What is the EHCT 2020 Status Regarding COVID-19 Activity?
CANCELED. Events have moved even faster than I anticipated in my last announcement. I am sure that you have been following the President's and CDC's announcements on cancellations, closures, group restrictions. In recognition of those, Kerrville is now operating in Phase 3 of their Emergency Operations Pandemic Plan. The City recommends following The President’s Coronavirus Guidelines for America, including avoiding social gatherings in groups of more than 10 people. Schreiner University is now limiting campus access to only employees, and canceling all non-campus events until the beginning of May. Some RV parks are cancelling reservations. In light of these factors, and in support of the national objectives for extensive social distancing, Easter Hill Country Tour 2020 is canceled. We fully expect to rebound in 2021 with the great plan that we were days from implementing when this pandemic hit.
I share in your disappointment, which has been evidenced by the many emails I have received from you all. At the same time, many of you have acknowledged our need to pitch in and comply with this national effort. I appreciate your feedback.. we are all in this together looking out for everybody's health and safety.
Now let's talk about the logistics of how this is going to work:
Thank you all for planning to come this year, many of you being long-time repeat EHCT riders! The Ft. Worth Bicycling Association, Schreiner University, Hill Country Bicycle Works, The Kerrville Convention & Visitors' Bureau, the YO Resort, and the Inn of the Hills all look forward to hosting you in 2021!
How are the routes on this ride?
Kerrville is situated in one of the prettiest parts of the Texas Hill Country, and the routes are laid out to showcase the scenery and roads. The geological history of this area tends to produce small, intimate valleys with steep hillsides capped with Edwards limestone. So the hills here tend to be relatively short (compared to long mountain passes like Colorado), but are often steep. Some are quite challenging.
Routes are selected to use small back roads as much as possible because they are safer and more scenic; when it is occasionally necessary to access bigger roads such as state highways, we strive to choose the safest routes possible.
I am not pre-registering online – can I get printed maps at onsite registration?
There will be a limited number of printed maps and cue sheets available at registration. If you have the RidewithGPS app on your smartphone you will be able to download the GPS file into that. You may also download files for your GPS bike computer.
Your best and easiest experience will be to pre-register and print your selected maps before you arrive!
Can tandem teams and/or families just pay 1 registration?
Sorry, that would be really nice, but we can’t do it. Every rider out on the course must be registered. Every rider will consume rest stop resources or potentially need a seat in a sag vehicle, so we need to plan and buy resources for them.
What equipment do I need to enjoy EHCT?
A well-maintained bicycle is, of course, the requisite starting point. Almost all participants use a road bike, since the local roads are generally excellent; there is no real advantage to a mountain or hybrid bike. Since you will be spending some part of three days on the bike, it should be comfortable. Basic safety gear (helmet) is needed, as well as basic tools (spare tube, patch kit, tire levers, simple tools, tire pump or CO2 inflator). All routes are carefully mapped, with cue sheets on the back of each map, so a basic cycle-computer is helpful to keep track of mileage. Some cyclists prefer to use GPS devices to track their progress.
What about SAG support?
There will be several roving SAG vehicles on each route Friday and Saturday. Sunday is unsupported. SAG’s will have small first aid kits, spare tubes, patch kits, floor pumps, water/sports drinks/bonk bars and can move you and your bike to the next rest stop. If you are bonking, the rest and fuel may be enough to get you moving again. If your bike is broken, we can get you both back to town.
PLEASE DO NOT ARRANGE FOR YOUR OWN PRIVATE SAG VEHICLE. It may make you feel better, but it means more cars to interfere with everyone’s enjoyment of these quiet country roads. Our SAG’s are concerned about all the riders on the route, not just you. There are few things more annoying to local motorists (and to other riders) than a lone vehicle trundling along behind a rider at 15mph with four- way flashers on. PLEASE DON’T DO IT.
Can I use credit or debit cards to register for EHCT?
Yes. Payment by credit card will be accepted both online and in person
What happens if I have a bicycle problem?
Hill Country Bicycle Works has 2 shop locations - one in Kerrville and another in Fredericksburg. Opening hours are: Thursday 10 – 6, Friday 9 – 6 and Saturday 9 – 6.
What happens if the weather is bad?
The Tour is held rain or shine (unless clearly dangerous to do so). We regret that no refunds can be made for weather-related reasons (unfortunately, significant expenses will already have been incurred). In it’s 46-year history, EHCT has never lost the whole event to weather.
What is the role of a SAG vehicle?
A SAG vehicle’s primary responsibility is to promote the safety of the riders. They can assist, and may offer transport to, riders who, for example, have minor injuries which do not warrant 911 assistance, have a mechanical problem on their bike or who have had to cease riding due to physical fatigue. Any transportation offered will most likely be, in the first instance, to the nearest rest stop. SAG vehicles are not roving mechanics although many can handle minor problems. Similarly, they are not taxi-cabs and will not be withdrawn from the course simply as a convenience to riders.