One version of roadie heaven is endless miles of smooth, flat pavement unspooling before you. If this sounds like your type, keep reading! Smack dab in the middle of the panhandle between Lubbock and Amarillo, you’ll find Plainview, Texas, home of the Hale on Wheels Cycling Event. On September 21, 2019, they’ll be hosting the 11th annual running of the ride, guaranteed to be one of the flattest out there.
We spoke with Ron Appling, Event Director, and got some of his thoughts leading up to the event:
- What’s new with the Hale on Wheels Cycling Event this year? This is the second year for the 100-mile course. This is also the second year we’ve partnered with the Texas Tumbleweed 100 (taking place on September 28, 2019) to create the High Plains Double Century Challenge. Cash prizes will be given out for the top three male and female finishers. The Hale on Wheels Cycling Event courses are as flat as you can get, compared to the hillier TX Tumbleweed.
- What routes do you offer, and which is your favorite? I love my courses! We have routes of 24, 32, 45, 63, and 100 miles. My favorite is the 100-miler, which I ride a few times a year. The flattest option is the 32-miler.
- How has this event grown since its inception? I took over as event director from the chamber in 2014. The event has grown from less than 100 riders to over 200, and we’re hoping for even more this year. I want every year to be a record-breaker.
- Is the Hale on Wheels Cycling Event appropriate for every level of rider? We have a little bit for everybody, including a family cruiser 5K ride and plenty of family-friendly fun after the ride.
- Do the registration prices go up this week? There are no price increases and you can register online until Thursday, September 19th at 11:59 pm via Eventbrite. Onsite registration will continue on Friday, September 20th from 5:00 to 8:00 pm, and Saturday, September 21st from 7:00 through 8:15 am.
- How about rest stops? We have stops every 10 miles or so, modeled after the Hotter N’Hell Hundred. We have medical professionals (from Covenant Health Plainview) at EVERY stop and in each SAG vehicle.
- Are intersections manned? There are only a few left turns on the course, and these will be manned.
- Any other notable details for the event? There will be showers on site! At the finish line, there will be music playing, banners, people cheering, rider’s names announced, and a hot meal waiting.
- What’s on your mind right before the race gets started? I’m up for the 24-36 hours before the ride taking care of last-minute details. Right before the start, I’m ensuring that the volunteers are in place and that everyone has a fun and safe time.
Marin Campbell is a contributing writer for WheelBrothers, an avid cyclist, and a former competitive mountain biker and triathlete. She also works as a physical therapist specializing in sports rehab and bike fitting.