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Hotter n Hell Hundred - Wichita Falls, TX

August 27, 2016

Hotter n Hell 2016– a great event that lived up to my high expectations. I rode the 100 miler and enjoyed the cooler weather. I picked up my packet Friday night at 9pm and the volunteers were still in great spirits and very eager to serve at each station. The consumer show was well-staffed and well-stocked with all kinds of good stuff. I didn't decide to ride until a week before so all the hotels were sold out. I made the mistake of camping at MPEC parking lot – I won't do it again. I was concerned that the mass start would be chaos and while crowded, it worked out. I was in the Keepers for 6-8 hours expected finish and still finished sub 6. In talking to some HHH veterans, they were surprised / pleased by how quickly we spaced out and they attributed it to the staggered starts. We received cheerful support from the residents of Electra and Burkburnett as well as the occasional homestead along the route. The route itself had a lot of wide open spaces and ample rest stops. I stopped at #3 in Electra, #6 in Burkburnett (just before Hells Gate), and #8 just before the turn to head south. I wanted to restock before the turn to the south at mile 78 and rest before the wind hit me in the face for the rest of the route. There was an amazing army of smiling volunteers at each stop. At each stop, volunteers were seeking me out with pitchers of fluids and handfuls of snacks. I can't say enough good things about the quality and the quantity of volunteers and the supplies at the rest stops. At #6, a volunteer from the physician's group held my bike for me while I was getting restocked – nice touch. The descent at mile 97 was a blessing and the bridge at mile 100 was a cruel curse. At the finish, ample volunteers were happily serving and the vendors in the finish line village were giving away good stuff like Muscle Milk. I was able to use the cold showers at the Bridwell Ag Center – rustic but effective. It was nice to have an option to shower before driving home (2 hours for me). Overall, the event was top-notch – everyone involved should be proud

HH100 2016 went off without a hitch for most of us. The 100 mile route was both fun and challenging. Cooler weather this year, though by 12:30, it was a little toasty. Was glad to be done by then. I heard there was a stretch of gravel road on the 50 mile route(the one hiccup for some in our group). Hope that is fixed by next year. We took our largest group this year, 12 of us on the various routes(25, 50, 75, and 100). Everyone seemed to have a good time and are looking forward to next year. The staggered start is really a great way to clear the cyclists quickly and orderly. Rest stops as usual were well stocked and had lots of volunteers who were eager to help. Medical help was present everywhere. The mobile hospital/ER was comforting to see—hopefully it was not busy. Police presence and traffic control was excellent as usual. Community support was, as alway, incredible. Thank-you to all the sponsors. Cyclists, please respect our hosts and pick up/dispose of your litter properly. Thank-you to the entire WF and surrounding area for welcoming us and allowing us to participate in this incredible event. Looking forward to my 17th time in 2017!

HHH 2016- Wichita Falls This was my daughter's and my eighth consecutive Hotter Than Hell. Not as many as a lot of folks, but we are pretty used to it by now. For the second year in a row the temperatures were moderate for August in North Texas. We didn't have any problems with registration or the staggered start. Only stopped once at the 40 mile mark and it was manned magnificently and we enjoyed the fruit and drink refills. The wind was a pesky ESE and never really seemed to be favorable. Temperature was barely 90 when we finished. Not at all like the 109 in 2011! Riders seemed well behaved and were having fun. Averaged 18.2 - not our greatest by any means, but considering that training was reduced this year it was nice to complete the 100 without incident. I look forward to this ride every year and every cyclist should ride it at least once to experience riding with 13,000 friends.

HHH lived up to its high standards yet again! Great ride, great atmosphere and great weather! Everything , from the morning drive thru parking and registration went very smoothly. For most part, riders are respectful to each other and ride safely. The rest stops are well prepared and all staff extremely helpful and friendly! Big thanks to all volunteers and organizers that make things happen! I have been resisting for some years to participate in this ride due to the big crowds but It turned out not to be an issue at all and this ride is a must – to – do thing on my list!

I've done the 100k plenty of times but this was the first time for the 100 miles. The temps and wind were down this year and I had a great time. Can't wait to go again!!

HHH 2016…Simply one of the best century rides in the country. The route is fairly flat and the wind could give you some challenges but you get so caught up in the momentum of the other riders, the miles roll past. Pavement quality varies from smooth to chip seal. Nothing is so extreme that it becomes an issue. I highly recommend this ride. I've only done the 100 mile but have heard the shorter distance routes are also solid. Biggest hill is at mile 13 after that, nothing dramatic. Enjoy

This was my first time to do this ride, and it was awesome! I rode the 100k and was very impressed with all the planning that goes into this ride. The expo the night before was unbelievable, and the crit races were a blast to watch.The actual ride was fun, with only one significant hill and lots of support. I only stopped twice, but the rest stops were well supplied and had lots of very friendly folks manning them. The 100k route takes you through Sheppard AFB, which was a treat in and of itself! Overall, a wonderful ride that I'm already looking forward to doing again.

I will just say I was a "rookie" rider at this event in 2016. Reading comments and reviews previously written here helped me to get an understanding of what to expect at this iconic bicycling event. Had a blast and will return.

August 29, 2015

As usual a good ride, weather conditions allowed for moderately fast ride. Rest stops as usual all appeared friendly, they waved at us as we went by. After finishing the 100m, rode over to the airforce base, just 6 miles from the end of the 62m/50m course. The air force base is pretty cool and impressive. Did not realize Shepard AFB was one of the five largest training bases in the US. Well worth the extra 12 miles. A reminder for slow riders starting early - If you are slow and starting early - Dont -Do Not - ride 2 or 3 abreast going 12-15 with the faster groups going by at 25-30 - GET OUT OF THE Way. You dont ride 2 abreast going 30 on a major freeway - why would you think it is safe to do the same on a bike with groups of 500 or so riders passing you by at twice your speed.

HHH 2015 was another fantastic event! Thank-you to Wichita Falls and the surrounding communities. Friendly volunteers, smiling and cheerful. Nice to see the area residents lining the route to cheer us on. Rest stops were well stocked and very much appreciated. Great traffic control. The weather was cooler than usual and allowed for a fast pace. I only used 4 rest stops on the 100 mile course, but they were great(50 mile stop—because I always stop there; 60 mile stop because I had a mechanical issue; 80 mile because I needed it; and the 95 because I needed ice). Thanks to the Performance Bike mechanic at the 60 mile Hell's Gate stop who worked on my bike—you fixed the problem and did it quickly. Thanks to the YMCA for allowing all the riders to stay and you fed us! Thank-you to all the volunteers, Fire, Police, MSU students, Sheppard AFB airmen, medical people, vendors, restaurant associations, etc…this event would be impossible without you all. I have done this ride for 15 years and have never had a bad experience that was not of my own making. See you next year for the 35th anniversary.

Doing HHH you expect to face hot temps and strong south winds. Was very pleased that we had neither this year, and it made for a fast ride (many fellow riders had personal best times). Many thanks to the organizers and volunteers who put on this huge event. I pre-registered and packet pick up was a breeze. My only complaint is the timing chip. Sorry, but I'm not sticking a large number on the front of my bike. I tried cutting the excess material an placing the chip in my jersey pocket, but it did not read. The rest stops I visited were all well stocked, and it was great to see the Boy Scout troop out there high fiving riders and passing out bottled water. Came up on two separate accidents and the riders appeared to be seriously hurt. I hope they are ok. The only suggestion is for the finish line. You have cameramen telling riders to stop so they can get pictures, while at the same time you have volunteers telling riders to move out of the way. It makes for a very congested, and potentially hazardous, area. In fact, some riders had to stop before the finish line because of the congestion. I look forward to next years' 35 anniversary.

Great day for this ride. Temperatures were cooler than usual, the wind was much lighter than usual and shifted favorably throughout the day. Rest stops were excellent as usual and the horse trough full of ice water at the 91 mile rest stop is a stroke of brilliance! It is amazing at how much better you feel after a quick dunk in that tank. The rest of the ride is way better when you can cool off a bit. If you are riding at 25-30 MPH, either start with the racers, ride 2 abreast or get a better pace car. Without a pace car to warn the thousands of riders who are up the road, you become a hazard. Look forward to next year already!

HHH- I had not done this ride since 2004 and was surprised at the size to which the ride has grown. Did the 100 and stopped twice at 50 and 70. I was amazed at how helpful and well staffed both rest stops were compared to 11years ago. Did the triple bypass in Colorado in July and thought they had great stops but they don't compare to this ride that had four times as many riders! Sag was well evident and heard from friends that had mechanicals that the wrench support was top notch. Won't wait 11 years for the next one!

Well, year 20 for me. I'm not sure what happened, but for me everything went right ! Some years the bike isn't right, the weather isn't right. the course is vandalized, or the year I ended up at the ER with an IV in my arm. But not this year.
This year, I left Abilene early on Friday. Got to W/ Falls early and got signed up early. Sign up was a breeze. And not because I was early. They changed the way you pay, and as a result you have more shorter lines and they are ready to take your type of payment. Off to the consumer show. Being early didn't matter here. It was packed even at 3:00 pm. It didn't matter though. This is one of the pleasures of the HHH. Swimming in a sea of like minded people and vendors. I savored it.
Got a full night sleep. First time in many years. The hotel we stayed at had breakfast at 4:00 am. So I ate a light breakfast. Got down to MPEC and made it to the start line { start street ! }. I had a flat ! Oh No ! Here comes bad luck again. Lucky for me I looked up and there was a tech truck. Flat fixed before the national anthem. The start went well, the temps were cool and everyone around was saying how nice it was. And only a slight breeze, and a tail wind at that. And up went the speeds. We were flying. I stopped at R/S # 3 and #5. They were great as usual. They were dealing with crashed riders road rash. Comes with the speed. The pickles and the juice were real treats for me. Fast forward to Shepherd AFB. Construction meant a small route change. Riding through all the screaming students is a total rush ! What a great tradition this has become. Also the aircraft on display brings back A/F memories. The finish,.......great as usual. The return of the fire engine fountain was a great treat. I just stood there and enjoyed the shower. The tent and the music were great. I'm not into loud music anymore, but I make an exception on HHH Sat. Kick back time. Hit the vendors again. Spent $$$ again, but what the heck, this is a once a year thing. Trained like crazy, dieted, stayed hydrated. All diets were off now.......for everyone ! Many thanks to the many that keep making this ride special. The people of W/Falls really welcome us. Lets be honest, we cyclists can be finicky about a lot of things. But restaurants, hotels, stores, and police services all made sure we stayed happy and safe. All ride organizers need to learn from the big daddy of bike rides in Texas. Yes, we are getting ready for next year. BTW, another new hotel is being built. Anyone who has done this ride for many years knows how good this news is. A 10 on scale of 1-10.

Could have not asked for a better day to ride. This my 21 HHH 100 ride. The rest stop where well stock. Luckily, did not need any mechanical support, but saw only which was at the first rest stop and did not see another one on the 50 route. Only complaint is there was a section of the between Rest stop 17 and 13 that was in rea bad shape; compacted red clay instead of asphalt. After 30 plus years, roads should be better than this. As for the hotel accommodations, charging in excess of 2 plus times the normal rate is getting ridiculous. Every year rates goes up around 20 bucks a night. There just might be a point in time when us cyclist will say enough is enough of price gouging. The HHH-100 steering committee needs to look at this issue and come up with solution.

The Granddaddy of 'em all. Boy, did we get lucky this year......no wind until 10:30, then a barely noticeable tailwind from the North (!) finishing.....with early high cloud cover to boot. The usual good job from H.H.H. staff & volunteers. We got our finish line "shower" back courtesy of the W.F. Fire Department and drought-busting rains. Unfortunately hearing of more outrageous-than-usual prices for hotel rooms..... $250-$300 PER NIGHT/2 NIGHT MINIMUM! "Special Event Pricing", yeah, but HELLO! Been staying in W.F. for H.H.H. 24 years and not a rookie. I know the drill, but come on, now.......Chamber of Commerce? Convention & Visitors Bureau?

August 23, 2014

Hot & Brutal south wind – other than that it was normal ride
Two Safety comments:
A) if you are a slower rider – don't leave early – you are a big hazard for the faster groups going by – if you do leave early, at least ride single file close to the curb, not in the middle of the road.
B) If you are a slower rider – don't try to hang on with the faster guys when it is beyond your skill level – you are big hazard just waiting to take several riders down.

August 24, 2013

WOW!!!!!!!!!!!!! My first Hotter –N- Hell and my first full century; couldn't have picked a better event! These folks have their "ducks-in-a-row", simply the best and will do again. Roads were decent, the rest stops were the best and the temps were tolerable. The "Expo" was really cool too and the band playing at the end was amazing. WOW!!!!!!!!!! (18.5 mph/average) - Ed

Well organized ride, Cant comment about the rest stops because I didn't stop at any. One Complaint – At the 79/80 mile point, there is a right turn. Someone (with a evil mind) painted several Yellow arrows to go straight. The lead rally group went approx 5-6 miles before any ride officials caught us and told us we went the wrong way. Other than that fiasco, it was good ride.

Rode the 110M route (and yes I do mean 110). I just have to say: shame on the organizers. The only 'signage' at the Charlie turn was 100M 'straight' written on the road (note that when this route was last done in 2011 the intersection was staffed with people pointing for the riders to turn, this year it was unmanned). Based on that, the lead group of 70 or so riders went straight. That set us off on an 8 mile detour. After getting back from the ride and trying to figure out what went wrong it became clear. The 100M race used that same section of the road, but the race goes straight whereas the rally is supposed to turn right at Charlie. Needless to say we had no support and no rest stops. Unfortunately, one rider crashed on that stretch, thankfully he was able to get back on his bike, and the organizers should be grateful for that. Signage for the route is basic stuff, I'm perplexed how a ride in it's 32nd year can mess this up. My only thought is that the organizers have become more focused on the hype of putting on one of the biggest rides in the country instead of the basics of what it takes to put on a safe and successful ride. For those that care about where they finish in relation to everyone else, the lead group, which had dropped all the pace line groups and everyone else well behind, finished 110 miles in 4:30. Based on that, the timing results for the 'ride' will not truly reflect the results.

This was my eleventh HHH. As usual, a great job done by the committee, City of WF, and all the volunteers from the surrounding communities including all the police, fire rescue, EMS, SAFB, hospital volunteers, churches, etc. Thanks for all the hard work and time that you all put into this event. Glad to see the classic 100mile route return. Great weather. Rolled into town after the 100miler with the temperature hitting around 93! Very little wind to speak of. Could have done without all the chip seal, but afterall, this is Texas. The rest stops were well stocked with the usuals of fruit, cookies, Gatorade, but also included pickles/pickle juice, clif bars(bars, shots, bloks, etc), salty snacks, etc. Though I only used 2 rest stops, I heard there were great home made cookies in Electra and snow cones at another stop. Thank you to all the local businesses that allowed so many of us to overflow the MPEC parking and park in business lots, church lots, street parking, etc. Keep up the great work. See you next year!

This year was my 22nd and the experience never gets less exciting. Great rest stops, the organizers choose the best roads available to them and the Expo is big fun. Everything they can affect is positive. The only downside is completely out of the control of the organizers. Some of the hotels take way too much advantage of the weekend and diminish the experience by grossly overcharging. That said, I am already looking forward to next year.

Another great job done by all the organizers and volunteers at this years' HHH 100. I pre-registered for the ride and the packet pick-up was smooth and fast. Really like the t-shirts this year. Didn't use the timing chip because I don't like having to put a number placard on the front of my bike. I rode the 100 mile route and the roads were good, for the most part, with a few rough areas. Nothing we don't see all over TX. The rest stops were manned by friendly and enthusiastic people, and I saw plenty of SAG out on the course. The organizers must have corrected the issue with the turn mentioned in the posts above since we had no problems with the signage and road markings. And how about the weather this year: 70's at the start, low 90's at the finish, and a slight breeze. Couldn't ask for better conditions during this time of year in the Wichita Falls area. My only complaint again falls on the shoulders of my fellow cyclists. People, you are not riding in the Tour de France out there. PLEASE call out "on your left". With so many riders on the road accidents can, and did, happen. One rider took down at least 10 riders, about 10 miles in, because he did not call out. Go as fast as you want, but please be courteous to your fellow riders.

My daughter and I rode our fifth HHH August 24th, 2013. This is always the crowning event of the cycling season for us and this might have been our best one yet. Thankfully the winds were moderate and it was still in the low 90's when we finished. We averaged 19.4 mph this year - not quite the five hour century this time, but pretty darn close! We stopped only once and the rest stop was well stocked with friendly,helpful volunteers, plenty of ice, fruit, and snack items. The route has its share of chip-seal, but also some nice smooth stretches. Great rally Wichita Falls - thanks for sharing your rode with 12,000 cyclists! The police support was awesome and the support was great.

August 25, 2012

I rode the HHH again for the third year in a row. This was also my third tour this year. It was a good ride, with very little changed in the execution of the event. They moved the Shepherd stop across the street and spread it out some. It is my favorite stop. The wind on was a factor but nothing could be done about that. Met some more friendly folks and had some laughs along the way. One of my favorite rides.

Brutal south wind – made it very difficult.
The New 100 mile route The Good – Always nice to have new scenery, A few extra light rolling hills were enjoyable, The Bad – from Mile 30 to mile 38 – some of the worst chip seal, As always, numerous slow riders started early riding 2-3 abreast, not safe, at mile 60 and mile 65, the 62 mile and 50 mile routs merged with 100 mile course, again throwing slow riders in front of the 100 milers. I realize that the course change was done to keep the race routes clear of the slower riders, and to reduce the need for the extra rest stops (though there should be a better solution)
Overall – very good ride – except the brutal wind.

Keeping is short, this was my 7th 100 mile ride at HHH. Very well organized as always. Much prefer the old 100 mile (actually 103 miles) route. Though I enjoyed the trip through Sheppard AFB, bringing the 50, 100K and 100 mile routes back together made for a very crowded road and likely dangerous mix of different speed riders.

I LOVE THE HHH! Have NEVER had a complaint.....until now! I hope the new route is seen as a 1 time error and they return to the route many of us consider sacred. The new route is unsafe, bringing the shorter routes with the less experience riders onto the 100 mile route with the scorchers over the last 25 or so miles is unsafe for all. It really slowed down the times of the scorcher groups having to dodge hazard after hazard presented by the less experienced riders that have yet learned the safety rules of the road. Also, hells gate was removed. It served two very needed purposes. First, it was the place where those that didn't make the time limit or maybe did make the time limit but weren't feeling well could cut their route off shorter and still finish in Wichita Falls, now they just have to take the sag wagon. Second, it was where the 100 mile riders turned off and had the last 40 or so miles free to ride without risking injury to themselves or shorter distance riders. I heard the reason for the new route was safety, but I don't get it. I also heard another reason for the new route was so that everyone could ride through the airforce base. After riding 90 miles & seeing my goal to better my "scorcher" time disappear due to all the risk and obstacles over the last 1/3 of the ride I wasn't as excited about riding through the base as I thought I would be, I found myself just wanting to get it over with. On a positive note, I hadn't used any rest stops in several years with my growth as a cyclist but I decided with the safety issues and the headwind to use a couple of them over the last 25 miles and they were fantastic, especially Margaritaville. This was the greatest one day ride in the nation and I hope it returns to form next year.

Great execution of countless details - thanks to ALL who are involved in this enormous undertaking.
Critiques: The road just past the 30 mile rest stop was unbelievably awful - I almost laughed today when reading the opening article in the event paper that was in our bags - "it's a smooth ride, and the roads are great" as quoted by the event chief. Not so, sir! I've never seen so many dislodged water bottles littering the pavement.
I must say that I was looking forward to the chance to ride through the Air Force Base, but if the price to do that involves the monotony of what seemed like at least ten miles of freeway frontage road, I'm not interested.
I hope that these issues will be considered, along with others noting potential safety issues in combining so many routes, as next year's event is planned. I know it is impossible to meet everyone's needs, but I'm seriously considering dropping the HHH from my agenda and finding another late season ride to be the capstone for my year.

Rode it again! I can't complain as others have. There is no other ride in Texas that has the crowd or event that the HHH has. And it does so in a way where problems are delt with in a quick way. The planning is evident long before the event takes place.
No one ever said the HHH has a pretty route. In fact it is the most ugly route I do every year. And that head wind almost always hits right after Burkburnett. Just the way it is. But there is that something that keeps us die hards coming back. I think it's the Sturgis of the bicycle world. It's not just the ride. It's the whole carnival event, the trade show, the people, and a town that welcomes cyclists {and our money!} for a really nice weekend. Been doing this ride since 84. It, like myself has changed much. And every year there are changes made. Some good, some bad, but they are not afraid to try it. Thanks to all the folks who made another great weekend for me. I train for this ride, and I always leave a winner. Always rewarded with new friends and new reasons to come back.

….as always – an epic event! So much going on with the trade show, the crits, off road-race, etc. Truly a great event. Enjoyed the scenery and the change of the new 100 mile route. However – with all the routes merging back together as early as they did – the road & rest stops were very congested. There were some "dangerous" moments with riders of all skill / fitness levels sharing some pretty narrow stretches of road. Overall – way to go Wichita Falls…..you've done it again! Great town. Great volunteers. Great event!

Big changes at the HHH this year. The ride was good as always though there are some changes that may not have been necessary. More on that shortly. There were changes around the ride were more of a problem. $20 per night is very reasonable for a camp site with water and electric and every year, the camp sites fill up. This year, there were "valets" who would direct people with RV's to a parking spot. People who own RV's don't need someone directing them to a parking spot - they are capable of doing that themselves. The valets slowed the process of getting parked and offer no value. The start was different in that there were chain link fences set up at the start to sequester the riders based on their anticipated ride speed. Why? Yes, there needs to be a clear route along Scott street in case of an emergency but is a chain link fence the solution? The new route was full of chip seal. Can't knock the organizers for that, TXDOT does what they need to keep roads in good shape and cater to automobile traffic who use the roads 365 days a year. Is there a route that offers less chip seal though? Piro Pete serves a purpose for the organizers as well as the riders. He offers overall safety to riders and organizers if the weather heats up above a safe limit and gives riders an option if they are more tired than they expect or have a mechanical that slows them down. Put him back! The one thing that the other route doesn't offer the 100 milers was a trip through the Air Base and the organizers deserve a pat on the back for fixing that. The Air Base is great as are the Airmen and women who staff the rest stop and cheer for the riders who come through. A few signs indicating an upcoming rest stop and suggesting that riders move left or right, depending on whether they plan to stop might relieve some of the congestion on the road around the stop. Now - if they could just dial back on the headwind a bit...

I have ridden this ride 9 times and always do the 100 mile route as I did this time. I HATE the new route. Do not think I can sum it up better than that. I feel like someone has stolen something from me. I think this is the first time I have written a review and said that. I see Zero advantage of this new route. The old route is what makes this ride. Bad chip seal for a very long time, about 20 miles of Semi Trucks along side the freeway from mile 75 to 95(why would they do that). I really do not care to ride along the freeway for 20 miles. Very non scenic, noisy and ugly. We also missed out entirely on the 98 rest stop. That for me puts the icing on the cake after a strong year. Not this year though. Feel very let down.

I don't know why I do this ride every year. It's ridiculously crowded, ugly, far away from my house, usually painful, almost always mechanical problems. I saw literally hundreds of people on the side of the road changing flats, and literally thousands waiting for or in the SAG trucks. New route is not that great with some bad pavement and REALLY MESSY REALLY CROWDED rest stops. Most of the roads at the rest stops were simply parking lots. Cars parked in the road. Bikes parked in the road. Thousands of people blocking the road. And the stops are usually a muddy, crowded mess. The last twenty miles straight into a howling headwind was terrible! Even the consumer show isn't that hot. A couple bike shops bring a ton of stuff, but if I wanted that, I'd simply go to those shops. Other than that there's not really that much at the show to get excited about…. Two highlights though: 1. The incredible men and women at the base. This is one of the most touching moments, being greeted like that, and 2. When I'm done, I can say 'yeah, I did the hundred. AND FINISHED!' But every year I tell myself I probably won't be back the next year, and sure enough, the next year comes, and there I am, dodging all the knuckleheads at the start. UGH!

I'm not in the camp with the negative reviewers. The anatomy of the 2012 version was no secret once the profile was released. I'm a century rider, but the HHH isn't just for us, but an epic collection of cyclists of all levels having the opportunity to ride in a setting that routinely has set attendance marks that no other touring ride can match in the country. I understand the importance of setting a personal best time, it's important to me as well, but there are going to be times in a ride like this where you simply have to throttle back for safety purposes. As long as I'm blessed with the health to participate, the HHH will be on my cycling schedule the last Saturday in August.

This was my 14th HHH in a row. I absolutely love the event and plan on doing it again next year and the foreseeable future. I rode the 100 mile route and was pleased to go through the Air Force base. The cadets that come out to cheer make it all worthwhile. A couple of comments… The wind out of the south made this one of the toughest HHHs that I've ridden. After such a long time in the saddle and seemingly on the "home stretch", the last third of the ride was a beating because of the wind. As far as the cycling snobs that always write in and complain about one thing after another, get over it! If you don't like riding in the same ride as slower riders, turn pro and you can be with riders as fast as you (although I doubt that any of the complainers are nearly as accomplished as they would like to have others think they are). I always enjoy the scene and take the good with the bad. We all were beginners at some time. Unless some inexperienced rider makes me wreck, I take it all in as part of a great experience. Bravo Wichita Falls!

This ride is always a must for our group. Probably my 20th time overall, maybe my 10th 100 miler. Was bummed that the road was so bumpy after finally turning back north with the wind. I've always found the HHH ride to have pretty decent roads for the entire route. Not any more. I did like the change of scenery on the new route, but would rather go back to the old route with better roads. Tough winds for the last 18 miles, but that's one of the things that makes the HHH such a challenge. The Airmen cheering at Shepard were awesome! The band afterwards was great too! Even with the flaws (this year and others) HHH is an awesome event!\

Repeating the comments made by others regarding the new route - I enjoyed going through the new route, have always liked a change of scenery. The major problem with the new route is having the so so many slower riders merge into the 100 mile route so early. From the start, you had to pass all the slow riders that left early, At mile 30, several riders joined in as part of the unofficial 85 mile route, At mile 58, the slow 62 milers merged into the route, at mile 65, the 50 milers merged in. The rest stop at mile 70 - the one with the red balloon going over the road (at only 3:05 when I came through) was completely clogged, virtually no place to ride through. Going through the Air force base was kinda cool, but many of us 100 milers have gone through in past years after completing the 100 mile ride (assuming we didnt go to the beer barn instead).
Most of us understand the change was made to accommodate/separate the race routes from the rally routes due to the incident in 2010 when the lead rally group caught and merged into the 3/4 100 mile race group (dont blame me, I only hung with the race group until mile 78). We hope that adjustments are made to route to separate the 100 milers from the slower 62 & 50 milers. We also hope the organizers adjust quicker than the collin county classic who insist on doing the same every year - in spite of being informed multiple times.

I was caught out on the 100m course when the ride was shut down. I rode with a friend doing his first century. Because there was no Hell's Gate this year we felt no pressure to rush. Our goal was to take our time, ride steady and conserve energy for the last stretch into the wind. That combined with some mechanical problems, sore feet, and stopping to help a woman suffering from heat exhaustion had us on the road west of Burkburnett when the winds kicked up. The first I heard of the closure was from some riders stopped at a crossroads. It was later confirmed when a Sheriff's Deputy came by and told us all the rest stops were closing and to wait where we were until sag arrived. Both my friend and I and some other riders were very upset. We felt, once the organizers removed Hell's Gate they committed to supporting us until the end. I mean, without rest stops, that place is a virtual desert and a dangerous place to be on a bike without fluids. In total I sagged about 10 miles. The driver of the sag wagon pulled over at a place he said was three miles from the finish. Riders on the section south of Burkburnett were still allowed to continue although the rest stops were closed. The sag driver told us -- while he was instructed to bring everyone in -- "If any of us wanted to cross the finish line under our own power we could get out there." The only problem was we were not 3 miles out. We were actually 9 miles from the finish and riding directly into the wind. it was all I could do to maintain 10mph. Those miles were like a grim cycling version of the Bataan Death March. Everyone left on the road was absolutely baked. When I finally got to the finish I immediately went into the Medical tent. I hadn't seen shade in a couple hours I had only warm water in my bottles. In the Medical tent, I changed my mind about the justice of the decision to close the course. Two thirds of the cots had riders down. Several were on IV's. One guy went into convulsions while I was there. The doctor who checked me out was the Medical Director who made the decision. He explained that the wind had simply exceeded safe levels and the number of heat related injuries were piling up. I wasn't to badly baked so they gave me some ice bags, some cold full strength powerade to cool down, a turkey sandwich and the most glorious crispy cold dill pickle I have ever eaten. I later check the NWS and the winds at Shepherd AFB at 3:00 was 21 sustained with gusts to 32 ... temperature 96 degrees. My anecdotal experience would flip those two numbers at 32 mph sustained with infrequent breaks of 21. Wink In the end, despite the closure, I have to say it was an excellent ride. The terrain bleak and monotonous. The washboard and chip seal sucked. But it's the Hotter'n Hell, after all, so I wasn't expecting lush verdant vistas.. The organizers and volunteers as expected did an outstanding job and more than made up for the dour scenery in their support, friendliness, and attention to detail. Finally, despite my initial protests, the decision to close the course was entirely justifiable and made in our best interest. After the ride, I decided this was my last 100 mile ride at HHH. I love the event ... I am just not into the masochism. Smile Next time I will do the 100K and save the centuries for some nice cool tree lined course in the fall Smile

We did the 50 mile on our tandem this year. Really like the new route. Enjoyed the ride through Burkburnett (never done that before). Enjoyed the air base and trade show as well. What's up with the fences at the starting line?? The area was too small for all the recumbents and tandems that showed up. Time to make reservations for next year!

Dang, that wind HURT! Nature out of the control of organizers, but new route(s) had us on the I-44/287 service road (southbound) in it WAY too long. At least there were more frequently-placed rest stops to help riders who needed a safe place to take a break. Rest stops plentifully stocked with great supplies and happy volunteers (as usual). ALWAYS a pleasure to ride through Sheppard AFB: great enthusiasm from the guards at the gate to the last airman at the end. A nice "push" to get us to the finish! ORGANIZERS? Please try to get more food vendors available at Finish Village; lines were long at the few available. A slice of pizza would be heaven at that point.......we are a HUNGRY mass!
Thank goodness I didn't order a sleeveless commemorative 2012 HHH jersey through the mail! I normally wear a size small in regular tops, but I had to buy the ONLY EXTRA LARGE available. Those in charge of the "store" might want to take note; they are going to have a LOT of smaller sizes they can't get rid of.
All-in-all, a good time.....my 20th H.H.H.! Looking forward to next year, as always. Thanks to the organizers and volunteers for their incredible efforts throughout the year to put on a good time for 12,000 cyclists!

I have done this ride for the past 5 years and I have loved every single one except this year. I hate the new route & hope they bring back the old one.
Riding on the access road for 20 miles was no fun and turning the block into the a slow finish line was disappointing. I loved riding through downtown with people on the streets cheering you all the way in to the finish. Also missed the 98mi rest stop….this is a HHH tradition. If the route was changed to ride in the AFB then I'll pass…don't get me wrong it was great to see the men and women cheering riders on and I high fived every one along that stretch but it is simply not worth the crappy roads and long stretch of highway to get there. Please bring the old route back L

I think what everyone has missed in these reviews was the real reason the HHH folks changed the routes, and that was to cave into Clay County by removing the rally from that county. The HHH organizers have to deal with the roads and scenery of that part of Texas and try to put on as good a ride as they can with those givens. Those of us who remember the deal in 2010 with the rally catching the racers don't think it was that serious an incident, at least not so bad as to introduce unnecessary chip-and-seal and the safety issue of merging routes.

1. Wind is an act of God, but it can be predicted and dealt with appropriately. Do not put riders into a head wind on an access road with other inexperienced riders. (brings me to my next point)
2. Do not merge 4 different levels of riders. This is very dangerous. I had an inexperienced rider stop in the middle of an open road, resulting in me crashing directly into her. Somehow I came out ok, but my bike will rack up about $400.00 in damage.
3. Bike the road before you send thousands of people on it. There is no excuse for the poor quality of roads that were chosen for this ride.

Had a great time on my 1st Hotter'n Hell 100 .. did the 100 mile route & found everything to be super. Good roads, great rest stops, super people.

August 27, 2011

I'm sitting here at work the day after and i'm going through total withdrawals already, will the 2012 ride ever get here!!!!????? I love everything about this great event. I have ridden it many many times and it somehow still seems new. Loved the eary start this year, made it to Iowa Park in the dark. Thanks to the cool early temps and lack of wind early on I set my new best time this year of 4 hours and 34 minutes!!!! I didn't use any rest stops but did have an unexpected break east of Electa when we had to wait on a train to cross. We even managed to beat Pyro Pete to Hells Gate (they were just starting to inflate him as we came by). I know that they can't all be this big and have this kind of atmosphere but I sure wish they could. Next year will be my last HHH in my 30's, maybe to celebrate i'll see if I can add my name to the short list of "Triple Threat" finishers.

Is this the Hotter 'n Hell 100 or the 'almost as hot as hell'? The special start at 6am for the 2011 HHH was a huge mistake and potentially dangerous. I'm guessing that nearly ½ the riders took the opportunity to get out early, so when the 7am scorchers came through they were met by throngs of riders on the road. Groups traveling at 20mph or more having to navigate around semi-clueless riders, not good. There are quite a few riders that are probably hoarse now from having to say 'on the left' several hundred times. Rest stops? Does it get any more dangerous having the fastest riders in the ride coming upon a rest stop swarmed with 100's of riders blocking the road, getting off bikes, getting on bikes? Not to mention that in years past, the later rest stops passed out water bottles to the moving scorcher riders, no chance of that this year as the rest stops were swamped. Oh, and the added bonus of having the majority of the hotel wake up at 3am and start slamming doors and stomping down the hallways to make the 6am start. Did I mention the 6am special start was a bad idea? I'm pretty sure the reason for putting the faster riders up front, next fastest after them is to keep the route clear and safe, loading up the route with 100M riders of all capabilities, hugely bad idea. If the organization wants to have this many riders participate, safety of the riders needs to be the first priority, this decision might have seemed like a good idea but it made the ride much more dangerous for slow and fast riders. And then there was the pace group. We caught the pace group and that and it was fun trying to navigate through a wall of riders stretched across two lanes of the road. Shouldn't the organizers of the pace group help keep passing access available, but maybe they were on the left side of the road because they had to navigate around all the 6am riders as well? Dangerous. Obviously, there are many pluses to elaborate on for the ride, but I'll leave that to others. I must recognize the support of the BSA and officer at the Charlie intersection which was exceptional. Dr. Finley cleaned up a minor gash I had from the crash earlier in the ride which was much appreciated.

Another great ride put on by the organizers of the 30th HHH. Rode the 100 mile (102 by my cyclometer) and was thankful for the 6:15am start. Would recommend they do the same thing every year. All the rest stops were well manned with plenty of fluids, snacks and first aid. I just wish, that with all the money this event brings in, that they would repave some of the roads. The long stretches of chip and seal wore on the hands.

The guy with all the complaints about the early start should have joined the rest of us SCORCHERS for the early start, he really missed out on this one. We had most of the tandems and recumbents passed by Iowa Park and had wide open roads the rest of the way with the channel 6 news car leading us out for the 1st 40 or 50 miles. The early start served its purpose if you took advantage of it.

I love this rally, it is the one that we trained for the last six months and all the long rides in the heat paid off with a really nice 100 mile ride. Finished the ride in 5:36 with 5:03 on the bike for a 20.1 moving average. The ride lived up to its name with a new record high temperature - the official high in WF was 109 and Hell's Gate closed at 11:00. My daughter and I rode stopping four times at the 50, 72, 83, and 91 mile stops. The stops were well stocked with fruit, water, ice, juice cookies etc. and some of the greatest volunteers ever. At the 91 mile stop the volunteers would help you pour cups of ice down inside of your jersey to cool down. Safety of the riders was greatly enhanced with the 6:15 start and we were well past Iowa Park before turning off the lights. Good: volunteers, police, rest stops, Hell's Gate by 9:05, hospitality of Wichita Falls residents Bad: riders who are so self centered that they complain about sensible safety measures - when we were moving we were often 22-25 mph and had no difficulties getting around the slower riders.

To: Mr. This Is MY Rally.....Who Are YOU People? (read down, you will know to whom I am referring)
From: Ms. Not-As-Fast as Wonderful YOU (actually, an experienced 20-year rider)
If not the biggest rally in the U.S., it is one of the biggest. That means LOTS OF RIDERS, less fabulous than you. It has REST STOPS. It is NOT A CRIT. Keep this in mind as you considering attending next year. Otherwise: Same wonderful job by the folks in Wichita Falls! Great seeing all friends, new & long-time! Look forward to next year, as always!

I started at 7:05 and rode the 50 mile route. I liked that so many riders took the early start time so that there were fewer riders starting at 7:05. The problem that I ran into was that after the reststop where the 50 mile route merges with the 100k route there was an accident a little past there. We had to wait while the medical helicopter landed and took off with the injured cyclist. In the meantime the cyclists coming up behind me filled up both lanes and some carried their bicycles up past everyone. It was like starting the ride over again only worse. Other than that, I had a good experience and survived the heat.

This is my second time to do the 100 mile ride. I loved the earlier start time. Given the heat, I think it was absolutely necessary and I wish they would do it every year. This ride is amazingly well organized and run. I'm in awe of their logistics team! Route well marked, all break stations well stocked, volunteers are amazingly friendly. I had some trouble with my wheel and the wonderful mechanics at Rest Stop No. 2 took great care of me and got it fixed. This is a smooth ride. Although it was horribly hot, the wind was not bad, so we had a really good ride. The wet cloths and ice available at the rest stops helps enormously. Kudos to the organizers and volunteers for pulling it off again!

As stated previously – the early start was done to facilitate the slower riders being able to finish before it became too hot to finish. I agree that this was a very bad idea! First 30minutes of riding in the dark is dangerous. Second – The mixing of the slower riders with faster riders is a bad idea. Third – If someone cant do the 100 miles by the 11.30 cut off, 4.5 hours into ride (with a 7.00 start time) then they should be doing the 100 anyway. I started at 6.30 and already noticed 5 crashes by mile 18. Not sure how many more crashes had already be cleared by the time I got there. In the first 10 miles, we passed at least 4 large groups in the left lane traveling at 15 mph (who thought they were one of the fast groups).
In summary, the start in the dark, the excessive number of slow riders created a needlessly dangerous ride early.

I loved the expo, the organization, the crowds, the snow cones, the food, the first aid, the ride through the Air Force Base, and the party at the end. However, I was wondering where all of the SAG support and bicycle shop support was on the 50 mile ride. We only saw one SAG vehicle the entire four hours, and zero bike shops doing repairs at the rest stops. I was later told by some of the 100 mile riders that they had plenty of SAG and bike shops. I don't understand why the 50 mile route was basically deprived of these two things. We all paid the same fee for the ride. I understand that there were more riders doing the 100 mile ride but there were lots of us on the 50 mile ride who could have used the support. I feel that safety dictates that all riders should be well supported and a few more SAG vehicles and one or two bike shop vans along the way would have greatly improved the ride.

This is my second year to do the HHH.thought it was great. Great support, plenty of supplies, Ice , water, fruit ect I think if you are doing a ride this big you have to understand that there will be stupid riders, smart riders, fast riders, slow riders, and if that is a problem for you maybe this is not the ride for you. I do think it would be a wonderful idea to get the word out , SLOWER RIDERS KEEP RIGHT and when you are passing ,SAY PASSING ON YOUR LEFT. Do not pass on the right.

Once again a great ride. Lived up to its name! It was hot! The ride just gets smoother each year. The unofficial start was at 6:15 am, 1hr early. Thousands took this option, (me). Cooler temps, less crowd. ( relatively speaking).
The rest stops keep getting better. More foods, fruits, ice towels. Nice people, all willing to help. To everyone who made this ride happen again,THANK YOU ! !
Its so big an event. Before, during and after the ride. 14th time I've done this. And I'll be back next year. To all considering this, get there on Friday morning, enjoy Wichita Falls, then the trade show. Then the ride and post ride. Go back to your hotel and relax. By now you will need it. Then enjoy the local food of Wichita Falls. Any cyclist who wants the big daddy ride of the summer has to try this, just once. You'll be back.

Wow! What a great event. Big fan of the early start, I hope they keep it around for next year. What really surprised me was the number of cyclists that had NO LIGHTS AT ALL for the early start! Dumb. The lights aren't just to see by, but allow YOU TO BE SEEN!

To any of the nay-sayers about this ride, this is the premier ride in Texas if not he country. I thought the early start was great and would like to see them continue this. I actually believe an open start would work just as well as it would spread the entire field out a little more. As far as crashes, I see crashes every year unfortunately, it doesn't matter if it is dark or not. The city of Wichita Falls goes all out for this event and the hospitality shows. The volunteers at the rest stops are first rate. Sure we can always pick on something, but to put on an event of this magnitude and have it run so smooth, is a work of art. Kudos to all those involved for another wonderful event. One nice thing I did note, most of the roads have smoothed out quite a bit. There was only one rough stretch of chip seal on Highway 240. If you ride this event with the right mind-set, you'll be back year after year. This was my 27 time to ride the event and I'll always be back!

The Hotter 'n Hell Hundred is a well planned and executed cycling event. It's a weekend celebration of fitness and meeting personal goals. I missed last year and regretted my decision to not attend. Those individuals that complain about being inconvenienced by novice types should consider starting at the very front, or get a USCF license and race. The endurance ride (100 miles) is an awesome ride, not a race. Sure we had time chips, personal goals and times we were trying to meet or beat; but I don't remember seeing any team cars, covered in sponsors' stickers, following individuals on the endurance ride. Keeping things in perspective will allow more people to safely enjoy and soak in the grand nature of the Hotter 'n Hell. I'd like to thank all of the fantastic volunteers, the downtown YMCA, and the town of Wichita Falls for hosting such a great event for 30 years!

Well the Hotter N Hell literally lived up to its name this year. Loved the 6:15AM start, helped alot of riders I'm sure. Everything from the registration, spaghetti dinner, criterium were very well organized. The rest stops can't say enough good about them. A huge Thankyou to everyone who worked them in this heat. My only suggestion would be on the 50/100K/75 mi route coming into the "When Hell Freezes Over" reststop, alot of riders were pulled over @ a picnic area trying to get the 1/4 mi left to the rest stop completed. Alot of riders were falling out there & if there is any way that the HHH organization could put 1 of those large galvanized containers filled with ice & just BOTTLED WATER that would allow people to get a cool drink so they could finish. There would not have to be anyone to man it, maybe the SAG vehicle could stop & check it & put some more water in it if needed. This might also elminate some of the pressure off the rest stop. Now to the Chamber of Commerce/HHH organization, please try & do something with the cost of the motels. I spoke to alot of people who stay for the min. 2 night stay. Alot of rooms were run down, broken equipment, my room didn't have a blowdryer, microwave or refrigerator. Now the refrigerator was most important to me. When I got home I started calling around to motels for next year, there is one motel in particular that is making the HHH a 3 night min. stay. Also alot of these motels said that some rooms have refrigerators others don't, so you take your chances on getting a refrigerator. Something needs to be done on the price gouching, I believe the entries were down somewhat from precious years, this is unfortunate but I'll put it to the economy but with the cost of these rooms going up I'm afraid that the HHH may continue to see #'s decrease until the economy starts to turn around.
THANK YOU AGAIN FOR A GREAT HOTTER N HELL!!!

Another great "granddaddy of 'em all" ride. I enjoy seeing loads of cars with bikes on the back while driving up from the metroplex on Friday. Very enjoyable to get in, relax and watch the races. Organizers have the walk-up registration, packet pickup and spaghetti dinner down to a science! RV camping is very convenient and the trade show is great. Rest stops are well stocked but there are long lines for the port a toilets – even at the later stops. Saw lots of flats at the "Hell Freezes Over" rest stop – grass with stickers needs to be roped off next year. I love going through the Air Force base and the airmen cheering riders on (which is not on the 100 mile route). Finish line atmosphere is great, but they should look at options to spread this out a little more. The 30th Anniversary "medals" are nice. I'll be back. THANKS Wichita Falls community for hosting a great event!

I appreciated the 6:15 am start because I felt like it put me ahead of the slower traffic that I usually have to deal with when leaving at 7:05 am. To the guy who saw 5 accidents when leaving at 6:30, add two to that list. One rider from my group went down at mile 3 at 6:32 am (DNF). Even with a light, he did not see the gravel and low spot. From his recollection, when the SAG wagon came, there was already one in the trailer. I have done this ride for 4 years now and finished for a personal best time of 5:20 (4:53 ride time) and enjoyed every minute of riding in a group. I felt that leaving early placed me with others that knew how to ride in a group. Traffic was clear after getting out of Iowa Park which was a first for me. I fully appreciate the amount of effort and VOLUNTEERING that accompanies this event. I also appreciate the attempt to mitigate the risks of the heat by allow riders to start earlier. I do recognize the danger of riding in the dark. I do believe that there can be better traffic management at RS 1-3 to minimize the accidents. To the scorcher that left at 7:05 am… shame shame on you…I have little sympathy for the decision you made.

August 28, 2010

This ride is a ‘must do’ at least once in your lifetime. However, I’ve all but decided that it’s simply too crowded, to the point of being unsafe. I saw a rider evacuated by helicopter, and four others being loaded onto stretchers. A lady near the beginning of the race was waiving and yelling to someone, swerved over and ran into me, damaging my derailleur hanger and taking some skin off my leg. Several people made comments that ‘…It’s all about trying to dodge people and not get hit!’ The race organizers attempted to delay the starting groups again, but everyone was riding around the trailers, and it ended up being almost a 14,000 person mass start. Not sure how they could do it, but it seems it would be worth it to start a bunch of smaller groups at staggered intervals, and really make sure they don’t ‘jump the start.’ I enjoyed the ride, but really felt it was quite dangerous.

At most of the rest stops there was a 30 minute waiting line, just for water - John

HHH 2010 – Wichita Falls. My daughter and I rode the 100k ride finishing in four hours. We rode the first twenty miles in less than an hour, so we were ahead of most of the crowds that seemed to cause long waits at the rest stops. We stopped at rest stops 2 and 4 and they were very well stocked with fruit, ice, powerade, and cookies. The route is well chosen with generally good smooth roads – I would say the only exception to this is riding for the eight mile stretch along the I44 service road. Good- the cheering Air Force personnel making you feel like you are leading the Tour de France, getting 15,000 cyclists registered in a reasonable time period, Wichita Falls volunteers, smooth pavement, the Expo, the Criterium races, Police support at intersections. Bad – 15,000 cyclists, you can’t have all experienced riders with this number.

Comments from a six year rider - Saw that water stops after Hell's Gate were generally overwhelmed by the volume of people on the ride this year, particularly rest stops 7, 9 and 10. This was not a fault of the volunteers manning these stops by any means (I have all the respect for them and thank them for their hard work and efforts) just reflective of some basic needs to be addressed by the organizers to make the ride better. Things to be considered may be limiting the overall volume to 10,000 riders and/or raising the entry fee by $5 to assure that stops are properly stocked and manned with a more appropriate number of port-a-potties as riders seemed to be suffering more while waiting in line for 30 minutes for food/water than they were while on the road. In the end, the aforementioned stops were not to the overall benefit of the riders as presently constituted and this issue need to be addressed prior to the 2011 ride.

Once again, another great event. This was my tenth year. Thanks to all the volunteers, police, AF personell, cities, etc. This is a premier cycling. It seemed this year that there were more cyclists insisting on starting in the wrong area. Saw severa 100k, 50m and 25 m lined up with the Scorchers. It made it dangerous...saw one cyclist get wiped out by some one turning onto the 25 mile course---this should not happen. Also, cyclists, please ditch the headphones. Dangerous for you and others around you, especially at an event this big. Overall, a great event. Will be back.

This was my first Hotter Than Hell. It is certainly something to do. Considering the crowd of 14,000 cyclists for the endurance ride (and the logistics involved in organizing and running the event), things went very well. With so many people, the amount of accidents was probably pretty low. But, I found myself often annoyed during the first 40 or so, with lots of people riding on the left who had no business doing so. I had to do a lot of weaving during the first 10 in particular. Perhaps the registration packet could emphasize in bold print safe riding practices--and maybe some signage early on: SLOWER BIKES STAY RIGHT! My only other suggestion would be that every rest stop have at least one stand up bike pump. C02 is fine when you have to change your tube on the road. But, after my flat, I would have liked to be able to check the pressure and bring the tube to 120psi at the next rest stop. The line at one rest stop was pretty long, but it moved quickly. Thanks to the organizers for a very well organized event.

super-experienced rider, I was very cautious for the first 15 miles, but after that it seemed to thin out and the rest of the race was wonderful. The weather could not have been better. The support teams at Mile 30 and 52 (my only two stops) were fantastic………was able to refuel and get back on the bike very quickly. I had a blast and cannot wait until next year. Gary

What good luck I had finding your site and reading many of the reviews.
The most important for me was by one poster warning about the stickers referred to as 'goatheads'. He was so right about this. At almost every rest stop there were bikers repairing flats within 300 yards after the stop, repairing flats.
I stayed out of the grass as suggested and after every stop made a quick inspection for stickers which I found after the watermelon stop and pulled them out before getting back on the bike. Two other bikers followed my lead and found stickers too. I know this helped prevent me from getting a flat. Great tip from a great site. The hotter n hell for me, a first timer, was awesome.

The organizers can easily fix that start if they completely block the start at those cross streets. I was back a bit from the head of the Keepers, and sure once the last of the Scorchers had moved up, riders started to stream around the left end of the trailer. In that mass of humanity and bikes you just move along too. Two years ago they did completely block the cross streets and the start was a thing of beauty. We Keepers didn’t budge until the last Scorchers were atop the bridge. I don’t know if it’s a safety issue to leave a lane open for emergency vehicles or what. If so they need to get some burly volunteers to stand in that gap or something. Hats off to the Dean Dale Volunteer Fire Dept for their “extra” rest stop near the top of the Dean hill on the 100 mile route. They definitely saved some hot and dry riders with ice and a good hosing down.

My 4th year and the event never ceases to impress. I was part of the "100 Mile Scorchers" and finished the ride in 5 hours. Stops at 40 miles and 84 Miles were well stocked and no lines. Based on other reviews, it seems like lines formed later in the day. All in all a GREAT ride especially when you consider that they're moving 14,000 people around the route. Can't wait for 2011!

Great ride as always but just a nit - they could still use more porta potties at the rest stops.

Editors note: AND the ports potties could use some toilet paper.

Just finished taking a few minutes to read the submitted reviews on this years HHH 2010. I want to thank all the people involved in this ride from organizers, medical, fire dept., & the countless volunteers what a superb job you all did. The spaghetti dinner reported on the Friday evening news that it served over 4,000 people, again a great meal & very well organized. Ok I've read all the "chitchat" about the cycling traffic out there, comeon people why do you think it's one of the largest rides around the country, cause it has alot of riders. If cycling traffic bothers you then I suggest that you stay to the smaller rallies around the country until you feel safe in heavier traffic, I've ridden this rally for a number of years & have always started up with the scorchers & have never had a problem, I know that there are individuals up there that probably don't belong but we've all paid our $$$ to ride & if you just take a few deep breathes & hold your line & be aware of riders around you then you'll more than likely be able to get down the road & away from the less experienced riders. If you ridden this rally before you should remember where the turn off is for the 25 mi & 50 mi route, suggestion to you if your doing a longer route start to move over well in advance of the turn off to avoid anyone cutting you off. Don't jump on a paceline of people that you don't know, your looking for a accident, you can get in a large group & get that "PULL" & still keep a safe distance allowing you to move one way or another if something happens. As this ride grows the HHH committee might want to look @ having some more rest stops or larger rest stops allowing for riders to get in & out a little more quickly, I personally wasn't to bothered by the wait for food & drinks, now the portapottie being a female I'd really like to see a few more with possibly some more hand sanitizer present. My only pet peeve is to the riders & one rider in particular who needed to be reminded to stop flapping his gums by those of us around him & those who won't SHUT UP when the anthem is being played & your asked for a moments silence for a fallen rider & military personnel, shame on you. Again I started up in the scorcher section & successfully completed the 102 mi route without any difficulties or problems in scorcher time.

 

August 29, 2009

This was my first trip to the Hotter than Hell and I felt it was one of the best considering the weather, it was also my first 100mi. WOW what an event. Thank you all for the hard work and wonderful ride. I managed to squeeze in at the starting line and to look back down the street and see cyclists for as far as you can see was incredible. The fly over and everyone singing the national anthem will be something I will never forget. I heard 14,200 attended. As long as I can bike I will be coming back to the HHH every year. This event should be on everyones list. Thanks again and God Bless!

HHH 2009 was as great as ever. Special thanks to all the volunteers. You guys are great. I hear this year had about 2k more participants than last year! Weather was near perfect--it felt like springtime. The trade show seemed bigger this year. Packet pick-up was quick as was the t-shirt and goody bag pick-up. Great finish line activities. Set a personal best due to the great weather. Only used 2 rest stops on the 100 mile course. I just wish the 100 mile course had the opportunity to go on the base. I hear once again the airmen were out cheering on the riders. One caveat for my fellow riders...Please, no more headphones, iPods, etc. It is dangerous enough with the number of riders, wannabe racers, kids, and inexperienced riders without having riders(no matter how good/experienced) using personal music devices which can impair hearing whether or not you use both earphones or keep the volume low. I was almost wiped out by someone who was wearing one...and yes, I shouted out on your left. Otherwise another great year in Wichita Falls. Great job by everyone involved.

Great support as always and a great ride; probably a record-breaking number of riders. A couple of points of constructive criticism. 1) They had the start right last year. There was a truck and flatbed trailer blocking the “Keepers” at 3rd St. until the “Scorchers” had cleared the bridge, leading to a no-walk start. This year the left side of the road was left open and riders began pouring around the end of the trailer as soon as the last “Scorchers” moved an inch , and predictably we walked for blocks as in years past. 2) There really was no need for so much law enforcement personnel at Rest Stop #4 making riders get completely off the pavement as soon as they slowed down. This seems like a solution to a problem that doesn’t exist. 3) Moving the ride finish to near the entertainment tent is a good idea in theory, but a lot of guys try to sprint that finish, and when I got to the finish there was only 30 feet or so to slow down before I came to riders milling around listening to the Killdares.

This was my 10th year to do the Hotter N Hell and once again it was great. I was aiming for the 100 mile course but at the last minute my Air Force buddy came into town and decided to ride with me so naturally we had to go through the base so he could shake hands with his friends and say "Hup" to the air men and women. That is so much fun. I am already to go back next year.

Another great ride. The weather was a bonus. Volunteers were excellent as usual. A must ride for every cyclist, no matter what level. Just the sheer number is amazing. First time to attend the expo. Might be the last time, spent way too much money. They had everything and there were some pretty good deals to be had. Be back 2010.

Simply incredible. I cannot fathom how they can put together something this huge with virtually no problems. Top notch in every category. 14,200 riders this year. Should not be missed!

To strictly respect the WebMasters feelings about verbosity. I only need to say what a great event. Fun and challenging time. Makes you think what is important. Being alive and riding your bike.

I rode in the ride on the 29th and it was my first HHH. I must say that everyone was correct in saying this ride is "THE RIDE." I did the 100k and was EXTREMELY impressed with the rest stops. Those people are FABULOUS!!! The riders were professional and not a lot of bullying going on as with some other rides.
I will be back next year and hopefully doing the 100 mile rout as I hear the last rest stop is truly something....

Wonderful ride again this yr! Organization and the pre and post ride activities were great! I only wish the tandems and recumbents would start as a group like they used to.

August 23, 2008

The 2008 HHH was great. My second year to do this ride and my first to do the 100 mile route. Great volunteers at all the rest stops. The Ice packs at one of the later rest stops was a welcome site. After a few minutes of ice back on the road and headed toward the last rest stop and the free beer. Heard about it from other cyclists and it was a treat. The gentlemen were a joy to talk too. All in all a great day. I will be back in 2009.

HHH 2008....WOW. Unbelievable effort by the thousands of volunteers to make the event an unforgettable experience. THANK YOU VOLUNTEERS! So many countless hours...many of you unseen...but all appreciated. Amazing how you made a ride with over 11,000 riders that smooth from START to FINISH! See ya next year.

2008 HHH. I’ve been on this ride some number of times and I’ve always done the 100M route. The planning that goes into this ride is phenomenal and I will always maintain that this ride is world class. That said, I have a gripe. I blew a spoke at mile 78, caught a SAG wagon to rest stop 9 and sat there for the next two hours while various people tried (in vain) to contact the “roving” bike repair people. After an hour, the word came back from base about a truck on the road somewhere past RS3. Huh??? That’s like 50 miles away!!!. Plus, base was never able to contact any roving repair trucks. For over two hours there was no response. Is the “roving” bike repair center something new? Why have bike repair folks on the road if SAG wagons can give down cyclist a lift to the next RS? The three other riders gave up and caught a SAG wagon back to the MPEC. As it wound up for me, I exchanged my front wheel with a willing rider whose front fork would allow for the wobble from the missing spoke. We limped across the finish line close to 4PM; almost six hours after my spoke blew. To me, that’s a serious hole in rider support.

I think the organizers have finally gotten the start down right. I started near the front of the Gate Keepers' group, and with the truck and flat bed holding us in place until the Gate Scorchers were well on the bridge we were able to start without walking a half mile. That was the first time in ten starts going back to the old days at Memorial Stadium that I didn't have to walk some distance at the start. I participated in the U. Conn medical study and I really enjoyed that; I don't think I lost any time working with them at the Electra and Hell's Gate rest stops that I wouldn't have anyway at those stops. The little ice packs at the later stops were an amazingly neat thing to stick into one's jersey and ride with.

I'm glad I chose the HHH for my first century. I have been riding for about a year and a half, and I started training for the century in March. The weather was perfect this year (a cool 98 degrees for the high), and the route is the flattest that I have been on. I can see how it would be tough if the wind and heat came up, but with all of the outstanding support, volunteers, and rest stops, it is an outstanding event. I'll be back.

HHH 2008 – I rode the 100K for the first time (usually ride the 50-miles), and it was a great ride as usual. This ride is very well organized, especially considering the number of riders. During most rides, I usually bypass half the rest stops, but on this ride they are worth the stop. I am not surprised that the number of riders continues to grow. My only complaint is about other riders – if you plan to ride 25 miles, then start with the 25-mile riders, or if you are riding a longer route, but are a slow rider (or riding with a small child), then start at the back of that group. I know this is a complaint every year, but it continues to happen, and is very dangerous, especially when faster riders are going around small children trying to follow a parent (especially the young boy who stopped in the middle of the road at about the 3-mile point trying to figure out how to get across to his dad, but not sure how to move between the oncoming riders). Of course, this will not stop be from coming back next year!!!!

Wonderful ride and an excellent event put on by the people of Wichita Falls. My only complaint is with my fellow riders that feel they can use the N. Texas roadways as their own personal trash cans. Class act guys. A real class act.

The 2008 Hotter N Hell was another huge success! There is not a whole lot to say but thank you to all the countless volunteers who made our day so enjoyable. Thank you to all the chefs who got us all fed on Friday evening at the Spaghetti dinner. All the young kids that were mixing our sports drinks, handing out wet towels, cutting bananas & oranges etc. make the future of the Hotter N Hell something to look forward to. I hope you all get a special recognition for all your young hard work. At Hells Gate enjoyed seeing the gentlemen dressed up as the devil & all the encouragement as the riders went on thru to the back side of the 100 miles. The ice paks that were handed out at one of the last rest stops was a wonderful idea, I hope you'll do it again next year. The medical symposium with Dr. Williamson was another huge success & very informative. My only suggestions would be to have a little more encouragement in signs etc. as you neared the rest of the rest stops like what was at 3rd rest stop with the American Flags & signs as you rode up to the rest stop. Lastly some of the motels & hotels need to step up to the plate or they are going to hurt the HHH. I heard from many participants that stayed in & around the area that were paying good money for rooms that had phones that didn't work, remote controls for the tv's didn't work, pools & hot tubs that were closed & had been closed for the past 4 yrs & each year the management stated that they were trying to get it fixed. Also when you registered for the room well in advance they advertised things that when you arrived they weren't providing like Sat. evening meals. These places of business are charging top dollar & need to start providing top services. I'll be researching for another place to stay over the next year.

I rode the 100 mile route, my first century. It was 4:45 when I got back to the finish line, but the rest areas were still open along the way, and the water and powerade and pickle juice were still flowing. Having the rest areas closer together for the last few miles was much appreciated. Weather wasn't that hot, which really helped. All rest stops had bananas and orange slices, and some had cookies, but some additional edible materials would have been handy, as I missed lunch while riding. Lots of Sag support visible. All in all, a great day and great ride, highly recommended if the weather is tolerable.

The HHH was a good time as always this year. The event staff did a wonderful job given the numbers of people there. The only downside was listening to some of the riders complain about the slower riders or kids at the start line. Yes, they should have been further back but they probably didn't know any better. I train like most do that are near the front but honestly I'm not competing in the Tour de France either. Have a good time out there and keep things in perspective. If you want an event where you really want to show your skills do a smaller time trialed event and not a huge rally. It is a wonderful event and 2% of the folks shouldn't ruin it for all the others.

This was the third time I rode here and by far the worst--even with the nice cycling weather. Why? The rest stops except for #2 and #5 were just terrible.  All the other stops had only oranges and bananas! In previous years, #4 has given out potato chips and Goldfish crackers, and #8 has had watermelon and cantaloupe slices--- and all the rest had great cookies. I stopped at #3 at 9:15 a.m. and was told "All the cookies we had are already gone."  There were many people complaining about the rest stops and I would like to know why the sparse offerings? The volunteers used to have themes for the rest stops and even dressed up in costume in previous years making for a festive feeling.  Not this year.   Also, I found out the races were back, but the women's prizes were half that of the men's.  What is the reason for that? Just plain ol' sexism rearing its ugly head? I had told several people that this was the ride to be at for the great rest stops alone--but no more! I might not even bother to come back next year.