Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Bikes and Bridges

We set off for another bike trip a couple of days ago. It would surely be more successful than the last one when we found ourselves in a car with no brakes. 
We chose the Norwottuck Rail Trail, which like so many bike trails today, is built over a former railroad bed. The rail trail cuts across Damon Road in Northampton, and we usually begin there -  theoretically for the large parking lot, but there is a reeely good ice cream stand nearby. 

It’s kind of neat to have a major road named after a member of the family. Issac Damon was my spousal unit’s many-times-great-grandfather.
According to the January, 1895 issue of The American Architect and Building News, old Issac was the leading architect in the area through the 1800s. It went on to say that he designed and built at least thirteen churches in Western Massachusetts and nearly all the town halls and courthouses. His specialty, however, was bridges. 
    The trail in this section begins appropriately enough, with a bridge, a remade railroad span over the Connecticut River. 


It was a weekday so the trail was pretty much ours. 

    This was a relief to me since I'm still a little unsure of my biking skills. Letting go with one hand to whack a bug off my leg is a major undertaking. 

The scenery reminded us of the long history of agriculture in the area. 

The trail's been refurbished lately and now offers spots to rest
and even a little education. 

If you grow bored along the way you apparently can stop off for some fresh ink 

or a quick beer and veggie burger. 

We turned around after four miles and pedaled back, tattoo and cocktail-free, but that ice cream stand at the end was calling our names. 


  1. Looks like a good place to bike, I refuse to ride a bike on roads that have cars.

  2. A beautiful trail. We have bike paths on the old railroad lines here, too. I remain too uncertain of my bike skills to get on one, though. Eight miles is serious enough to ice cream.

  3. Nice! I am sure I would have stopped for the ice cream. And it sounds like you're becoming an old hand on the bike. :-)

  4. Love that bridge.
    However did you resist the tattoo temptation?
    Congratulations on your achievement. You rode a lot further than I could manage.

  5. I like bike trails, do not know if I could do an 8 miler anymore.

    1. To Tabor and everyone else - I make no claims of athleticism, believe me. It was a totally flat trail so I could coast a lot of the way.
      Actually what gives out first on me is not my legs but my - um, nether regions, shall we say. . . .

  6. Good on you for getting out on a good bike trail. Bike trails should be another meter wider for safety purposes.

    1. YES Red. I couldn't possibly agree with you more about the need to widen them. I always get nervous when I see a gang of people approaching. And don't get me started on people that travel two abreast.

  7. Nice ride, I'd go too if I could find a totally flat area. Don't know about 4>8 miles though, my hip would complain a lot the next day, probably that evening too. I love that last shady photo.

  8. How neat to travel on a road named for an ancestor. Love what areas are doing by converting old railroad tracks into bike trails. A perfect recycle. Keep on biking. I really miss it here in the Ozarks.

  9. how nice. nothing but country roads out here and people drive fast on them. me included.


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