I did it - I did the 25 miles in the Hotter'N Hell Hundred easily. It was lots of fun. After training in the hills of Oklahoma, the flat lands of Texas were much easier to ride. The race started about 7:30 (supposed to start at 7:05) and we finished about 9:45. We were part of a group of nine people including the Leinz family, Lindz, TFNP, and Jan (Jesse's coworker and friend). It was a bit like herding cats all weekend, but once we hit the race everyone did there own thang - thank God. Jan (who is from the Netherlands and most recently Canada) did the 100 miles! Here is how the day played out:
Most of the herd drove down early on Friday to get entered and look through the vendor booths and exhibits. The MPEC in WF was just packed with cyclist. Jesse, Lindz and Jan came down on their own later. My mom and brother opened their homes to let us all stay the night. While Deb and I made pasta, for a big carb dinner, the guys tuned the bicycles. Mom’s house was a perfect place for us all to gather. We were up by 4:30 AM getting our gear together, drinking a bit of coffee, eating a few more carbs, and heading to the starting line. We arrived downtown WF before the sun came up and unloaded our bikes. Here is Jan and the Piper using their headlights to work on the bike. Here is Lindz and Katie, the youngest at 13 in our group of friends. Here is Jesse. Here we are at the starting line for the 25 milers. Here is Jesse and Lindz doing their "Mantage" impression (something on You Tube). There were over 11,000 cyclist in the HHH - so there were people lined up in front of us and behind us. You can go to the site and see maps of the race, but they lined us up down Scott St. in WF starting with the 100 milers, 100 Ks, 50 milers, 25 milers, and 10 Ks. The start of the race was a bit scary. For over a mile, it was slow - very slow – difficult-to-pedal-slow. In fact, as we started, Toby, who had new shoes with those clips that hold your feet to the pedals, was getting his feet clipped in when a lady cut in front of him, and he fell over skinning his knee pretty good. We heard (but did not see) that there were some other really ugly wrecks at the beginning of the race, but once we got going things improved. I stayed behind with Toby when he fell - know one in our group saw him fall, but me. Then several blocks later, his chain came off. I stayed with him again. Then we hit the open road, and he left me to my own. I caught up with the others. The Piper and I rode together after the first rest stop, which was near a small airport, and we got to see a crop duster land almost on our heads. I freed the Piper to do his thang. A few miles later, I found Toby, who rode with me. We caught Jesse and Lindz near Sheppard Air Force Base. Shay, Lindz’ fiancé, had driven over that morning and met up with my brother and mom. They were cheering the crowd on and Shay was entertaining everyone as we rode up. Did I mention that Shay did a year in Iraq in 2004 with the OK National Guard? He is a great guy!
Here is the really fun part. We rode onto Sheppard Air Force Base. It was the best! The bike route took us through a plane exhibit and then up to a rest stop where the Airmen treated us royally handing out drinks and food. Young Airmen lined both sides of the street cheering for us running out and slapping our hands nearly knocking us over with their exuberance. It was so neat! I was cheering for them! It pumped everyone for the rest of the ride to the finish line. The USAF really knows how to put on a good party! I was amazed that Jesse did not just stop and stay with the airmen. She and Lindz managed to have their picture made with a handsome man in uniform. Sheppard pilots also did a fly over at the beginning of the race - awesome!
We finished the race and hung out for a while eating lunch and chillin' at Mom's. We waited on Jan, who did not finish until late afternoon and he was spent - I was worried for him. Riding 100 miles in temps in the high 90's is just pretty difficult. He said he found the beer tent on about mile 98. He said it did not really help, but sure made him happy. We let him shower and rest before we loaded up and came home. We got home around 7PM Saturday evening. Everyone was worn out, but had a great time. I'm sure Jesse will post some photos at her blog too.