Monday started out the week with a beautiful day, and I played pickleball until it was almost dark. I had brought Paula to the airport earlier and arrived a little later for pickleball.

Spring blossom

The next day, Dusty and I rode to the start of the NCC Hillclimb from Williamsburg to Chesterfield. It had been a while since I did that climb. Dusty and I started together, but I immediately let him go. After a few minutes, I realized I had not started my timer, so I turned around and started over. The climb was much longer than I remembered, and even though I gave it my all, I did not beat my PR. The headwind probably did not help. It took minutes to recatch my breath.

Back from the NCC hill;climb with Dusty

I had planned to preride the NCC Gravel route for the upcoming Thursday after the hillclimb, but I was too tired and postponed it to the next day. However, before the preride in the morning, I ran my regular route around town. Then in the afternoon, I rode the course; everything looked good except I could not go along Boyden as it was being grated by a huge grader. Afterwards, more pickleball.

Preriding up Cricket Hill

With another beautiful Thursday, the second episode of the Hilltown Gravel Series took off. Four gravel aficionados showed up: Meg, Carolyn, and Jason joined me for our ride. First, a quick calf-biter up Cemetery Hill, followed by Emerson’s gravel descent. Via Shelburne Road, we worked our way to Truce Hill. The descent was pretty chunky. I was curious about the conditions of Boyden, as I had to skip it the day before on the preride, as a huge grader was at work. It turned out it was not that bad in the beginning; nicely packed, the downward part had, as Jason said, some real gravel. When we crossed over to Roaring Brook, via 116, we had a chance to wave to Mr. Massochistah (Aimé) who happened to drive past. After the first major climb, when asphalt turned to gravel, we stopped to look at the newborn calves. Interestingly enough, we were not the only ones watching, as a whole flock of turkey vultures was chilling there as well... giving us the chills. From Roaring Brook, we made our way to Cricket Hill Road. We all made it up there and enjoyed the vista overlooking Pioneer Valley. After a quick social stop halfway down to chat with two mountain bikers we just met, we headed back to the finish. As it was getting late with the various stops, we left Fields Hill for another day.

Carolyn, Jason, and Meg on Roarong brook

Friday was another Gentlepersons ride; we had a good turnout. There was a little confusion about the start location, Dusty's house or in front of the library. After a while, we worked it out. We rode via Whately Road, Adams Road (almost good fun with the steep little climbs) and Ashfield/Williamsburg Road, then up Guinea Road. When we reached North Poland Road, Jim, who was supposed to be at a graduation photoshoot for his granddaughter, got a little antsy, so I proposed to do a little paceline down 116 to get back a little earlier. I felt pretty tired after that.

Gentlepeople riding though Williamsburg

Saturday morning, I played some more pickleball. We had a good turnout with 4 courts filled. Sunday I was going to preride the next NCC Hilltown gravel ride, if it hadn't been raining all day.

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