Riding the Ashuwillticook, Inspired about How Much Fun Bike Trails Are

Yesterday’s jaunt through the hills of Ashfield on Rte 112 toward Adams reminded me of the 24-year-long tradition I had with my father every October. Throughout all of those years, we held to the same itinerary, which unfolded in the far western part of the Bay State. To us, in the Valley, we call it the Berkshires, to others faraway, it’s Western Mass.

The treat would be jazz at the Williams Inn…here, Jeff’s dad played bass and we always got a big welcome and then would hear him play jazz standards as the World’s Series played on the bar’s TV. Traditions and rituals are rich, and it’s always sad when they end.

Now The Berkshires are a place where I go for a Sunday ride. Mary and I rode the popular Ashuwillticook bike trail for ten miles up and back between Adams and Lanesborough. The trail was full of people smiling, enjoying the thrill of such a beautifully maintained path that takes them by lovely lakes and pretty country scenes.

Craig Della Penna told me that the Southampton Bike Trail is moving ahead…his news was inspiring to us as we enjoyed riding, knowing that soon there will be trails to enjoy closer to home. Once this small town’s voters rejected the path…now they are seriously considering letting it come through their town again. People change, and evolve, thankfully.

But one town still remains a hold out to all of this bike trail passion. Belchertown. According to Deerfield Town Manager Bernie Kubiak, voters there rejected the trail and so South Amherst’s hope to extend the Norwottuck trail into Belchertown will not be happening. At least not now.