WICHITA FALLS (KFDX/KJTL) — Although we still may be 45 days out from the return of Hotter’N Hell Hundred, you wouldn’t be able to tell by the registration numbers.

To this point, not only have they surpassed 2019’s numbers, they have almost a thousand more sign-ups already.

“It’s the wind, it’s the heat that you have to put up with but you know it is what it is, they wouldn’t call it Hotter’N Hell if it was cold,” rider Bethel Strong said.

The highly anticipated return of one of the oldest and largest cycling events in the nation is right around the corner.

“Just so so so so grateful that we’re actually able to ride with some sort of normalcy,” rider Lisa Christiansen said.

And the veteran ride Christiansen isn’t the only one ready to get back Hotter’N Hell already seeing record registration numbers, with more than 5,2000 already signed up, compared to just over 4,3000 in 2019.

“I don’t hunt or fish or play golf, so I call it my hunting, fishing, golfing seasons because I mean it’s a three-day weekend I can go do what I love to do and see all of the people I love to see,” Strong said.

Unbreakable friendships are made throughout the hundred-mile trek, like Christiansen and Strong who both are riding for more than themselves.

“That’s where it’s going to happen at mile 80-mile mark it’s brutal and so for me, that’s when I have to kick in the psychology of it all,” Christiansen said.

Lisa’s father was the last monolingual Cherokee, plus her biggest fan and motivator.

“I can hear him in my head plain as day [in Chereokee] ‘stop saying that’,” Christiansen said.

A phrase she often heard growing up.

“When I would start complaining he’d say [in Chereokee] ‘stop saying that,” Christiansen said.

Pushing her to the finish line, something Strong can also relate to, losing his son Marcus unexpectedly in 2015.

“It’s mile 80 and you’re sweating like a dog and you look down at your bike and you go man I’m about to die here, you just start thinking about it, and for some reason, they just start helping you along, you have a reason to do this,” Strong said.

Now Team Marcus can be found at Hotter’N Hell every year in iconic Dukes of Hazard style orange kits.

Two friends bonded by Hotter’N Hell and so much more, counting down the days until they return to The Falls.

“If nothing else, sign up and enjoy the ride cause Hotter’N Hell does an outstanding job of making all of the riders feel welcome they always go above and beyond and the swag bags are just always so cool,” Christiansen said.

The riders are ready, the organizers are ready, are you? You can still have time to register, just click here!