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Tom Parry's Halton Hilly Hundred

The following commentary is provided by Bud Jorgensen

Bud operates Cycle Canada and is founder of Tour du Canada.

Halton Hill Hundred — An Ontario Classic Ride

Halton Hilly Hundred, a 100-kilometre hill climb route organized by the late Tom Parry. Tom was a bike-ride organizer with a wry sense of humor. He was a leading force in the revival of cycling in North America during the 1970s. This particular route is a southern Ontario classic.

Climbing the Niagara Escarpment

The Niagara Escarpment is a range of hills created by the last glacier and is characterized by steep hills. Niagara Falls, on the river between Lake Erie and Lake Ontario, is the most spectacular feature of the escarpment. The start of the Hilly Hundred is north of Burlington, between Toronto and Hamilton. Look for Guelph Line off the Queensway, the highway connecting Toronto to Hamilton.

The five climbs on Tom's route are:

  1. Appleby line, heading south just past the checkpoint on No. 3 Sideroad. (This section of the route ends with a steep descent on Appleby Line. Riders need to exercise extreme caution on this switchback downhill. An elite veteran of the Halton Hilly Hundred will have reversed course temporarily at the bottom of this hill to add a sixth, and most difficult, climb to the route.)
  2. Bell School Line heading north. (When Tom first staged this ride he had a bagpiper playing a funeral dirge at the top of this hill, which gets steeper and steeper as you get closer to the crest.)
  3. County Road 8, heading west towards Appleby Line. (This one is just long.)
  4. Dead Man's Gulch, heading north on 6th Line. (This is one of those undulating climbs, where you think you're near the top and suddenly there is another hill in front of you.)
  5. Mount Nemo, heading south on Guelph Line past Britannia Road on the way to the finish. (Mercifully, this is the easiest climb of the five. But by now you're knackered and any bump in the road looks formidable.)Since Tom did this map in the early '80s, the short stretch of gravel on First Line has been paved. The hills haven't changed.

Bid your sanity adieu . . .

commentary by Bud Jorgensen,