Hotter Than Hell

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Everyone in Texas and across the country knows about the Hotter Than Hell 100.  Growing up in Collin County, it’s all I heard about at the local bike shop in Plano.  This year several Bearded Women members went up to the largest single day 100 mile bicycle ride in the nation – and possibly the world – to test themselves on the 60 mi or 100 mi course.

The event also has a half marathon and mountain bike race that athletes can choose to enter.  A few of our members rode both the mountain bike race and the 60 mi road route.  Even one, Kyle Adams, did all 3 events throughout the weekend to receive the Trifecta Award.  Nice work Kyle!

The history of the event is rather interesting, as their website says:

The Hotter’N Hell Hundred grew out of efforts to find a special way for Wichita Falls to celebrate its centennial in 1982. Roby Christie of the Wichita Falls Bicycle Club proposed a bicycle ride – 100 miles in 100 degree heat to celebrate 100 years.  The original HHH committee promoted the idea as a unique and fitting event to honor the spirit of Texoma and the people who first settled the area.  A consulting company from New York City had proposed a rocking chair marathon, but after lengthy discussion the Centennial Committee agreed with the HHH committee that early settlers were not rocking chair people.  Gritty people capable of riding 100 miles in Texoma heat was a more fitting symbol of the tenacity of our early settlers.  Mark and Jo-Alice Davis, now of Weatherford Texas, coined the name, Hotter’N Hell Hundred.  The rest is Hotter’N Hell History.  Some of the original committee members have moved on but Roby and many others remain involved in planning and implementing the event in each of its now 30 years.  The committee started with 7 people and is now in excess of 90.

During the first year of HHH, there were 1200 riders.  Endurance cycling was relatively new to Texas but 1200 riders celebrated the first year as the largest single day 100-mile ride in the nation.  The HHH committee has been a constant pupil in the school of hard knocks.  Rest stops during the first year were operated by members of the Good Sam’s RV Club.  On-board water, toilets and built-in shade made these RV land yachts appear to be the perfect mobile rest stop.  The bicycling event emptied the water tanks, filled the toilet tanks and wore out the small crew of volunteers.  Tired or not, the Good Sam’s remained an important part of road support for many years.

Ever wonder where the CamelBak hydration pack originated? Well, it was at the 1988 Hotter’N Hell Hundred right here in Wichita Falls, Texas! Click on the link to visit their site.

The early years of medical support would be a nightmare for current day medical volunteers.  There was one medical unit at the finish line.  Nowadays there are MASH units at each rest stop and at the finish.  Medical volunteers treat everything from bees embedded in rider’s ears, to emu bites, road rash, under hydration, over hydration and hard landings.


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