It’s hard to overstate the awesomeness of the annual Hotter’N Hell weekend. Nowhere else can you find such a fun and cycling-centric event like this one. Just look at the agenda:
Thursday: consumer show kick-off
Friday: off-road trail races, consumer show, medical symposium, spaghetti dinner, crit races
Saturday: breakfast buffet, road races, endurance ride, consumer show, gravel grinder races
Sunday: off-road trail run, crits
Last Minute Tips for Your Best HHH Ever
1. Load up on sleep. Chances are, you’ll be riding on some combination of excited-nervous-scared come HHH Eve, so plan to get some extra sleep leading up to the big event.
2. Pack the day before. And then, double-check your equipment the night before. Be sure to arrive early, too, so you can triple-check your gear and get a good parking spot!
Here’s the WheelBrothers’ own personal checklist to get you started packing:
- bike (with chain lubed, shifting checked, and tires pumped)
- headband/bandana/cycling hat
- shoes and socks
- bottles: filled with water or electrolyte drink and preferably insulated
- heart rate monitor, GPS, or cycling computer: charged
- cell phone: charged with a re-sealable plastic bag to keep it safe from sweat
- extra tubes, patch kit, bike multi-tool, tire levers, CO? or pump
- gels, chews, bars, real food, and/or salt supplements
3. Apply and reapply sunscreen. You’ll be riding for 5+ hours at 90+ degrees. Make sure you’re covered before the ride starts and reapply as directed on the bottle or every 2 hours at a minimum. Don’t forget trouble spots like the back of the neck, backs of the legs and tips of the ears!
4. HYDRATE! In the coming days, “fill your tank” by drinking extra water throughout the day so that you’re well-hydrated at the start of the ride. During the ride, have a plan to keep you on track so that you’re not playing catch-up later. Try setting a reminder on your phone or cycling computer/GPS, or plan to drink at rest stops or at mileages 10-30-50-70-90. Remember that your body absorbs water gradually, so you benefit more from taking small and frequent sips than from chugging an entire bottle every 20 miles. Take advantage of rest stops to fill your bottles and douse yourself in cool water to keep your internal temperature down. And check out these Wheelbrothers tips for staying cool on hot summer rides. As an added bonus, check out this video to see cool tricks for eating on the bike.
5. Ride courteously and safely. Ride with a group and if you don’t have one, take this opportunity to make some new friends. Draft if you feel comfortable with your skills and if the group you’re in looks like they know what they’re doing. When drafting, ask permission first and practice good communication: tap your hip or flick your elbow before finishing a pull and point or shout out road debris/potholes to those behind you. Know that there are mobile medical units at every rest stop that can treat everything from bee stings to dehydration to over-hydration to road rash to heat illnesses. Pace yourself: ride the distance that you’ve prepared for and don’t be too proud to take the cut-off for the 100K or 75-mile options if you’re just not feeling the 100-miler.
6. Have fun! Enjoy the ride with more than 13,000 of your new closest friends and revel in the unique experiences the HHH has to offer as you take part in one of the oldest and largest cycling events in the nation. You even get to ride through airmen alley on Sheppard Air Force Base! And did you know that each rest stop is staffed by a different Wichita Falls community organization, and that the HHH weekend relies on about 4,000 volunteers to get the job done? Without them, this massive event wouldn’t be possible—they rock! And whatever you do, don’t forget to refuel at the Finish Line Village with a post-ride beer or whatever celebratory food or drink you desire—you earned it!
HHH Website: https://www.hh100.org/
Facebook event page: https://www.facebook.com/HotternHell100
Facebook group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/HotterNHell100