|Judy Behrens & John Blye on Fred Snow Road|
The Fall Foliage Gravel Grinder, or F2G2, is back after a 3 year break due to obvious reasons and you couldn't have asked for a better day for this ride. Will's wife dropped him off at the start point as she was heading up to Boston. Originally, Will and I were going to ride with John and Judy (pictured above) but they headed off at 8 AM. Will and I left the Tyringham Fire Department at 8:30 AM.
We hit First Dirt 2.4 miles into the route on McCarty Road, which also turned out to be the first climb on the route according to Garmin Climb Pro. I had mine set to all climbs and Will's was set to only big ones. Mine said there were 9 and he had 8.
When we headed out I waffled on whether or not put on my over booties and decided to go without them and that was the first mistake on this ride. I should have worn them because by the first climb my toes were freezing. In fact, my toes were numb for all of 40 miles of this 60 mile ride.
At the first rest stop I asked if they had any toe warmers and they did not, but one of the people running the ride hit all the convenience stores between October Mountain State Forest and New Marlborough and had them at the last rest stop but by then my toes were good. Fortunately, someone else needed them so it wasn't a total waste of effort. Goes to show you how well supported this ride was.
The view at the top of the first climb was breathtaking!
I made this video of us coming down George Canon and Will almost crashed into me on that descent. It was wicked! George Canon wasn't added to F2G2 until 2018 when Berkshire Cycling Association started running the event from the Tyringham Fire Department and it has always been a climb.
The first 2 miles is paved which is a joy compared to the first time we rode up this way when it was all washed out.
At the top is Anderson Vista and the first rest stop of the ride. From here you can look out over the Housatonic River Valley and see the Zephyr Wind Turbine at Jimny Peak, the line of wind turbines on the ridge of the defunct ski area Brodie Mountain and off the to right and obscured by trees in the picture above is Mount Greylock.
Will pulled ahead and fell into a pack of guys that his friend Paul Crowell was riding with and they took a wrong turn. Will and I doubled back to get back on the course
Crossing over Rt 20 the road changes name to Johnson Road and once you cross over the Mass Turnpike then you start the descent down to Otis
Shortly after this point Merritt Road had some new black butter and the length of dirt on this road was cut in half
Then we headed down Cronk Road and it seemed to me that in the past this road wasn't always in the best shape but today it was stellar!
From Cronk we turned onto Sandisfield Road and my Climb Pro alerted me to a 7% climb that Will didn't have on his and then we turned onto Wallace Hall Road.
It's a really loose, sketchy descent and I immediately recognized it from a ride I did through this spring, The Maibock Roubaix, where I led a bunch of Gravel Riders from the Norbrook Farm Brewery up into Sandisfield, MA.
And then we were at what I call the The New Marlborough Money Shot but is also called the Steeple Top Preserve on the map.