Roger Cadman is a local legend in the New England cyclocross scene. Or the #NECX as we affectionately call it here in New England. Roger founded the Newbury Comics CX Team three years ago. Roger manages the warehouse at Newbury Comics and is one of the coolest guys you could ever meet. In a very short period of time and with a very small team NC was able to make a huge impact on cycling culture in New England. Roger and his team got behind so many races and supported them with just as much passion as they put into their racing. One of the greatest things about Roger and NC was they were always up for an adventure. The crazier the ride the better. The more off the beaten path the better. Roger and I would meet up down the Cape on our vacations and just ride everything on our cross bikes! We got lost a lot but always were able to find amazing trails to ride.
Unfortunately last year was Newbury Comics final year racing as team. Even great things have to end at some point. But even though the team disbanded all the racers have joined other local teams and have brought their passion and sense of adventure with them. HUP United was lucky enough to have Roger join the team this year. He has brought so much to the team in the short time he has been with us. Not only is he a great friend of mine he brings such a solid mindset to the team.
Like most of us living in Boston, cross is Roger's first love on the bike. But cross is like a gateway drug. For some that love of dirt leads to mountain biking. For others, like Roger, it leads to adventure. The whole concept of riding your bike everywhere is easy for a cross rider to understand. Cross is tough. The racing is short and on a closed course but we tend to do a lot of 2 to 3 hour rides in the woods as preparation for the races. And often we fall in love with the woods riding even more than the cross racing. I know this is the case for Roger.
Last Winter when Honey had our launch party at the Ride Studio Cafe in Lexington, the Winterando caught a lot of eyes. Roger texted me the next day and over the next couple of months we would constantly talk about the bike. When we came up with the idea for the Winterando it was to build a bike that we would use all year round and that would be just as fun as our cross bikes. We tend to use our cross bikes all winter. And a lot of us like the Rando/Gravel/Brevet style of rides. A bike that can serve as a stout winter bike and an adventure bike is a dream bike to us. The Winterando is the perfect bike for this. Roger has a lot of Brevet riding on his schedule this Spring and Summer. Honey is really looking forward to some long adventures this summer riding with him. We plan on riding D2R2 with Roger in August. Its going to be great to see so many purpose built Honeys tackling the gravel and dirt. We asked Roger if he could put down his thoughts about why he chose Honey and why he chose the Winterando. Roger coined this as Six Steps. Enjoy!
1. Why Honey?
I don't know what most people talk about on bike rides, but I think I spend a lot of time talking about bikes. Dream bike, perfect bike, what is awesome, what is hideous. Mile after mile. Detail after detail. One thing I talk about, and think about all time, is the "do it all bike". A bike I can ride anywhere. Road, dirt, snow, rain, whatever, In my head I have a list of "must haves" Steel frame,carbon fork, locally made, able to fit big tires and fenders, good for long rides but something that could help me get them done fast. The list is a lot longer, but those were the main criteria.
Despite all this thinking and list making, I was never able to pull the trigger on making this bike a reality. A few months ago, the rumblings about some special new Honeys to be unveiled at the HUP/RSC/Seven party started up. That was the first time I heard "Winterando". Definitely got my attention and I was very curious to see it. Honey has been around for a few years and the idea behind the company is pretty cool. Build bikes for specific purposes. Bikes designed to get the job done. So the excitement built as spy photos leaked out. Saturday night rolled around and it was time to see....Hidden in the back of the RSC was the Winterando. After strolling past the other new Honey offerings, this bike would have to be pretty special to stand out, and it was. Paint is amazing. Upon closer inspection, it was basically the bike I had been taking about for 2 years.
I want a bike that will let me turn down any road or trail I choose. Sure I may get in over my head, but I want me to be the problem, not the bike. This looked like exactly that bike.
2. Test riding
Not sure who in their right mind gives somebody a brand new, clean bike to take out on a 50 mile test ride in March, but Honey was up for it. I rolled up to the RSC an hour before the Ronde de Roy40, a special ride to celebrate Matt Roy's 40th birthday, started and jumped on a bike set up to my measurements and off I went. With no fuss or adjustment.
We rode a variety of local New England roads. It was early March. Fenders were mandatory. And I had full fenders. Rear fender is for your friends, but a front fender is for you. Dry feet? A novel concept, but attainable goal with a full front fender. Its called Winterando for a reason.
The bike was perfect. Sure I knew the roads, but it performed perfectly. Well balanced. With some good snap.
3. Order process
What order process? Based on my initial measurements, the hardest work I had to do was worry about frame color. Having a bike built by Honey meant I didn't have to worry. There are thousands of hours of history, hard work, and thought that are the foundation of your/my bike was being built on. I still haven't asked what size the frame is. Maybe you want to sweat every detail and lose sleep over your seat tube angle or top tube length. I don't. I want a professional to listen to me and give me a bike that gets the job done. And maybe you want to wait 1-3 years for a bike and think about it every day. I don't. I want to ride a bike. NOW.
4. Frame building and bike build
I got spy photos, I drooled, I panted, I waited (not really) and got a bike on a Friday afternoon. I brought a 12 pack to say thanks, Probably should have brought a keg cause it was that good to see the bike in person!
5. First ride
Got the bike Friday night. First ride was around the neighborhood before the sun went down. I rode it over Saturday morning to the start of the Diverged Ride. Jamming through the woods on my usual route to the RSC. Banged some rocks and my apprehensions about not putting on cross tires, were eased as the Roll-y Pol-y 28's held up nicely.
6. Project ride
OK so the maiden voyage for this bike was going to be leading a group of 10 on a 40 mile loop of trail and road. While trying to follow a borrowed Garmin. What could go wrong? So right of the bat, I've got 20+ people and a mandate to drop no one and bring them all home. The last thing I want to worry about, at this point, is the bike. And I didn't have to. We hopped between road, path, wood bridge, and trail with constant turns and undulations. The bike was fantastic. I didn't feel it compromised performance on the road over the trail or vice versa.