The man who originally got the wheels in motion on the nation’s largest 100-mile ride can now call himself a true Texoma legend.
Roby Christie was given that distinct honor by the Museum of North Texas History. Christie is a well-known figure in Wichita Falls and perhaps most notably for two things that really put Wichita Falls on the map.
This, now Texoma legend is the reason the Hotter’N Hell Hundred is still going strong. Christie was also instrumental in the “Putting the Falls Back in Wichita Falls” campaign. For those reasons and many others, Wichita Falls Mayor Stephen Santellana proclaimed Tuesday as Roby Christie day.
“It’s humbling because there are so many people that could just as easy or probably more deserving than being here today,” said Christie.
It was a busy day for Christie as he also accepted the North Texas legend award from the Museum of North Texas History.
“One of the big reasons is a founding member of the Hotter’N Hell Hundred. That brings so much tourism and so many people into town for that one weekend,” Executive Director of the Museum of North Texas History Madeleine Calcote said.
Hotter’N Hell Hundred started after the Wichita Falls Centennial Committee approached Christie in 1982.
“I visited with friends and we had just started a bicycle club and talked to some friends in that club and so we thought we will have a cycling event,” Christie said.
Once the idea was thought of, it was time to determine the distance.
“We had a cyclist who worked at PPG. He was an engineer and he said we ought to do a mile for every year of this centennial,” Christie said.
The rest was history, as in 37 years now, and as for how long Christie plans on helping with this event and others, he says he’ll stay in motion helping others as long as he brings value.
The first Hotter’N Hell Hundred saw 1,200 riders, this year (2018), nearly 12,000.
In 2015, Nat Fleming was the first-ever recipient of the North Texas Legend Award. He was followed by radio legend and a member of our KFDX family, Joe Tom White and the man who helped bring the Jenny to Jet exhibit to life, Robert Seabury.