At its core, Hotter’N Hell Hundred is the same as it was in 1982: a century ride with the temperatures to match.
Now, nearly four thousand volunteers work on the event. Back when the ride started it was just 200 people in motion.
Phillip Sperry and his wife have been there since the inaugural ride.
“I’ve been working basically with the registration and problems desk ever since,” Sperry said.
Over the those years the routes have changed.
“We started out at the stadium–Memorial Stadium–and came all the way down Southwest Parkway and then came through downtown at the beginning of the ride,” Hotter’N Hell Hundred committee member, Dail Neely said. “And then headed towards Electra at the end of the ride. So kind of reverse what it is now.”
Riders now see far more rest stops on that route, as well.
“There’s 19 total rest stops,” Neely said. “Rest stops are about every 10 miles until you get to mile 80 and then they are about every five miles after that.”
“We’ve added products to the rest stops. There’s only so many banana’s and orange’s people can eat.”
The variety in stops and options along the way is one thing people often rave about, and a big reason many continue to sign up.
Managing the thousands of applications has also gotten easier with technology.
“When the registration went on to the computers, I was lugging around a big computer [laughs] in the back of my car,” Sperry said.
Luckily for folks like Sperry and the other volunteers, the computers have gotten smaller, while the number of riders has gotten much bigger.
“It’s a big help because they’ll be lined up almost out the front door,” Sperry said. “[Having] the registration all online we can look people up a lot quicker, a lot faster.”
Although the mileage may still be the same as it was when the first HHH rolled, all the fine tuning has ensured the rides sustainability in a city that is always ready to welcome the thousands of cyclists year after year.