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Hotter'N Hell Hundred(17 posts)

Hotter'N Hell HundredTower
Jun 3, 2003 5:19 AM
We're going to ride the HHH this year for the first time and I was looking for some insight from those who have done it before. We're planning on doing the 100K.
I'm looking forward to the bike convention and seeing how much money I can spend on more stuff!

What can we expect for the ride (besides hot)? Is it best to start a mile down the road given the # of riders? How is the route? How are the SAGs?

re: Hotter'N Hell HundredJS Haiku Shop
Jun 3, 2003 5:24 AM
J2 did this one (the full 100 miles) last year and returned unimpressed. then again, 630 miles is a long drive (one way) to ride a century. he said the number of riders was astounding, and the SAGs were well worked, but mostly consisted of fruit.

perhaps he'll chime in if he's online today.

re: Hotter'N Hell HundredJ2
Jun 3, 2003 10:05 AM
we did this ride last year, it was one of those rides that you have to do once in your lifetime. i think it had over 6000+ riders start. we were midpack about 4 blocks from the start with about another 4 blocks of riders behind us. the first 20 miles are a mess, we avg 12mph, you just couldn't get through the mass herd. after the first 20 mile sag, it thinned out and was good the rest of the way. the sags are huge, i'm talking tents with fruit, water/poweraid, first-aid, some were doing massage, some cooking. and that didn't even include all the folks standing by the street for those that only wanted a quick pit stop and didn't want to get off their bike. the ride was nice, i guess i was too stoked about everything i had heard thinking it would just be this unbelievable ride. but it was still nice. the heat was good, it was 104 for our ride, but being in one of the most humid places here outside of memphis, the dry heat was no problem at all. it did not feel 104 at all, but for those not used to it, it was hard. i saw a lot of cramping riders that last 20 miles on the side of the road. but stay hydrated and wash off the excess salt sweat at the sags and you're good. we didn't have too much problems with wind last year as it was not blowing too hard, but with not much more than rolling texas fields, if it did decide to blow hard there's no place to hide. overall, i'm very glad i went and rode it, but i most likely won't go back. it's just a little too far for me, but if i lived closer i would be there.
oh yeah, the expo is wild! you will have a good time...
OT: just curious. Why wipe off the salt sweat? Unhealthy?wolfereeno
Jun 3, 2003 3:45 PM
Wind. wind wind wind wind wind...Dave Hickey
Jun 3, 2003 5:41 AM
Plan on riding a good part of the course with a headwind.
I'd be disappointed if there was no wind.Tower
Jun 3, 2003 6:56 AM
It's downright strange to ride w/o a headwind. Steady south gulf breeze here in Houston.

I prefer to break wind, anyway. :-)
re: Hotter'N Hell HundredTooManyToys
Jun 3, 2003 6:31 AM
I've done it a few times. The century once and the 100k twice. Part of doing the HHH is starting in the huge mass of riders and getting to ride in peloton sized pacelines at 25-30 mph. The wind is terrible and usually at your back for the first 20-30 miles. So if you are doing the 100k expect a headwind for the majority of the second half of the ride.

Bring plenty of cash for the Expo. It's probably my favorite aspect of the ride. There are usually lots of great deals.

Have fun,
Look for hotel rooms NOW!!!hycobob
Jun 3, 2003 7:38 AM
Hotels in Wichita Falls are a premium, if not impossible to find, come HH100 weekend. At least they have been in the past. Try to book a room at the Holiday Inn right by the expo or the Econo-Lodge, they are the closest NICE hotels to the start. If you don't mind staying in Motel Hell...the Riverwalk Inn is right at the start on Scott street. I had a room there for 3 minutes, then switched to another and then asked for my money back...I would have slept under a bridge first. The Indian (not native American) lady cursed and swore me every which way I had ever heard of, and some I couldn't understand. Stay away from there!!!

As for the ride, I've driven from Alvin (south of Houston) 3 times and liked it every time; long drive though. I have always done the 100 miler so I'm not sure of the metric century. The people in Burkburnett, Tx are great...the streets are crowded with onlookers and wellwishers. I haven't seen a sour face there. Some of the rest stops really get into the whole theme thing too. I've seen them set up like the cartoon "The Flintstones" and the set of "MASH".

The most important thing though is water. I only carry a 50oz Camelbak there and 2 Polar insulated bottles, that way I stop at every other rest stop. A cold drink can bring you back from the dead there. As the TV commercial goes, "Hydrate or Die".

Don't ambush the starters. Go to the Official start, and take a camera. The sea of color is awsome. The HH100 is usually near the size of the Houston to Austin MS150 (8000+), but gets a mass start. None of that 2 gate & long/short staging point stuff there. Have fun and remember to pocket your trash.
Hotel room secured a month ago....what about security there?Tower
Jun 3, 2003 8:01 AM
We have a room at the Holiday Inn. I'm thinking it's the one you reference b/c how many Holiday Inns could there be in W.F. :-) What about security there? We'll likely keep our bikes in the room b/c I have a pickup. Can you imagine the $$ of bikes/gear in that hotel/town?

We're making the drive up Thursday night to visit friends in Dallas. Driving to WF on Friday to take in the expo and pasta dinner (any good? worth it?). Depart on Sunday.

This will be our biggest organized ride to date. We've never done the MS150, but have done the Shiner Bash twice. This will dwarf the Shiner ride. Hopefully our ride isn't over before it starts (ie dominoed at the start).
Hotel rooms are securehycobob
Jun 3, 2003 8:13 AM
The Holiday Inn there is inside entrance and bike friendly. Coolers are OK too. I had the pasta dinner once. Its OK, but not as good as I make it. I went to the Olive Garden and Chili's last year
re: Hotter'N Hell HundredFredrico
Jun 3, 2003 1:39 PM
All three time I ran it, there were alot of flats from burrs, little balls with spikes all around them that stick in your tires. My mate and I camped out in a tent at the starting line. Don't roll your bike in the grass! That's where those burrs lurk to ruin your ride. Take extra tubes and a fresh patch kit.

The other posts cover the ride nicely. This was the only one I would marvel at how salty everyone looked at the finish. My friend rode the fastest century of his life in those giant pace-lines, 4:40.
re: Hotter'N Hell HundredChen2
Jun 3, 2003 2:39 PM
I've done the last four, 100 mi each time. Each has been progressivily easier because they have been progressively less hot and because I've learned to consume extra salt. I pre-mix powdered Gator Aid or Hydra-Fuel (no longer available) and add 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon of salt to each bottle. The rest stops have always had PowerAid, not my favorite.
Goathead burrs are everywhere. Many many flats from picking these up at the rest stops. Do not roll your bike through the grass, period. I always see folks sitting in the grass at the side of the road fixing their flats. If you have a flat you've got to fix it out on the pavement.
The worst wind is on the part of the ride along the I-44 access road after turning south in Birkburnett. The 100mi route turns east at Hell's Gate, the 80mi option and 100k options continue south along I-44 directly into the wind. The 100mi route zig-zags so that you are not directly into the wind for more than 5 miles. I think the 100mi may actually be easier.
Six years doin' the HHH (97-02)Asphalt Addict
Jun 3, 2003 5:43 PM
Everything that has been posted before is absolutely the gospel truth. My experience has been a little different since my parents lived on the 100k course in Burkburnett. I would turn this into a week long vacation and train on the local roads before the ride. I volunteered at registration (packet pick up) for the last three events. My cousin-in-law was in charge of the medical at the finish. All I can say (IMHO) is this is the best organized ride you will ever encounter. Helpful hints...1)Get that hotel room now 2)At the Expo go to Britton's display and buy the CHEAP clothes and shoes from Trailtir(Italian distributor)3)Ride the 100 mile course to Burkburnett then turn down the freeway to the 100k course for a combo of about 75 miles 4) start on the other side of the bridge and away from the crowd 5) pick up your bike at rest stops and carry it over the grass 6) Don't try to do a PR here because you might die. Take your time and enjoy the ride. However remember the longer you are out on the course the HOTTER it gets and finally 7) Aclimatize yourself with as many hot training rides as possible. Oh yeah, I won't be there this year because my parents sold the house and moved. AHHHH #%&*!
Jun 4, 2003 3:55 AM
We have the hotel room booked.

What's a PR?

As for aclimating, we're going to start doing some mid-day rides here in Houston on the weekend to get used to the heat. Should be helpful.

How is the course? Rolling hills? Mostly plains? I lived in west texas for many years but I'm not that familiar with N. Texas.
PR?Asphalt Addict
Jun 4, 2003 4:18 AM
PR stands for personal record. I tried this in 2000 on the 100 mile course when it was 108f. I was under 5 hours average when I turned into a giant cramp (entire body) and nearly died at the 90 rest stop. You know your day is done when you pour your camelback over your head! I thought I was bad off until I saw a guy who had passed out on his bike. As for the course, it's mainly flat with no shade. There are a few good hills between Iowa Park and Kamay. Good luck and have fun!
This ride is part of the "Chisolm Trail"hycobob
Jun 4, 2003 6:34 AM
Way back in the old days the cowboys on the cattle drives that went through here were lucky to keep 80% of their stock alive. Its hot and its dry, and its damned hot and dry later in the day. Be thankful that you're not a cow. Wear a light colored jersey to keep yourself a little cooler. Polar bottles are nice too, since you can put ice in them and they'll stay cold.
Done it last three yearsgrandemamou
Jun 3, 2003 5:56 PM
I think I'm doing the 100 k this year. There are some deals to be had at the expo but some of the stuff is marked way up. The best deals are to be had the day of the ride. If you get done early pop in. People are more willing to deal if the option is to pack it all up.