We parted ways here. Brian and Maura finished their loop with a ride back into Barre while I headed due south towards Hardwick. Much of this leg was downhill, though there were a few climbs mixed in. I could see some pretty significant thunderclouds building in the sky to the south and west. From Hardwick I chose to jig northwest towards the reservoir for a bit. After a climb up out of town, I wound through some scenic wooded roads and eventually cycled past a cool-looking winery. Right around here the rain began. By the time I was trying to navigate around Ware it was really pouring down hard. The long climbs up out of Barre were crazy hard as the insane downpour smacked me with everything it had. My brakes were useless on the downhills after the climbs, and the traffic on Rte. 9 was really scary in the rain too. I was so glad to finally veer off onto the quieter (and nicely-paved) roads of Quabbin State Park.
The rain finally let up some at this point, and I really enjoyed my scenic tour through the park. The final miles back into Belchertown were fairly uneventful, though again traffic on Rte. 9 was a bit hairy. I was so ready to stop by the time I got back to my car.
(all photos taken with either Nikon AW100 waterproof point-and-shoot or cell phone)
Maura after more than 60 miles in the saddle
on the village green in Petersham w/Brian and Maura
Hardwick Vineyard and Winery
unsettled skies over Quabbin
near the dam at the south end of the Quabbin
"even the jungle wanted him dead..."
glad to be done (photo by Jen)