Hillier Than Thou Sept 12

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3 replies [Last post]
Anonymous's picture

"Now's your chance to ride in the Highlands of NJ .... climb Iron Bridge and Fiddler's Elbow. This beautiful, challenging 100 miler is an annual Central Jersey Bike Club event. You can race or tour. There's a metric century as well. Registration opens at 7 a.m. at Camp Bernie YMCA, NJ.

If you are interested, email me ([email protected]) with subject ""Hillier"" and I will send the flyer (info not on CJBC site) or contact Kyle Chu, event organizer at [email protected].

I believe some NYCC members have ridden previous courses.


Anonymous's picture
Chris T (not verified)
Notes about the 2003 Hillier

1. Last year, the usual elevation lovers (POR, TMC, JZ) did the full century, while I did the metric. Both courses are bucolic, senic, sylvan (with a few farms thrown in) and HILLY! A definate change of pace for most of NYCC members.

2. Despite its name, Shades of Death Road is not a brutal climb.

3. Hunterdon County tarred and gravelled a number of roads days before the ride. Made for more interesting climbs and descents.

4. There were a few turns not well marked -- some people got lost (which is a problem if you don't know the area)

5. To be quite honest, this was not a well supported ride, not even close to the level of support that NYCC does for the Escape New York. I was even asked to volunteer to support the 2004 Hillier, and declined because I am participating in the ENY volunteer pre-ride on the same day.

6. If you decide to go, and don't have a triple, you better have at LEAST a 27 on the rear. Otherwise you will need to dismount! a couple of times. If somebody does go, send an email and let me know how it goes.

7. Don't get lost. Also give yourself 2 hours from uptown to get to the YMCA camp.

Anonymous's picture
Diane Goodwin (not verified)
2004 Hillier Than Thou


Your description of the most fantastic RACES around, Hillier Than Thou, is misleading and includes misinformation. Posts like that hurt events which give to charities.

The Hillier Than Thou is a RACE .... ENY is a ""tour"", a leisure ride. Prizes are given away at HTT. No one gets a prize for finishing first at ENY. Road racers have their own support at controle points. For instance, it's not the responsibility of the organizer at HTT to provide tubes, tires or wheels. They do have tubes and will exchange them for a puncture. I don't think ENY does that. That's an important support issue ... more than food. You also see the organizers on the route. The main concern for the organizers, day of, is the 100 mile race - not the Belvidere Boogie or Metric.

So, you see the two are completely different. There is NO race in the Northeast like this one in terms of length and climbing.

According to the organizers, you approached them to help out. They aren't in habit of asking out of stater's for help. I wasn't even asked and I organize events in NJ - they prefer that people ride.

The ride has always been extremely well supported and it has a BBQ and showers at the end. This year, besides hot dogs and hamburgers, there was Salmon from Washington State - plus the usual BBQ accessories.

The route is marked in five places at every turn. The route is re-scouted the day and week before. NJ is known to chipseal roads without warning - nothing an organizer can do except warn the riders. I know for a fact that Judson Hand led at least one training ride to check out the route and send changes to the organizers.

Gearing ... well, if your legs aren't as strong as Nate Morgenstern or Sandiway Fong, you should have a 34 on the back w/mountain bike derailleur or a triple - 27 is not going to help much.

Any organizer knows that no matter how well arrowed the route or perfect the cue sheet is, people get lost. People tend to miss road signs/landmarks/arrows, rely on other cyclists, skip a turn on cue sheet, etc...

You were correct on one point ... the route is scenic and Shades of Death is flat. Each year, the organizers plan how they can improve the route and seek out new climbs. Kyle Chu, in particular, was planning back in June when he helped volunteer on our 600K. He and Phil take pride in the route.

There were, as previous years, over 100 riders in 2004. All were happy and all had the opportunity to purchase wine at the winery rest stop and have the volunteers bring back the purchases.

On long distance events, riders participate knowing what to expect ... some hills (this was advertised as SUPER HILLY) and to be self-sufficient. This ride was a RACE, unlike ENY. Prizes are given away based on The metric and boogie are added for those who want cannot complete the race (100miles) in the allotted time. They are also good for those with injuries and someone who might train properly for the next season.

People know about this ride as one of the best centuries in the Northeast. Hillier Than Thou organizers don't care about the amount of riders, they know the ones who come out are ""quality riders."" They do help out the ones who get off course - it only takes a phone call from the rider.

From what I know first-hand about the organizers, they did a tremendous job with little help from their bike club and short time frame. They are dedicated to the sport of cycling. That is why I posted the ride .... because NYCC members might want to meet good riders from NJ and to challenge themselves on a well-supported ride.

BTW, Kyle had even offered to pick up NYCC members from the train station.


Anonymous's picture
<a href="http://www.OhReallyOreilly.com">Peter O'Reilly</a> (not verified)
easy now

"..is misleading and includes misinformation..

Easy now, Diane. Chris actually did one of the shorter versions of HTT and having done the full last year I agree with most, if not all of what he wrote.

While it is an ""open race"", most who particpate do not ride it like a race. Like ENY, there are a few abbreviated routes.

I don't recall ever doing a century ride that was marked flawlessly, including HTT and ENY. In fact, I ended up missing one turn myself last year in HTT, critically enough so to make me a DNF in terms of keeping race time.
Many others had missed that same turn in Cokesbury as I.
Unless its my 50 lap century route, questionable turn markings are to be expected (coupled with brain-fades having alot of climbing miles late into a ride).

A 27 was sufficient for me. Lower gears would have been nice, too on Fiddler's and Iron Bridge.

I spoke with Kyle at great length. Finding enough volunteers for them has always been a recurring issue- enough so that in some years they were in danger of cancelling. That said, given the limited (people) resources, they really make the most of what they have and they do pour their hearts into the event - and it shows.
Last year was no exception - it was a success.

To blame Chris for misinformation is a bit off base. Other than such assertion about Chris, what you write rings true and it is a really nice event."

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