Hotter’N Hell kicks off first day of festivities
WICHITA FALLS, Texas (KAUZ) - Events for the 41st Hotter’N Hell Hundred got underway Thursday and will continue into the weekend. Cycling enthusiasts from all over were excited to attend the HHH consumer show.
The MPEC was packed full of items to get cyclists ready for Saturday. You could find plenty of vendors selling cycling gear and clothing. There were also sports massages, packet pickup, and late registration for those just getting into town.
“Of course, the 100 miles is always an accomplishment you know there’s always a point when I’m out there on the road and it’s stupid,” Bill Frasier, HHH rider, said. “But I’ll get emotional because I’m like, ‘Oh my God I’m doing this. It’s awesome.’”
Riders and enthusiasts could not hold back their excitement while talking about one of the largest bike rides in the nation.
“That sense of accomplishment coming over the trail, over the line, and you got the crowd screaming. Usually, I’m in enough time when there’s still a crowd there,” Frasier said, “But just having people hoop and hollering and it’s just such pride that you’re able to do this is so cool.”
The consumer show featured more than 90 vendors. We spoke with one vendor who will get on his bike and ride in the HHH. It’s something he’s been doing for more than 30 years.
“My first one was in 86, I graduated high school, young and dumb, I said I can go out and do this. I heard about this crazy ride in the heat and said let’s go do it. So I and three of my buddies,” Woody Smith, the owner of Bike Mart DFW, said, “Four of us total went out and did it, and it wasn’t pretty but we did it and we came back for more. We’ve come back every year since.”
Smith said he has seen the event grow over the years and looks forward to seeing the 13,000 plus that is expected to attend this year.
“Yeah, I still enjoy it. I still smile. I still love to see the sunrise come up as I’m riding,” Smith said, “and thank the good lord I’m out here another year to be able to do it.”
As the Hotter’N Hell Hundred celebrates more than four decades, for riders, it’s an opportunity to feel that accomplishment when crossing the line again. The comradery that keeps bringing them back is a nice bonus.
“Some people are car guys, I’m a bike guy,” Frasier said, “I love the event and everybody in here, we’re all focused on bicycles right? And that experience of riding. So, it’s kind of like my brothers, I mean, I feel a part of something, that’s why I keep coming back.”
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