Can't resist, but it does show Sidis!

Hilly Billy Roubaix 2015 on Tandem: Operation Lump of Coal

Over the last three years, I have developed a hopeless crush on the Hilly Billy Roubaix. This 72-mile ride over unpaved state roads out of Morgantown, West Virginia, raises my heart rate and heightens my senses. Despite muddy roads and unrelenting steep gravel climbs and descents, I can’t stay away. Continue reading “Hilly Billy Roubaix 2015 on Tandem: Operation Lump of Coal”

Hilly Billy Roubaix: I Am Trying To Break Your Heart

This is not a joke so please stop smiling
What was I thinking when I said it didn’t hurt
Wilco, “I Am Trying To Break Your Heart

After an exhilarating experience at the 2013 edition of the Hilly Billy Roubaix, Ed Felkerino and I returned to Morgantown this past weekend for another opportunity to ride our Lead Sled tandem wheels through the West Virginia mountains.

Little Indian Creek Road. Photo by Mike Briggs
Little Indian Creek Road. Photo by Mike Briggs

I had come to see the Hilly Billy Roubaix as a friend, but Hilly Billy is not the same kind of friend as a road ride. It is much more complicated in nature, and my meet-up with this year’s Hilly Billy was not the rendezvous I anticipated.

“I’ve changed in the year since you’ve seen me,” the ride said.
“So you have, but recent rains have made you even lovelier. The luscious greenery and wildflowers suit you,” I answered.
“Come inside and visit for a spell. You will see the other ways I am now different.”

Like Hansel and Gretel, we– along with about 200 other riders– obliged. Continue reading “Hilly Billy Roubaix: I Am Trying To Break Your Heart”

Something Old, Something New… Falling (in Love!) with Off-Road Tandeming

Felkerino and me on the Hilly Billy Roubaix

Felkerino’s and my years of randonneuring on tandem together combined with our growing interest in off-road riding made the Hilly Billy Roubaix, a 74-mile ride largely on the unpaved gravel and dirt roads in Monongalia County, West Virginia, an intriguing challenge.

With the exception of tires (which Felkerino researched and purchased prior to the event) we had all the necessary gear and after some discussion we dusted off and prepped our Cannondale tandem for the day.

This ride was an excellent next step for us as a tandem team, as it built on many of the aspects we have grown to love about long-distance riding and tested us in several new ways.

Continue reading “Something Old, Something New… Falling (in Love!) with Off-Road Tandeming”

Hilly Billy Roubaix: the Short Version of our Ultra Cross Race

Hilly Billy Roubaix

More than 24 hours after completing the Hilly Billy Roubaix, I am still riding high on the post-event rush. This 70, 72, 75, approximately 74-mile ride, billed as an ultra cross event, was held this Saturday just outside of Morgantown, West Virginia.

Felkerino and I rode it on our “lead sled,” i.e., the Cannondale mountain tandem, and since we were the only tandem team to ride (and finish), we made the podium! We were the podium! We won the Hilly Billy Roubaix piece of coal, two bottles of wine, some chain lube, and a few other trinkets and treasure for our efforts.

Continue reading “Hilly Billy Roubaix: the Short Version of our Ultra Cross Race”