Formerly know as HABiT – (Hamilton Area Bicycle Tour)
Hamilton Hill-Aceous 100, Hamilton, TX
August 3, 2014
This was one fantastic ride. I did my first century here -- 102 miles total. I could not have done it without the support of ride staff. It got pretty lonely out there in remote stretches of the hill country on the final 35 miles or so. But volunteers were right there at every stop, filling me up with cool water, bananas — whatever I needed — and of course great moral support! I just can't say enough about how well I was treated by the people who worked this ride. Hills were challenging, but weather was cool for August, so that's why I went for the 100. Sometimes it all comes together for you. And for me it was the Hamilton Hill-Aceous. This ride and its volunteers deserve the highest grade possible: AA+.
I think this is my 4th Hamilton ride. It's always a treat! We stay locally at a B&B that is wonderful and affordable. Let's start with the people that put on this ride. They are simply wonderful. From the start to the finish, you will get a Hill Country welcome from VERY friendly people who simply want to make this the best biking day you've ever had. The routes are great. I think I only saw 3 vehicles that were not SAG vehicles and it's a great place to bicycle. The SAG vehicles are the most frequent of ANY ride I've done.
Now the route. It's hilly. It's fun. It's pretty. Very country routes. I have seen deer, turkey, wild pigs and skunks (that's another story) on this ride.
The rest stops are well stocked and after the ride, there is always Pedergrast sausages (this year was 3 types of chicken sausage) wrapped in tortilla's right off the grill. Cooked and served by the local volunteer fire department.
If you haven't ridden this ride, you're missing a treat that provides funds to the local medical center. At the finish, you feel like you've gone to a family reunion!
I agree with the previous reviewer who mentioned both the scenic route and the friendly organizers.
This was the second year my wife and I have done this ride, and it has quickly become one of our favorites.
The only disappointment is that more people have not yet discovered this event, as you are missing out on an opportunity to get out of the city/suburban traffic and enjoy a lot of the reasons you took up cycling.
Next year, as you look at the calendar, and the map, trust me that this one is worth the drive.
Rode this ride for the first time because of previous reviews. I cannot wholeheartedly agree with everyone else who say it is such a great event. First it was a very small ride and when rides are that small you only have a few going the longer distances. ( I think only 10 did it and no more than 12) I was one of the few that did the 79 miler. They should let the 79 milers leave at least 30 minutes earlier than every one else.When I turned onto the 79 mile route I saw nothing...no other bikes, no sag wagon, nothing until I made my first stop at the 35 mile rest stop. Then they had no gatorade. Just Water. When I made my 2nd stop at the 55 mile rest stop the flies had taken over the fruit and the 65 mile rest stop was closing when I got there just in the nick of time. It was around 12:30 or so at that point. I can understand this if there is no riders coming and so it would help to send the 79 milers at least 30 minutes earlier. This would give them a chance to at least catch up with some of the 61 milers on the way in. When a rider is on a ride we really like seeing Sag which except for that one stretch Sag was an A+ the rest of the way, and we look forward to the rest stops. The volunteers were very friendly but I guess I got to comfortable with rest stops on other events and left my pockets empty thinking these would be amply stocked. I can't afford to make that mistake again. Maybe if I would have done a shorter route it would have been better but on a scale of 1-10 I cannot give it more than a 6 1/2. I am only saying this because I believe this can be a really great ride if a few small things can be done. Supply the rest stops better. It got hot quick that day and the ride makes you work. Better supplied rest stops go a long way to a rider. I do recommend this ride and will be back next year.
May 14, 2011
Hidden jewel for the hill country. Only 100 riders for the day which made for lots of goodies at each rest stop and no lines at the "out houses" which were in ample supply. Great hotel, the Circle C Best Western west of town. I have ridden this ride 4 out of 5 years because you can ride 20-36-46-62 or 79 miles without traveling through a town. Great roads and VERY low traffic, this year in the 63 miles I encountered 35 vehicles (last year the count was 30) not including the SAG which I saw every 5-7 miles. Fantastic value and well worth the drive and cost of hotel!
I made the long drive from Dallas to Hamilton for this ride and I'm so glad I did. This is a very pretty ride with good roads and NO traffic along those roads. I don't think I saw 20 cars in the 79 miles. The roads were extremely well marked and the route was easy to follow. The volutneers were very friendly and took great care of us. This ride was very windy. We had a strong headwind for the first 35 miles or so. I did the 79 miles route and once we turned out of the headwind and caught the tailwind, it was a lot more fun. This is a very small ride, but it deserves to be much larger. I think only 10-15 of us did the full 79 mile route. This ride should be 3 to 4 times as large as it is since it is so well orgnaized. I'd recommend this and would totally do it again.
May 15, 2010
Still the best secret in Central Texas. A ride that is organized, run and supported in a way that others should take instruction from. Rode the 61 miles and did not ride through a town, same for the 79 miler. Some of the best rural roads with great vistas of the hill country that you will experience. But the BEST attribute of this ride is that in the 61 miles I counted 41 vehicles other then the sag support and they were visible every 5-7 miles. If you want a ride that you are not looking over your shoulder every minute worrying about traffic or breathing all the fumes from those cars, this is it!!
Yes, it is 2+ hours from the metroplex, but worth every mile of the drive!
This was the first year for me on this ride. I heard that it was rained out the previous year and the year before that very few riders were in attendance. Let me just say that you central Texas and north Texas riders are missing a great ride. Yes, we thought we might get rained out this year but the weather held and the sun even popped out. The ride is organized by the local hospital and the volunteers were fantastic. It's still a small ride but hopefully it will grow. Now down to the ride details. I did the 61 mile route.
Mass start, no problems.
Signage was great. Lot's of signs (big signs) cautioning cars about bicyclists. Very good route signs. Rest stops, awesome. Friendly people, plenty to eat and drink. FIG NEWTONS!!!! Pickle juice.. wow.
Route. OMG... amazing. Country roads in great shape. NO traffic, NO water trucks, LOTS OF SAG SUPPORT!! I didn't count the cars/pickups (didn't see one single semi) but the sag vehicles came by more than any other traffic. Just a guess but I'll bet I saw only 10 vehicles the entire 61 miles. The rolling hills of this ride made it a true pleasure and with all the rain in the past weeks, the pastures were green, wildlife was everywhere (including one skunk the lead pack scared the "stink" out of) and of course the livestock. I don't think I've ever ridden 61 miles and hated to see it end. Next year, I'm doing the 79 miler.
After the ride, we all got a free sausage wrap. I was thinking these would be your standard cheap sausage in a slice of bread. Nope! We had our choice of three sausages (buffalo and green chili and two others) wrapped in a tortilla. YUM!!
At the beginning of the route, the announcer talked about where the money goes for the ride. The local hospital wants to buy a mammography machine. He got the entire crowd laughing when he said that was the reason for the "Ride for the Peaks" on the T-Shirt. Lot's of hospital staff onsite volunteering. Only in America.
Hamilton Hill-aceous is a nice ride with great volunteers. Small turnout, but the volunteers were enthusiastic and we all had a good time. Routes are well marked with plenty available rest stops. The volunteers make this ride what it is. I will be back next year with friends in tow. Kudos to all involved. Especially liked the shirt. Didn't realize what it said until I got home. Peddling for the peaks, nice.
May 16, 2009
Still the best ride in North Central Texas. It's easy to find the venue at the airport and parking will never be an issue. And the ride starts in the country and stays in the country. The number of vehicles on the roads is minimal since this area is as rural as it gets. The scenery is second to none. About 2 hours 20 minutes from Fort Worth.
The 2009 Hill-aceous ride was one that I will remember for a long time. There were scattered showers all morning long, and temperatures were on the cool side. Weather affected the attendance, as there were almost as many ride support people as there were riders. The 30 mile route has nice views, and is fairly hilly as the ride name implies (but all hills are fairly moderate). The local ambulance crew had the grill fired up when I got bact to the start/finish line, and there were plenty of hot dogs and brats for those who rode despite the rain. This is one of my favorite rides. The roads are all county or farm roads (no busy state highways), scenery is nice, and everyone is friendly.
May 17, 2008
This ride, pronounced "Hill-a-shuss" is the best kept secret around. The ride is actually less hilly interms of grade and distance than either the Glen Rose or MIneral Wells rides. The start had you parking on one of the taxi strips of the local airport. With only 110 riders there was planty of room. I rode the 30 mile route again this year and they had us going the reverse of last year's route which was actually a better way to do it. There was some speedy traffic in the first 10 miles but otherwise the roads were pretty empty. Rest stops are well spaced and stocked and all volunteers friendly and helpful. The director visited briefly with riders afterwards to get their feedback. All-in-all this is one of the most scenic and pastoral rides around and I'm surprised its not better attended.
First time to do this ride and it shoots up the chart to number 1 – no kidding. Low traffic, all country roads even from the start, outstanding scenery, and no possible parking problem since it uses the airport taxi-way.
May 12, 2007
I went looking for a smaller bike ride event that provided low traffic roads and scenic country on a beautiful Saturday in May. I found one in the Hamilton Hill-aceous 100K ride. The 100K route was great. I think 10 cars passed me during the entire ride. The rest stops were bare bones- water, Gatorade and fruit, but really, what else do you need? A couple of “hydration” only stops were included along the way, which was a good idea.
This is the second year for the ride and there were probably 100 riders this year. It needs to increase by another 50 to 100 riders if, for nothing else, I felt lonely out there on the route sometimes!
According to my bike computer, the 100K route had about 2700 feet of climbing. There were quite a few long gradual ascents and some bigger 5-6% grade hills towards the end.
The route markers consisted of small arrows on the road, so you really had to be on the lookout for them. Volunteers were located at major turns to keep you on course and other cyclists were kind enough to point out other turns. Maybe a few more pronounced signs at various turns would be helpful. I don’t recall any big intersections that needed to be manned by patrolmen, either. The route maps which the volunteers gave us had the cell phone numbers of the various Sag wagons, so you could call them if you got in a bind. I thought that was a novel idea.
This ride is modeled on some of the other Central Texas rides such as the Melon Patch Tour, Fire Ant 100 and Comanche Cyclone.
If you can make the trek to Hamilton, you will enjoy a cool ride.
May 13, 2006
Hamilton put on the first annual HABiT – (Hamilton Area Bicycle Tour) so that people could “get in the HABiT” and support the hospital’s cardiac testing unit. This was our inaugural event and I know that we’re all anxious to evaluate our performance. I think the ride itself went pretty well although we’ve already identified some areas for improvements next year. I got several comments that our choice of distances was good (7, 20, 30, 46 and 60) and that the roads were in excellent shape and very scenic. We started at the airport outside of town so vehicular traffic was never a problem. Our signage definitely needs to be improved – the wind was a killer!
We’d like to express our thanks to the Bike Peddler in Brownwood which provided pre-ride bicycle repairs. We’d also like to thank the folks from the Comanche Cyclone and the Melon Patch Tour for both their physical assistance and moral support. There’s a lot of talk in Hamilton about how to make this a great annual event. We’d really appreciate any comments/suggestions/feedback from our inaugural riders.
The Hamilton Area Bike Tour's (HABiT) is a good warm-up for the
summer, with rolling hills, good rest stops and virtually no traffic on
rural roads. Highly recommended.