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Cooleyville Commute

joe and i have gone back and forth on this ride a few times, and finally settled on a route and a date.  this takes us through some of the most gorgeous parts of western mass and features great gravel roads and some fun singletrack.  Also, we love a ride that starts and ends from someone's house.

Sunday May 7th 2023

I met Joe at his house and we loaded up our bikes and applied some sunscreen.  Kelly took some cute pics of us and then we were off!

we rolled down the bike path, and then snaked along next to the Mill River behind Smith college.  It'd been a while since either of us were back there, and it's a blast.  We rode by places we each used to live, and then took a little snack break at the trailhead for Fitzgerald lake


after lots of singletrack and mud and fun we were running low on water and stopped to refuel in Williamsburg.

this was a very pretty spot.

Another picturesque New England view, and a farm store rest stop to sit in the shade and eat and drink and recharge.

What is Joe saying here?  Wrong answers only.

here are some pictures of us going over bridges.  we like bridges.

riding through some sandy trails, we were getting close to dinner and were feeling hungry, tired, and sore.

oh boy were we happy to see that bbq sign! we ate drank and were merry, liz joined us and somehow had more energy than joe or i did.  we had some delicious food and sat there for a long time, and then slowly creaked back onto our bikes for the 4 miles to camp.

we ate snacks and drank some ginger libations at camp, liz and joe stoked a fire with leaves (it's been very wet so the wood was not catching), and we talked for a while until it was bedtime.

day 2 started with a long road climb, and then a stop at a country store for some snacks and to fill up water.  we left the country store and hit our first (gorgeous) gravel section of the day.  But we immediately stopped for a turtle photoshoot!!

I have a theme of taking fewer pictures after the first day of a trip, it's almost like I get tired or something...

I am sweaty.

disappointingly, our lunch stop day 2 (one of our all time faves) closed their kitchen minutes before we arrived :(.  So we rolled into Amherst center looking for a bite to eat, and decided on some classic slices.  After we rested and consumed, we just had a fun little off road section to get to the bike path, and then some bike path miles back to Joe's!

we made it back a few minutes before a facebook marketplace connection showed up to purchase a bird feeder.  phew.  Joe had left his keys inside, and I wasn't in any huge rush, so we set our tents out to dry in the sun and sat around chatting for a bit, played some ping pong, and then I got in my car and headed home.  This was my first trip on my new bike, and it was amazing!  I couldn't have built a better bike for my needs, and this trip really affirmed that.

This was such a wonderful trip!  The route was a blast, featuring some incredible views and what felt like a little taste of everything western mass.  We were also treated to absolutely perfect weather for our weekend, which helps things look more beautiful.  I love the gravel roads, all the bridges, the little towns and country stores, and seeing familiar places from a different angle and with a new perspective.  Bikepacking is an absolute joy. 

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