This past Sunday I headed back out to Belchertown to experience some of this amazing Western, MA singletrack i have heard people rave about. The days target: Batchelor st trails in Holyoke Range State Park. Stefan rode here a bit last year, and uses the park for trail running & dog walking as well, so he was going to be the guide this trip. We started riding right at 11am and after a more than health dose of climbing right off the bat Rollercoaster was more than a welcome site. This trail was just how it sounds steep up & downs right after each other. As long as you are aggressive on the downs, coasting back up to the next crest is no problem. We were obviously having too much fun because a rock got jealous and attacked Stefan. Only his bike was harmed and in the form of SUPREME TACO.
It was a quick walk back to the lot, and after quick stop at Peak Performance Bicycles we were back on the trails by 1pm with a new and much stronger wheel for Stefan. We planned to take Serpentine up and return to the lot via Twister, sounds easy, but our navigation skills left us when entered the heart of the park where many trails criss cross with out a whole lot of signage. Pete’s Wicked looked nice so we hopped on that and ran into another riding group chilling out for a bit. Conversing about directions we thought we were back on the right track, but ended up on a trail less traveled terminating at a very well labeled KEEP OUT NO TRESSPASSING OR I WILL EAT YOUR SOUL road block. After backtracking we found the trail more traveled and spent some time on what i believe was Far East. We finally made it back to the lot right at 3pm, and drained all the water and calories that were left in my car. A few Sam Adams in the sun were just what we needed after an almost 3 hour almost/maybe epic experience on some of the best single track new england has to offer. I will be back.
We passed the memorial to Chuck Tanguay, which after some research marks the top of Far East. I don’t know much about this guy, but it appears spent a lot of time building and maintaining the amazing trails we were enjoying all day. I was very disheartened to see that the memorial had been vandalized on more than one occasion. Some people just have zero respect for anything /rant.