Cyclists Camp Out Days Before the Hotter 'N' Hell Hundred

WICHITA FALLS (KFDX) -- With thousands of people in town for the Hotter 'N' Hell Hundred, local hotels are full. For many not in hotels, they're out camping at the Multi Purpose Events Center and other RV parks around town.
 
The area west of the MPEC is nothing but grassland most of the year but for the big event, the land is a home away from home for many riders and their families this weekend.
 
Kenny Gober rolled into town for the annual ride.
 
"We try to make this kind of a vacation every year." Gober said. "We're down at the southeast corner of Arkansas and it takes us eight hours to get here."
 
He's one of thousands gearing up for the ride and one of hundreds making a RV park their humble abode.
 
"This really made it almost like being at home," Gover said.
 
Many riders camp and enjoy the outdoors for the big event., as many hotels fill up as fast as a year in advance.
 
"We decided to bring our RV down here and try it and we really enjoyed it," rider Joe Eppison said.
 
Joe Eppison is in town from Oklahoma City and for the last 12 years, he's claimed parking spot number 36 at the Wichita Falls RV Park .
 
"When we leave, we say we want this spot next year and pretty much we have it," Eppison said.
 
Since 1986, Mike Yandell has, at times, jumped from hotel to hotel for the event but he says it's nothing like camping out in the great outdoors.
 
"It's just a great place, it's been a lot of fun for us," Yandell said.
 
The riders say the fun in camping comes from the communities made at the parks.
 
"No matter what their political views are, no matter what their beliefs are- there's people here that will help each other because they're all cyclists and doing things together as a group," Gober said.
 
Meeting a new community with the same goal is what cyclists say is worthwhile.
 
"It's just a nice feeling to come down here. You know that you accomplished something if you've been to Hotter 'N' Hell Hundred with 12 thousand other people," Eppison said.
 
The campers say they can't wait for next year to build that special comradery all over again.

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