I am not sure when I noticed it, but at some point it occurred to me that this weekend was the Hotter N Hell 100 mile bike extravaganza.
I checked with Fran and she was cool with the idea. My Buddy SuperDave had mentioned to me several times that I should check this thing out. So I sent him an email and sure enough him and his brother, SuperMike were both heading up there. Perfect.
I hit the sack early last night, and then got up at 2:15 AM to meet Dave and Mike. We hit the road up to Wichita Falls Texas at 3:00 AM. The ride was uneventful and were there a bit after 5:00 AM.
After a pretty short check in procedure, Dave and I woofed down some eggs and sausage for breakfast and I woofed down a couple of cups of bad coffee as well. Then we got dressed, got the bikes and headed to the start.
After the singing of the Anthem (I found out later Carly Patterson did the honors), Shephard Air Force Base sent some T38s for a fly over. They came over in missing man formation presumably in tribute to Ted Kennedy. Then they fired off a big cannon and we were off. Sort of. Well not really.
The road was packed. It took us a few minutes before we could scoot the bikes along with one foot on the ground and one in the pedal. A few more minutes and we were at the start line and _then_ we could actually ride!
It was an amazing thing to be riding in a pack of bikes that stretched out in front of me as far as I could see.
It was also easy to get caught up in hammering away. Mike suggested a top speed of 22. And so we rode this way for the first 20 miles.
There were rest stops every ten miles. After the 20 mile rest, the crowd thinned out and we were able to hook in on the back of whoever was putting the hammer down. Lots of fun. We were flying along until Mike suggested a stop at the 50 mile rest stop.
I got off my bike and someone came walking by with a tray of cookies. I'll have one of those, thank you very much! And then there were people walking around with big pitchers full of Ice and Water or Ice and Gatorade. I opened my water bottles and they loaded them up. Too Cool. Then I noticed that they were serving some polish sausage with kraut in the back. I grabbed one of those too. Dave was skepitcal, but he also could not resist. The perfect snack!
We got back on the bikes, found some speedsters and made our way to the 80 mile rest area - which was actually at 75 miles according to my odometer. There we loaded the bottles up again. I had another cookie and some jelly beans.
The riders were not going nearly as hard now. After 10 miles, I decided it was time to take control and I put the hammer down. I did a strong pull for a couple of miles. When I sat up, this guy on a Cervelo Tri bike said, "dude, your lost your friend a while back there." I could not see either mike or dave. I took a bit of a rest, then I started picking off the pack. I hooked took some pulls with some other guys and then found myself back by myself. But I had caught back up to Cervelo dude and invited him to come along. I pulled for several more miles until about 97, and then I sat on Cervelo guy for the last three miles into town.
Dave and Mike Turned up a few minutes later, so all was good.
Overall this was a really fun event.
Stats: 100.1 miles, Ave Speed 20.6, Ave CAD 81, Ride Time 4:50:28.
All views expressed in this post and on this blog are my own. None of my comments should be construed to represent the views of others including and not limited to: BMC Software Inc., Corel Corporation, Dun and Bradstreet and AC Nielsen. Copyright Chris Hughes 2004-2012