Thirty-five years ago, the city of Wichita Falls held its centennial celebration with an event that has never stopped.
Hotter’N Hell Hundred founder, Roby Christie, said thankfully the first idea on the table did not last long.
“And it was their recommendation, which was a rocking chair marathon. See who could rock a rocking chair the longest and I said: ‘Oh, no.’ And they said: ‘What’s your idea?’ I said ‘The Hotter’N Hell Hundred bicycle ride. We’re gonna ride in 100 degrees.’ And the guy just looked at me like I was insane,” Christie said.
Christie said he first suggested a large cycling ride to the new bicycle club in town.
And they decided to celebrate 100 years in 100 degree heat.
“And I said: ‘You know, that it’s going to be in August,'” Christie said. “And somebody piped up and said: ‘Well, it’s going to be Hotter’n Hell!'”
And the famous century ride was born!
It continues to be the largest single day 100 mile bicycle ride in the nation.
“A community our size that can put together 4,000 volunteers to spend all or part of the year doing this event, putting on. It’s uniquely equipped. It’s people that really care about people, care about their community and that’s just not existent everywhere,” Christie said.
It is something unique that allowed an idea to grow into something nobody could have ever imagined.
“Wichita Falls is the kind of place that you can make a difference. All you have to do is try and other people will help,” he said.
“I’ve been blessed. Wichita Falls has blessed me with Renee, my wife, and with an opportunity to have a good career and have an impact on a place I care a lot about,” Christie said.
It is one huge impact, one that clearly will ride on.