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Halton Hilly Hundred

  • Aug 4, 2012 · 8:30 AM

(UPDATE below...)

Really??? Yes, REALLY!

If you haven't heard of this classic bastion of Ontario bicycling masochism, beware, this ride can break even the most avid, strong and well-trained cyclist's spirit and body.

It is 100km of climbing some of the toughest and longest hills around on a route made up in the 70's.

http://www.cyclecanada.com/HHHmap.htm

We'll meet at Union Station and take the GO out to Burlington Station (you want to save every ounce of energy for the hills) and then ride out to the official starting point on Guelph Line just south of Dundas. There is an 8:45am train that gets to Burlington at around 9:45.

Absolutely only for those willing and able to tackle one of the greater cycling challenges available in southern Ontario.

UPDATE:

I took the opportunity Thursday to drive the route to familiarize myself with it, and I managed to test out the hills at Rattlesnake point and Lowville on my bike.

Good news is that the roads are in good condition; there are no construction areas nor gravel stretches, so we should have smooth rolling for the day.

We'll do a few rest stops along the way, provisionally as noted here:

- Lowville Bistro at 19km

- Appleby Ln at Steeles, (roadside) after Rattlesnake Point, at 43km

- Dar's Bakery at 1st Ln and 15 Sideroad, at 61km

- Carlisle Farm Market at Centre and Carlisle Rd , at 79km

Please be aware that this ride is slightly longer than 100km. The official HHH route is 100km, but we have about 7km from the starting point to the Burlington GO station. (It'll be a nice warm-up for us before the hills start.)

For anyone joining us at Burlington, please meet in the NORTH passenger pickup/dropoff area (That's the one accessible from Plains Rd and NOT the one from Fairview street.)

For everyone, please make sure you bring supplies and nutrition sufficient for the ride with you. (Bring lots of water, it will be HOT in the afternoon!) You should not rely on the generosity of other riders for things such as spare tubes (or the knowledge how to replace them) or sunscreen. You bike should also be in top shape. If your derailleur is jumpy or brake cables loose, or any other mechanical issue, you will be putting your (and fellow riders') safety at risk on this ride.

Although we are riding as a group, every rider is absolutely responsible for him or herself and participates at their own risk. Please have the means to pay for a taxi in the worst case that you suffer fatigue, sustain an injury or unrepairable mechanical failure and cannot continue.

Finally, please be aware that this is a physically challenging ride. Don't underestimate this and think that a little extra "digging deep" will get you through it if you aren't already comfortable riding at LEAST 100km in a day, and/or get tired easily on hills. If you start falling consistently behind so that even our slow group starts disappearing from your view, please take it as a cue to call a cab. I don't want to sound harsh, but I honestly only have your enjoyment and that of the rest of the group in mind with this caution.

With all that said, I want to again let you all know how much I'm looking forward to this ride. The weather is shaping up fabulously and I think it will be an epic day and really a great achievement for everyone!

See you out there!

Andy

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  • Anita

    Thanks to Andy for organizing and for your patience. It's a tough but beautiful route. Unfortunately, the heat was too much for a few of us.

    August 8, 2012

  • Fred

    It looks like this actually turned out to be quite a nice event, I'm uber sad that I couldn't make it. I hope we can have another one in the fall.

    August 6, 2012

  • Greg

    I've got the ride track up on Garmin:

    http://connect.garmin.com/activity/207155534

    FWIW, just 150m over that 800m figure Niki ;-) But I'm thinking if we'd done the full "traditional" HHH then we'd hit 1000m.

    You can see how often we HAD to stop. Cutting it short when we did was a wise move as that extra section would have cost us another hour and there may not have been anywhere to stop for water.

    August 6, 2012

  • A former member
    A former member

    What a ride! The heat was not on our side. I would love to give this ride another go at an earlier time, or in the fall.. It was definitely a challenge. Andy did an excellent job organizing. For the record, it is well over 800 m elevation gain. :)

    August 5, 2012

  • A former member
    A former member

    Andy was such a sweetheart printing out maps and adapting the ride as best he could for the wide range of skills. Everyone was also super friendly! This was a challenging ride in terms of weather, length, and difficulty of terrain.. It's important to take these things into consideration before RSVPing for a ride.
    Felt there could have been better organization in terms of timing... we didn't leave until almost 90 minutes after the scheduled meetup time, and the constant breaks added to the amount of time we had to spend in the scorching heat. I'd save this ride for skilled riders who have a good amount of mileage behind them.

    August 5, 2012

  • Andy Z.

    Thanks everyone for coming out on such a hot day! The strong sun and high humidity really made this ride such more challenging than I would have ever expected. I nearly got heat stroke myself and had to stop and drink copious amounts of water to complete the shortened course with Greg. Congratulations to everyone for their accomplishments. The hills were amazing! I really enjoyed meeting and riding with you all! Can't wait for the next time, hopefully on a cooler day.

    August 5, 2012

  • Greg

    ============================
    Zarzycki (?)
    n.
    Polish for he who attacks on hills.
    ============================

    Great ride! It was really nice meeting and riding with all of you.

    The bad news - Andy and I did not complete the full HHH loop. We cut out the northernmost rectangle, cutting straight across Campbell Road.

    The good news - we were able to to complete a total of 101km.

    Some other stats until I the Garmin site is up again:

    max elevation - 327.9m
    max velocity - 57.9km/h
    total ascent - 1153m
    average moving speed = 20 km/h
    water consumed during ride - 5L

    Looking forward to doing this again - in cooler weather.

    August 5, 2012

  • Greg

    It's a very challenging course. That said, Andy did a great job organizing and more important, guiding. He prepared maps for everyone and coached us through some of the more challenging sections. On a day with temps in the mid-30s (ambient) he made sure did not push ourselves too hard. I'm looking forward to doing this ride again.

    August 5, 2012

  • Anna

    Andy is a super organizer; he even printed everyone a map, with point by point directions, and had it carefully sealed in plastic ziplock baggies to protect it from moisture! I will only rate the first 1/4 th of the route since 100k on such a hot day was just not within my capabilities. The first section of the route is really scenic. It went through farm land and patches of forest dense enough to provide shade. The hills were also really not that bad; mostly small rolling hills... (That is until our shortcut back on Appleby near 5th line. The moral of the story is, shortcuts may not necessary equate to less effort.)

    I would like to try the entire 100k another time when there temperature is more forgiving. Great ride everyone! Anna

    August 4, 2012

  • A former member
    A former member

    Andy, sorry for not showing up! I was hoping to get my new bike last week and ride it a bit but i just got it today! I am supremely excited to go on a ride with you guys though on my new beauty! Sorry again

    August 4, 2012

  • Andy Z.

    @Greg, that's the only car I can tell you we won't be on, since the accessibility car with the ramps is off-limits to bikes. Every other car is fine. I'll try to get on the car in front of the accessible one.

    August 3, 2012

  • Andy Z.

    @Niki, the elevation gain is about 700m for this ride. I drove the route yesterday, and there are some short and significantly steep portions that belie the "easy" category 5 ratings indicated here: http://www.mapmyrun.com/routes/view/32599036

    August 3, 2012

  • Greg

    @Andy, G'day. I'm 50/50 to meet you at Union or get on at Exhibition - will you be in the middle car with the ramps?
    If anyone else wants to get on at the Ex, I'll be there by 08h40. I'd recommend getting there a few minutes earlier to get your ticket. I'll be leaving from Bloor/Christie area to head south around 08h15.

    @Niki, bikely.com has a couple of maps for this route. You may be able to use google maps to figure out the elevation gain/loss.

    August 3, 2012

  • Arthur

    @Andy, excellent thanks for the info. I'm working on getting a ride out there to meet up with the group. If I can make that happen, where and when would be the appropriate place/time to meet everyone to start the ride?

    @Anna, Salut! It's been a while, if you are coming I look forward to "meeting" your bike..

    August 2, 2012

  • Anna

    @Arthur, eh salut, maybe you'll meet my bike this time.

    July 31, 2012

  • Andy Z.

    @LiAnn, I would love to start sooner next time around. I had been under the mistaken impression that the 8:45am was the earliest train out of Union on Saturdays, that's why I set this time for the meetup. We'll make sufficient stops and re-fill on water wherever we can to try to reduce the risk of anyone overheating during the ride

    July 31, 2012

  • Andy Z.

    @Arthur, as far as metric centuries go, this one is extra challenging because of the hills. It should take us somewhere in the neighbourhood of 4 hours riding time, plus 30 minutes to an hour more for rest stops and such. Keep in mind that we'll be climbing slowly (as slow as 10 to 15km/h), but going down on the other side is nice and fast (40? 50km/h? Whatever you dare!) The average never works out in the favour of fast, however. : )

    July 31, 2012

  • Arthur

    I have never done a century, but I figure it's time I take a crack at it. Approximately how long would this particular ride take?

    July 31, 2012

  • A former member
    A former member

    Is anyone interested in meeting up earlier? I fear biking 100k in the heat of the day (10am-ish to as late as 3pm if we're going 20km/hr). I'll be driving with +2; so if anyone wants to join earlier definitely let me know!

    July 29, 2012

  • Guy

    Hehe, aren't you pleased we saved you that bus fare, plus you gained awesome bragging rights!

    July 4, 2012

  • Anna

    Hey, I had just signed up for... what was it... 80k or 100k, but some how got cajoled into 140k by two fine gentlemen ;).

    July 4, 2012

  • Guy

    I recall a 140Km sounded intimidating once - and you totally obliterated that challenge! Nope, this is all road.

    July 4, 2012

  • Anna

    The other one wasn't advertised as "hilly"... this one sounds intimidating. :p

    PS I couldn't decipher the map, but does anyone know if there will be trails and gravel on this route? I have skinny tires, but alas not the skills to also use them on gravel.

    July 4, 2012

  • Guy

    LOL Anna! If you're riding, best I bring my cyclocross, just in case! And hey, you survived 140Km, so this should be a doddle :)!

    July 4, 2012

  • Anna

    So Guy, after Oshawa to Port-Hope, do you think I can survive this? Hopefully with a couple more months of using clipless under my belt, I won't have to bend another wheel.

    July 4, 2012

  • A former member
    A former member

    Anyone driving?

    July 4, 2012

  • Fred

    I'm no expert so I honestly couldn't say, but it's going to be heavily dependent on the actual difficulty of the course in comparison with the strength of the pack. I would guess-timate 20-25 just based on distance and the fact that there's climbing.

    July 3, 2012

  • Greg

    Andy/Fred, what's the target pace for this?

    July 3, 2012

  • Henry

    I live out in west GTA, so I've done all of these hills. Y'all will do just fine. I don't think they're actually as difficult as you fear ;)
    Put me down as a maybe, I'll find out my schedule later.

    June 27, 2012

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