The Hotter Than Hell Hundred – Bicycle Ride

Although I am a mountain biker at heart, I do enjoy long road rides. When I first started riding, it was on a mountain bike. I fell in love with the sport on the very first ride. I was at the bike shop the very next day buying my first mountain bike. Riding some sweet swoopy singletrack is incredibly relaxing and therapeutic. I also enjoy racing mountain bikes. I race in Category 1 or Expert group, and love going fast and laying it all out in the dirt.

I also enjoy long road rides. Long road rides are great for thinking. I have come up with some of my best business ideas while out on a long solo road ride. During this time of year I am doing more long rides in preparation for one of my favorite long road rides, The Hotter Than Hell Hundred. The HHH is a ride, and a race, in Wichita Falls Texas in late August. The scenery is nothing to look at, the course has no spectacular features, the weather is always miserable, and there is really no reason to make the ride so appealing, but it is. Each year the HHH is a cycling pilgrimage for 10,000 to 12,000 fellow cyclists. It is the largest non-cause ride in America. Riders from all over the world are seen at this ride. It is a tough ride. 100 miles in 100+ temperatures is no small task. The ride has the highest attrition rate of any similar ride. Each year hundreds of cyclists are scooped up by SAG wagons and deposited in medical tents to be hooked to IV’s for emergency re-hydration. Sounds like fun huh? Needless to say, just finishing this ride is an accomplishment for most. I have been doing this ride for the last 5 or 6 years. Each year I try to beat my previous years time. Last year i had a great ride (its actually like a race for us). I started the ride fully hydrated and loaded down with fluids on the bike prepared to do the entire ride without stopping for water, because my goal is total time, not just ride time. Last year my total time for the full 100 miles was 4:20. About 23 average speed. This year I am hoping to beat that time inside a 4:15 if possible. Riding at that pace for 100 miles without stopping for water is test of not just fitness but also your nutritional knowledge and planning. So, although the trails are dry this weekend, I will doing my long road rides to start to get ready for this event. More information on this ride can be found here.

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2 Responses to The Hotter Than Hell Hundred – Bicycle Ride

  1. Scott says:

    I will be riding in the HH100 for the first time this year. I am new the sport, but I am athletic and in fairly good shape. I have been training for the last few months and just finished a the Hot Rocks 57 miler in Rockwall, TX. I was fine, but was not able to keep up with the fast riders. I am 48 years old, height 5’11” and weight 200 lbs. (muscular thick build – have been losing gradually during my training). Averaging approx. 125 miles/week. I have a few questions:
    1. I have a Specialized Roubaix Expert Comp Road Bike. What would be the best tires for this event (100 miler)?
    2. What would be my best strategy to completing this ride among the intermediate to advanced riders, say avg. of 17-20 mph for the ride (total time).

    • Hi Scott, congrats on your 57 miler. That is a huge accomplishment for most riders. I have ridden (raced) the HH100 for at least the last 5 years now, and in my opinion the secret to finishing this event is not the right tires nor riding at a more advanced pace than what you are used to, the secret to finishing strong is proper fueling and hydration. The right tires are probably the ones you already have on the bike. Just don’t show up with worn out tires. Do a visual on your tires and replace them if there are any signs of wear. Proper hydration on the days leading up to the race are crucial. Increase your electrolytes and eat foods high in potassium and magnesium. Use an electrolyte supplement starting a few days before the race to increase your water retention. Show up to the ride weighing more than normal because of good hydration. Plan your water to minimize or eliminate stops. Carry two full water bottles and a camelbak so that you don’t have to stop. stopping at those rest stops burns up a lot of time and it is getting hotter every minute you stay out there. I carry a water bottle that is a sports drink of carbs like Heed from Hammer in one bottle, the next bottle has carbs and some protein, like Perpetuem from Hammer. The camelbak also has carbs and protein. I start out on carbs and after the first hour start drinking carbs and protein. I also carry some electrolyte supplements and pop 3 or 4 every hour. Some solid food is in one my jersey pockets too, any energy bar will do or PB+J. Find a group that is riding at a pace you can hold and tuck in behind them. Hang on and don’t stop. Get to Hells gate as quick as you can. The last 40 miles are the toughest. Keep drinking and pushing hard and have fun and record your finish time.

      Last year I did the ride in 4 hours 20 minutes total ride time no stopping at an average speed of 23 mph. This year my goal is 4:05. Been a busy last few weeks, training hasn’t really gone as planned, but I think I will do OK.

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