Riding up Mt. Greylock

This Saturday morning seemed like a good time to tackle Massachusetts highest peak, Mt. Greylock. I’ve been talking about doing it for a while now, but the road has been repaved and was only recently reopened after a 2 year shutdown. After wolfing down a fruit pie ( calorific! ) and a banana I hit the road around 5:20am.

Early start...

Early start...

The nice thing about riding this early, it’s quiet, I even beat the fisherman out on Pontoosuc lake…

Pontoosuc Lake

Pontoosuc Lake

About 7 miles into the ride you turn off Rt. 7 and start heading up towards Mt. Greylock, the main gate is about 2 miles off Rt. 7.

Mt. Greylock main gate

Mt. Greylock main gate

The weather was perfect, in the low 60s with some sun, great riding weather. From the base up to the summit it’s 8 miles, not usually a big deal, but the grades start out steep, then let up a little in the middle, then get steep again about 2 miles from the summit. Needless to say, it’s pretty much all uphill, it’s a mountain after all.

Up, up, up and away - new pavement euphoria

Up, up, up and away - new pavement euphoria

About 1/2 way up there’s a nice break in the trees with a great view, at this point it was starting to get a little foggy and cooler.

My ride

My ride

The last 2 miles get pretty steep with a handful of hairpins to keep things interesting, I was lucky this morning, I only saw 1 car the whole ride up and down the mountain. I can only imagine what a zoo it could be on a busy summer afternoon, probably a pretty dangerous place to be on a bike.

Hairy hairpins...

Hairy hairpins...

About a mile from the summit I noticed the air thinning out which causes a gentle burn in your lungs, not really painful though. Much to my suprise I was barely even tired at this point, all that Pan Mass Challenge training must be paying off! It was pretty cool riding above the clouds…

Above the clouds

Above the clouds

When I made it to the summit, the whole thing was blanketed in fog, the scenic vistas I had hoped for weren’t there, but the sense of accomplishment was. 🙂 I didn’t hang around too long at the top, it was eerily quiet up there ( which was nice to begin with but got “weird” the longer I stayed! ) and was pretty chilly.

A quick Mt. Greylock lesson...

A quick Mt. Greylock lesson...

Massachusetts Veterans War Memorial Tower at the summit

Massachusetts Veterans War Memorial Tower at the summit

Made it!

Made it!

At the summit

At the summit

It took me about 45 minutes to make the climb up the 8 mile summit road, going down took less than 20 minutes routinely hitting 40mph thanks to the lack of other cars and the brand new pavement.

I got back to the house around 8am, all in all a great way to start the day!

In other news, my Pan Mass Challenge fundraising continues to go well, I’m currently only $6 short of the 50% marker ( $2100 ), still a long way to go but anything’s possible! As always, donations are very welcome, no matter how small.

Happy riding!

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1 comment so far

  1. daveydave on

    Fellow Mass rider here. North Shore.

    Nice blog! Just picked up on it at bike forums. With all the blogs out there being written by pro’s and ridiculously strong cat 1 – 3 riders, I always find it more enjoyable to find a blog like your’s where starting from scratch and learning is the focus. That’s where I started 2 summers ago.

    Thought I’ve never ridden up Mt. Greylock, that’s a significant accomplishment & I’m glad you found your tempo. It is pretty cool riding above the clouds. I was lucky enough to ride Mt. Washington last summer & just completed my first century this past week. I’m still learning tons. What can I say? I’m addicted now. I just wish we lived in a warmer climate.

    My hint of the day: Eat pickles! The vinegar buffers the amino / lactate build up.

    I’ll keep checking back!

    All the best!

    dave


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