Tuesday, September 3, 2013
Honey One Hundred
The Honey One Hundred will be held Saturday, September 14th at the Ride Studio Cafe in Lexington Center, MA. What is the Honey One Hundred? The Honey One Hundred is the "first" ride project Honey has put together! The "first" is in quotation marks because all of us at Honey have been doing these types of rides and leading these types of rides for years. There are so many secret/forgotten paths winding all through New England. Some are maintained with almost reverence. Others are rough and strewn with sticks and leaves and other trail debris. But its this balance that makes riding in the woods and on the less beaten path that has drawn us so into this type of riding. Its hard to define what this type of riding is. It really is a pretty new thing. I call it a cross ride because I have a cyclocross background. And riding your cross bike on basically an endurance mtn bike ride has always been a huge part of cyclocross. The woods are where crossers gain their skills. Nothing improves bike handling like riding a cross bike on a singletrack trail. But that is just one aspect of the ride.
Another part of these rides, and one that I personally am in awe of, is riding a "road" bike in the woods. When I say road bike I mean a road-style bike that can handle wide tires. At least 28. Bigger is even better. Disc brakes are changing what a "road" bike is as well. One of the bikes we are really excited about at Honey is called the All Roads. It is a bike purpose built for this type of riding. As its moniker implies it is built to handle all roads. Even roads that would not be considered a road but a path. I have even seen my friends ride technical singletrack on these bikes with zero problem. It always blows my mind. Yes you have to adjust a bit and ride smart. Once and a while dismount for a stone wall or slick rooted section. But the satisfaction that comes from being able to ride through such beautiful woods can't be measured. There is a reason the riders are always smiling in the photos from these rides. This type of adventure riding is just so much fun. It brings you back to why you started riding a bike in the first place.
On Saturday the 14th The Honey One Hundred will start and finish at the Ride Studio Cafe in Lexington. It will be a 100km on and off-road adventure ride. 100km when the route is 50% off road can take a while. This ride isn't a race. Its a fun day on the bike. We are anticipating ride times between 6-10 hours. We will serve breakfast, mid-ride meal and post-ride meal. It will be a great day of riding, eating, drinking and adventuring! Pre-registration will be required so we can plan for food and support. This ride will include so many of the great paths and roads we all love. Matt Roy, Roger Cadman and I did a recon ride last weekend. Matt and Roger were on 28 slicks and I was on my CX bike with 32 Clement MXPs (an all arounder CX tire). We rode about 40 miles of the route. The course has an amazing mix of history, classic New England paved roads and wooded paths and single track. Riding Battle Road always blows my mind. Admittedly I am a history buff but its hard to not love both the historical aspect and the shear beauty of riding on a nice path through woods and farms. It can get a bit busy but that is easily managed by just slowing down and being nice and respectful to all the other path users.
We crossed North Bridge and said hello to a Redcoat! Many photos were taken and smiles once again on all of our faces. Matt mentioned that a ranger asked him to walk the bikes across the bridge a week or so ago. There weren't any signs posted but out of respect its probably a good idea. This type of riding is relatively new so it is a good idea to be respectful and always be a good ambassador for cycling. A simple hello goes an amazingly long way to building bridges with other open space users and will ensure our continued access to these great paths and trails.
I have lived here for 8 years. I have been riding in the Lexington area for 5 of those years. On Saturday I rode some of the nicest paths for a cross bike I have ever been on. I literally started laughing at one point it was so nice. Its almost like you have found some secret that no one else knows about. And its this secret stash that we hope to share with all of you. The ride will include all meals, drinks, and snacks. Omnivore, vegan, and gluten-free options will be available. Limited edition t-shirts will be for sale. To pick up the t-shirts on the day of the Honey One Hundred orders will need to be placed by September 3rd. Bring a working bike, a helmet, plenty of tubes and tools, money, two water bottles and a sense of adventure. The ride will be well-supported with ride leaders and sweepers. Groups of 6-10 will leave the Ride Studio at 8 am on Saturday. If you would like you can register for the ride and use your own GPS to self guide yourself on the route. A cyclocross bike with wide tires is the best bet. But a road bike with clearance for at least 28c will work for those who are comfortable riding in a wooded environment on that platform. There will be some singletrack and some rocks and roots.
But back to the recon ride with Matt and Roger. We left the Ride Studio really excited to see what Rob had put together. We followed the GPS file onto Battle Road. I had to stop a bunch to take photos. There are just so many things that catch your eye. We rode a very mellow pace as the path was pretty busy with joggers and walkers. At the end of the path we cut through to Old North Bridge the site of the first day of battle in the Revolutionary War. We were greeted only by smiles by the Redcoat standing watch over the bridge. Matt joked with him about how it might have turned out if Paul Revere would have been on a steel horse instead of a flesh and blood one. I suspect he might not have been caught if he was on the bike Matt was riding. After this trip through history we continued on to Red Coat Lane and an open space I have never ridden before. It is a gorgeous loamy path that winds through the woods of Concord. We had it all to ourselves except for a few dog walkers. When we popped out it was nice to get back together on pavement and continue on our adventure. We rode a bunch of different types of paths and roads. I don't want to reveal too much of it as I don't want to ruin the surprise. But trust me you are in for a real treat. It is going to be a fantastic route!
We will meet the morning of the ride for a light breakfast, then break into groups and head out. We will have fun-, medium- and fast-paced groups. The ride is a no-drop ride but its best to pick a good group that suits your speed and how you would like to pace yourself. At the mid-point we will stop for lunch. Then upon our return to the Ride Studio we will have a post-ride meal. It will be a full day of riding, good food and adventure. The 40 miles we did Saturday flew by. One of the most fun parts of these rides is how each rider has different strengths and weaknesses. And how each person's bike is equipped to tackle some parts of the rides better than others. It really becomes this great teeter totter. I tend to be a bit better on the technical terrain but not as strong on the climbs or roads. But my teammates are strong on the road and push me and protect me from the wind. The teamwork really is one of my favorite parts of these rides. We share food, and water and stories. I have made so many of my good friends this way.
I hope you can come out and join us. For those new to this type of riding it is a perfect entry to adventure. Ride leaders will help with the route and help make sure everyone has fun. For more experienced riders it is a chance to explore some really cool trails together. If you have any questions fire me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. We are down to less than two weeks. Get your bike ready, get some miles in and we will see you at the Ride Studio for the Honey One Hundred! To register go to Bikereg and fill out the information.