Congrats to Michael Guerra, who will receive our 3rd and final Wheelbrother T-Shirt giveaway for submitting this write up about his first century ride at this year’s Hotter ‘n Hell 100.
At age 56, overweight and off the bike for 7 years, I decided to ride my first century, the 2011 Hotter ‘n Hell 100. How naive I was. It was January of 2011 and for some reason, having not ridden my bike for 7 years , I decided to start riding again. Finally I was at a point in life where I could afford my dream bike, a Colnago C-50. So I bought the frame and all the parts and set about building the bike. Somewhere in there I remembered the HHH 100, perused their website, and thought “What the hell, if I sign up it will force me to train all year.” My first thought was to not tell ANYONE so I could back out. But like a dumbass I slowly started telling a few people about it. Until finally everyone I knew, knew about it. Now I was really committed. Living in hilly Central Texas put me in a good place to train. So I went out a few times a week throughout the year. Fortunately, or unfortunately, it was the hottest summer on record here in Kerrville and I purposely went out in the hottest part of the day to train. I only put in about 600 miles of training prior to the ride. And only rode one “long” ride all year, 60 miles the weekend before the HHH 100. As it turned out that was just barely adequate.
August 27th came and there I was for the early 6 AM start, jacked up and nervous as a cat. We got rolling and once we started thinning out I put the hammer down. I had a big bowl of oatmeal with about half a pound of brown sugar earlier and felt like I had wings. But I made a real rookie mistake and did not fuel adequately throughout the day. I only ate; about 600 calories during the ride. BIG mistake! And the 109 degree heat didn’t help either. I made Hell’s Gate in just under 4 hours and then took 6 hours to ride the last 40 miles!!! The heat was brutal, indescribable. I spent the best part of those 6 hours at the rest stops cooling off enough to just get to the next rest stop to cool off. The last 20 miles I was barely moving. But son of a b…. I made it!!! Where some 20 year olds were being hauled in by ambulance or sag wagon, my 56 year old fat ass rode across the finish line. And I wasn’t last.
It’s nearly a month later as I write this and I’m still high as a kite. About mile 80 I thought I was going to die and swore I would never, ever go back. Now I can’t wait to lose weight, train more, eat more during the ride and go back and beat my time!