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Old 04-04-16, 08:11 PM   #1
EthanHawley
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Head for the Hills - Ride Report

I just rode the Head for the Hills Ride in Chappell Hill last weekend. I enjoyed it quite a bit thanks in large part to the absolutely perfect weather. The ride offered terrific scenery, with the exception of a few short sections on Hwy 105. While the wildflowers seemed to be past their prime (or was it too early?), we rode past some beautiful patches. There were also some tremendous vistas of the surrounding countryside from the top of some of the hills. True to the ride's name, there was very little in the way of flat sections. The roads were rolling with a few Texas-steep hills, but they weren't very long. That being said, near the end as I started to tire, I have to admit I did a lot of downhills in a Sagan-esque tuck in a non-Sagan-esque attempt to get as far up as the next hill as possible without pedaling. I think I just ended up looking like an idiot. While friends of mine who had been on the ride before warned me of the uphill finish, I actually didn't think it was nearly as bad as it was made out to be. The ride was extremely well organized - parking was plentiful and convenient, the start was smooth, volunteers were friendly and helpful, turns were well marked, and rest stops were well-spaced and came fully stocked with the childhood junk food I grew up on (whose guilt-free consumption for fueling purposes is the real reason I ride these rides). I highly recommend the ride if you haven't had a chance to explore that neck of the woods before.
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Old 04-05-16, 08:45 AM   #2
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We ended up skipping that ride as part of the Ready 2 Roll series last year. Didn't do it this year since we aren't MS150ing.

However if you liked it, after the 150 I'd suggest riding in the Rolling Hills Challenge. It's a good ride, I've done it the last 2 years.
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Old 04-05-16, 10:20 AM   #3
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This years Head to the Hills finish was helped by a slight tailwind. In years past a headwind on that last stretch made getting back into Chappell Hill challenging.
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Old 04-05-16, 10:44 AM   #4
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Yeah, that finish into Chappell Hill feels a lot different with a 15 mph south wind instead of the 10-15 mph north wind we had behind us on the way back in this year. I managed to hit 39.5 mph down the 2nd to last downhill before the finish. I was trying to catch the bumper of a mini-van that turned around in front of me so I could draft him up the next hill, but didn't quite get there. It was a nice ride this year with great weather. Probably a week or two ahead of the best wildflowers, but there were a few nice fields already.
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Old 04-05-16, 12:10 PM   #5
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Ah, I should have figured there was a tailwind at the end, but I'm always happy to get whatever help I can. Hoping for a nice southeasterly wind next weekend.
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Old 04-06-16, 06:36 AM   #6
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Glad you had a nice ride. Chappell Hill is one of my favorite places to ride. I've ridden to Washington-on-the-Brazos and back countless times.

I was signed up for the ride (60+) but work stepped in at the last minute and kept me from riding at all this weekend. So much for the $20 extra for the T-shirt I bought. At least I didn't pay in advance for the lunch.

Both Saturday and Sunday were days not to miss (and of course, I did). A buddy rode the gran fondo ride out of Montgomery and said it was a great ride.

I've ridden the Rolling Hills Challenge a couple of times - both in the mid 1990's in it's early years. It's on the calendar again this year. Fingers crossed that I make it.
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