Due to George’s injuries and resultant surgery, we are sad to announce the Texas Hill Country is cancelled for 2015. Thanks so much for all your support.
Course Description (mileage recorded using Garmin GPS): Note – made some changes so last part of course description is under construction
Helotes to Medina “Hill Country Phone Co-op” TS #1 42.6 miles After a neutral start of 4.2 miles I will yell “Go” and the race will be on. Support crews may begin leapfrog support at 15 miles. Hwy 16 is in good shape. The shoulder is wide in most places though it does vary with climbing lanes. Racers will go through downtown Bandera and follow 16 all the way to TS #1 in Medina. There will be moderate traffic to Bandera which will become much lighter once through town. The terrain is rolling and I expect you will riding fast over this section.
Medina to Leakey Post Office TS #2 Miles thus far 79.4 This is a very challenging section featuring frequent steep climbs, steep and winding descents and intense rollers. The scenery is beautiful. After TS 1 racers will turn left on hwy 337 toward Vanderpool. There is an unforgettable climb featuring 3 false summits beginning at mile 54.7. A few miles after the screaming descent racers will turn right on 187 north then pick up 337 again toward Leakey. The hills are constant and steep through this section. TXDOT laid down some chip seal that will unfortunately slow your speed over what used to be a quick 8 miles to Leakey. Once past this the road surface improves considerably.
Leakey to TS #3 Rock Springs – Miles thus far 129.7 This section starts with a big climb out of Leakey followed by a road which resembles ribbon Christmas candy – roller after roller after roller which finally ends with a nice descent (though there is a big roller just after you think you’re facing a relaxing coast). Once out of the hills the road is great to Camp Wood (99.9 miles). Racers turn right on TX 55 at 100.4 miles. Pace vehicles may begin following at this point or 6:30 pm whichever comes first. TX 55 is in excellent shape featuring rolling (a few of them pretty big) terrain all the way to Rock Springs
Rock Springs to TS #4 Junction (your choice – pay phone is at Exxon on left or, if you have your cell phone you may call as you pass the Shell Station on the right or a tenth of a mile further to the Valero and McDonalds on the right) Miles thus far 178.1 More of the same. As you continue straight past the time station TX 55 becomes hwy 377. Though a different number the road maintains its quality and you’ll ride the rollers to a traffic light in Junction where you’ll turn right following hwy 377 North. If the winds are favorable Camp Wood to Junction will go by quickly!
Junction to Llano TS #5 Miles thus far 254.9 Hwy 377 briefly becomes 83 when crossing under I-10. A mile down the road you’ll turn right onto 377 North. The road is in good shape with an equally nice shoulder. Terrain is flat to rolling though more exposed and could be windy. You’re riding through mesquite country here. I saw three javelina hogs, some armadillos and deer while mapping this section. 5 miles from Mason you’ll get on 87. There is a tricky intersection in Mason. Be sure you stay on 87/29 bearing left. The big court house will be on your right if you make the turn correctly – if it’s on your left go back. Follow 29 all the way to Llano. The road is 2 lane with a relatively narrow shoulder but it is in good shape. TS 5 is located at the Fina Gas Station on your right – conveniently next to a traffic light where you’ll turn right toward Fredricksburg.
Llano to Fredricksburg TS #6 Miles thus far 299.6 After going straight through a few traffic lights you’ll come a number of options for directions to travel. At mile 256.5 turn right on Ranch Road 2323. This is a lightly traveled road with no shoulder. It’s small but in good condition and is kind of a rolling descent. After 33 miles you’ll come to a stop sign at hwy 87. Turn left and enjoy the van wide shoulder all the way to Fredricksburg. Follow 290/87 through town. This is Main Street and you’ll go straight through a number of traffic lights. Say hello to the Hell Week riders! At mile 300.1 you’ll come to the 290 Gas Mart which is TS 6.
Fredricksburg to Kendalia TS #7 Miles thus far 340.28 Now that you’re a bit sleep addled and feeling tired the real navigation challenge begins. Follow 290 out of town and keep a close eye on street signs to your right. Just two miles past the Time Station you will turn right on Old San Antonio Rd. This is an easy turn to miss so be aware! Racers will eventually turn left on FM 473 to Sisterdale and the never ending rollers to Kendalia.
Kendalia to Leon Springs TS #8 Miles thus far 366.0 After the Kendalia Country Store turn right on Edge Falls Rd. This is a fun road to ride – however, if it’s dark watch out for numerous white tail deer! Just over 16 miles into this section the fun ends when you have to ride over 2.6 miles of rough chip seal. Suffer through it and continue on to the Starbuck’s Coffee in Leon Springs. Don’t stop unless you need some caffeine – cell service is great here so just keep on rolling.
Leon Springs to Helotes Finish Line Total Mileage 375.4 There are still some hills to deal with in the last 9 miles of the race. But, once you get to Grey Forest, Scenic Loop is flattens considerably. Continue to the highway and when the light turns green cross 16 to the stop sign at mile 375.3 . Turn left and you’re staring at the finish line about 100 yards away. 80 of those yards are downhill and you’ll most likely be able to coast across the white paint. Plan to stick around for a memorable post race celebration!
Below is a tentative race map and profile. (You can download a full-resolution map here [pdf])