Gravel cycling takes off for first time in Wichita Falls

Gravel cycling takes off for first time in Wichita Falls

WICHITA FALLS, Texas (TNN) - With it being the first year, the Grava Del Fuego’s race director wasn’t expecting much.

“When I took this on initially I was hoping for 50 people,” said director Vicki Boyle.

Tonight’s first group of gravel cyclists, however, was eight times that.

“It’s just a lot of fun,” said cyclist Tony Pierce.

“We all did it when we were little,” Boyle said 'but it’s taking off."

Tony Pierce traveled to Wichita Falls from Fort Worth for his eighth Hotter N’ Hell weekend, and as an avid gravel cyclist was eager to be a part of tonight’s race.

“Open spaces out there. You know you’re kind of out there by yourself enjoying nature,” said Pierce.

That relaxed and slower environment is why Vicki Boyle says the sport has grown so rapidly in the past few years.

“So it’s appealing to a lot more people because it’s so laid-back, it’s so fun,” said Boyle. “There’s a lot less rules and it’s open road. So they just love it.”

Cyclists took off for either a 40K, 60K or 100K, with some riders going for the Chupacabra 200. They completed either the 100 miler or 100K this morning, followed by the 100K tonight.

“I’m just so thankful we got here. We got to the start and we had 400 crazy people who want to be a part of this crazy trend and take off and make it a big thing,” said Boyle.

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