WICHITA FALLS (KFDX/KJTL) — As Wichita Falls prepares for the 40th annual Hotter’N Hell Hundred, some local bikers have gotten a head start on preparations for the big ride.
The Hotter’N Hell Hundred is a Texas “ride” of passage, and while riders come from near and far to experience one of the biggest cycling events in the nation, some like Ryan Raeke, say their favorite part is just getting to ride.
“Just hanging out with your friends [and] other people that ride bikes because your all from different walks of life, lawyers, doctors, mail man, nurse, but we all have something in common; it’s just riding bikes,” said Ryan Raeke, the route builder for the Grava Del Fuego Ride.
Raeke and David Coleman, the ride director, said seeing Hotter’N Hell grow over the years encouraged them to add this new ride to the lineup two years ago.
“To add to the excitement of Hotter’N Hell weekend we try to add events, make things more fun,” Coleman said.”So two years ago was the first time that we had a Gravel Ride, so basically we ride east, go out in Clay County, ride out on the gravel roads in Clay County, then come back. It’s a night ride.”
The ride is a practice run for the actual Gravel Ride which takes place during Hotter’N Hell weekend
“What we’re doing tonight is what we call a shake-down ride,” Raeke said. “It just gives people an opportunity to go ride the course, try their equipment out. We’re riding into the night so we need tail lights, head lights.”
Raeke said their gravel ride has become something the biking community looks forward to each year
“It’s great; I guess you could say it’s all of our babies, everybody here who rides gravel, so it’s our opportunity to show the gravel community in the U.S. and in Texas like, ‘Hey look at Hotter’N Hell we’ve got a gravel ride,’” said Raeke.
“It’s huge, whenever I would tell people ‘Yeah, I’m from Wichita Falls.’ They’re like, ‘Oh that’s the place with the bike ride isn’t it?’ I’m like, ‘Yes it is.,” Coleman said.
These bikers and the community are happy to be back in person for this long-standing Wichita Falls tradition.
If you’re interested in signing up for the gravel ride on August 28th, there will be late registration for this ride at the starting line.
You can find more information about all the other Hotter’N Hell events here.