The 41st edition of the Hotter ‘N Hell Hundred gran fondo in Texas may not live up to it’s legendary name this year, it may go down as one of the coolest rides in decades.
The weather forecast for Wichita Falls on Saturday 27 August predicts a high of ONLY 90F degrees, in Texas that’s almost cool enough for cyclists to pull on arm warmers and vests when compared to training in temperatures well over 100 degrees for 22 consecutive days in July.
Nonetheless, over 10,000 amateur cyclists will welcome cooler conditions when they line up for a 07:05 start en masse – announced by the firing of a historical military cannon as United States Air Force fighter jets roar above.
The 100 mile relatively flat course (it is Texas after all) combined with sub-100 temperatures should yield blazing fast finishing times, with the quickest riders arriving back in Wichita Falls in about four hours, but 65% relative humidity and 25 miles of headwind won’t make it an easy sweatless ride.
The event has long been considered a Texas “Ride” of Passage, with cyclists making the pilgrimage to Wichita Falls from all corners of the USA to participate. Whether the weather is hotter-than-hell or not-quite-as-hot-as-hell, the economic impact of all those cyclists on the local community is huge.
“It can have an estimated economic impact for Wichita Falls from $5.5-$8 million, so that’s a huge boost to our local economy,” Lindsay Barker, Convention Visitors Bureau Director, said.
Started in 1982 by a local bike club, Hotter ‘N Hell was created as a special way to celebrated Wichita Falls 100th anniversary – Ride 100 miles in 100 degree heat to celebrate 100 years.