Yesterday, I joined friend DJ for my my 5th consecutive trip to the Hotter ‘N Hell Hundred bike ride in Wichita Falls. We took DJ’s Scion again this year. It gets great mileage and works very well for hauling our bikes and all our junk.
I had a blast yesterday and today like I always do at HHH. The stay at the Lamar Church worked great as usual. With this year’s heat, they started the 100 mile riders an hour earlier. We got up an hour earlier than usual, and rode to the start 45 minutes earlier than usual. It seemed strange starting in the dark, but there seemed to be fewer slower riders on the course out in front of everyone, so maybe that early start isn’t a bad idea. I did indeed reach Hell’s Gate before 9:00 am. The early start made that possible for the first time. But it wasn’t nearly the only first for me.
I had made the decision to start with an easier pace than ever before. With the ride starting in the dark, plus the fact that I’ve blown up on every high effort longer ride I’ve done this year, I decided a different tack was called for. It had a more dramatic effect on my finishing time than I expected. I made a mental note of my overall average speed every 10 miles, and here’s what it looked like:
|Mile 10||20.0 mph||Easily the slowest start to HHH I’ve ever made|
|Mile 20||20.4 mph|
|Mile 30||20.3 mph|
|Mile 40||20.8 mph|
|Mile 50||21.0 mph|
|Mile 60||21.3 mph|
|Mile 70||21.2 mph|
|Mile 80||21.2 mph|
|Mile 90||21.0 mph||I’d never carried a 21 mph average to mile 90 of any ride before, ever|
I blew up at mile 90, and the turn at that point puts you on a mostly uphill stretch riding directly against today’s southwest wind, and my average started dropping quickly. As I made the turn at the beer stop at mile 98, DJ was waiting, and waved and yelled at me, but by then I knew I had a chance at an under 5 hour ride, so I never slowed down. DJ jumped on his bike, easily caught me, and rode the rest of the way in with me. He had forgotten his cycling shoes, so rode a shorter route at an easier than usual pace for him, and then rode his way over to the beer stop.
According to my Garmin 305, I finished today’s Hotter ‘N Hell Hundred in 4:57, a personal best and the first time I’ve ever done a century in under 5 hours. I thought that time was 5:02, looking at the 11:12 time on my watch when I finished, but we must have got started later than the scheduled 6:10 start, because my Garmin tells a different story: 101.8 miles, 20.5 mph on the bike average, overall time of 4:57. I made one 4 minute stop at mile 76.
Those stats are all unofficial. HHH gave timing chips to everyone this year, but I couldn’t find any posted results yet. Did I mention that when you finish HHH at 11:12, it’s really not all that hot, even during this brutal summer? It was great seeing everyone at HHH. Thanks for letting me ride along with you, DJ.
I always love this trip!
8/31/11 UPDATE: Oops, I spoke too soon. I forgot that the Edge 305 pauses everything when you stop, even overall time. So what the Garmin calls overall time is actually on the bike time. If you add my 4 minute stop to the 4:57 time the Garmin recorded, you get my real overall time, per timing chip, 5:01.
HHH is 101.8 miles. So I can still say I’ve done 100 miles in less than 5 hours, but I can’t say I’ve completed HHH in less than 5 hours. You can find your timer chip time here.
I counted 5,342 timer results. There were over 12,000 riders at HHH, so lots of folks either didn’t put on the chip or didn’t start at the start. Here are some photos of the ride from Paul Brown.
Paul and I Friday evening.
The gym where we camped out.
Recumbents ready to start in the dark.
Sunrise at mile 20.
Paul at Hell’s Gate.
Cool off at the finish.
HHH 100 mile route