Sunday, May 16, 2010

Hamilton Hill-Aceous 100

Saturday, May 15, 2010
Hamilton, Texas
Hamilton Hill-Aceous 100/ The Family-Friendliest Bike Ride in Texas.

 "What a hometown should be" reads the welcome-to-Hamilton sign, population a little under 3,000. "What a bike tour should be" would be a good motto for the Hamilton General Hospital sponsors. The roads were very good, the traffic was very light, the routes were varied: 10K; 20, 30, 41 miles; 100K; and 79 miles. The Hamilton tour was a breath of fresh air in several respects. Every once in a while one wants a tour that has home town hospitality, a quaint town, a unique start/finish area, a good variety of route choices, a ride with plenty of hills but yet not a "Hammerfest," and scenery that Norman Rockwell would appreciate. That almost summed up the "Hamilton Hill-Aceous 100" tour, and if I were not so loquacious, I would stop here. However, as a picture is worth 1,000 words, I probably took an equivalent  gazillion words of pictures to illustrate the summary. No summary would be complete without praising the ride staff and volunteers. Lee Ann Lee of the Hamilton Wellness Center was very helpful and deserves our gratitude. And to Christine's embarrassment, two of the rest stops' volunteers went out of their way to take care of us. The first time, Christine left her sun glasses at the rest stop. (Editor's note: Hey, it was overcast.) The staff jumped into a vehicle and chased her down to return them. (Getting tired Chris??). And next, she left her Camelbak after filling it up. (Editor's note: Guess I was getting tired.) Again she was chased down, and they politely asked if she would like them to take it to the finish line or would she like it now? So very accommodating. 
Assembly point was the Hamilton Airport.

Airport hangers

 Airline fueling station
One of the many pretty homes in this historic town.

Pecan Creek Park near downtown

Hamilton County Courthouse under renovation

Finally the morning of the ride. Charlie Davis from Abilene was the only person we knew before the ride.

 Becky Davis accompanied Charlie and was her usual cheerful self.
Rain all over most of Texas with the forecast of scattered thunderstorms kept the participants to about 90 riders. It is only about the 6th annual Hamilton ride, and as the word spreads of this neat ride, and given fair weather, it is anticipated the line-up will increase dramatically. 
And off we went. I show this picture as an example of the early part of the ride. The mist was just enough to fog my glasses/sunglasses.

The mist did not detract from the scenery.

The first part of the ride had gentle rollers. By this time the different routes had split and Charlie had decided to go on the 40 mile ride. It went left and Christine and I went right to ride the 61 mile route.

Still early in the ride. Christine was dressed for chilly but not cold temperatures.

One might decern that in the distance, the rollers became a little longer and steeper. Again, not complaining, as I don't think anyone on the ride had to walk up any hill.

If anyone really had to walk, they would not have minded because they would have seen the country side more closely rather than riding past and hoping that the pictures turned out.

The Indian blankets were as profuse as the dozens of kinds of yellow and white flowers.
Sometimes the road side just called for a close up shot. As we were touring and not racing, completion time was not relavant, so "enjoy the moment."
On one leg of the ride, we turned into the wind. It was only a 10-12 mph wind. I found some new friends from the Metroplex, and we took turns pulling for each other.   They were really friendly, but unfortunately I didn't catch their names. The gentleman did talk about the Fort Davis Cyclefest in September, so maybe we will see them again. The baby longhorns caused Christine to lose us. She always slows to be a tourist.
Once out of the wind, I was distracted again.

More Indian blankets. Soon the ride was over.

Waiting for us at the finish line were bratwurst and two kinds of sausage wraps. And there were samples of a new, great tasting recovery drink made from milk and honey. It may compete with my favorite recovery drink of chocolate milk!!

The ride was outstanding. "Let's do it again next year."

1 comment:

  1. the 40 miler was a fun ride, i met up with a mother and son from stephenville. great riding companions. i had not ridden in over 1 1/2 weeks so i was struggling towards the end of the ride. i will be back next year, this ride reminds me of the deleon, tx ride. but this one is alot smaller. see you all at dublin,tx ride.