Hill receives prestigious award

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

 

Chuck Hill receives the Bicycle Advocate of the Year award on April 13 in Tucson. Hill has been instrumental in improving biking in the Green Valley, Sahuarita area.

Hill has been an expert at creating several maps for county riders, is largely responsible for the bike map seen in businesses all over the area, and has been the unofficial ambassador for mountain biking around here. He designed and continues to maintain the web site for the Santa Cruz Valley Bicycle Advocate Committee, which welcomes anyone who wants to know how to find trails and get into the sport.  Hill has also organized the Ride of Silence for the Sahuarita/Green Valley area the last five years, as well as many mountain biking events in the area, and was the prime mover in creating and marketing a universal biking jersey for local riders.  “I’m in pretty good company,” Hill said after receiving the award. He follows County Administrator Chuck Huckleberry, last year’s recipient.
 
“I didn’t realize that what I was doing was of that much value.”  His fellow riders realize it, though.  “Chuck isn’t the kind of guy who tries to approach people to do things. He’s a self-starter who just goes out and does it himself,” said Tony Crosby, a riding friend who put in five thousand miles on his bike last year, and the man who nominated Hill for the award.  “He developed that map pretty much on his own,” he said.   “He functions as a one-man public relations office,” Crosby wrote in his nomination presentation.
 
“Chuck Hill is a multi-talented asset. His organizational talents, computer and photographic skills, and passion for both road and mountain cycling have made a significant impact on the success of cycling in the area.”
“He’s extremely valuable in helping the rest of us achieve our cycling goals,” Adamson agreed.
“He really deserves this.”
 
Past nominations and awards have often been focused on people and events in Tucson, so it’s nice to see another Green Valley cyclist pick one up, his fellow riders remarked.  “It’s quite an achievement for Chuck to get this award for all the things he’s done here,” Adamson stated, “since most of the time the awards go to someone in or around Tucson.”
 
Hill, 72, started active cycling only a few years ago, but has become a serious mountain biker, participating regularly in the annual Elephant Head race as its oldest competitor, averaging under two hours for the rugged 13-mile course, finishing consistently among the top 75 percent of entrants, even though the others are considerably younger.  He leads groups every week onto trails all over Pima and Santa Cruz counties.  “When I ride with him, I let him do the navigating,” Crosby said.  He welcomes virtually anyone to join him and his friends and has become a mentor for beginners, and a valuable tool for those who visit the area and don’t know where to ride.  “I guess you could say I encourage people to get out there and mountain bike,” he said.