WICHITA FALLS (KFDX/KJTL) — More than 13,000 riders from across the country are expected to make their way to Wichita Falls for one of the oldest and largest cycling events in the nation, the Hotter’N Hell Hundred. This year, many will be participating in a new event.
In the past, the Hotter’N Hell Hundred has had events that take place on pavement as well as off-road like on the Wee-Chi-Tah trail. This year there will be an event that will take place over dirt, sand and gravel.
Matthew Luttrell will be participating in the Gravel Grind and he said there are a couple of things that make gravel so different to bike on.
“It’s not necessarily about speed,” Luttrell said. “Road biking for a lot of people is about speed and endurance. With gravel riding, it’s more about not just about the endurance aspect of it but the different terrain kind of keeps you kind of on your toes.”
Ryan Raeke helped build the routes after participating in a couple of gravel riding events.
“There’s a guy out of the North Texas area like the metroplex his name is Kevin Lee from Spinistry,” Raeke said. “He’s kind of the guy that started the gravel events in the North Texas area. Some buddies and I have gone to some of the events and after riding them it made me come back to Wichita and start trying to find my own gravel roads.”
Even though the rides are the main events, Luttrell said there is one thing he is looking forward to the most that has nothing to do with the races.
“I just like the energy of everybody being in Wichita Falls,” Luttrell said. “It’s great to see this city open up. It’s great to see the people here largely welcome people from all over the country.”
Even though this is the first Gravel Grind event, Raeke and Luttrell hope it’s not the last.
The Hotter’N Hell Hundred 100k ride and Gravel Grind rides will not conflict with each other as the 100k endurance ride is at 7:05 a.m. and the Gravel Grind is at 7:05 p.m. If you choose to compete in both that is called the Chupacabra 200k.