Hilly Hundred cyclers venture across the county for a cause

BARRY’S BAY – From Bancroft, to Barry’s Bay, to Wilno and Foymount, and then back to Bancroft again, more than 100 competitors plunged in and took part in the eighth annual Hastings Highlands Hilly Hundred this past weekend. 
Through hills and valleys, bikers from all over ventured across the county roads this September 7, all for the joy and rush cycling has to offer – and to take part in what’s considered one of the toughest century rides in the province.
“It’s a fun ride though too,” local physician and a checkpoint manager this year, Greg Cooper said. 
Cooper in past years has also participated in the ride. 
Plus, participants get to ride through some of Ontario’s most beautiful landscapes too, past competitors and organizers insist. 
The beauty of the lakes, the rolling hills and the colourful hardwood forests often awes people, especially newcomers, Hilly Hundred supporters say. 
“The terrain is a wonderful mix of gentle country roads, limited highway riding and breathtaking hills carved through ancient granite bedrock,” Hilly Hundred organization says. 
Now in its eighth year, the unique biking event continues to grow and expand, and one of the best parts, Cooper explained, the event caters to all types of biking professionals, like pros and beginners. 
From the 100-kilometre classic century ride, to the ‘Mini Hilly,’ a 38-kilometre tour, to a 224-kilometre adventure – no matter what type of challenge a biker is craving, there truly is a little something for everyone, Cooper said. 
With six distances to choose from, cyclers can choose the time they want to be on the road and their ideal difficulty for their travels. 
“On average, typically riders spend anywhere from five to seven hours on the road if they’re partaking in the 100-kilometre classic century ride,” Cooper said. “And for those who take on the 224-kilometre challenge, they can spend up to nine to 10 hours on the road.”
Because of its unique options for cyclists, the Hilly Hundred is often considered and favoured as a distinct bike adventure, as it passes through seven townships, and many small communities. 
This was the intent too, almost eight years ago, Cooper explained, the plan was to help create and organize an exceptional and unique local bike ride. 
The thing is, the checkpoint captain said, years ago, local bikers were always travelling afar and abroad to take part in bike rides, alike the Hilly Hundred. It wasn’t until Chris and Clive Emery, owners of the Trips And Trails Adventure Outfitting in Bancroft, got to thinking and came up with the idea that maybe Bancroft and its surrounding communities needed its own ride – then Hilly Hundred became a reality.
Story continues in the September 11, 2013 issue of The Valley Gazette.