Rides

Diverged and Digression: Which is Which?

Sure, both rides sound kind of the same.  They're both mixed-terrain rides, too.  And, both rides raise funds for good causes:  Protecting our trails and keeping our roads safe. But that's where the similarities end and the divergent adventure begins.

Riding one "D" doesn't mean you should skip the other.  It's not D vs. D, it's D & D.  Both rides are very different.  At their most basic:

Diverged is one thousand swooping turns on neighborhood trails and roads. 
Digression is hidden primordial trails and seldom traveled roads.

Join us and find out what this means -- and why both rides are awesome!

"I think we're lost again."   -- Bobbie V.

"I think we're lost again."  -- Bobbie V.

In addition to great rides, this year we're offering a limited edition OBC Outdoor Ally t-shirt.  It's only available for purchase by registrants of either Diverged or Digression.  The shirt is more than cool and more than worth the price.  OF course, all proceeds from the shirts go to the groups indicated below.

Here's an overview of the key differences between the rides.  Questions?  Give us a call, (617) 991-0640, or email.

EventDiverged RideDigression Ride
Ride dateSaturday, 22 April 2017Saturday, 29 April 2017
Event detailsRead all about it: Diverged Ride. OBC's funnest ride of the season.Read all about it: Digression Ride. OBC's most primordial ride of the season.
Registration fee -- 100% of which goes to protecting our riding spaces
  • Indy Rider: $25
  • Guided Group Participant: $25 each
  • Team Member: $20 each
Where do I sign up?Diverged Ride RegistrationDigression Ride Registration
Where does my registration fee go?100% of your registration fee goes directly to Lexington Conservation Stewards and MassBike.100% of your registration fee goes directly to Sherborn Forest and Trail Association and MassBike.
Ride typeMixed-terrain: About 60% trails and 40% pavement. Well worn trails that snake around and around. 1,000 turns. Never far from the start.Mixed-terrain: About 50% pavement and 50% trails. Some primitive trails seldom used. Very few hikers along the way. We own the trails.
How challenging is this ride?We rate the Diverged routes as a 4 on a technical scale of 1-10 -- 10 being the most difficult. The trails are well worn with lots of turns. About 60 feet of climbing per mile. We rate the Digression routes as a 5 on a technical scale of 1-10. Overall, Digression is slightly more technical than Diverged. The trails are more primitive and with more obstacles. About 60 feet of climbing per mile but the Digression routes tend to feel hillier than the Diverged routes.
Ideal bikeA mixed-terrain or cyclocross bike that fits between 33c and 40c tires. Compact gearing will be appreciated. Drop bars recommended. Clip in pedals and shoes required.
Distance & durationThree distances: 16, 38, & 46 miles. Multiple pace options for each ride. Ride duration: Between 2 and 6 hours depending on the pace of the group you choose.Two distances: 22 & 38 miles. Multiple pace options for each ride. Duration: Between 2.5 and 5 hours depending on the pace of the group you choose.
Ride category options
  • Indy Rider: Roll-out when you want; ride at the pace you prefer.
  • Guided Group Member: Choose a predetermined start time; stay with the group.
  • Team Member: You choose and register as a team; We'll provide you a start time.
Requirements to participate
  • A proper bike -- indicated above
  • A proper tool kit -- A comprehensive list is here
  • A good attitude and sense of adventure
  • For Indy or Team riders: A GPS unit and knowledge of how to use it on trails.
Commemorative offeringDiverged Outdoor Ally T-Shirt. Limited Edition -- available for registrants only. $30 price; all proceeds go to the trail fund.Digression Outdoor Ally T-Shirt. Limited Edition -- available for registrants only. $30 price; all proceeds go to the trail fund.
Food & drinkAfter the ride: Light lunch, treats, and drinks served -- included with registration fee.

Join us for Diverged or Digression.  Or, rightfully, both!  We hope to see you smiling on the trails we all protect and respect.

Wintertide 2017 Wrap-Up

We woke up to see about a foot of snow blanketing the trails.  By sundown it was knee deep.

That was one week to go until Wintertide.  Then it rained for 12 hours a few days before the ride.  As seems to be the case with every Wintertide, the weather conditions made the ride memorable, challenging, and confusing.  Confusing to prepare for:  Should we recommend participants ride fat bikes?  Would it be possible to ride with a mixed-terrain 40c studded tire bike?  Would the snow stay fun and fluffy?  Would the roads be three feet wide and treacherous for bike and cars alike?

Too Much Snow - photo - Patria Vandermark.jpg

These are dilemmas for which the Overland crew lives.  The original route we designed, back in October, was impassable because of the deep snow.  So we designed a fat bike friendly route, but then the freezing rain made that route impossible on any bike -- studded, fat -- or even walking.  We had worked on a pavé -- pavement with some harsh-weather friendly dirt -- version in October, too; OBC always has a backup plan.  Those three routes -- 45, 60, and 90 miles -- were the right rides for this Wintertide.

This year was also unique because we designed the road route to intertwine with the mixed-terrain route so, in theory, you could do some really challenging snow trail sectors and then ride the mixed-pavé route for a while, and go back and forth between the two. Smartly, everyone chose the pavé route this year.

Saturday morning came over the horizon very quickly.  The first bleary-eyed riders were greeted by the smell of OBC's special pancakes -- the recipe is secret -- and a hot homemade breakfast banquet.  Two warm fires greeted participants on a chilly subfreezing morning.  A couple cups of coffee and a few plates of food later and the sun was high on the horizon and barely any clouds were in the sky.  The temperature quickly rose to above 40 degrees and everyone seemed eager to be riding.

By the time of the first pre-ride meeting, our base camp home was packed with riders of every stripe.

The roads were impressively dry and clear -- except for the parts that weren't supposed to be.

As riders meandered on the road and path to the Summer Home -- the lunch stop -- everyone could see the fire and smell the chili waiting.  The cozy cottage was packed elbow to elbow.  Fortunately, by about noon, the temperature was above 50 degrees so we could hang out at the fire pit or go visit the friendly old horse in the pasture behind the cottage.

After too much chili, mac and cheese, and cookies, reluctant riders slowly gathered their helmets, gloves, and custom made Wintertide Winter Collars and prepared for the final 30-miles back to Home Base.

Back at home, dinner was ready for everyone:  A catered meal featuring lentil strudel and too many other amazing foods to list.  As Matt Roy astutely pointed out OBC events seem to be "50% food, 50% riding."

Then it was time for relaxing and digesting in front of the fire, while sharing tales from the pavé.

We still have windburned faces from the ride.  We're replaying some of the strange back roads and dirt paths we rode.  We'll be heading back there soon.

Thank you to all who joined us for this special season opening ride.  We really appreciate that you took a chance with us.  We hope it was worthwhile for you -- it definitely was for us!

We're already thinking about next year's Wintertide.  We hope to see you there -- whatever dame nature brings our way.

So Many Reasons To Ride Wintertide

The Wintertide Ride is one of the more expensive single day rides on the calendar.  At $90 for the solo route and $70 for team members, we think it may be the best value of any single ride ever!  Here are just a few of the reasons the entry fee worth it -- and then some:

  1. Lots of trails you've never ridden.  We're confident that no matter how often you ride the trails of eastern Massachusetts, you'll be seeing many miles of woods you haven't ridden before.
  2. Among the best trails in New England.  Massachusetts offers variety unlike any other state in the area.  From access roads to primitive singletrack and everything in between. 
  3. Three big catered meals:  The odds are good that you will have a calorically positive day.  A big breakfast, all the lunch you can eat, and a dinner that will make you sleepy.  We focus on quality over quantity but we guarantee there will plenty for all.  The meals alone are worth the price of entry.  Organic-centric with options for vegetarians, vegans, and omnivores.
  4. We're riding through 18 towns!  The 90-mile route includes Sherborn, Holliston, Hopkington, Ashland, Southborough, Marlborough, Hudson, Stow, Maynard, Sudbury, Concord, Bedford, Lexington, Lincoln, Waltham, Weston, Wayland, and Framingham.
  5. 98% new roads and trails from last year's Wintertide:  Even if you rode last year, it'll feel all new.  New trails, different roads, and probably opposite conditions.
  6. The best support:  As with most OBC rides, we're providing you more support than you could possibly need.  Support comes in two forms:  vehicle and homes.  A roving support vehicle will be at random trailheads with everything necessary to keep you rolling -- including hot chocolate!  We've got warm homes on the route, and to start and finish, to help keep your spirits high.
  7. Weather conditions can't deter you.  We have planned stops every 15 miles so you can warm up and dry off as often as needed. 
  8. Ride the bike of your choice:  A mixed-terrain bike will work, regardless of the weather:  If we have a foot of snow, you can ride your fat bike on the trails and road.  Or, we have a route that will work for mixed-terrain bikes, with studded tires.
  9. Campfires!  We have a fire pit at home base and then, depending on the route distance you choose, one or two more fire pits along the route.
  10. It's not like any other Overland Event.  You may have ridden the Honey 100 but the Wintertide Ride is an entirely different animal.  We offer a much broader range of ride difficulties.  The weather alone makes the event something really special.  Lots of indoor rest stops, and so much more.
  11. Warm dry homes!  No matter how cold you get during the ride, we have indoor stops scheduled on the route every 15 miles.  For the 60 and 90 mile routes we also have multiple home stops where you can dry off some of your clothes, get a good hot meal, warm up your extremities by the fire, and then suit up for the next sector.
  12. A super support crew:  Marc, Chantal, and Rob will all be there to cook, support, and keep you rolling -- with big smiles.
  13. Test your mental and physical limits -- if you want:  This is a safe environment to push yourself in ways that you shouldn't do on a regular winter ride.  We have on trail vehicle support so if you get in over your head, we'll come get you.  And, since there are stops every 15 miles, you'll have plenty of chances to warm up, fuel up, and assess your equipment.
  14. A reason to ride in the winter:  Wintertide is the first big ride of the year.  We originally designed Wintertide as a tool to give people a reason to ride in the winter -- an excuse to train for a 90-mile snow ride.
  15. Three warm cafe stops on the 90-mile route.  The highlight is a stop at Ride Studio Cafe's spot:  Warm people, space heaters, and hot chocolate or caffeine.
  16. The coolest winter collar since last year's Wintertide Ride.  Handmade, fitted, and the softest merino wool.  Check it out.  It's worth doing the ride just to get this limited edition $65 collar at a discount.
  17. Lots of unknowns for you:  The weather, the route, the entire day.  We can't predict the weather but we can predict a great day of riding -- depending on the weather it's 50% dirt and 50% pavement or more pavement and less dirt; super fun and somewhat challenging either way.
  18. The ride starts from a new home base!  We've not rolled out from this home in Sherborn before.  It's a great place from which to begin the ride.

We hope at least a few of these reasons compel you to join us.  Get your bike tuned up, your mind in the right frame, and your winter gear laid out and organized; on February 18, we ride!

#wintertideride

Eagerly Awaited: The Maneha 250

The Maneha 250 seems to define Overland Base Camp in many ways.  The ride is really challenging, it includes camping, offers lots of great food, provides a route that you will never forget, and is just different from what people expect.

With that in mind, the 2016 Maneha 250 is scheduled, planned, and it's time to register!

Event Details here:  2016 Maneha 250

Register here:  Bikereg.com

The 2016 Maneha is bigger than ever.  We've made a lot of changes from last year.  We've got more options for riding than ever before; this year we're offering:

  • Solo Rider:  You're relying on yourself but you can certainly ride with others.  You have to have a SPOT tracker -- you can rent one from us or bring your own.
  • Team:  You can ride with teams of 3 to 6 riders.  The entry fee is a bit less and you can share SPOT trackers.
  • One-Way:  It's still early in the season so some people chose to make the ride up and get shuttled back home the next day.  This is a good option if this type of ride is new for you.  Do not take the one-way lightly.  Riding 125 miles of mixed-terrain in a single day is very, very challenging.
  • Bikepacking:  For those survivalists or riders testing equipment for Tour Divide or other big projects, the bikepacking category provide a good opportunity to fine-tune your equipment list and test your theories and assumptions about how best to be self-sufficient.  
  • Superflyweight:  This is the category for riders that want to fly on the trails.  125 miles is a very long day no matter how light you travel.  The Superflyweight is the most popular category.

We hope that you can find a category that suits you well.

We strongly recommend that you don't miss out on this ride.  If there is one mixed-terrain adventure to participate in for 2016, we think this is the one.

If you joined us last year for the Maneha 250, and you want to ride with us again, you'll receive a 20% discount on the entry fee.  Contact us for your discount code.  Don't worry, the route is different so it'll feel like an entirely new event.  And we have some changes planned for the overnight.

We hope to see you on the Maneha trails. 

Email us with any questions about the event.

This Happened: 2015 Honey 100!

A thick calm mist cloaked Lexington in a quiet blanket of fog.  This very peaceful beginning to the day belied the controlled mayhem that was about to ensue.

"The hardest ride I've ever done.  And the best and most rewarding."   --  M. B., finisher of the 100-mile route - that ended up being 105 miles somehow.

Wow.  

A word we heard a lot this past weekend.

Honey Stats

  • 198:  Number of miles for all three routes.
  • 141:  Participants
  • 133:  Biscuits eaten.  The rest of them were quickly devoured by the "Crew & Fixers" for the Honey 100.
  • 36:  Flats.  This is an estimate based on feedback.
  • 4:  Riders that did the full 100 miler.  An impressive group with a touch of crazy.
  • 3:  Rear derailleur mishaps - ripped off or bent beyond repair

Thank You Honey Navigators

These are the people that made sure everyone that began the ride, somehow got back to the Studio.  One of the toughest jobs that you can do on a bike.  Thank you to all of them!  In order of roll-out, here's the Navigators - as the crowd roars:

  • Mike:  He did the impossible job of navigating the fastest riders through 100+ miles.  They were out on the trails for about 10.5 hours.  They were sort of smiling when they returned - after they had a warm meal in their bellies.
  • Jenny:  She led the first 100k ride of the morning.  Still foggy upon departure, Jenny kept her diversely skilled group in check, and on pace, throughout the day.  Everyone returned to the Studio with a smile on their faces.
  • Nancy:  She was Navigator for a challenging segment:  the Fun 50.  A very wide range of capabilities and speeds, Nancy kept her group together through some challenging terrain.  We heard the most positive feedback about her ride!
  • Roger:  Always ready to help do anything for Honey and Overland, Roger navigated the ride as he always does, smooth, level, and PRO.  He even brought back all of his riders!  He is the stalwart that never gets props for his quiet hard work.
  • Leon:  He hopped on his bike after being away for a while and maybe feeling a bit rusty on the bike.  No one in the second largest group of the day could have known because he navigated like the PRO he is and got everyone home safely.  It's difficult to match Leon's infectious smile but we know his group each came close.
  • Michele:  she remained on call, just in case we needed her help as a Navigator.  truly at the eleventh hour she received the call from the beekeepers and she stepped up.  It's hard enough to be a Navigator for the Honey 100 but she didn't know she'd be a Navigator until hours before the ride.  And, she led her group flawlessly.  All PRO all the time.
  • Bradford:  He had the doubly difficult job of managing the largest group of the day and the fastest group of the day.  Fortunately, he had the Drifters to help.  Bradford also had three participants on road tires that slowed the entire procession.  Bradford was resourceful in how he managed that challenge and everyone rolled into the Studio in happy fashion.
  • Dan:  He stepped up as a Navigator with very limited experience with a Garmin GPS unit.  In fact, the unit he intended to use had some challenges so we swapped him out at the last moment.  New Garmin, new route, new group.  No one would ever know that Dan wasn't a seasoned expert at navigating on tricky trails.
  • Henry:  He helped navigate at the last moment.  He recently completed the Paris-Brest-Paris and we imagine that he's still feeling it.  Regardless, he went out early on Saturday to check out the trails and then led a 100k group at just the right pace.
  • Patria:  She navigated the final group of the day, feeling pressure to get to the Ice Cream Stop before all the ice cream was gone.  And, she did all this after nearly staying up all night making 150 biscuits and lots of slow cooked oatmeal.  Mmmm.

Thank Your Honey Crew & Fixers

This is the term we use for the people behind the scenes that made this project happen.  Without them the Honey 100 would not exist.  They are the Crew that takes care of you.  And so much more than a crew; they are also the Fixers of everyone and everything that's broken.

  • Patria:  She helps scout the routes, baked the biscuits, slow cooked the oatmeal, coordinated Ride Studio's support team, provided feedback and development for the Honey 100 plan, and so much more.  Oh, yeah, and she was Navigator for one of the rides, too.  Does she have a twin?
  • Chantal:  Managed the Crew, the schedule, most of the logistics, and all the perishable foods.  And managed the lunch stop -- solo!  And so many more elements of the project that no one will ever know about.
  • Lauren:  Managed the vehicles and that went into them.  She managed most of the non-perishables.  If you needed a tube you can thank her.  She also made sure the biscuits were warm and helped with lots of the other food. 
  • Marc:  Managed two stops!  The first stop and the Ice Cream stop - the stop everyone was jealous of.  somehow he can be in two places at once.
  • Kristin:  Made sure the fruit-salad was the best, made sure we didn't run out of any food, and did so much of the cleanup - the most thankless of jobs.
  • Roger:  Helped keep the bike world in order by seemingly being in five places at once, again and again.
  • Drew:  As he often does, did a lot of everything from creating perfect cappuccinos to helping with last minute bike adjustments and keeping everything cool and level.
  • Jessica:  She held down the cafe fort, making drink upon drink with singular focus.

We are so thankful to have such a fantastic group of riders join us this year!  We're already scheming about next year...

You are all part of the scheme.  See you out on the secret legal trails!