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  1. #1
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    Where to ride in Western MA??

    I just got back into biking a month ago after about a 12 year hiatus! I'm lovin it but need to network a little since most of my friends aren't into it. I'm in the Boston area and have found some cool places, but I've been thinking of finding some places out in the 413. I went to UMass Amherst and have been thinking of getting up there soon to visit. While there I'd like to go for a ride since I remember hearing of decent trails. Anyone know of any places near there and/or willing to show me around? I'm pretty much a 'novice' at this point, but I can hold my own if it's not crazy! Longest ride was about 13 miles a few weeks ago. Later.

  2. #2
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    Lots of stuff in and around the valley. For novices, with some fitness, best bet closest to UMass would be Earle's Trails - the North side of Mt Holyoke/Skinner State Parks. Hang out in the lot on a weekend day and find a guide, or if none appear, cross the road, ride out to the old Military Bunker and give the trails a go. You'll have a good time - if you don't get too lost.

    Sometimes the locals post up rides on the forum here or at NEMBA.org, though not regularly...
    http://facebook.com/CharlemontTrails
    NEMBA Past President...

  3. #3
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    Thanks for the info! I'll check out Earle's while I'm out there. I'll be checking NEMBA again, and I might join eventually. Still deciding how serious I want to get into this.

  4. #4
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    I got back into riding this summer too and I'm in western MA. I keep seeing people mention Earl's trails and I have no idea where they actually are to access them. Can someone give me good directions?

    Second question, do any of the Northampton area bike shops carry knee/shin and elbow/forearm pads?

    Thanks.

    Tig

  5. #5
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    Hey Tig,

    I'd go out on a limb and say that Competitive Edge in hadley would have shin and knee guards for biking. Check them out!

    Earl's are the trails in on the north side of Skinner State Forest-just across rte 116 from the Notch Visitor center. They are fast, flowy and relatively smooth and hilly. You can access them from either the military Bunker on Rte 116 or the end of Chmura Rd (off of Bay Rd right across from the Eric Carle Museum...Of very Hungry Caterpillar Fame).

    I Prefer Batchelor St, myself, which is on the other side of the Notch (easy to connect to Earl's trails)-but best accessed from the Batchelor St. Parking lot on the South/ East Part of the Holyoke Range SF. They are the "Ernie" to the "Bert" trails over on Earl's side.


    Ride them both together is a lot of fun and adds up to a pretty epic ride.

    For those visiting the region...Here's the map...use it wisely-we don't post this link often

    http://www.hampshire.edu/cms_html/Holyoke_Range.htm

    Liam

  6. #6
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    Thanks for the map. I went riding at Batchelor St today. It kicked my butt. I guess it really has been years since I did this. I never got to competitive edge, but Highland bike had the pads I was looking for.

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