"The Old Hilly Century"
An Oldie but Goodie for sure, RBC #84 is a "vintage" ride, designed in 1972 by Dr. Richard Burns, or "Dick" as everyone knew him. And yes, EVERYONE knew him. Dick was among many things, best known as the Maps Director for what seemed like an eternity of RBC's growing years. And it was on this ride back in 1978 that I first met him … as he led The Old Hilly. Many years later, the Doctor took me under his wing and transitioned the duties of the club's maps management to me, at a time that he had upgraded the map drawing procedures to AutoCAD.
Procedures and staff have evolved, but without question, RBC's maps development into a powerhouse of an inventory of rides was kickstarted by the good Doctor's dedication, and a wonderful sense of humor. Dick's passing was a huge loss to the club, but a great many of us likely honor his memory when we do one of his rides.
And today, I honored him once again by revisiting the ride I first met him on, so many decades ago.
The Old Hilly (currently exists only in pdf format … no RWGPS GPS track as yet) normally starts at the Wegman's plaza at Bay and Empire … conveniently close to where Dick lived, so he could ride to the start. Extra Credit. Coming from the city (via Empire BLVD) I was able to intercept the route at Plank Road, and exit the route toward home at Atlantic. Otherwise, I meticulously, though not perfectly, adhered to the 106 mile route as mapped and ended up with 112 including my short commute from/to home. Anyone having done this ride will understand that the ride uses roads that are recycled many times over on other RBC mapped rides. It was a very "exploratory" ride back in it's day, but obviously, RBC members have done countless explorations since then.
An early start on nearly empty roads got me out to Canandaigua Road pretty quickly with "Stop #1" for a coke at the C-store at the corner of Lakeshore and NY364 in C-daigua. Till then, the Old Hilly really isn't by current standards, but it starts to pick up with the turn up County Road 18 (Lincoln Hill). Up to Middle Road and down to Rushville, the route packs it's first surprise at Pierce Hill Road … the steepest (but thankfully short) incline of the ride. After that, it's a free ride to Middlesex where The Old Country Store is back in operation after years of silence. I was really ready for pizza, but at 9:30am, they were already out of slices from the 1st batch, so I settled for the last remaining breakfast sandwich … and a coke. (Shocking, I know!)
Having refueled there, I didn't need to stop at Crosby's in Naples as normal, but I did pause at the village park and noticed that the water spigot wasn't operating, the park tables/benches had all been removed, and Bob and Ruth's was unstaffed. I didn't see a single human in town. On a beautiful sunny day in May. Inconceivable any other time. Sad.
Up County Road 12 (no wind and blistering sun … as usual), I reach the overlook of Canandaigua Lake. I'm sure most club riders know the spot.
New development (or the first I've noticed?), they now have a couple binocular stands there. You know, the kind you plug a quarter into? Hey … no quarter required! So, of course, I lost a few minutes there before continuing on to Bristol Springs, Bristol Center, and my next pause (Stop #2) at the C-store at the corner of NY64 and 5&20 for a … (insert best guess here).
OK, so at this point, the Old Hilly has presented the rider with only two or three noticeable climbs, all after a really easy cruise to Canandaigua from the start. So, how come we call it a "Hilly Century"? Two things … #1 … back when this ride was developed "10-speed" bikes were the standard and triples for touring were rare. And we had 5-speed "freewheels", not the nine, ten, eleven and even 12 cog cassettes of today. #2 … after about 70 miles and heading north of 5&20, one starts to realize that our terrain starting just south of Victor and up to the north of Perinton ain't exactly flat. My Stop #3 happened at Fellows Road Park, less than an hour from home. With few stops getting to this point, rising humidity and temps approaching 90 degrees, I Really Wanted A Break! I finished a Clif bar, added electrolyte to my remaining water bottle (2 liter hydro-pack already exhausted), and just sat in the shade for 15-20 minutes. That helped, a lot.
Finally back in my hood, I texted Karen and advised her I was approaching Netsin's Ice Cream shop just before home. She hopped on her bike and met me there, and I celebrated a nice day with a … WRONG … Malted Vanilla Shake! (Thought you had me, 'eh?)
Your comment will be posted after it is approved.
Leave a Reply.