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Old 08-19-11, 07:55 AM   #1
pocky
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Good rides for four of differing levels in Northampton area

Heading down to the Northampton area (staying in Hadley) this weekend through Monday for a quickie vacation meetup with another couple. Bringing the tandem plus two, or three or four if I can think of a reason, single bikes -- our friends, who live in a small apartment in NYC, don't currently own bikes. All four of us are decently athletic, but I'm the only one who will regularly bike 50+ miles in a day.

Planning to do the Manhan and Norwattuck rail trails and enjoy the new connecting bridge. Other ideas? I've stayed for a couple weeks at a time in the past, and commuted a lot from South Hadley to Northampton -- but some of those hills are probably too hard for my companions.

Any dirty-but-easy trails? In addition to the tandem, which I'm not comfy taking on anything rougher than flat dirt roads, two of the single bikes I bring will likely be my and my wife's (brand new-to-her surprise) hardtail mountain bikes, and if I bring the other two single bikes, they'd be our rigid cross bikes which I can stick 42mm knobbies on.

Last edited by pocky; 08-19-11 at 08:03 AM.
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Old 08-19-11, 04:43 PM   #2
Jay H
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if you feel like travelling to Chesire, MA in the Berkshires:

http://www.mass.gov/dcr/parks/western/asrt.htm

it's in nicer shape than the Norwottuck, but not as long if you include the NoHo bike trail with the Norwottuck...

And if you feel like it, some could even ride up greylock for a greater challenge.

Jay
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Old 08-19-11, 08:11 PM   #3
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why don't you ride from S. Hadley to Amherst, to NoHo? You could even follow the five college bus route to give you a super bailout option. The ride is pretty nice.
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Old 08-19-11, 09:54 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by smoothness View Post
why don't you ride from S. Hadley to Amherst, to NoHo? You could even follow the five college bus route to give you a super bailout option. The ride is pretty nice.
I did that commute regularly when I was staying in NoHo, but as I mentioned in the top post, the hills might be a little much for my companions, if I'm remembering accurately. I didn't think about the bus route bailout option, though. Is that flatter?

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Originally Posted by Jay H View Post
Cool, maybe we'll hit that if we head out to Zoar for some watersports.

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And if you feel like it, some could even ride up greylock for a greater challenge.
Sounds like something I'd go for, but probably not them.

How about Skinner State Park / Holyoke Range? I've hiked here before, but I hadn't realized it's supposed to be some of the best XC riding in New England: http://www.crankfire.com/bike/trail/..._holyoke_range
There seems to be a great trail map at http://www.hampshire.edu/cms_html/Holyoke_Range.htm -- any tips on what routes to hit for the "easy stuff"?
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