The Second Annual Honey 100 was held on Saturday, Sept 13 in Lexington, MA. The Honey 100 was created with the spirit of the less ridden path. We are lucky in New England to have such a diversity of open space and riding. There are so many secret trails and paths hidden from plain sight. There is nothing we like better at Honey than finding some new trail or path and sharing it with our close friends.
The Honey 100 draws just as unique a crowd as the roads and paths we ride. For this rendition we headed east. Its not a direction most in the metro Boston area think of when they go on a ride. But we found some true gems. What always impresses us is that the riders who show up for the Honey rides are literally up for anything. This route would travel through some very challenging terrain. The Fells is one of the more technical areas to ride a mtn bike. And most of us were on slick 700 x 33 tires. Sure there were a few fat bikes and some legit mountain bikers but everyone was up for the challenge.
This was my favorite route to date. I loved it for its raw urbanness and its highly technical nature. Garmin GPS devices make these rides possible. Without them it would be very difficult to navigate without getting very lost. Even with the devices it takes some real mental energy. Its not a race. Its more like hide and seek. Trail heads are hidden behind rock walls or chainlink fences. You ride through what seems like an office park and voila you step into gnarnia.
Our group set out towards the end so we could sweep the course and make sure everyone was having a good time. The Honey 100 is a very well supported ride with numerous rest/check points and a full lunch! The lunch has to be seen to believed. We joke that no one goes hungry on the Honey 100 and it is true. Our group had some adversity early on. We hadn't even gone five miles before one rider broke a chain and another bloodied his knee. But those stops gave us a chance to talk and meet people. Some farmers in a field yelled to us "ARE YOU ON THE HONEY 100?!" Why yes we are we all yelled back!
We had friends from all over the area join us for the ride. Friends travelled as far away as Philadelphia! Our little band of Honey/Lone Wolf Cycling riders meshed together so well. It always amazes me when you can pull together a group of riders who haven't seen each other in months and then they just blend together and ride like one.
Some of my favorite moments included bumping into Lucky the dog at the end of the Saugus rail trail. We spent a good 15 minutes talking with Lucky's owner. He was blown away that we had ridden all the way from Lexington. He gave us directions to Lynn Woods (I didn't have the heart to tell him we knew where we were going!) and wished us godspeed. Lunch in Peabody was also a favorite. After riding for 4 hours sitting down to a real meal in the woods is something that has to be experienced to be appreciated.
After lunch I got a bit separated from my main group as I was sweeping looking for a few wayward riders. The nice thing about sweeping is you get to meet lots of people and share their stories of the ride. As we rolled back into Lexington and the Ride Studio Cafe a light rain started to fall from the sky. It was a welcome shower to wash away the grime of a long day in the saddle with good friends both old and new.