In only it’s second year, the Havana Hills Ride promises to be a great start to the early spring cycling season in north Florida. Nestled in Gadsen County just 14 miles north of Tallahassee, Havana is a former rail town that now boasts antique shops, art galleries and other wonderful specialty shops and cafes. The surrounding rural roads are perfect for cycling –  smooth, hilly, and very few cars. On Sunday February 26, 2017 this organized ride will roll out of Havana passing by southern mansions, farm lands, and pecan orchards all while tackling the hills over 88 miles for a total of 3300 feet of elevation gain. If you’re not quite ready for that distance, there will be a 48 mile option.
Spearheaded by Dr. John Dunn, local chiropractor extraordinaire, this ride offers the beauty and sereneness of the north Florida area that he and other local riders have enjoyed for many years. Sponsored by the Havana Merchants Association, riders will be treated to a packet pick-up party on Saturday featuring food, a merchant sidewalk sale, music by  Adventures of Allabell Lyn, a talented trio of swooning, crooning ladies from Tallahassee playing Acoustic, Original, Bluegrass, Folk, Blues and Swing music, and prizes donated by local bike shops. And that’s just the packet pick-up!

 

On Sunday, riders will have SAG support and rest stops to make their journey safe and fun, and the post-ride party includes food and a finisher’s patch. I highly recommend a stop at Miss T’s Sets for a celebratory glass of wine or craft beer…the store is fantastic and the conversation is lively thanks to Miss T herself. It truly is a special place.

 

Havana was once a prominent place for growing shade tobacco, used as wrappers in fine cigars. Along the route, riders may even see some of the old barns used for drying the tobacco (read a guest post on shade tobacco here). The rich history of this area is sure to make the ride even more epic as culture is combined with the sport of cycling. This ride is a great opportunity to support local rides, communities, and businesses. All proceeds benefit the Havana Volunteer Fire Fighters.

 

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