July 14, 2008

Biking in Northampton

Zippy went north for a meeting yesterday and I decided to tag along. Since he took the truck out for some exercise, I threw my bike in the back, and decided to ride around the lovely town of Northampton.

I took a few pictures, but really, one problem with being all zen and in the moment is that one gets too absorbed and interested in what one is actually experiencing to bother to take a lot of photos. I took a few (lower res, I left my memory card at home in the puter) and will post them once I get to the office where my USB cable is.

I went all over town - north on King, and south on Pleasant as far as the highways, west to the small park where they used to hold Pride (now sporting a skate park). I started on Riverside Road, out past the fairgrounds and near the airport. NoHo is the sort of town one can ride a bike down the main streets pretty safely, but I also meandered through backroads and neighborhoods.

I was quite charmed by the town, in many ways. On the backroads, I saw many quaint homes that looked like they might have been moved from the beach. Many beautiful gardens (often of the wildflower variety) and upper floor porches lush with potted and hanging foliage. My highlights:

* Seeing people porch sitting. Must have passed a couple of dozen homes with people just sitting out on the warm Sunday afternoon.
* The old architecture and buildings, ranging from in need of care to beautifully kept up or restored
* Waving hi to the old guy getting some sun outside the senior center
* Seeing a neat old diner on King Street
* Parking under a tree in Lampron park to enjoy an orange
* Parking my bike at the end of the runway and watching a few planes depart
* Riding around the fairgrounds
* Seeing a pack of skaterdudes, first at the skate park and later heading home en masse
* A small veggie stand, selling home grown carrots, kale, and some other stuff. I ended up picking up some corn at a stand on the way out of town.
* Seeing a dad playing ball with his kids in the driveway
* Watching a kickball game assemble at one of the town fields
* Stopping at the State Street Fruit Market for a bottle of juice and a rest

It was a lovely day. I was pretty grimey and sweaty by the end of it, and I'm gonna do a lighter yoga practice this morning to unwind from it all. It would have been nice to have someone to hare it with, and maybe next time I will take the rail trail that goes north from Bridge Street, or hustle out to Look Park (a longer ride, but probably a pretty beautiful place to just hang out).

I could live in Northampton, no doubt.


Terrence said...

You went biking down Memory Lane. I learned to drive on those same streets you mentioned. Went to many Three County Fairs. That's The Blue Bonnet Diner you saw on King Street. One of my mom's favorite eateries. Glad you went up to Noho. Sounds like it was a nice day in western Mass.

sandy shoes said...

Memory Lane indeed. Great town, I miss living there. Yep, Look Park is lovely, and the ride back is downhill :).