Bike Breakfast Northampton 2013

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No rain (or snow)!

Bike Breakfast in Northampton means  catching up with old friends. I’ve been walking much more than I’ve been riding this Spring, so I mostly see my biking friends as they zip past me. At Bike Breakfast, I got to catch up with some friends and be reminded how much I love biking.

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Springing Back To Action

OK, Western Massachusetts. We’ve made it through the winter. The sun feels noticeably warmer and snow is clearing from the roadways. Time to get those bikes turned up and ready for riding.

It’s also time to find out new developments and plans for cycling infrastructure in the Pioneer Valley and across Massachusetts.

Mass Bike Pioneer Valley Chapter is hosting its annual General Meeting on Tuesday, March 12 at 7:30 pm. The meeting will take place at Northampton Friends Meeting social room
in the former Elks Building
43 Center St., 2nd floor
Northampton.

If you want to know first hand what’s going on, this is the place to be!

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A Little Help Up The Stairs

Getting up to the rail trail bridge is easy!

A few weeks ago, I was downtown in Northampton with my bike. On my way home, I decided to take a detour from my usual roundabout route home, and go more directly. This meant not going away from the main intersection of Pleasant/King Streets and Main/Bridge Streets to the rail trail entrance down by the parking lot at Union Station restaurant. Instead,  I went to the rail trail bridge over Main Street.

The reason I usually avoid going this way is that there is a flight of steps from the street up to the bridge, and I don’t want the hassle of carrying my bike up the stairs.

The whole way over to the stairs, I was lamenting to myself that there wasn’t a bike ramp on the stairway which would allow me to just roll my bike up the stairs. I was just resigned to carrying it.

But lo, and behold,

There’s the bike ramp I was hoping for!

So, now I know there *is* a ramp for bikes on the staircase up to the rail trail. Yay!

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Manhan Rail Trails Signs Coming

This empty post is getting decorated!


The Manhan Rail Trail (Mass Central Trail) in Northampton an Easthampton is getting something which has been a long time coming – beautiful and informational signage. 

An article in The Daily Hampshire Gazette (subscription) announced that the signs had been shipped from the manufacturer and are scheduled to be installed within the next two weeks.

Funding for the signs comes as a result of the work done by Friends of Northampton Trails and Greenways. Well Done!

 

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Northampton Announces Public Hearing on Boathouse Project

Northampton, MA is holding a hearing on the waterfront park along the Connecticut River. The plan for the park is to build a rail trail extension to it, and on into Hatfield.

Wayne Feiden, Director of Planning and Development, has given notice of the hearing by the Planning Board:

The Planning Board will be holding a public hearing on a Site Plan request filed by the City for approval of the Connecticut River Greenway at the current Lane Construction property off Damon Road.  The hearing will be held at 8:00 PM on Thursday September 13, 2012.
[Wayne’s message continues after the jump.]

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Friends of Northampton Trails and Greenways Photo Contest

Know how you’re riding along the rail trail thinking how lovely it is, how perfect that moment it and how you wish you could keep it forever?  Took a photo, didn’t you?
So share it. Let the world see what you saw that day. Show your photo of biking along the rail trails and you could be part of an art show sponsored by Friends of Northampton Trails and Greenways. There are prizes too!

The deadline has been extended to September 12, so if you don’t have a photo or video yet, there’s still time to capture some of that rail trail loveliness.

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Norwottuck Rail Trail Resurfacing Hearing Set

If you’ve been reading this blog for a while, you know the section of the Norwottuck Rail Trail between Hadley, MA and Amherst, MA has been in dire need of resurfacing for years now. The original surface included broken glass to make it pretty. Unfortunately, that wasn’t so good for the bike tires as glass worked it’s way to the surface.

Well, the Mass Dept of Transportation is holding a public hearing on the project on September 5.

Notice of a Public Hearing

A Design Public Hearing will be held by MassDOT to discuss the proposed Norwottuck Rail Trail Bicycle and Pedestrian Path project in Amherst, Hadley and Northampton, MA.

WHERE: Hadley Elementary School Cafeteria
21 River Drive
Hadley, MA 01035
WHEN: Wednesday September 5, 2012
at 7:00 P.M.
Project#: 605065

See the proposal portion of the notice after the jump:

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BikeFest Returns for Fifth Year

Northampton Cycling Club‘s BikeFest, celebrating all things cycling in Western Massachusetts, returns for the 5th year, bigger and better.

BikeFest is on Saturday, September 22, at Look Park in Northampton, MA. Check out their new website, Bike Fest & Tour of the Valley. There are many rides, for all levels of riders, beginners to hard-core. First ride (the long 104 miler) starts at 7 am, 8 mile Family Ride pushes off at 11:30 am. Early Bird registration before September 12 gets you a good discount, so sign up now.

I rode the 25 miler last year with my son Quinn, and we had a fantastic time on the ride, at the rest stop at the orchard sponsored by the family which hosts Steph’s Wild Ride, and especially the food and visiting with other riders at the ending celebration. You can see my report and more photos in Bike Fest 2001 Wins the Day.

This year I’ll try to bring along more family members. Perhaps I’ll see you there?

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Westfield’s Columbia Greenway Rail Trail Progresses

 

Westfield is serious about getting their Columbia Greenway Trail ready to ride. Just a couple of weeks ago I rode part of the trail from Shaker Farms Road, south to the Connecticut line. Beautiful, smooth riding.

But the trail north of that still had crews on it doing work.
Well, those crews have put in work and the trail section up to the Tin Bridge area near downtown Westfield and  is ready to ride!

The Springfield Republican reports:

“The first phase of Westfield’s trail is simply spectacular. One has to experience it for themselves,” Friends president Jeffrey J. LaValley said.

The article also tells us that the group is planning an opening celebration either in the late summer or fall.  They’ve earned it. I thoroughly enjoyed my ride on the Columbia Greenway, you can see my report here.

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Southampton Rail Trail Group Approaches Milestone

View of the Southampton rail corridor from the completed Easthampton Manhan Rail Trail.

Northampton, check. Easthampton, check. Ummmm…ah,Westfield, check. Southwick, check.

Hang on, something’s missing. Southampton. Southampton is the missing link in the New Haven & Northampton Canal Rail Trail. But the Southampton Greenway Committee is working to connect Southampton to the trail system along the Massachusetts section and close that gap. Best of all, they’re having a kick-start meeting this Thursday, August 2, and you can join them.
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