Hotter n Hell Hundred - Wichita Falls, TX
40th Anniversary this year. I race rather than ride this event every year so most of my comments course-wise are about the last 45mi shared between the 100k race course and the 100mi ride course. If you haven't ridden the HnH in awhile, there's road improvement going on. We had some beautiful asphalt roads this year to break up the monotony of miles of worn chipseal. Hoping the other courses have seen this on other sections as well. Shoulders where they are present were in pretty good shape. Pavement cracks/holes between the 67ish and 77ish mile rest stops for you 100 folks are getting worse and they're strangely disguised from detection so lots of people hit them- especially pacelines. Hopefully that part will get repaved sometime soon too! The consumer show had some deals this year. It's always a guess as to what you're going to find but worth dropping in on Friday night to check. Packet pickup appeared to be going smoothly. Mine is in a different room but I didn't see any lines extending out of the room enroute to get mine. And t-shirt/goodie bag pickup was smooth. I also appreciate that they welcome or at least don't prohibit my Maltese from coming in with me and my family. I saw several other dogs too- that's appreciated as we travel as a family for this. Finish line village was the same as always. Good scene- sad I couldn't stay long this year. Odd note but completely understandable: Medals NOT given at finish line! It was in your packet. Wife joking with me night before, "you already got your medal, let's go home!" Obviously a covid protection measure but I admit it just feels kind of weird. HnH finishers medals are somewhat polarizing. I heard people praising and I heard people criticizing. For me, especially given 40th anniversary, kind of average. I truly wish they'd go back to the pins from years ago. Unique, collectable, easily displayed. Everyone gives out a medal these days! Flyover was the mixed jet + prop - I do like that. Sheppard really does open up to welcome us. And that's the last thing to mention- the best part. You 100milers miss out on what has to be the best experience at HnH. Riding on to Sheppard AFB, passing the flight line with some of the workhorse combat and transport aircraft proudly displayed and around a mile later, riding through a gauntlet of several HUNDRED of our fine women and men in uniform cheering you on from the side of the road. For what feels like 1/4mi!!! Are you kidding me? They're defending our country and they're cheering US on?! On their Saturday? My race course skips this too so every year I finish and then ride up there just to go through it. If you've never done anything but the 100mi course, you MUST at least once, do any of the other routes OR save enough in the tank to ride up there and back after your finish. It'll add about 13 mi to your total distance as I recall. Absolutely worth it.
Rode the Hotter n Hell 100 for the 19th time. This is such a well run event from start to finish. Well attended, but attendance was down a little from years past. Consumer show was missing a few vendors this year most notably Bicycles, Inc. Overall, a great event. The roads are what they are, some good, some bad. The route was changed slightly in some areas, but still essentially the same as previous years. Rest stops great as usual with lots of friendly volunteers. Finish Line Village with lots of food choices, music, WFFD providing a sprayer to cool off riders, etc. This is one of the best cycling events around. See you again in 2020.
Great temps this year! It was 87 when we finished the 100k. Wish they were all like that. Excellent organization as usual. Same time next year!
Did the 2018 Hotter 'n Hell. As usual, well run, crowded, great route support. Plenty of rest stop volunteers, cheering townspeople along the route. always a great time. Good consumer show, crit races, great traffic control, well stocked rest stops. Some well worn smooth road surfaces. Some more recently resurfaced smooth roads, and of course the dreaded Texas chipseal. Thanks to all the volunteers, the folks that turned out to cheer everyone on, police/fire/medical support, bike shops/SAG support, etc. I would expect nothing less from the wonderful folks in WF and surrounding areas. See you next year for my 19th HHH.
It was a great day for a ride. With the clouds, the temps were mild and there was no rain. Everything was well-organized. I picked up my packet early, but registration appeared to run smoothly. Parking was a snap (it helps to arrive early and get a premium spot). Volunteers were all enthusiastic and helpful. Intersection control was great. It was a bonus to have the volunteers with flags at the major turns. Hard to get lost that way. I saw plenty of SAG vehicles making their rounds throughout the course. Traffic was light with a few exceptions, especially after turning off the main roads on to the rural routes. Thanks to all the rain, everything was green and lush. Made for some pretty views. The signage was efficient and I appreciated the planning that went into the return trip back into town. The organizers kept us away from the busiest streets. I didn't stay for the post ride events, but I still had a fun time. I'll be looking forward to next year!