Hotter'n Hell Hundred
Wichita Falls, Texas
August 24, 3013
(THE ride of the year.)
Over 13,000 of us lined up eagerly awaiting the start of the ride.
But first, the start line photo ops. Christine Jones, Dorothy Landon, and Liz Rappe.
Liz and her friends, along with Dorothy and me in the background.
Roy and Christine.
With the barriers rolled away our distant group was allowed to roll off.
Nearing the official start line is Pyro Pete. Pyro is also at Hell's Gate, the go or no go point of the 100 miles.
My shot of the start line.
A commercial photo of the start line (forgot to whom give credit). To be among so many riders with common interests is one of the big draws-for me-to keep coming back.
As we start to leave town, Christine assumes her ride position in relation to myself--out in front. (And she stayed that way for the whole distance.)
Not far into the ride, we came upon our first accident. Note the person to the right of Christine. He had stopped and looked as if he were texting the report of the accident. Brian said when he came by, there were so many gawkers that they had to walk past the scene.
My gawking only spotted the bicycle between the two vehicles. Never saw the rider(s).
Who said the terrain was flat? I will have to confess that the steepest hill was 6%. So Jerry, make plans for next year.
Most of the ride was gentle rolling hills.
One of the many great rest stops. I think this one was at mile 30.
I am not sure what mile this was but it was getting very warm and I noticed the bikers' shadows getting shorter, so the sun was climbing pretty high.
One of the highlights of the ride--going through Shepard Air Force Base.
The little trainer is a stark contrast to the big planes
such as this one or the massive B-59 above.
Air Force Bases get to display planes that have either been stationed at the base or flown out of the base. This jet represents one of the planes at Shepard AFB.
Another "treat" of going through the base is coming up.
Airmen line up for blocks cheering the riders as they go through the "gauntlet". It is amazing how they can maintain their enthusiasm standing out in the hot sun, but they are inspiring.
Starting to re-enter Wichita Falls.
Talk about bad luck. Not more than a mile from the finish line we came upon another accident. The rider kneeling in the road was holding his shoulder and really groaning in pain. The lady on the pavement was having a hard time getting the bike off of her. I wished both of them well.
This is the corner leading into the finish line. Brian said he and his group rounded this corner at 25 mph. The announcer alerted everyone that a group was coming in "hot". Me, my top speed was 23.6 mph rolling down some hill. Even so, according to the official results, I was #3 in my age group. (No, don't look up the age, just take my word for it).
Finish line. Christine just kept going as she knew exactly which tent she was headed for--the beer tent. Her favorite recovery drink. The excitement, the mass gathering of bicyclers, the vendors, the friendships, smooth roads keep us returning year after year.