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Old 06-21-10, 08:46 AM   #1
gtragitt
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Hotter N' Hell Hundred

I registered for the HH100 and have a the Hampton Inn reserved near Wichita Falls (hotels/motels have been full for some time in the area).

I posted in Regional discussions, but haven't had any replies. I would actually value input more from riders in my age group.

I usually ride 15mi after work. I haven't ridden more than 27 mi in recent months. Saturday I had planned on a 25 mi ride and was averaging 17 mph. I was feeling so good I decided on another 15. Because I hadn't planned on the last 15 I didn't carry anything to eat. My speed dropped. Saturday was ~ 100 deg F. The heat didn't seem to bother me but my energy level did decline at the end of the ride.

I would value any ideas regarding a plan to make the century. I know I will need to replenish calories as I extend my ride time. It was obvious to me that I depleted my glycogen stores on Saturday.

The ride is on August 28; so, I have a reasonable time period to increase my mileage.

I did average 147 bpm heart rate. How high do you think I can push it with additional training. I am 61. I am guessing I should shoot for ~ 90% of the heart rate I can sustain for a shorter ride during a century. Is that reasonable?

What do you recommend to prevent "hot foot"? Should I switch from Mountain bike shoes to road shoes?

I have good bibs and didn't get saddle sore.

I was hoping I could start riding the HH 100 around 6 AM and avoid the frenzied start at 7 AM. I think there will be about 14,000 riders. The faster riders would pass me later. Does anybody know if this is possible?

They indicate that if you want to complete the century, you must arrive at Hells Gate by 12:30PM. What is the issue about Hells Gate? Why would it close?
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Old 06-21-10, 11:02 AM   #2
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You and I are the same age. I do not do centuries - not my thing. However, I would target z2 for a heart rate zone, I could not sustain z3 or higher for 5 hours or more. I averaged z3 in a 3 hour road race and it was tough. My heart rate is higher when it is hot. I suggest getting a reference book such as Joe Friel's Training Bible. IMO, riding longer distances is about saddle time. You need a lot of saddle time.
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Old 06-21-10, 11:21 AM   #3
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What do you recommend to prevent "hot foot"? Should I switch from Mountain bike shoes to road shoes?

What is the issue about Hells Gate? Why would it close?
Just to answer a couple of these quickly -- I have "hot foot" issues. The biggest thing I have found to help is to make sure I don't tighten my riding shoes too much. Hot foot *feels* like it's caused by the cleats digging into the soles of your shoes, but I've since learned that it's more about your feet swelling during exercise and then creating all kinds of pressure, trauma and problems. So make sure your shoes aren't too tight (cheap and easy fix).

If that doesn't cure it, make sure you have very stiff-soled shoes (Sidis are worth the money), and possibly switch to a broader cleat platform. I switched from SPD's to Look Keos, and that helps, though if I over tighten my shoes I still have troubles. So, the checklist is:
- don't overtighten shoes
- get the best, stiff-soled shoes you can find
- consider road shoes vs. spds

If that doesn't work, you can switch to platform pedals with toe clips.

As for Hell's Gate -- I don't know the route. But many long rides have a "cut off" point -- they figure if you haven't made it to point X by a certain time you won't finish the ride within a reasonable time limit; they dont' want to be responsible for providing support for "stragglers" for hours and hours after everyone else has finished.

I support Hermes' advice -- you need more saddle time. You can search here at BikeForums or at Bicycling.com or any of number of places for a "century training plan." Most involve making sure you ride a modest amount of miles at least 5x per week, and taking one longer ride each weekend. You should build up to a ride of around 60 to 65 miles by mid-August. If you can ride 65 miles comfortably, you can ride a century.

I personally hate riding in the heat so -- while I lived in Texas 5 years and rode thousands of miles in hot hot weather -- I can't help you there. I think it sucks.
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Old 06-21-10, 11:45 AM   #4
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Thanks for the replies.

I was planning on adding 5 to 10 mi to my longer weekly ride. I was thinking I probably had to build up to about 80 mi before the end of August.

Hermes: Thanks for the input about heart rate. I find it valuable.

I bought some new shoes recently. I never had hot foot before with my old MTB shoes. The new ones are actually a size larger (same manufacturer). I experienced hot foot on Saturday. I am wondering if moving the cleats back would alleviate the hot foot.

For road pedals I was thinking about Speedplays, but I wonder if the float will bother me. If there is any float to my MTB pedals it is minimal.

I remember many years ago using the toe clip and regretting a feeling of pinched toes.
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Old 06-21-10, 02:20 PM   #5
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Doping. I'd go for doping. You can turn in some smoking times if you use the right juice.


I'm kidding. Just building up the post count.

One useful comment about the hot foot. I was troubled by hotfoot on the right with my Sidis until I changed out the footbeds and bought some yellow Superfeet. I haven't had a bit of trouble since then.
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Old 06-21-10, 04:56 PM   #6
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I am wondering if moving the cleats back would alleviate the hot foot.
I used to have "hot foot" problems as well and I switched to road shoes from mtb. I still had it some and moved the cleats back and pretty much solved the problem. I also got wide toe box shoes. So to be honest it was a combination of stuff but all you have talked about.
I really think it was cramped toes in the shoes after the switch and before it was just the mtb shoe/pedals.
I was using Crank Brothers Candy's for reference. If you decide to move cleats do so in small steps and keep a record of where you started in-case you go back.
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Old 06-21-10, 06:52 PM   #7
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Get your equipment choices out of the way and then don't touch them - you don't want to be making untested last minute changes.
You need miles - you need to be comfortable riding metrics, work up them and be able to toss one off as no big deal.
If they follow last years route - from the elevation profile offered on the web site it's a very rolling course with mostly up hill the first 25 miles. You should be comfortable with climbing short hills without getting bogged down. Practice getting your mileage on that type of terrain, learn to keep your speed through the short rollers. Find out what energy fuels work for you in hot weather, consider electrolyte replacements like Nuun, they work wonders if you can tolerate them. August 28th gives you a lot of time but I would be starting my metrics by mid July.

Good Luck
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Old 06-21-10, 07:17 PM   #8
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I doubt that I will change any equipment after I sort the hot foot issue. I will move my clips back slightly. I won't know if this helps until Saturday when I can increase my mileage. I am hoping to get to fifty mi in a week and half. I anticipate a metric 2 wks after that.

I looked at the elevation profile and it did not look daunting. My compact double should serve me well. I have found a few short hills in Houston, but I don't have the luxury of finding a long steep hill in Houston

I tolerate electrolyte replacements well and will begin to use them.

I appreciate all the input and advice.

I will try to push my heart rate higher before the century and then try to control my desire to ride faster during the HH 100. I definitely want to make the cut-off before they close it; so,I can't slow down too much. I will let my heart rate monitor dictate my speed.
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Old 06-21-10, 08:31 PM   #9
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I was hoping I could start riding the HH 100 around 6 AM and avoid the frenzied start at 7 AM. I think there will be about 14,000 riders. The faster riders would pass me later.
They will treat you like a speed bump.

No, I take it back. They would give the speed bump more respect.

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Old 06-21-10, 08:55 PM   #10
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I'm a few years younger than you are, and I have done the HHH many times.

You need to train to build up your mileage throughout the summer. You don't need to worry about pushing your heart rate, just build endurance and resistance to heat. When I started centuries many years ago I read recommended training schemes that involved a couple of short rides each week and then a longer ride on the weekend. Your longer ride would gradually build up to near the distance you want to ride in the event. Considering that there are 9 weekends between now and the actual event, you are starting now at 25 miles, you want to ride at least 80-85 the weekend before the event. So... that means you need to ride 32 miles next weekend and increase your mileage by 7 miles each weekend until the event. You will find out as you try this if the century is reasonable or not. Even though I have ridden a lot of centuries, these days I normally go for the metric century.

Most people cannot gain much by eating during a ride, unless they eat the right stuff. Fruit and energy drinks are about the only things that actually benefit you, and drink plenty of water. There are plenty of rest stops on the HHH routes, at least every 10 miles apart and then at least one extra one within 10 miles of the finish line. You can carry some energy gels or something like that with you, and you should carry a couple of bottles. You can replenish at rest stops and then drink from your own bottles in between stops. In your training you should take water and energy drink, and maybe something like a gel. You will be able to find out if these work for you before you get to the event itself.

Hells gate is there to protect you. It might be very hot on ride day, and if you don't make it to Hell's gate by the cutoff time then chances are you would be out on the course too much in the hottest part of the day. You can start the ride at any time you want, just cut onto the route a little after the starting line. This will require lights because it will be dark at 6 AM. I do not endorse this but I see people do this every year. If you can ride 17mph pace then you can start at 7 and finish plenty early. My first HHH took 7H 45Min. total time. My ex-wife's first was 9 hours. I remember one year the high temp was 106 on ride day, but there have been years when the high temp didn't even reach 90. I don't think there has ever been any rain on ride day!

If possible get to the registration early Friday afternoon or evening and then spend some time looking at the vendor area. There will be massive crowds at the start. I usually line up at least 1/2 hour early. There is parking at the MPEC but it will fill fast. There are lots of places on the west side of downtown Wichita Falls where you can park, and if you are a mile away it's no big deal because you're on a bike. I usually park in a lot at 10th and Travis streets- you can go to Google satellite view and find where some of these streets are. The start is on Scott street. The actual starting line is close to 2nd street but I'm lucky if I can start at about 5th street. Note that the finish line is NOT at this same location, but is a block away on Lamar street.
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Old 06-21-10, 09:57 PM   #11
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Thanks for the valuable information bjtesch. You gave me a lot more insight into the actual ride and logistics.

I actually rode 40 mi on Saturday; so, I think I can increase my mileage enough before the 28th of August. I like your idea of adding 7 mi per week. I don't think 47 mi will be a problem on Saturday. Your advice about fruit is good. I remember that heavy food didn't work for me in the past. I think almonds are also a good choice.

I probably wouldn't be all that interested in doing a century except I can't claim I never did one. I am not getting any younger and I don't think they will get any easier. I also like the idea of doing this one. In a couple of years I would not even be able to say I rode my age if I just did a metric century. It has been many years since I rode my age

I grew up in MT and really disliked the heat. It took me decades to adjust to heat and humidity. Now that I am acclimated, I prefer riding in hotter weather. I still do not enjoy baking in the sun, however.

When I rode 85 mi, I had very few stops and they were very short. I find it harder to resume riding if I get off the bike too long.

I do have a Magicshine headlight and a flashing tail light. I also have a Garmin Forerunnor 305 and have downloaded the route map.

You can probably tell that I am an Engineer and probably over analyzing this, but I find half the joy in endeavors are in the planning and anticipation.
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Old 07-11-10, 01:03 PM   #12
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I rode my age yesterday (61 mi). I rode during the hottest part of the day near 100 Degrees. I am hopeful that I am on track to further increase my mileage before the event, and be able to complete the 100 mi route at the HHH 100.

I didn't bonk and feel good today. I didn't do a long ride last weekend due to a deluge, and rode 51 mi a couple of weeks ago. I will be out of town next weekend and hope to do 70 mi the following Saturday. I have noticed that the rides don't get difficult until I achieve my previously ridden high mileage. The first 50 mile were a breeze. The last 11 mi were slower and more difficult.

I will need to get a larger Camelback. I had to refill twice.
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Old 07-11-10, 01:07 PM   #13
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Doping. I'd go for doping. You can turn in some smoking times if you use the right juice.

I did use Hammer Endurolytes yesterday. I think they helped with hydration. I can't say I was "Smoking"

I also think I will get some Perpetuum for the event. I don't want to bonk.
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Old 07-11-10, 04:15 PM   #14
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First of all, don't start early. I know some people do it, but the race organizers, sag, and law enforcement really don't want it to happen. For one thing, the faster people will have to pass you and the rest stops won't be ready. They stage the riders and get everybody off pretty quick. Last year, on the tandem, I was pedaling within about a block or so. There has been some talk of delaying people who show up ahead of the race group with a number on their helmet. So don't do it.

Get there at least 1/2 hour before start time. I'd recommend lining up with the 6 to 7 hour time group. Enjoy the start. It's fun. Take a camera and take some pictures. When you get out west of town on the rolling plains you'll have the opportunity to see two or three miles in each direction, with bikes as far as you can see. Enjoy the sight.

After the 10 mile rest stop, don't skip anymore of them. The stops gets progressively closer and closer together as you get near the end, with more and more facilities for "cooling down" riders. This is one really nice feature the HHH if you are struggling or hot.

Also, if it's too hot and humid they close Hell's Gate at 62 miles earlier than 12:30 PM. This is a decision made by a sport physician based upon temperature and humidity. They then route the riders back to WF for about 85 miles rather than 103 or so. I've seen Hells Gate closed at 10 AM (three years ago, I think) and I've seen start temps in the 60's (last year).

If you can't make it all the way there are numerous ways to bail out, including getting a SAG to haul you close to the finish and letting you ride in.

It's a fun day but it is, usually, hotter than hell. Remember that Wichita Falls will usually check in with the nations highest temperature a few times every year, along with Laredo, Phoenix and places like that.
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Old 07-11-10, 09:34 PM   #15
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I have already decided not to leave early.

Thanks for all the great information.

I will probably get staged with the 7 hr + riders. I guess if I don't make Hells Gate before they close it, I will ride enough miles after the finish to make it a century. I refuse to be denied my first century.
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Old 07-12-10, 07:17 AM   #16
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I will need to get a larger Camelback. I had to refill twice.
If you can carry two bottles you won't need a Camelback. There are great rest stops and I have had the volunteers fill my bottles while I was stopped and astride the bike. The city and surrounding area has a tremendous outpouring of volunteer help for the HHH. I think something like 3 -4,000 people show up & help.
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Old 07-12-10, 04:41 PM   #17
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I carry the Camelback because it holds a spare tube, mini pump and bike tool along with a wallet and cell phone.

The water bottles will be much easier to refill than the Camelback, but the Camelback is easier to use than a water bottle.

I know water will be plentiful during the event, but I was thinking about some longer solo rides before the event.

I will get another cage,so I can carry 2 Polar water bottles.

I also suspect that assistance for flats and mechanical problems will be readily available during the event.
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Old 07-12-10, 07:46 PM   #18
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Have one water bottle where you can just squirt water on your head and the back of your neck every so often. Does wonders on hotter days.
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Old 07-12-10, 07:48 PM   #19
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My advise is to avoid any ride called Hotter N' Hell. But you're old enough to decide for yourself. lol
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Old 07-12-10, 08:32 PM   #20
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HHH is an experience! Its just NOT a ride!!!
A GREAT time and a GREAT experience, you'll meet people along the ride and will have a GREAT time.
With 14K cyclists ... surely there will be a pack that you can hang with ... last year my riding buddy and I tagged along several different groups trying to find the one that fit our cadence and our preferred speed... at mile 38 we finally hooked up with a group and road together the next 35+ miles and then ended up dropping them and road in a 4-pack the remainder, was a GREAT time and always a GREAT experience. \
HHH seems to do it RIGHT!!!!
Watch the traffic though (other cyclists) a LOT of people leave a lot of skin on the pavement, so stay your line and be cognizant of EVERYTHING around you if you start with the group.
ENJOY
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Old 07-12-10, 08:46 PM   #21
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HHH is an experience! Its just NOT a ride!!!
A GREAT time and a GREAT experience, you'll meet people along the ride and will have a GREAT time.
With 14K cyclists ... surely there will be a pack that you can hang with ... last year my riding buddy and I tagged along several different groups trying to find the one that fit our cadence and our preferred speed... at mile 38 we finally hooked up with a group and road together the next 35+ miles and then ended up dropping them and road in a 4-pack the remainder, was a GREAT time and always a GREAT experience. \
HHH seems to do it RIGHT!!!!
Watch the traffic though (other cyclists) a LOT of people leave a lot of skin on the pavement, so stay your line and be cognizant of EVERYTHING around you if you start with the group.
ENJOY
That is why this particular event is on my bucket list. I have never done a century and figured that my first one may be my only one. I believe that a memorable and challenging event should be the one chosen for the bucket list.

I did ride during the heat of the day on Saturday. I handled the heat fairly well. Even though I used SPF 70 sunscreen, I was a little red at the end of the ride.
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Old 07-12-10, 08:49 PM   #22
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Have one water bottle where you can just squirt water on your head and the back of your neck every so often. Does wonders on hotter days.
Great Advice! I still think I will carry 2, and use my Camelback.
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Old 07-13-10, 09:08 AM   #23
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I'll be riding H-N-H for the first time this year too. Thanks for all the advice from the posters above!

I'm in SoCal so I'll be flying in and borrowing a bike from a friend for the ride. I did plan on using my Camelback, but after reading the notes above . . . maybe not.

I'm not too worried about endurance since I've ridden 4 double-centuries this year, but the heat/humidity has me concerned. I dehydrated to a dangerous level on a double in Death Valley once, but that was high temps (106-108 deg.F) plus almost no humidity, i.e. my sweat would evaporate before it was visible.

Looking forward to it though. It's been on my bucket list since the 70's. In fact it's the last ride on my bucket list from the 70's, all the others have been done!

Now Triple By-Pass is the only ride on my new bucket list and that didn't exist in the 70's.

Rick / OCRR

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Old 07-13-10, 10:01 AM   #24
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I'll be riding H-N-H for the first time this year too. Thanks for all the advice from the posters above!

I'm in SoCal so I'll be flying in and borrowing a bike from a friend for the ride. I did plan on using my Camelback, but after reading the notes above . . . maybe not.


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Rick:

I live a little over an hour south of WF. If you'd rather ship your own bike let me know and we can work something out. I usually go up for the trade show on Thurs or Friday.

I haven't even registered this year but I think we'll probably do one of the shorter rides on the tandem. Last year my stoker had some medical issues arise at 30 miles and we sagged back to Sheppard AFB and finished up on a shorter route.
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Old 07-13-10, 10:10 AM   #25
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Originally Posted by Monoborracho View Post
Rick:

I live a little over an hour south of WF. If you'd rather ship your own bike let me know and we can work something out. I usually go up for the trade show on Thurs or Friday.
Thanks for the offer Monoborracho,

But I've got the bike thing handled since my friend has a bike the right size, plus I'm bringing my pedals and saddle, so it should be fairly good if not exactly spot on.

My friend actually lives in San Antonio so we're driving in on Fri. and back on Sunday. then I'm flying out on Monday.

Rick / OCRR
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