This Thursday, for our regular weekly meeting, my friends Rick and Rob and I decided to drive out to Pittsfield, hauling the bicycles in my truck, so that we cold take our inaugural 2010 ride on the Ashuwillticook Rail Trail which goes from Pittsfield to Adams. It was a beautiful sunny day, and we were very much looing forwad to this ride. I fully expected that the bike path would be clear of snow and ice, as the trail between Northampton and Amherst has been for several weeks, and Pittsfield (or so I had always thought) had more or less the same climate as the Northampton area. Rick kept telling me that it would be colder out there, and I didn't believe him.
So off we went down the trail, grooving on the sun and sky and the wide-open trail. I snapped this photo of Rob and Rick shortly after we started riding -- I think there's a kind of "Easy Rider"/Dennis Hopper and Peter Fonda vibe to it.
My first clue that I might be wrong about the climate difference could have been this still half-frozen lake along the first part of the bike trail on the Pittsfield end.
ABout two-thirds of the way down the trail, after having to skirt a few tiny snowy patches along the way (no big deal), we were confronted by a section of the trail COVERED in snow and ice. Rob voluteered to jog down the trail a bit to see if this was just a small aberration -- here's a photo of Rick waiting for him.
Rob came back with the bad news the as far as he could see, the trail continued to be covered by the slippery stuff. (I should note that this part of the trail is the shadiest section of its entire length, which is nice in the heat of the summer, but apparently not so great for the melting of snow and ice in the spring.)
So we decided to turn back, and didn't make it all the way to the center of Adams as we had planned. Bummer. But it was still a very nice ride, and we got to have a meal at Ozzie's, one of my favorite restaurants, so it was definitely not a total loss. -- PL