Well, read on.
I crossed the Connecticut on the bike trail first thing, and rode up to Williamsburg the back (steeper) way, via Audubon and South Streets, always a good check on the thigh status. I wish I had refilled low supplies at the stores in Williamsburg, since there were no such pit-stops for many miles after.
I turned left off Route 9 onto Route 143 just after Williamsburg and began a steep six-mile climb into Chesterfield. Think of Wendell Road, the long, hard climb from Route 63 to Wendell center -- but harder and longer. On the way up today, a fellow cyclist went whizzing by me on the way down; I waved, and he replied, "Woohoo!!" That'll give you some idea of the climb.
|Great lunch spot on 143|
|Good enough for a closer shot|
Left on South Street at the intersection there, and I was rewarded with a swooping descent -- briefly. Then the descent becomes crazy rollers leading down overall -- but involving lots of up, too. Seemed cruel at the time. "This place hates me and wants to hurt me," muttered I. However, the scenery was rustic New England all the way; great stuff through there.
I went with my gut and took a right on King's Highway (more evidence of Colonial times?). Steep, curvy, gravel downhills, pretty well graded, thank goodness. Fun and scary and fun.
|Check out the mailbox. Figured no one'd believe me, so I took a picture.|
Take note of Outlook Farm on 66 in Westhampton, a surprisingly large farm stand/grocery store (think Atkins Farm-size) with plentiful food/drink options, and picnic tables and benches strewn about.
|Nuthin' beats local produce for fuel|
I'd do the route again, for sure, but I think it would be more rewarding in reverse. 66 would make a nice early-morning warm-up climb, and 143 isn't especially scenic, so would be well-suited to a very long, screaming descent -- as my fellow cyclist testified today. "Woohoo!!" indeed.
All in all, 46 miles and 3,200' of climbing, certainly my most ambitious altitude for the year to date -- but there's a metric century coming up in two weeks which will beat that all to heck. 'S'why I was out beating on my legs today: prep.
Guess you'll just have to stay tuned for that one. Heh, heh.
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