Climbing hill 159AOn Sunday, February 28th, about 35 riders took part in the inaugural run of the Havana Hills Spring Classic, setting out from Havana, FL, at 8.30 am. Participants will receive a patch to commemorate the event.

The route wound around North Florida and South Georgia eventually ending back in Havana, see graphic. The full route covered eighty-eight miles with 3,300 feet of elevation gain but there were forty-five mile and sixty-five mile alternatives for those who preferred a shorter ride. After the ride many riders enjoyed a bowl of chili and a beer or two.

The Havana Hills area is known in the cycling community as an excellent area for cycling as it provides a challenging topography and quiet rural roads. The weather in February and March is also very attractive to cyclists.

Historically the area was the home of a two-day cycling classic race and the event on Sunday is the first in what will become an annual February event. The aim is that the Havana Hills Spring Classic will be the start of the cycling season on the east coast of the US. Next year we are anticipating that there will be over 150 riders and that it will grow in subsequent years so that there are several hundred riders, even over a thousand.

The advantage to Havana and Gadsden County of establishing such an event is that it will attract local cyclists as well as bring business and visitors to Havana from far and wide. There are many examples both in the US and in Europe where major cycling events have a positive economic impact on the areas in which they take place.

The event was organized by Dr John Dunn and Pete Kerwin in conjunction with Miss T’s Sets of Havana. Route graphic: Pete Kerwin, Picture: Nick Bert, Havana Herald.

See the Havana Hills Spring Classic on facebook

Cycling route 28th Feb