HistoryThe Story of the Event
The Fools Classic was conceived in 2005 by Bob Ruddy and Brian Ignatin, both active members of the Central Bucks Bicycle Club of Doylestown, Pennsylvania. The idea was simple; create a challenging spring ride that emulated the conditions of the Spring Classic races held in Northern Europe.
The idea was not exactly original. In the 1980s, Brian was a member of Team Hill USA, based out of the Hill Cycle shop in the Chestnut Hill section of Philadelphia. Team Hill’s membership included Allan Rodzinski, who raced as an independent pro in the mid-80s. Each spring Allan leads a series of 3 rides over the cobbled and roads and narrow paths of Philadelphia and the suburbs, with a combined distance of roughly 250k (156 miles), which is the nominal distance of the European Spring Classics.
Bob and Brian decided that Bucks County needed a similar ride, but there was one major stumbling block; outside of a few stones here and there, Central and Northern Bucks County, unlike Philadelphia and Europe, doesn’t have cobbled roads.
But thanks to shrinking budgets among the state, county, and townships, there are plenty of roads in quite rough condition. But there were also a lot of hidden gems; Bucks County has a number of well maintained, dirt, gravel, and chip sealed roads, all of which are perfectly suitable for road bikes.
Identifying featured roads wasn’t so much the problem, but figuring out an interesting way of linking them together was, since the unsealed roads are typically clustered in close proximity, and repeating roads was deemed unacceptable.
2007 saw the inaugural Fools Classic on April 1st, which gave birth to the name. Held as a club ride, 13 members of CBBC braved a light morning rain to tackle 13 dirt roads over a 65 mile course, with total climbing of approximately 4200 feet. Most of the ride was held in Bucks County, PA, but there was also a stretch of the course then ventured across the Delaware River into Hunterdon County, NJ. All finishers received a practical (and tasty trophy) of a bottle of specially labeled homemade Hard Apple Cider made by Brian.
With the inaugural success, R&D commenced; many more unsealed roads were located, and the course has evolved ever since.