The Hill Country 500 is a three day, 500 mile(ish) adventure ride of some of the finest paved and dirt roads in the Texas hill country. It begins and ends in Johnson City, TX.

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Schedule Overview:

Friday evening, Nov 8: Social gathering in Johnson City

Saturday, Nov 9: Ride

Sunday, Nov 10: Ride, ending in Johnson City, TX.

Who is this ride for?

This ride is a tour of some of the best riding in the hill country and is suitable for any street-legal dual sport or adventure bike. We will be riding public paved and unpaved roads – there is no off-road or single track riding. This ride is beginner friendly. If you are new to Texas adventure riding, come on out. We are a friendly group and welcome newcomers.

Logistics

Friday: Noon – Dark, social gathering, Mike and Mary Morisoli’s property, 795 Old River Crossing, Johnson City, TX 78636

Mike and Mary have graciously opened their property in Johnson City for our use. There is plenty of space for camping and trailers (motorcycle or otherwise). It is safe to leave your vehicle and trailer at Mike’s property for the duration of the event. His property has grills, lights, potable water, and a porta-john.

Show up at Mike’s place anytime Friday from noon on. Hang out, visit, have a good time.

Friday Dinner: We will have a catered meal at Mike’s property on Friday evening, 6-8 pm.

Recreational opportunities at Mike’s place include horseshoes, slow speed motorcycle skills areas, and campfire spots. Bring your own lawn furniture if you want to sit somewhere other than on the ground.

If you don’t want to camp there are a couple of lodging options in Johnson City. If they are sold out, the next closest option is in Blanco. If you decide to stay at a hotel, join us at Mike’s place Friday afternoon until it’s time for you to go to the hotel to sleep.

Riding Options:

There are two riding options for your to choose from:

Option 1: two day loop of the hill country with an overnight stay in Kerrville, TX

Option 2: Two day rides (one on Saturday, the other on Sunday) from Mike’s property. Overnight Saturday night at Mike’s place (if camping) or at a local hotel in Johnson City (if staying in a hotel).

Both options are self-guided rides. Riders will organize into small groups (I suggest groups of 8 riders or less) and ride the designated course each day. At the riders meeting at 8am on Saturday morning we will help riders without a group organize into a group.

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Option 1:

Two day loop ride, overnight in Kerrville, TX

Saturday:

  • Breakfast on your own
  • 8:00 am Riders meeting, Mike’s place, Johnson City, TX
  • 8:30 am – Groups depart on designated route
  • 5:00 pm – 9:00 pm tire kicking and storytelling, parking lot of the Best Western Sunday House Inn, Kerrville, TX
  • 7:00 pm – Dinner at Bella Serra’s restaurant, next door to the Best Western Sunday House Inn, Kerrville

Breakfast is on your own. There are multiple restaurants in Johnson City to choose from.

Saturday’s ride is 213 miles in length and is about 80% pavement and 20% unpaved county roads in the hill country. One of the unfortunate realities is that there aren’t a lot of dirt road options in the eastern half of the hill country. There are, however, some superb twisty paved roads that are incredibly fun on dual sport and adventure bikes. We will be riding those roads. This is an adventure ride, not a dual sport ride, so the route is big bike friendly. The route passes through Center Point, Bandera, Vanderpool, and Medina, with various food and fuel options in those towns.

The Best Western Sunday House Inn in Kerrville, TX is our host hotel for Saturday night. Make your reservations right now, before the hotel gets fully booked. You can always cancel your reservation if your schedule changes. There are other hotel/motel options nearby in the event the Best Western is booked.

We are having a group dinner at Bella Serra’s restaurant, next to the Best Western, for all who want to join in. Meet at the restaurant at 7 pm.

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Sunday:

-Breakfast on your own. The Best Western has a pretty good breakfast buffet included with your room.

-8:00 am Ride begins. 220 miles.

-Arrive back at Mike’s place – end of ride

Sunday’s route passes through Fredericksburg, Castell, and Llano. All three have either food and/or fuel choices.

Option 2:

Out and back each day, overnight at Mike’s place on Saturday night (or stay in a hotel in Johnson City)

Saturday:

  • Breakfast on your own
  • 8:00 am Riders meeting, Mike’s place
  • 8:30 am – Ride begins
  • 5:00 pm – 9:00 pm tire kicking and storytelling, Mike’s place
  • 7:00 pm – Dinner at Pecan Street Brewing, Johnson City

Breakfast is on your own. There are multiple restaurant options in Johnson City.

Saturday’s ride is 227 miles in length and is a mix of both pavement and dirt and a few low water crossings. One of the unfortunate realities is that there aren’t a lot of dirt road options in the eastern half of the hill country. There are, however, some superb twisty paved roads that are incredibly fun on dual sport and adventure bikes. We will be riding those roads. This is an adventure ride, not a dual sport ride, so the route is big bike friendly. The route passes through Llano, San Saba, and Castell with various food and fuel options in those towns.

We are having a group dinner at the Pecan Street Brewing restaurant in downtown Johnson City for all who want to join in. Meet at the restaurant at 7 pm.

Sunday:

-Breakfast on your own.

-8:00 am Ride begins. 169 miles.

-Arrive back at Mike’s place – end of ride

Sunday’s route passes through Blanco, Comfort, and Luckenbach with food and/or fuel available in each.

Registration: $45

Your registration includes event attendance, GPS routes, and a catered meal on Friday evening. If you register early you will receive a free event t-shirt.

Early registration: Today – October 14th, 5 pm. If you register early you will receive a free event t-shirt.

Registration: Oct 15 – Nov 7th

To register: Send $45 payment to me via paypal at rgibbens@austin.rr.com using the “send money to family or friends” option. Include a note on paypal with your name, t-shirt size, and your email address.

If you don’t know how to use paypal, you can mail your registration and payment to me at:

  • Richard Gibbens
  • 12609 Red Bud Trail
  • Buda, TX 78610
  • Include your payment and a note with your name, t-shirt size, and email address

I will send an email confirmation to everyone who registers and includes their email address. If you don’t receive a confirmation email from me then I didn’t receive your registration, you didn’t include an email address, or I have made a mistake and overlooked your registration. In any case, if you don’t receive a confirmation email please contact me so I can rectify the situation.

Reservations:

If you are camping at Mike’s place on Friday or Saturday night, just show up and grab a spot. If you aren’t camping then make your own hotel reservations for both Friday and Saturday nights. Remember, depending on which option you choose, you will either be overnighting in Kerrville or in Johnson City on Saturday night.

GPS: 

I will email the routes to everyone who registers. Please include your email address with your registration. If you don’t receive a confirmation email with the GPS routes attached, then I did not receive your registration, you did not include an email address, or I made a mistake and failed to email the confirmation to you. In any case, if you don’t receive a confirmation email then please contact me and let me know so I can correct the situation.

The routes were created with Mapsource running City Navigator North America NT 2019.