Easter Hill Country Tour FAQ's
What is Easter Hill Country Tour (EHCT)?
Easter Hill Country Tour is a three-day bike tour based out of Kerrville, Texas over Easter weekend. Originally hosted by the Lubbock Bicycle Club in 1974, it has been hosted by four bicycle clubs in rotation. Host clubs are now the Fort Worth Bicycling Association, Houston Bicycle Club, San Antonio Wheelmen, and the Austin Cycling Association. The four clubs act cooperatively to pass along useful information to one another, but there is an underlying friendly rivalry to plan the prettiest routes and best social events.
Where is EHCT held?
EHCT is based out of Kerrville, Texas and generally uses a variety of routes that start and end in Kerrville. Kerrville is about 45 miles northwest of San Antonio, in the heart of the Texas Hill Country. Some host clubs move Friday's set of rides to nearby Fredericksburg to permit access to some favorite routes near there. We will not ride Fredericksburg this year because traffic became busy on the most popular routes there (especially Willow City Loop).
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; when it is occasionally necessary to access bigger roads, the only ones used are those with broad shoulders for safe, enjoyable cycling.
What lodging accommodations are available?
About half of EHCT participants camp at Kerrville City Park (formerly Kerrville State Park). About half stay at one of the many excellent quality motels and hotels in Kerrville. For more information go to our Meals and Lodging page.
What equipment do I need to enjoy EHCT?
A nice 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 advantage to a mountain bike (which is generally slower). 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 cyclecomputer is needed to keep track of miles and tenths. Some cyclists use GPS to track their progress, but this is not needed.
There are no start times posted. When do the rides start?
There is no mass start time for any of the rides. Most riders arrive at the start point between 8 and 9:30 a.m. , although some start as early as 7 for the century. Many riders contact other riders at Thursday packet pickup and arrange to meet at a particular time. The only limiter on start time is the closure times for the various rest stops on the course: you should plan to get past those points while the rest stops are still open.
My packet contains several sets of maps. How do I decide which to ride?
Maps are color coded for each day. There will be rest stops for Friday's routes on Friday's routes only, and ditto for Saturday's and Sunday's rides. There are generally three distance choices for Friday, four for Saturday (including a century), and two for Sunday, so the rider packet will contain maps for each. Again, all of Friday's routes will be on one color paper, Saturday's on another, and Sunday's on a third. Riders may choose the distance they prefer from among that day's routes.
Will there be rest stops at EHCT?
There will be rest stops approximately every 10-15 miles on routes each day. All rest stops include water, snacks, and porta-cans.
What about SAG support?
There will be several roving SAG vehicles on each route each day, generally less than 20 miles apart. 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?
The three primary ways to register for EHCT will be by cash or personal check to the Fort Worth Bicycling Association (either by mail in advance or on site) or by using Active.com online. The FWBA does not process credit or debit cards, although Active.com can. But note that this option is only available until advance registration closes.
Can I get digital maps in advance to download into my bicycle GPS?
Digital maps will not be available in advance because of problems with "freeloaders" in previous years. Maps can only be picked up at packet pickup on Thursday, Friday, or Saturday. You can always download routes into your GPS after obtaining the paper copies on site.