I talked more with Elton there as well as John Bayley, who tells me my debt of beer (incurred at the Greylock lodge) was forgiven and I should forget it.  After a quick dinner and packing of bikes, we were off.

Carl shared his pictures with me, noted below.

Dave ("Ive never had this much fun at 10 MPH") and Carl:


At the first water stop (from Carl):

On pavement (from Carl):

 Leaving the lunch stop:

Some of the bikes we saw:

Weigle's Weigle (from Carl):

 Elton's Weigle:

A Boulder Bicycle (from Carl):

Somervillain's Rawland (from Carl):

Grant Peterson designed Soma (650b in this size) (from Carl):

Seven Ti 605b (photo from Carl):

A collection of NFG bikes after the ride:

Total miles for August 445.  Total miles for the year: 2120.

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