WICHITA FALLS (KFDX/KJTL) — Hotter’N Hell Hundred, the largest sanctioned Century Bike Ride in America, will be back to pre-COVID normal this August with both in- person riders and virtual participation.
Hotter’N Hell Hundred Executive Director Chip Filer said going all virtual in 2020 was a tough decision but the right thing to do.
“It was just not safe for the community to bring that many people into town with all the problems that were going on with COVID-19,” Filer said.
But looking back, Filer said that decision may ultimately work toward expanding the event’s footprint.
“We got some people we would have never gotten before. We had people from the Netherlands that actually rode the virtual hotter than hell hundred. So this year we are adding the virtual option to all events,” Filer said.
It’s precisely the kind of attention that Hotter’n Hell Hundred Founder and self-proclaimed “Father Hotter” Roby Christie said has been a part of it’s legacy since 1982.
“The first year that we had Hotter’N Hell Hundred, we had over a thousand riders. We only had ordered 500 numbers so we went and got paper plates and wrote numbers on there,” said Christie.
Since then, Hotter’N Hell Hundred regularly gathers over 10,000 people for its 100-mile endurance ride. Over 13,000 at its peak.
“Ridership has climbed and dropped and climbed and dropped but we have stayed at the highest single-day hundred-mile bicycle ride in the nation every year, including the first one,” Christie said.
Participation numbers Filer hopes to reach again after finally turning the page on 2020.
“They say that when you go from a live event to a virtual event if you get 10% of your regular registration you are doing good. Well, we got 2,600 people to register. So we did pretty good. But that’s still not a live Hotter’n Hell weekend.”
Proving at the end of the day, nothing beats the real thing.
Hotter’N Hell Hundred takes place in Wichita Falls during the last weekend of August.
Advance registration for the Hotter’N Hell Hundred begins April 1.