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MA-NY East to West

Old 04-23-19, 08:05 PM
  #1  
petrous_segment
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MA-NY East to West

Planning a two day tour with some friends. Looking for any route suggestions that folks might be able to offer. We'll be starting out in Boston and I know the roads around here well enough to pick a good route out to the suburbs as far as Sherborn/Framingham/Bedford depending on the trajectory. It looks like there are also some decent scenic byways closer to the Western border (from about as far West as Northampton to the border). I've consulted a number of sites, but it seems like routes are lacking in the central part of the state. I would love some guidance with routes in these areas either from the Western suburbs > Northampton area (if taking a Southerly route) or Western suburbs > Worcester/Paxton area (if a more Northerly route). We're looking to end anywhere along the MA-NY border. Any tips about any leg of the trip would amazing as well! Thanks!
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Old 04-23-19, 09:40 PM
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One way? Or round trip?

And how how do you feel about climbing?

2A is the more scenic way west, but the southern route is flatter I think.

Will you consider gravel for part of the ride or does it need to be paved road?

also, thatís a long way for 2 days!
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Old 04-24-19, 05:18 AM
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One way. Feel okay, but nervous about climbing. We're all fairly young and will have been training leading up to the ride. I've been thinking about 2A since it's fairly direct, but have been a little worried since some people have mentioned that the shoulders are narrow and it's heavily traffic-ed.

Re: gravel. We'll all be on road bikes so gravel is not ideal unless it's fine gravel.

We're looking at about 150 miles over two days. Should be manageable.
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Old 04-24-19, 05:43 AM
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2A sucks.

From Northampton I'd do MA 66 to County Rd. to MA 112 to U.S. 20 to the town of Russell then Blandford Stage Rd. to MA 23. But you would still have hills.
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Old 04-24-19, 03:23 PM
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Looked at bike paths?
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Old 04-26-19, 12:26 PM
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Have looked a bit but there don't appear to many that would suit our purposes of direct routes and suitable for road bikes.
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Old 04-26-19, 12:28 PM
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Originally Posted by Leebo View Post
Looked at bike paths?
Have looked a bit but there don't appear to many that would suit our purposes of direct routes and suitable for road bikes.
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Old 04-26-19, 01:59 PM
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Rt 20 West to Waltham and stay to Worcester and pick up Rt 9 to Nhampton. Pick up 66 to Huntingtin and get back ton rt 20 to border.
Try to find Rubels bike maps. Most are out of print but someone should have one
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Old 04-28-19, 06:51 PM
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Originally Posted by bktourer1 View Post
Rt 20 West to Waltham and stay to Worcester and pick up Rt 9 to Nhampton. Pick up 66 to Huntingtin and get back ton rt 20 to border.
Try to find Rubels bike maps. Most are out of print but someone should have one
Grabbed a copy of Rubel Central MA edition at my LBS. They have the Western MA one posted in the shop, but not for sale. Gonna go take a photo of it. That route West of Northampton is pretty much exactly what I'm planning at this point. Thanks!
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Old 04-28-19, 06:57 PM
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Originally Posted by indyfabz View Post
2A sucks.

From Northampton I'd do MA 66 to County Rd. to MA 112 to U.S. 20 to the town of Russell then Blandford Stage Rd. to MA 23. But you would still have hills.
Thanks! Yeah, this looks like a solid route. Looking like we'll at least do 66 > 112 > 20. Debating whether to cut down to 23 as you suggested or stay on 20 > 102 around Lee.
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Old 04-29-19, 07:25 PM
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No matter which way you go from Northampton west you'll hit some hills. If you go via Rt. 66 to 20 and 23 you'll hit steeper (but shorter) ones. The best route west from Nhamp that gives you the most gradual (3-4%), though longer, climbs is Rt. 9. Personally, for loaded touring, I prefer the gradual grades, find a workable pace, and then just grind them out. The shoulder is very wide and it's been recently paved so the riding should be pretty stress-free. There is one corner climbing between Williamsburg and Goshen where the shoulder is very narrow and the guard rail keeps you hemmed in but the sight line is o.k. for overtaking traffic and it's only about 50 yds before the shoulder widens out again. That's about the only spot I can think of that gives me the heebs for about 50 miles. You can Google map both routes and see what the profile looks like.

As you get close to Pittsfield there are some nice alternate routes to get you through to state line if that is your goal. I can suggest some.
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Old 04-29-19, 07:53 PM
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According to Google: Nhamp to Lee via 66/20/23 - 2,815' climbing & 2,178' of descending. Nhamp to Pittsfield via 9 - 2,470' of up & 1,722' of down. The profile is also markedly less jagged.
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Old 04-30-19, 05:41 AM
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Take a look at https://nerandonneurs.org/ for lots of cross-MA possibilities, particularly segments of the longer (300k) rides.
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Old 05-01-19, 09:02 AM
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Originally Posted by petrous_segment View Post
Thanks! Yeah, this looks like a solid route. Looking like we'll at least do 66 > 112 > 20. Debating whether to cut down to 23 as you suggested or stay on 20 > 102 around Lee.
BTW...If you stay on U.S. 20 through Chester and mileage-wise that looks like a good place to spend the night, for $60 you can rent the restored 1919 caboose that sits along the CSX main line. The old station has been restored. Rental includes a key to the station so you can use the bathroom. I did it during my 2018 St. Albans, VT to Philly tour. The foam mats on the benches where you sleep are surprisingly comfortable. Didn't bother with my air mattresses. Just understand that linens, etc., are not provided. And bring ear plugs if you are bothered by train noise. The Sunday night I was there four came through as I slept. There is a cheap bar with food and a more upscale bar/restaurant in town. There is also a small mini-market on U.S. 20.

https://chesterrailwaystation.net/Caboose.html
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Old 05-01-19, 08:40 PM
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petrous_segment
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Originally Posted by hilltowner View Post
No matter which way you go from Northampton west you'll hit some hills. If you go via Rt. 66 to 20 and 23 you'll hit steeper (but shorter) ones. The best route west from Nhamp that gives you the most gradual (3-4%), though longer, climbs is Rt. 9. Personally, for loaded touring, I prefer the gradual grades, find a workable pace, and then just grind them out. The shoulder is very wide and it's been recently paved so the riding should be pretty stress-free. There is one corner climbing between Williamsburg and Goshen where the shoulder is very narrow and the guard rail keeps you hemmed in but the sight line is o.k. for overtaking traffic and it's only about 50 yds before the shoulder widens out again. That's about the only spot I can think of that gives me the heebs for about 50 miles. You can Google map both routes and see what the profile looks like.

As you get close to Pittsfield there are some nice alternate routes to get you through to state line if that is your goal. I can suggest some.
Great info. Thanks so much!
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