This was a completely spur of the moment day trip. I covered no new territory here, but I’d never ridden these roads in one trip before. It was well worth doing, and a route I’d recommend to anyone who wants to escape the hustle and bustle of eastern Massachusetts for a day.
I took a side trip down to a yard sale some friends were having on my way west. A brief rain shower arrived. I checked the weather radar on my iPhone, and it looked like if I sucked it up and went west I would soon ride out of it. So I put on the rain gear and did exactly that. It was my first time riding this bike in a real rain, and with this particular set of rain gear. My mesh jacket came with its own rain shell designed to go over it, and I used it for the first time. Rain geared up, and behind the fairing, I was perfectly comfortable, especially since I was able to keep moving until the rain stopped. I pulled over at a rest area on Route 2, took the rain gear off, and didn’t need it again the rest of the ride despite a high chance of thunderstorms in the forecast. (I figure that as I go on more and more trips, someday I’m going to get caught in rain, so I might as well practice for that.)
Once on 2, I superslabbed it all the way out until it was no longer a superslab. I went through the middle of Greenfield instead of taking 2 and 91 around it, which is what I should’ve done. I needed to refuel both the bike and myself, but could’ve found both along the bypass. From there, I had a rather traffic-free run through my favorite part of the Mohawk Trail, except for one bridge that the State Police had shut down to one lane due to construction (on a Sunday?) It was fun.
In North Adams I decided to take a side trip up Mt. Greylock. I’d done this last year on the Silverwing, and I wanted to see how this bike compared to it. It did quite well, and made it all the way to the top with no trouble at all as this APRS report shows. The peak of the mountain is 3,489 feet, so this must have beaconed at the highest point of the road, near the tower at the top. The trip down went well, too. Visibility was excellent, and only slightly hazy with the humidity in the air. I appreciated the slightly cooler air at the higher altitude, and so did the bike, whose radiator fan cycled on and off regularly due to the low speeds I was traveling.
From there I continued into Williamstown and turned right up Route 7 to Bennington, VT. I stopped for a drink and an ice cream, then turned right again to pick up Route 9 east – the Molly Stark Trail. I rode this westbound to New York recently, so I knew I was in for a good time – and I was. It’s significantly faster and more open than the Mohawk Trail, but that’s because Vermont lets you do 50mph unless otherwise marked. Traffic generally cooperated with me, and there were some climbing lanes I put to good use. All too soon I was at the other end in Brattleboro.
From there I made my way to nearby Keene, NH, then took 101 east to 137 down to Jaffrey. Route 137 used to be my “test track” when I lived in Winchendon, MA, since it’s fun, hilly, and twisty. I didn’t remember which section was the most fun part, though, since it’s been several years since I’ve ridden it, and I went right toward Jaffrey instead of left through the fun bit. But it was still good, and I didn’t feel like backtracking this time. I took 123 out of Jaffrey, which brought me back into Massachusetts where I picked up 119 and went the rest of the way home.
Good times. Definitely set aside the better part of a day for this loop, especially if you include Mt. Greylock. You can add more superslab (Route 2, 91, etc.) if you want to shorten the trip further and get straight out to the fun parts and back. The scenery is beautiful, and the roads are fun. Not bad for a loop I just made up on the spur of the moment.