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Horribly Hilly Hundreds: Tandem-Style

Dr. Mark Gustavson took to the Horribly Hilly Hundreds with his 5 year old son.

Dr. Gustavson took to the hills, tandem-style, for the Midwest’s Most Challenging Bike Ride, the Horribly Hilly Hundreds!

Apparently riding with a five-year-old kid on the back of your bike really gets a lot of positive attention.

“Hands down the coolest part of the bike ride was that Cullen rode the entire race; the attention and camaraderie that he felt from the fellow riders will make some lasting memories for him.” -Dr. Gustavson

“I don’t believe I’ve even seen a younger rider at this event.” -Horribly Hilly Participant

“These hills are grueling. It takes real guts to take a tandem bike and climb these hills.” -Horribly Hilly Participant

Horribly Hilly Hundreds

There’s No “I” In Team

“Let it be known that my good friend and my son’s Godfather, Owen, also road in the Hilly and he helped carry Cullen on the tandem.” -Dr. Gustavson

“What a unique way to bond with my Godson. When he’s a teenager and we do this ride again, I’m going to remind him how we tackled those tough hills together.” -Owen, Cullen’s Godfather

This was Owen’s first Horribly Hilly Hundreds. Owen traveled to Blue Mounds from St. Paul, Minnesota for the event. He’s an seasoned bike racer (both skinny tire and fat tire) and was certainly ready for this new challenge.

Two other riders also joined Team Affiliated Dentists: Bob and Lisa. It, too, was their first Hilly experience.

Horribly Hilly Hundreds

The Ride Was Hilly Yet Flats Are Possible

The Horribly Hilly Hundreds 100K route brings 5,700 feet of elevation gain over 66.5 miles. The 100K has full-service rest stops at mile markers 24, 42 and the finish line. Riders were encouraged to bring extra tubes and other spares. Good thing they came prepared because the Affiliated Dentists Team had a flat around mile 23!

Dr. Gustavson recalled, “We were nearly at the first rest stop when we experienced a front tire flat. It needed to be changed anyway as I think the tube was about eight-years-old.”

Big Excitement for the Event

Cullen, Dr. Gustavson’s five-year-old son, joined the Horribly Hilly Hundreds because Dr. Gustavson knew that he loved to ride. After signing up in January Cullen just started telling everyone that he was riding the Horrible Hilly Hundreds.

Horribly Hilly Hundreds

Questions for Dr. Gustavson

Why the Horribly Hilly Ride?

“I love the Hilly because it is early in the year, so it gets you out on the road and training early. I love this distance (100K) and the hills. It is long and hard enough that it is a challenge, but I am not spending 9 hours on the bike. This is the 6th Hilly ride I’ve completed.”

What do you like about riding?

“In general bike riding just makes me feel good.  Heck, my college entrance essay was about riding my bike across the country and what I ate along the way!  I grew up riding with my parents and siblings and now I enjoy it with my wife and kids.  Just yesterday I rode with my wife, my son and my dad, and today I rode with my mom and my daughter.  When I was about Cullen’s age (5 years old) I rode the same blue tandem from Lake Bluff, Il to Lake Geneva, WI.  So I guess it is just a part of who I am and who this family is.”

Horribly Hilly Hundreds

What else is neat about the event?

  • It’s a fundraiser for the Friends of Blue Mound State Park. 
  • After the ride there’s delicious food and drink options including ice cream and Capital Brewery beer.
  • Seeing my family at various stops along the ride!

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