Much like the Vermont Overland, the Hilly Billy Roubaix serves as a reminder that there are plenty of cyclocrossers out there who enjoy gravel racing on roads long abandoned by civilized society.
The HBR stretches a little longer than the Overland at 72 miles, and replaces maple syrup with moonshine as it centers around the hills of Morgantown, West Virginia. In most years for the race, there is plenty of hard-packed dirt, pavement, loose gravel roads, and other trails that time left behind, but 2015 marked a year where rain dominated the day, turning all roads a little more difficult than before.
For a full week before the event got underway, a score of bad weather churned the gravel sections and filled other areas with small ponds to traverse. The race’s difficult “Little Indian Creek” early in the race enlarged in size this year, giving riders some of the most brutal tastes of the course early on, and likely having riders petition to rename the area “Big Indian Creek.”
CXHairs.com was there to capture all the action, from rider and winner interviews to the somber advice of the race promoter before the ride got underway. Between stills and race footage, Bill Schieken either offers compelling reasons to stay clear of the rough Hilly Billy roads or add the race to an adventurist’s bucket list.