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 Richard Weiner, Larry Downing, John Parli, Charles Beard, Steve Leonard, Max Magnabosco, Jerry Driver, Ronald Ricketts, Robin Shields, Marti Daily, Roger Schumacher, and Fred Evans.
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. Skip Higgins became the new Hilly Managing Director in 2001. He remains the Managing Director today and is busy preparing for this year's event, announced as his last year in this position. Skip is assisted by 30 directors and approximately 400 volunteers. These people are the heart and strength of the Hilly Hundred. 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.