|Cyclists cresting a hill on the 2014 Hilly Hundred ride|
The Hilly Hundred is Indiana's premier cycling event. Not only is it a great route with attractive scenery and challenging hills, but there is also plenty of food and entertainment, at the sag stops and Saturday after the ride.
The Hilly Hundred is put on by the Central Indiana Bicycling Association (CIBA), but the original edition, in June of 1968, was done by the now defunct Southern Indiana Bicycle Touring Association (SIBTA). It was the brainchild of Hartley Alley. 54 hardy souls took part in the inaugural event. The event almost came to a premature end in 1970. Fortunately, Charlie Sanford of CIBA called Hartley during the summer, asking about the ride. Hartley said it wouldn't be held due to a lack of SIBTA volunteers and his busy schedule. After talking it over, they decided to have the ride in 1970, jointly sponsored by SIBTA and CIBA. Because of the late start in the organizational process, the ride was pushed back to the fall. They loved the fall colors of southern Indiana so well, the Hilly has been held in October every year since then. CIBA took over the event in 1971 and has managed it ever since.
The Hilly is an exceptional cycling event that has garnered national awards, and attracts over 4,000 riders from all over the country. Each year it depends on the efforts of nundreds of volunteers each year. Two individuals need to be singled out for exceptional effort. Ross Farris was director of the Hilly Hundred for twenty years. It was under his leadership that it grew from a relatively small ride to the top-notch event that it has become. Skip Higgins is not far behind Ross, This year will be his 15th and final year as director. He has done an excellent job of maintaining the high quality expected each year by Hilly Hundred riders. The Hilly has won numerous awards, including ones from Bicycling Magazine for:
- Best Overall Event
- Longest Running Event
- Largest Event, Best Map
- Best Entertainment