Today Gwynn and I went to Hillsborough to participate (along with about 800 other cyclists) in this year's edition of the Rural Heritage Tour. Many aspects of this ride have changed over the (too many) years since my last adventure, however the quality of the ride support, route, and scenery remains excellent.
The 100km and 100m routes are together for the first 25m. After a surprisingly brief speech at the start, we successfully resisted the temptation to charge out of town with the lead pack (which seemed unusually small) and settled into a small pace line that gradually grew to be 40-50 bikes before the first break at around 25m - where the whole group decided it was time to take a break. I'm absolutely certain that I never stopped this early in any of my previous RHT rides, because I know I would have noticed the well stocked feed zone attended by a very friendly staff. Another very large pack of bikes was arriving as we were leaving the break - apparently the quality of these stops is well known.
After the break, we mostly rode together enjoying the bucolic (Did you know that northern Orange county has a large skunk population?) countryside, although at one point we were able to join forces with a couple of other bikes to battle against a surprising NE breeze. After the turn down wind at Hurdle Mills (~40m), we benefitted from a tailwind for most of last third of the ride. We stopped again at a well-placed rest stop at ~45m - once again excellent supplies and staff.
The weather was great - without question the coolest conditions I've felt on any RHT. This is the first time I've noticed the beautiful scenery. Who would have thought that riding without a pace line and without oxygen debt could be so enjoyable? ;^)
I'm not sure what happened to all of those bikes that we saw at the break. Maybe the 100m route is the more popular option or maybe they just couldn't catch us. We averaged 19.3mph for 63m.
Page maintained by Tom Sheffield and last
revised on Saturday, February 28, 2015.
[ NCBC home page ]