CIBA took over full sponsorship in 1972. Charlie was
the chairman of the event until 1975 when he retired and moved
to Florida. Ross Faris took over as chairman, a role
which he would hold into the nineties. By 1976, the ride
had grown to 1, 221 riders.
In 1979 Ross Faris was transferred to England, leaving the “Hilly” in the capable hands of Tom & Nancy Revard. The Hilly had a record-breaking crowd of over 1,900 registered riders from at least 15 states.
The traditional ride from Indianapolis to Bloomington also
began in 1979. Eight riders met at Shapiro’s on Friday,
October 5th, and rode to the Hilly. On the way to Bloomington,
they picked up four addition cyclists. Riders
included Charles Beard, Marti Daily, Larry
Downing, Jerry Driver,
Fred Evans, Steve Leonard, Max Magnabosco, John
Parli, Ronald Ricketts, Roger Schumacher, Robin
Shields,and Richard Weiner.
In 1982, because of the large number of participants and in the interest of safety, the Hilly Hundred adopted a staggered start. The traditional Friday night party at the Hilly was begun. 2,811 riders participated.
Ross Faris returned as ride chairman in 1983 and led the ride
through 1995. To honor the 20th Hilly in 1987, an extensive history and fact
sheet was researched. During that time, the ride
grew and a limit of 5,000 riders was adopted.
As the ride moved into the nineties, added emphasis was placed on safety. Participants were required to see a short safety presentation at registration. When Ross retired in 1995, he left an experienced group of directors and volunteers to continue the fine traditions of the Hilly Hundred.
The Hilly Hundred was eight years old when Ross took charge in 1975. (The ride started in 1968, chaired by Hartley Alley of the Southern Indiana Bicycle Touring Association; CIBA took over the Hilly in 1972 under the leadership of Charlie Sanford.)
From about 60 riders in 1968, the Tenth Annual Hilly had grown to 1400 riders (and 200 pounds of hot dogs, according to the October 1977 CIBANEWS.) From 1979-82, Ross took a “leaf” from his Hilly duties, when Eli Lilly & Co. sent him to England. Tom and Nancy Revard filled in.
Celebrating the 20th Anniversary in 1987, it was noted
that Ross had overseen 12 of the 20 Hillys and registration
had to be limited to 5000 riders.
The ride was chaired by Gary Robinson in 1996 and 1997. Ron Jackson became chairman in 1998. The 1999 Hilly won several national awards from BICYCLING MAGAZINE: Best Overall Event, Longest Running Event, Largest Event, Best Map, and Best Entertainment.
Higgins became the new Hilly Managing Director in
2001. Over the first 35 years of the event, the routes
saw little change, with occasional improvements provided by
newly paved roads, or safer roads. The original
routes, with only small changes, proved challenging and
entertaining year after year. The Hilly took a major
turn in 2003 as the headquarters site moved to Ellettsville,
IN. New headquarters facilties, in four school buildings,
and major expansion of parking and camping space provided a
much-needed breather for the ever-expanding Hilly Hundred
Weekend. Newly plotted routes on both Saturday
and Sunday were a big hit with riders who were treated once
again to the beautiful autumn colors of Southern Indiana.
Bettinger took over the helm in 2016 and is assisted by 30
directors and approximately 400 volunteers.
These people are the heart and soul of the Hilly Hundred.