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  1. #1
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    Looking for good places to ride in Western MA

    I live in Westfield MA (10 miles west of Springfield) and I am looking for some good placed ro ride in the western part of the state. Preferably places with in 30 minutes of Westfield so I can ride them on a regular basis. Currently my wife and I ride Robinson State park several times a week after work.

  2. #2
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    Tim,

    there are a number of good rides in a half hour--

    I don't ride your immediate area hat often (or at all actually) being I'm in the North/ Central part of the connecticut river Valley--Have you checked in with Don at New Horizon Sports?? I know some guys that ride out of his shop and can certainly put you on some good local trails.

    If you're willing to drive a little further north (but within your 30 minute time alotment) might I suggest:

    North and a little west of you is the DAR SF in Goshen. Beautiful park-great trails (medium difficulty with some climbing-nice swimming lake w/ facilities on sie as well-worth a trip). The Park Map has a fair rendering of all the trails (which all have nice Carsonite Signs at the trailheads).

    Due North and Slightly East: Skinner-Holyoke SF in South Hadley and Granby-colloquially known as "Earl's Trails" (The Skinner SF side) and Batchelor St. (the Holyoke Range SF). If you Park at the Notch Visitor Center on RTE 116 in Granby (or maybe it's south hadley) you can access both areas easily--ort park in the mountain biker starting point-off of Batchelor St in Granby--either way, just hang out and look for local bikers to get pointed in the right direction--the singletrack is plentiful and labyrinthine-so a little local help can go a long way. These trails are world class-honest.

    There's other places as well-drop me a PM if you are coming up this way or need more detailed info.

  3. #3
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    Thanks! I know where those places are. I though they were just kiking trails, didn't know you can ride there.

    I am not a big fan of Don or his shop.They are very pushy and bike snobs to boot. What ever you tell them you want to spend, they try to sell you somthing 50% more expensive.

  4. #4
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    Tim,

    There are a bunch of trails in the Bear Hole area. They're not all that great but they're there. There are actually a few singletrack trails marked out but not maintaind in years. Every so often I stumble on a new one. You can also get up along the ridgeline of the mountain near the M&M trail and see all of Westfield. If you cross over 202 just before the 2nd reservoir entrance, there is a trailhead on the lefthand side of the road that leads to a bunch of trails that end up behind HCC. Hellgate and Widowmaker are a couple of names. There are some good trails up on Tekoa as well. You can start in Montgomery near the Westfield reservoir or you can start in Westfield off of West Rd. and climb a rock garden to them.

    I live right off East Mountain Rd. but have been riding Batchelor St. (which is awesome) for the past month or so thanks to the tips of Superbman. I'm heading to Wendell S.F. tomorrow to check out the trails there.

    Red

  5. #5
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    Hey Red-I'm riding Wendell ttoday at 3 from the main parking area if you're interested. I might be able to dfind some knowledgeable locals to take you around Wendell on Sunday to if you like (assuming you are not already a knowledgeable local).

    Sorry for the tip on New Horizons--I've never been there-but I knew they lead rides in the area.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by SuperbMan
    Hey Red-I'm riding Wendell ttoday at 3 from the main parking area if you're interested. I might be able to dfind some knowledgeable locals to take you around Wendell on Sunday to if you like (assuming you are not already a knowledgeable local).

    Sorry for the tip on New Horizons--I've never been there-but I knew they lead rides in the area.
    Don't worry about it. The best shop in the area is Gravity Warehouse in Southwick. It is owned by a pro DH racer. A really friendly / laid back bunch of guys that only try to sell you what you need / can afford. They also lead weekly rides up in Granville. One of these days I am going to have to ride with them. I have heard great things about the Granville ride.

  7. #7
    achiever
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    Quote Originally Posted by SuperbMan
    Hey Red-I'm riding Wendell ttoday at 3 from the main parking area if you're interested. I might be able to dfind some knowledgeable locals to take you around Wendell on Sunday to if you like (assuming you are not already a knowledgeable local).
    I'm definitely not a knowledgeable local! Nor am I particularly skilled. Regardless, I just got beck from Wendell. I liked it a lot. I followed the route described on the NEMBA site (which I joined the other day). I'd say that Nipmuck was my favorite (especially the last 1/2 mile or so that was really flowy) and the lower section of Hannah Swarton (liked the switchbacks about 1/2 way down with the rocks and roots). I rode upper HS, too but that was frustrating for me because it is, for the most part, beyond my skill level. The trails right around the marsh on Wickett Pond Rd. were sweet, too.

    I need to learn to ride tech stuff better. Specifically I should work on momentum, line selection and seeing the trail. I just about went over the bars on one section of upper HS, didn't even see what I hit.

    Anyway, thanks for the advice on some great riding spots!

    Red

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    Tim,

    Our man in Hampden County-Steve Rossi is a huge Gravity Warehouse fan--and someone worth getting to know-he's the nemba VP in those parts-great guy, really great rider-he hosts a number of rides and ride events in the area--

    Hey Red-I think I parked next to you today---were you packing it in around 3:10 in the main parking area?? I pUlled up in a styling blue Minivan with a Bud-and met some other guys...

    Anyway-if that was you-it looked like you had a good ride.

    See ya on the trails.

  9. #9
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    Not me... I parked up at the Dirth Road entrance. I went down to Carleton and went arond the east side of Ruggles Pond. I think I saw the guy you are talking about, though. He had red hair (as do I) and a red full sus bike... I let him pass me in the laurel patch.

    Red

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    Just got in from second week at Beartown St Forest just ne of Great Barrington. Epic ride on the ski and bridle trail. 3+ hours (2 breakdowns) banner singletraks with something for everyone. Finally found second half of the bridle trail to complete the loop. Willing to provide details if you's like. J-

    The faster you go - the rounder you get.

  11. #11
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    i was going to suggest the group rides out of gravity warehouse, but that's been covered. attend a few rides with them, get to know the trails, then head out there on your own. granville has some beautiful singletrack.
    "Melancholy is incompatible with bicycling" ~James E. Starrs

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    Just up the road in Southampton off of Crooked Ledge Road. There is a dirt road on the right about 1-2 miles up known as Edwards Road. There are great trails that go into Westhampton, Whites, and up Pomeroy Mountain with great views of Westover, UMass, Noho, Easthampton, CT, and even into NH at the summit. Its actually right across from Mt. Tom and 9 feet taller.

  13. #13
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    Know the area well...

    I know all of the trails mentioned above (and more). Lots of great riding in the Westfield area. Let me know where you want to go and we can put a ride together.
    If you didn't build the trail, don't mess with it.

  14. #14
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    I'm down for a group ride... I've never been on one and I probably ride slower than most would pedal my butt off if I was getting dropped!

    Does anyone know anything about the trails towards the Bear Hole res? I've found a few trails that are signed and look to have been well cut but not maintained. I live right there and would like to clean some of 'em up someday. Some of the names are: Gin Mill, Tempest, Avalanche and many others I can't remember.

    Red

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    August 26th is the next weekend day I have free.
    For evening rides, Aug 6, 9 and 13 are open.

    There is a Bear Hole group ride scheduled for Thursday evening Aug 30th, 5:45.
    If you didn't build the trail, don't mess with it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by TheHare
    August 26th is the next weekend day I have free.
    For evening rides, Aug 6, 9 and 13 are open.

    There is a Bear Hole group ride scheduled for Thursday evening Aug 30th, 5:45.
    I might want to get in on this ride. Where do you guys meet?

    I grew up off of East Mt Road in Westfield and tried to ride the Bear Hole area a bunch of times. This was 10 years ago and I was never able to find an extensive trails system. I would run into short trails here and there that would just die, then I would hike thtough the woods with my bike till I found a new trail and cont. Eventually I would either pop out at the Holyoke Res. of on top of the ridge.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tim Mailloux
    I might want to get in on this ride. Where do you guys meet?

    I grew up off of East Mt Road in Westfield and tried to ride the Bear Hole area a bunch of times. This was 10 years ago and I was never able to find an extensive trails system. I would run into short trails here and there that would just die, then I would hike thtough the woods with my bike till I found a new trail and cont. Eventually I would either pop out at the Holyoke Res. of on top of the ridge.
    (Not relative to the Group Ride) This is not one of my strong areas (Bear Hole), but we do a couple hour ride there a couple times a year and it is quite brutal. My buddy and I meet at the lower reservoir entrance and head south-ish (towards bear hole road) on some wide rocky trails and climb the south end of the ridge. We then ride the ridge to "Armagedon trail" and then cross 202. We head up on a few different named ("White Lightning" + +)single track trails and then loop around to the right (east) and then back south on the main trail (wide) behind HCC and then back to "somethings? Hollow" trail to the reservoir. Some tough rocky riding, but it is a fun challenge once in a while. It is an entirely clockwise loop.

    (The Group Ride on the 30th) I ride with these guys once in a while and the pace is pretty mellow. Not sure where they meet for this one, but the trail boss for this ride lives on the West Springfield side of Bear Hole and they probably start from his house. He knows the area very well and I am sure will put together the best possible loop. PM for address. May take a little while as I will have to check on the meeting spot.

    Dates in prior post are availble, if anyone prefers. Also, lots of better places to ride in the area (IMO). Whites Reservoir, Bachelor St, Earl's, Robinson, Provin, Granville (many locations up there), Shenipsit (a little far), Blandford, Newgate Prison Ridge (tough), Tekoa.
    If you didn't build the trail, don't mess with it.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheHare

    Dates in prior post are availble, if anyone prefers. Also, lots of better places to ride in the area (IMO). Whites Reservoir, Bachelor St, Earl's, Robinson, Provin, Granville (many locations up there), Shenipsit (a little far), Blandford, Newgate Prison Ridge (tough), Tekoa.
    I actually live on Provin Mt., and if you ever want to do that ride we can start from my house. I have a 2 minute ride from my driveway to a fire road that heads to the reservoir and up to the ridge. I have been living here for 5 years and I just discorved these trails a couple of weeks ago. I have always seen dirt bikers and guys on ATV heading up there, and a few times I did some exploring. But everytime all I found were a bunch in interconnected loops (very sandy) that went no where and I gave up on it. A couple of weeks ago I was bored and gave it another try. Found some great stuff that basiclly goes from Rt 187 all the way to Rt 57. It is really technical and there is a ton of climbing. The entire ride is like one long rock garden and there really aren't too many flat sections. The entire ride was very similar to the sections of New Gate I have ridden years ago.

  19. #19
    pepito
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tim Mailloux
    Found some great stuff that basiclly goes from Rt 187 all the way to Rt 57.
    you should've seen that trail 10 years ago. it was blissful, beautiful singletrack. the past 5 or so years have seen it transition into rutty doubletrack in many areas. it's still a nice ride, but i can't help but remember what it used to be.

    also, i live less than a mile from the mountain in southwick. drop me a line if you'd ever like to hook up for a ride.
    "Melancholy is incompatible with bicycling" ~James E. Starrs

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by the_dude
    you should've seen that trail 10 years ago. it was blissful, beautiful singletrack. the past 5 or so years have seen it transition into rutty doubletrack in many areas. it's still a nice ride, but i can't help but remember what it used to be.

    also, i live less than a mile from the mountain in southwick. drop me a line if you'd ever like to hook up for a ride.
    I ran across a couple of guys on 4-wheelers up there this past weekend. It really pissed me off as the trail is not for ATV use.

    I live on the Westfield side of the Mt, not too far from the Southwick line. I would love to hook up sometime for a ride. Though I have a feeling I may slow you down. This past weekend I think I ended up walking about 10% to 20% of the trail.

    What trail head do you start this ride from?

  21. #21
    pepito
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tim Mailloux
    What trail head do you start this ride from?

    i usually start from rising corner (suffield/feeding hills/southwick line), and ride to the top of 22. it's a pretty regular loop for me, since it fits so nicely into my schedule. if i have longer than an hour or two, i continue back down the mountain into robinson and get a few laps on those trails.
    "Melancholy is incompatible with bicycling" ~James E. Starrs

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by the_dude
    i usually start from rising corner (suffield/feeding hills/southwick line), and ride to the top of 22. it's a pretty regular loop for me, since it fits so nicely into my schedule. if i have longer than an hour or two, i continue back down the mountain into robinson and get a few laps on those trails.
    Do you ride on the Road all the way to 22, or do you take the trails from 57 along the ridge to 22? There is a way to get from 22 / Springfield Res to Robinson without having to ride on the road (except where you have to cross 187).

    Robinson is my regular ride after work a couple of nights a week. I have a set loop that I do there with a coupld of variations. I occasionally explore and find some cool stuff that I can never seem to get back to. I may want to hook up some evening for a Robinson ride too.

  23. #23
    pepito
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tim Mailloux
    Do you ride on the Road all the way to 22, or do you take the trails from 57 along the ridge to 22?

    i ride the road from my house to the beginning of the metacomet/manadnock trail at rising corner. from there, it's all trail up to 22, and down into robinson (except for two street crossings).

    i do climb the 22 driveway frequently on my road bike.
    "Melancholy is incompatible with bicycling" ~James E. Starrs

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by the_dude
    i ride the road from my house to the beginning of the metacomet/manadnock trail at rising corner. from there, it's all trail up to 22, and down into robinson (except for two street crossings).

    i do climb the 22 driveway frequently on my road bike.
    Where is the trail heas for the Metacomet / Manadnock on Rising Corner? I drive the road freguently and have never seen a trail. I ride from the opposite way coming from the 187 side towards 57. So far I have only riden as far as the Old Quarry / shooting range and I turn around from there. From what I have seen on Google Earth, rt 57 is not to much further after that. If you are heading south towards CT, when you get to the quarry do you take the trail to the left that heads around behind the quarry, or that gnarly down hill on the right hand side. I really want to ride down that trail, but the trip up looks like a nasty hike-a-bike.

  25. #25
    pepito
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tim Mailloux
    . If you are heading south towards CT, when you get to the quarry do you take the trail to the left that heads around behind the quarry, or that gnarly down hill on the right hand side. .

    from south longyard road (southwick), just after you turn left onto rising corner road, there is a small field on the left beside a new house with a big barn in the back. the trail is to the left of the house, through the field.

    now, riding from 187 to 57, you want to take the trail (the one on the left) that follows the horseshoe-shaped quarry. it'll bring you right out to 57. cross the street, and there are a few different trails you can pick up on the other side, most of them lead back into the M&M.

    we should hook up for a ride one of these days. i'll give you a tour. once you know the trails, you could piece together a nice. if you really get daring, you can even follow the trail into connecticut. bicycles are technically not allowed, but it's a really beautiful trail, and you could ride another 30 or so miles once on the CT side.
    "Melancholy is incompatible with bicycling" ~James E. Starrs

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