July 27, 2011

Berkshire Cycling: Cummington Loop 1

21 miles     Paved, short section dirt
Parking: Intersection Rt. 9 & Fairgrounds Rd
Towns: Cummington, Chesterfield, Worthington

Classic red hilltown Berkshire barn doors
Riding today with friends Abby and Susan, we headed south on Fairgrounds Road, to get a short warmup in before turning back north. But we all enjoyed the road so we continued south. It proved to be a beautiful ride on quiet roads that could easily be part of a longer ride. I usually include photos of the landscape, but for a change will use some images of architectural details.

After passing the Cummington Fairgrounds, home on Memorial Day weekend to a high-quality sheep and wool fair, the road offers a 4-mile descent to Chesterfield at Rt. 143. I pass this way regularly by car, and promise that from this intersection all routes lead uphill, more or less steeply. But before the climb, we stopped for a quick look at Chesterfield Gorge, a Trustees of Reservations Property where I rode last fall, described here.

Purple house door, pink garage door

We missed the shortcut we intended to take and soon enough arrived in South Worthington, where we turned north on a section of Rt. 112 new to me. 112 was not too busy and had a good shoulder. Turns out that the Sevenars Concert series, a highly regarded classical music venue, is located here.

Heading back north there was a long but easy climb to Worthington Corners, where a general store provided water to refill our bottles. We rode east a bit on Rt. 143, then north and back to Cummington. If you ride this, the route on the Porter Hill Rd. section (at least on our map) were unclear. Bear right at the unmarked intersection where the road turns to dirt. Continue straight when Carter Rd. intersects from the right.

I don't really know when downhill riding becomes  "technical downhill riding," but zooming down one hill I realized I could see nothing around the curve and hit the brakes with some enthusiasm. Good thing, or I surely would have been crashed off the road.

And the door on a sprawling yellow house & barn
Roads: Fairgrounds Rd./ Ireland St. / Rt. 112 north / RT. 143 east / Old Cummington Rd. / Rt.112 north / Porter Hill Rd. / Fairgrounds Rd. north. Click here for this route on Map My Ride, with cue sheet, map and climbing details.

Berkshire Rides List

1 comment:

  1. This is a great route for imaginary real-estate shopping...esp. finds such as the sprawling yellow house & barn pictured above.


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