Last Sunday I completed a 127 mile bike race through the Berkshires. Below can see the details of the race–the route, elevation gain, average speed, etc. What you can’t see, of course, is what really matters: how I felt, the beauty of the course and the challenges I faced. For those of you who haven’t been, the Berkshires are gorgeous year-round: lots of country roads, woods, streams, small bridges and expansive vistas. But in the Fall, the area takes on the hue of unabashed beauty; so-called “Leap Peepers” from all over the country travel here to check out the foliage, and the entire landscape explodes into a pastel of bleeding color.
As you can imagine, the designers of the race–called the Great River Ride–crafted a route that transports the riders along scenic roads which, as the name implies, often meander alongside the Westfield River. I got on the road at 6:15 AM, about 30 minutes before twilight. Much to my surprise (I should have read the weather report more carefully), it was a mere 28 degrees at the start; when combined with fog, mist and a chilly wind, suffice it to say that I was quite cold until well after the sun had come up and done a reasonable job of warming things up. In fact, I found myself constantly blowing on my fingers to prevent them from getting overly numb!