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Hotter'N Hell Hundred - Survival Stories here!

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Road Cycling “It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them. Thus you remember them as they actually are, while in a motor car only a high hill impresses you, and you have no such accurate remembrance of country you have driven through as you gain by riding a bicycle.” -- Ernest Hemingway

Hotter'N Hell Hundred - Survival Stories here!

Old 08-26-06, 05:30 PM
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Hotter'N Hell Hundred - Survival Stories here!

The 25th Hotter'N Hell Hundred has now come and gone. Well, I hope by now that most of the riders have wrapped up the day on the road. I'm now back in Dallas, a successful ride behind me. This was my second Metric Century, the last one nearly 11 months ago. I learned a lot from that previous ride and put those lessons in practice today.

The ride kicked off at 7:04am with a cannon blast and a fly over by a pair of air force jets. Lecterman and I were probably positioned in the front 20% of the some 12000 riders. The first .6mi we literally walked as the pack slowly started to roll. After that things started spreading out a bit more, but we were still taking up 2+ lanes, with riders 5-6 a breast across those lanes. Lots of small pace line starting to get rolling, single riders out enjoying the morning rollout. Lecterman caught a faster line than I did a few miles out of Wichita Falls and I wouldn't see him again till the second rest stop 20mi into the ride where we both decided we would make our first stop. I was feeling quite strong in the morning and was enjoying seeing all of the riders out, eyeing many of the other beautiful bikes out on the road. I lost count of how many different brands I saw out there, but no, no other Gazelles out there that I saw.

Rest stop #2, at 20mi in, we took a break here and I took the opportunity to down a banana and stretched out a bit. Front mile 20-30 we turned with the wind to our backs and continued to average a strong 19-21mph. Lecterman had pushed a harder first 20, but i was still clinging to a 18+mph average over the first 20, and brought that up to 18.7 by mid ride.

It wasn't till about 40mi into the ride that the heat, and the wind, started to make things harder. We started turning into the wind and the temps were getting warm very quickly. The wind was keeping the heat from getting too bad though, and for what, I was almost thankful for it. Finally, around mile 50 we turned into the headwind for the final leg back into Wichita Falls. The highlight of the final miles was the detour through Sheppard Air Force base. A monster of a B-52 welcomed us to the base, followed by a display of C-130 cargo planes, an A-10 Warthog and F-16 Falcons rounded out the military hardware out in the sun as we rode by.

Shortly after leaving the base, Lecterman and I had our only real hicup during the ride. His rear wheel was slowly going down and we pulled off the route in a residuental area just off base (thankfully with a large oak tree overhead with lots of shade!) to take a look. We weren't able to find a leak in the tube and Lecterman ended up putting the tube back in, pumped it up best he could and we rode the last 4mi in to the finish.

Ride stats:

Bike: Gazelle Champion Mondial
Distance: 62.5mi
Time rolling: 3h 26m 23s
Total Time: 4h 43m
Avg Speed (rolling): 18.1mph

Weather:
7am Temp: 83 degrees.
Noon Temp: 99+ degrees.
Mostly Sunny, few scattered clouds, fewer as the day progressed.
South South East Wind 10-15+mph.


That's the short of my story, what's yours?

Last edited by cuda2k; 08-26-06 at 05:40 PM.
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Old 08-26-06, 05:38 PM
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Congrats, cuda.
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Old 08-26-06, 05:59 PM
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i've never seen so many people sag before. it was unreal, like a warzone. girls crying, men moaning, thermometers in butts, it was crazy. i was going for the 100 miler (my first attempt for a century), they closed down hells gate ealier then they said due to the number of people getting sick. i think i did about 80 miles, not really sure actually. it was windy, hot, and i was cramping. my legs got shot around mile 55ish. i went into survival mode and did the rest of the ride very slow and in low gear. two of my buddies were in the race and i found out both of them sagged around mile 60ish.

i was ill prepared for the heat. at the finish line the announcer said 111 degrees. one hundred e-leven!!!

i promise myself that next year i'll be in better shape and kick HHH's ass.
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Old 08-26-06, 06:03 PM
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I rode today in Austin and passed a sign that said 111 degrees. That's too f'ing hot. I cut my ride short by 20 miles (was going to do 60) and went home and made a blender full of gatorade and raspberry smoothies. (d@mn that was some good sh1t...)
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Old 08-26-06, 06:06 PM
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at the end of my ride they had a smoothie king set up. i got a 32 oz chocolate almond mocha smoothie with creatine and whey protein. bad boy made me sleepy or was it the 111 degrees? lol
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Old 08-26-06, 06:16 PM
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Cuda, was there really that many riders? Nice ride. Looks like you were able to keep a good speed.
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Old 08-26-06, 06:21 PM
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Originally Posted by sparat1k
i've never seen so many people sag before. it was unreal, like a warzone. girls crying, men moaning, thermometers in butts, it was crazy. ....<snip>.....

i was ill prepared for the heat. at the finish line the announcer said 111 degrees. one hundred e-leven!!!

i promise myself that next year i'll be in better shape and kick HHH's ass.
I cut my ride at the Collin Classic short earlier this year due to the heat (called it quits about 40 into a 50). I don't know what it was that made today any better than that ride, there was plenty of heat and wind on both rides. I've heard stories about the SAG numbers at HHH. The last couple of years have been blessed with unseasonably cool weather... that ended this year for sure! Don't feel bad about calling it a day when you knew you didn't have any more in you. Better to retire early and live to ride another day.

Originally Posted by Mariner Fan
Cuda, was there really that many riders? Nice ride. Looks like you were able to keep a good speed.
Yup, I don't know what the offical number was, but I saw bib numbers well into the 11k's. While Lecterman and I were fixing his low tire, we were passed by bib number #1 and #10,000 in a span of about 2 minutes.
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Old 08-26-06, 06:50 PM
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Nice ride report cuda....enjoyed the read as I sit here waiting to hit the sack....

Hey...you know what?
When I was in Paris in May I took video of a bike that was leaning up against a fence...I make note of it in the video...it is an old Gazelle Tour de France model. I don't have a picture of it, just the video I shot.

Geez...that's very fast for an average speed too.
My compliments.
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Old 08-26-06, 07:02 PM
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Thanks Hip. Gazelles are VERY common in Europe being one of the largest builders in the Neitherlands. Though very rare here in the states. I love mine. Got to credit Lecterman on helping me on that great average speed. I was very happy with my performance over the ride, easily one of my strongest of the year. Now get that hip of yours to bed and have a great ride tomorrow yourself.

To all the other HHH riders - hope you had a safe and fun ride today. Look forward to seeing you all out there again next year. Next up on my list of rides is the Cotton Patch Classic in Greenville, Tx. Another great 100k if anyone is looking for a mid Sept ride. Post in the Southwest forum with details.
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Old 08-26-06, 07:24 PM
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I did the 100 mile. I was doing well until 70 miles...I had a 20mph average. Then it started to dwindle over the next 10. My computer showed 80 miles at 4:05hrs....still in reach of 20mph if I rode the last 20 smart.....well that was shot to hell...literally. I could swear Satan was the organizer of this convection oven ride. At mile 80 we had headwinds of 20mph or more. Rough road (light chip seal) and the temps!!!! Ouch. When I finished my car thermometer showed 106 degrees. The last 20 miles moved me from 20mph to 18.3mph. I missed my goal of 19mph. My riding time was 5:29. The actual time to complete was 6:23 due to one mechanical and 7 rest stops. Some people didn't stop at rest stops.....I can't figure out how they do that....with 106 degrees...I couldn't keep my bottles full for 10 miles.
Kuddos to the REI mechanics who went the extra mile for me. My bottom bracket got loose and prevented me from getting out of saddle. It was a loud knocking when I did. I asked the mechanic if he tighten my bb. He said yes and spent 15 minutes taking off my cranks and tightening my bb. WOW!!!! THat was service!!!! It saved my ride.

All in all it a was good experience....can't say I need to do a century under those conditions.....the heat...what does it prove. I can do centuries without the heat quite well. But the people, crowds and rest stops made it worth the suffering.
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Old 08-26-06, 08:10 PM
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I did the 100 K. My group started from the Convention Center taking some back streets to the far side of the bridge. We waited for all the real racers and tandems to pass and then fell in behind them avoiding the slow start from downtown. The first 50 miles were pretty easy but turning into the wind on the last leg made it a hot, windy tough finish. I have 3 experienced hot weather rider friends that tried the 100 mile route - 2 didn't get to the cut off in time and the 1 that did finished after 3 PM. All 3 said they were sick at some time during the ride.
It's a great ride - maybe too many entrants - I heard 13,000.
My 19 year old son rode the 100K on a fixie track bike. I tried to talk him out of it but 19 year old logic prevailed.
Does anyone know about the unicylist? I wonder how far he went.
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Old 08-26-06, 08:22 PM
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Here is my experience pasted from my thread:

I'll keep it short and sweet.

Get into Wichita Falls Friday evening and drop off our gear at the house.

Rode into town and went to the trade show, got a new helmet (I frickin forgot mine), had a look around, got something to eat.

Went back to the house and met up with the other riders staying there. Shot the sh*t, drank some vodka tonics, and hit the sack.

Got up at 4:45, ate, got everything ready and headed out.

Get there, squared away, and get in line with the thousands of others.

Finally get rolling about 7:30.
Get past all the pinch flats and fall in with a group for the 60% of the first 20 miles. Get to the 2nd rest stop and regroup with Cuda2k.

We continue rolling and cycle between hydration, bananas, gels, and "Sport Legs". Nice ride overall. The heat wasn't so bad as we finished way before the heat of the day, and the wind could have been worse (for Texas).

The rest stops were really nice, but I tried not to stay too long.

Got 5 miles from the end and thought I had a flat. My rear tire was way low, so I took off my rim, inspected my tube, and found nothing so I pumped it back up and finished off. My 2nd metric century since I started riding 10 months ago (first was 2 weeks ago).

62.92 miles after we finally got rolling (about .5 miles past the actual starting line) in 3:21:25 (in the saddle) 18.8 mph

Time to rest now.
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Old 08-26-06, 08:29 PM
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Congratulations to all that participated in this ride!
There's no way in hell I can ride those distances in that kind of temperature. I guess we'll all spoiled riding in mild temperatures out here on the west coast.....makes our rides look too easy....
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Old 08-26-06, 10:03 PM
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Congrats, guys, sorry I missed it, will definetly make more of an effort to go next year.
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Old 08-27-06, 01:26 PM
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Originally Posted by hh100.org
We have had to close Hell's Gate only a few times in 25 years. During the late 80's we establish a hard and fast rule for closing the 100 mile route when heat stress could be fatal. The decision is made by the our medical officer. Dr. Keith makes his decision based on heat, light, wet bulb thermometer, black bulb thermometer, wind, and the speed at which the stress indicators are accellerating through the morning. I am the chairman of the ride and might want to hold it open for the sake of opinions. That is why Dr. Keith makes the decision. His process is based on fact, not emotion, and is made to protect rider health. If you have ever been responsible for other people, children, elderly parents, co workers, etc. you know the level of commitment you must have. Your decision and that of Dr. Keith should be based on what is best for the other person whether they think so or not. No appologise, it was the right thing to do and done for all the right reasons.
To those who don't know of the ride, Hells Gate is I think about 60mi or so into the 100mi ride. If you don't reach there by the cut off, you are diverted back into Wichita Falls for a total of 75mi. I believe they were originally planning on closing the Gate at around 12:00, and it offically closed at 11:30, so the heat and wind increased even faster than expected this year. I know on my way back to the truck one of the SAG trucks passed us with probably 12 riders on board. I have no idea how many SAG trucks there were out there, but I probably got passed by a dozen of them on my ride.

edit: orignally the plan was to close the gate at 12:30, so it closed at least a full hour early!

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Old 08-27-06, 02:07 PM
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I remember a few weeks ago, having to essentially stop a ride I was doing and turn around (before I got to the incredibly hilly parts) due to overheating on a climb. Computer was reading triple digit temps, and I was on a steady climb (4-7% for the most part) of a few miles long with no shade, and no wind. Heartrate was going through the roof, and I was grinding along in my 34x27.....I knew when I felt a very brief chill come over my body, it was time to turn around.
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Old 08-27-06, 02:18 PM
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It is always important to know your limits, and the warning signs of when you are exceeding them. Having grown up in Texas and being in marching band through High School, I grew accustomed to being in the heat for long period, and learned where my limits were.
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Old 08-27-06, 02:27 PM
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Mrs Lotek hasn't had a lot of time to train, that combined with my
questionable back we decided to make discretion the better part of valour and planned on
doing the 25 mile ride. We discussed the 50 mi or the 100k but both knew that one or the
other of us would end up on a sag vehicle.
We got into Wichita Falls Friday about 1:30pm, went directly to the MPEC and started the
shopping frenzy. We Bought 3 Hincapie jersies for $45 each at RBMs stand (2 for the wife
1 for me). Nancy bought socks, gels, hydration and all sorts of other stuff. I bought 2 of the 25th
anniversary posters (one for a co worker who couldn't make it) and that was basically it for me.
I did walk away from a pair of lenses (Impact-X) for my rudy's for $50 found out today they
sell for over $70.
I asked the Zipp guys if the CF crankset was a free sample, one guy cracked up and the
other looked horrified. . . I thought it was funny.
Got to the camp at about 4:00, checked in and claimed bunks and headed to dinner. Very good
spaghetti dinner, hung out for a while and hit the sack by 9:30. I was up most of the
night due to loud snoring and killer mosquitoes. . . Yeah 25 miles should just about do it for me.
Up at 4:30 and went down to a breakfast of oatmeal, eggs, sausage, OJ, coffee and grits, yum.
headed off to the MPEC for the ride, in the car were my wife, myself and 4.5 dozen of said mosquitoes.
ok, I'm starting the ride about 1/2 pint down (note to self don't forget Deet next year).
Walked about an hour after the start (we were 2 blocks from the Radio announcers/bridge).
The flyover was amazing, the crowd good and the chaos of 12K plus riders well managed
(I think I heard that it was approx 12,400 riders).
I stopped a few times to bail out folks with flats who had either useless minipumps or no pumps at all.
How the hell do you go out with a spare tube but no pump, no C02, nothing.
My Silca imperio did wonders, filled at least 3 tires yesterday (and I didn't launch the handle!).
We saw alot of people down, one group on 369 looked ok, but one guy about
2 miles after 1st rest stop on the 25 mile route had a broken collarbone, they were waiting
on an ambulance for him. Riding the flight line was a pleasant suprize. I thought since
we were doing the short route we'd miss it, however the 100k 50mi and 25mi all
ride sheppard.
I noticed that the riders on the short ride were REALLY friendly, lots more talking
and joking between riders, it isn't "serious" so it's more relaxed.
The only incident we had was when we came into town and the idiots who were
giving out the pins stepped out in front of Nancy to give me my pin. She hit brakes hard
and dumped the bike, falling into me. I took a chunk out of my knee with my
Handlebar (lost plug somewhere, most likely when I stopped to pump tires) and she got
some really good road rash at the very end of the ride. Everyone there insisted
she go to the medical tent, so off we went. The attendents were doing a bang up
job on alot of cases so we felt rather bad about being there. The staff were
very interested to know if Nancy's fall was caused by dizziness, fainting etc. (looking for
heat induced fall), she said it was caused by stupidity on the guys giving out the pins.
She's wearing tegaderm on her road rash and not a happy camper.
next year it's back to the metric century if not the 100 miler, as long
as my back will handle it.
Marty
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Old 08-27-06, 02:48 PM
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What a day. I was one of the lucky few that got to ride an extra 10 miles because some knucklehead held up a sign after the rest stop on mile 80 (around mile 84) and sent us off the course. He graciously gave us an extra 10 mile ride through some hills and into the headwind. When I got to mile 90 on my odometer there were several volunteer firemen at a crossroad stopping all the riders and handing out water. They told us at this point we had 20+ miles left to go and we had been directed off course. They were trying to arrange shuttle wagons back if any one wanted them. (there were several takers). They then gave us directions to get back on course and off we went. By the time we were back on course and were able to stop and refill water at the 90 mile rest stop my odometer was at 101. Did I mention that my thermometer on my computer ranged between 114 and 120 during most of this time. I ran into a riding buddy at the 90 mile rest stop and could not remember his name. I then could not remember where I left my bike.

But off we went. I kept thinking only 8 more miles to the beer barn. I can safely say that a cold beer never tasted so good. We then put a beer in our polar bottle and rode the last 4 miles as a victory lap.

I can now look back on this and laugh because I survived. I have done the HH 100 for the last several years and I have never seen so many that were walking their bikes, collapsing under any shade they could find or simply stopping by the side of the road and just lying down. The newspaper in Wichita Falls reported that all told around 1000 riders were sent off course I personally saw around 200. I was one of the lucky ones that made it to the Firemen while they still had water. I understand that soon after they ran out.

To a non cyclist this joke seems funny but someone could have been seriously hurt.

Final results:

111 miles
18.7 avg.
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Old 08-27-06, 03:18 PM
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Originally Posted by sparat1k
i've never seen so many people sag before. it was unreal, like a warzone. girls crying, men moaning, thermometers in butts, it was crazy. i was going for the 100 miler (my first attempt for a century), they closed down hells gate ealier then they said due to the number of people getting sick. i think i did about 80 miles, not really sure actually. it was windy, hot, and i was cramping. my legs got shot around mile 55ish. i went into survival mode and did the rest of the ride very slow and in low gear. two of my buddies were in the race and i found out both of them sagged around mile 60ish.

i was ill prepared for the heat. at the finish line the announcer said 111 degrees. one hundred e-leven!!!

i promise myself that next year i'll be in better shape and kick HHH's ass.

Maybe you guys should use camel baks, put the baldder in the freezer first, and get a cooler back (keeps the core body temperature down) and get a cool drink as it thaws out. We use this down here for the longer rides
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Old 08-27-06, 03:45 PM
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The secret for really hot temps is to drink lots of fluids and make sure said fluids have electrolytes of some kind in them at all times. I usually just do gatorade. I'll mix at least one bottle particularly strong (I use the powedered gatorade mix) and the others weak to normal strength. No plain water ever. You're losing electrolytes so fast in this heat strait water can mess you up. Also for me, in addition to losing electrolytes I also burn through my blood sugar pretty fast for some reason in high temps. The high sugar content of the gatorade is a huge boon for me there.
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Old 08-27-06, 04:02 PM
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I had 2 bottles of sports drink and a 70oz CamelBak. However the thick pad/insulation on the pack does a very good job of separating the body from the cool water inside. (I think mine is the Hydrobak or something like that, pretty simple and small but works)

At the last rest stop (52mi) I dumped some ice cubs into my rear jersey pockets, dosed my head wrap in ice water and put one of the cool rags the volunteers were handing out down the front of the jersey. This and the ice water replenished at the stops kept my core temperature in check.
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Old 08-27-06, 04:41 PM
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All Garmin Edge 305 data: Our pre-start position for the 100-mile ride was about 200’ south of the arch, and we rode/walked under it at 7:13 a.m. Saw my first flat on the bridge, and don’t believe I was ever out of sight of someone with a mechanical for the entire route. A member of our group was involved in a crash at 2.6 miles but was uninjured & bike undamaged. As I rotated off the front of a paceline, a guy in line had his right foot unclip, he whipped left about 45-degrees toward the shoulder, then right 90 degrees almost into me before straightening it out – I don’t know how he didn’t crash and take us all out. I rode in fast, high-spirited pacelines before flatting just past the 3rd rest stop at 31 miles, and it took 27 minutes to get underway. At 9:43, I turned east on Hwy 240, lost the tailwind, got sun in the face and it really heated up. Someone was being helicoptered out of the 5th rest stop as I arrived at 10:39 a.m. & 53.5 miles, and then everybody started yelling “MEDIC” after someone collapsed & began convulsing in a tent. There was a big crash at around mile 55 with riders and bikes covering the road. As I pulled into the 6th rest stop at 11:18 & 59.7 miles, a volunteer walked up to say that Hell’s Gate had just been closed by the race doctor (it was supposed to close at 12:30), so a 19+ mph average rolling speed and 14.6 mph average total speed wasn’t enough to get through. With everyone turned for home and riding into a hot wind, energy and spirits were low, conversation almost nonexistent, pacelines weren’t holding together any longer and speeds plummeted. One woman fell next to me in slow motion because I think she simply lost concentration. At around 66 miles, I passed a highway rest stop on I-44 without any support or water and saw it covered by riders taking every square inch of shade. Riding through Sheppard AFB, I saw two people who had crossed barricades to take shade under a C-130 (I thought you got shot for stuff like that). My personal lowest point was at 12:26 & 73.0 miles - just 1.5 miles from the finish – where I collapsed under a tree. A woman sitting next to me said into her cellphone, “I’m a mile-and-a-half from the finish but I can’t ride any more.” I was also ready to quit when a bicycle surrey rode past (you know, the kind with two people pedaling side-by-side on a bench seat in front, a bench seat in back and a surrey with the fringe on top?). It pissed me off so badly (no *#%@ surrey is finishing ahead of ME, even if they just rode to the end of the block and back!) that I mounted up, clipped in and passed him. So I’ve got that going for me - I’ve dropped two adults and two children in a surrey!!! I finished at 12:37 & 74.5 miles for an 18.3 mph average rolling speed and a 13.8 mph average total speed. I’m thankful for two things: 1) The decision to close Hell’s gate kept an IV drip out of my arm, and 2) Those jerks in the surrey got me back on my feet and across the finish line under my own power. See you next year for the full hundred.
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Old 08-27-06, 04:45 PM
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First Hotter 'n Hell, first century. Regarding number of riders, my buddy said the highest bib number he saw was 10,856.

Summary
My buddy and I crossed the finish line at 6 hours 22 minutes. My computer went on the fritz (overheated?) so I don't have stats. We stopped at 9 rest stops for an estimated average of 10 minutes each so wheel time was probably around 5h for an average speed of around 20 mph.

From a nutrition standpoint, this was really the first ride where I paid attention to both pre-ride and ride nutrition. I did pasta both Wednesday and Thursday night as well as the pre-ride feed Friday night. I also ate full lunches...not sparing the fuel. I started taking endurolyte capsules and increasing my water intake. Since I was exercising I didn't overdue the endurolyte...just enough to retain fluids. The morning of the ride I had oatmeal for breakfast and continued hydrating by drinking a liter of Gatorade Endurance and a liter of water between 5am and 7am plus I started increasing the endurolytes. I also took SportLegs an hour before the start.

Once the ride started I tried to drink every 8 to 10 minutes and refilled both bottles at every rest stop. I took 2 endurolytes every hour for the first 40 miles then 3 every hour afterwards. I re-dosed on SportsLegs after 3 hours. The last 30 miles I would squirt the ice water from the rest stop through my helmet to cool my head...boy...that felt great. I didn't eat much on the course, relying on the water, gatorade and endurolytes to do their thing. My stomach always felt good, legs were good despite averaging 20 mph but I ended up developing a headache around mile 80 and figured it was the heat and exertion starting to take their toll.

More information than most would really want to know
My buddy and I left Austin Friday morning a little after 7:00 am. Rolled into Wichita Falls around noon and went over to the MPEC (Multi-Purpose Entertainment Center) to check things out. Nothing was open so we went over to Arby's for lunch. Went back an hour later for the opening of the Consumer show and bought a white Castelli jersey ($30) and two pair of DeFeet socks at the RBM shop. I ended up wearing the jersey after washing it out the night before. Once registration opened we were able to get through it quickly and then headed over to our host's house for the next two nights. We had arranged to stay in a private house and ended up at the same place as Cuda and Lecterman.

Around 5:00 we hopped back in the car and went back over to the MPEC for dinner. The dining hall was packed but everything moved quickly, the food was hot and good, and we got to visit with some nice folks. We hung out for a while at the consumer show and then headed back to the house.

After a while Cuda and Lecterman showed up and it was great to meet them. Spent the rest of the evening prepping our bikes, talking about riding and making sure we had everything going for the early start. My buddy had brought some Tito's Handmade Vodka (an Austin company) and we all had vodka tonics (seems like a great pre-ride tradition to me!). Finally headed to bed around 10:30.

4:45 came early but all of us were ready to get on with things. We were out the door at 5:15 and caravanned into town and found parking spots together. We prepped and then headed over to Scott Street around 7:15. My buddy and I ended up deciding not to join the masses and found some spots on the bridge about 50 yards ahead of the start line, right behind the tandems. The tandems started and about 100 of us followed them out. About a minute later we heard the cannon go over and saw the jets flyover. That really got the adreniline pumping.

We headed out quickly but were being passed by some of the long team pacelines. Unfortunately, on one of long straight stretches early on, I heard a crash right behind me. A quick yelp and then the sound of bodies and bikes going down. I didn't dare look back but I remember the sound. Passed another crash site about 10 miles later with an ambulance attending to a rider on the ground holding his shoulder.

I felt good through most of the ride, spending probaly 70-80% of my time on the aero bars and the rest on the hoods/tops. After Hell's Gate it got pretty rough. The wind started picking up, the air temp continued to rise and the hills seemed to get a little steeper. There also started to be more and more folks stopped on the roadside waiting for the sag wagon. At the second to last rest stop there was one rider bent over double emptying his stomach (must have been a fan of red gatorade) and another trying like heck to get the cramps out. At the last rest stop, one guy pulled right into the tent and basically collapsed against a tent pole and just hung on to it while I helped get him off his bike and got him assistance.

The last 10 miles were pretty painful...everything hurt but the legs still worked...just geared down and kept the pedals turning. For the 100 milers there's a final overpass you have to climb before getting to the downtown streets. One rider had to get off his bike, crippled with cramps and was leaning heavily on his bike trying to walk up to the top of the overpass.

The only strange after effect is that I ended up with a strange rash on my thighs, both a little below and above the bottom of my shorts. At first I thought sunburn but then I saw it was under my shorts also. I think it was the elastic in my shorts and I may have some sort of allergic reaction. I had worn them before but not for such a long distance and in such heat. Didn't itch or burn...just splotchy red. Got some hydocortisone cream at Walgreens and as I write, it's fading.

Will I do it next year? Probably.
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Old 08-27-06, 05:07 PM
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This was my 8th HHH and the most difficult due to the wind and lack of serious training. The first 70 miles went pretty well, but that's where we turned into the wind, by mile 75 my legs were trying to cramp. During the ride I took 5 electrolyte capsules and was drinking at least one large bottle of PowerAid per 10 miles. The electrolytes were enough to keep my legs working but there were times that I couldn't apply as much torque as I needed without cramping. I kept going to lower and lower gears to keep the cadence up and to fight off the cramps. The heat was awsome but the wind was absolute H-E-L-L. At times my speed was embarrassingly slow but at my age, 63, I was just glad to be able to finish the 100 mile ride, there were times when that was in question.

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