Cyclists train for Hotter’N Hell

Published: Jul. 31, 2023 at 6:46 PM CDT
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WICHITA FALLS, Texas (KAUZ) - With Hotter’ N Hell just less than a month away, cyclists are trying to train with high temperatures rising well over 100 degrees.

“The big thing is fluids; you start drinking all the time,” said Marion Helmick, Hotter’N Hell Cyclist.

Marion Helmick started riding Hotter’N Hell at the age of 62 now a few years later, Helmick has learned to deal with the heat by taking in fluids and adjusting her training times.

“Hot weather, it’s not hot weather preparation starts really early. Make sure you drink before you ride, bring extra water before you ride and even afterward you want to keep on drinking. So hydration is an important thing, technically all year round,” said Helmick.

Sean Brown, a bicycle mechanic of Endurance House, and cyclist said preparation is key.

“This time of the year you have to be ready; when you go outside, have plenty of water, plan your stops to know when you’re going to get more water, know how to hydrate yourself properly, and because sometimes just water isn’t the answer. Sometimes it’s Powerade or other electrolytes additives to the drink to keep your electrolytes in your bloodstream up,” said Brown.

Mapping out the time of day to train goes hand in hand with when is best to eat...Helmick said both are essential.

“Probably the biggest difference for us compared to last year is to ride early in the morning. Sleep, getting the proper sleep is really important and nutrition is another big one I won’t eat a lot of food before the ride but I try to eat half a peanut butter and jelly sandwich maybe an hour before I ride,” said Helmick.

Brown said there’s one way to tell it’s too hot to ride or you need a break.

“If you are out riding and you started to stop sweating, that’s a bad sign. That means you probably need to pull over on the side of the road and you need to call for someone to come get you, because when your body stops sweating that means you reach a level of dehydration that your body can no longer produce the sweat, which is what cools you because it’s trying to retain all the water it can to preserve body function,” said Brown.