The most knowledgeable cyclist I know said: “Bicycles are wheels. You can do all kinds of things with them.” My preference is to use them to travel in France. When I can't travel, I ride near home in the Berkshire Hills of western Massachusetts. Here are some travel stories and local routes.
Monday was April Fool's Day and indeed April feels like it is fooling. The week started cold: snowy, a bit of hail, grey skies. But Thursday was glorious: 50-something, sunny, little wind. Better yet, Berkshire Bike + Board's social rides meet at 5:00 on Thursdays, near my work in Great Barrington, and I was in. This isn't a ride with time for photos, it isn't a ride which stops often, so these two images are from Saturday's ride nearer home. It is a fun ride, and if you are looking for an evening ride in the Great Barrington area, join us!
The sun is out, the snow is melting
There were 15-20 of us, a mix of faster riders, and slower-like-me riders. As often happens, we split into two groups, one which went ahead, and a second that included many skilled, fast riders with generous spirits, who shared tips, skills and pulls with slower ones. This week there were some newer riders, riding without clips. I thought: get accustomed to those pedals, get accustomed to shifting, switch to a clipless setup, and look out!
The ride was about 26 miles, we averaged about 14mph. Enough for out-of-shape me. I don't know what exactly it is, but no amount of indoor stationary training seems to adequately prepare me for the road. Those first hills of the season always surprise me with being so .... ummmm .... hill-like. How did I ever get up those mountains last September, I asked myself.
Those are i-cycles in the middle
Fitness will return. I trust. Today, I headed out for a second ride of the season. Colder weather had returned: 30 degrees and windy. But sunny, which is good. I am definitely ready for warm weather, and it felt cold. So my ride was short, about an hour long, but anywhere I ride from here includes hills, so I consider it an hour more useful than nothing.
Wonder what next week will bring? Surely more riding. Tomorrow it is forecast to snow. And then to rain, which will help to wash away the snow. Happily, the outdoor season is underway. As I write this, I see snow outside my window, but I hear for the first time this year, a robin. Soon there will be bugs, then spring peepers in the swamps and ponds, with their happy racket, confirming the season.