WICHITA FALLS (KFDX/KJTL) — The Hotter’N Hell Hundred weekend kicked off Thursday with the mountain bike ride and the consumer show.
While the rides for the Hotter’N Hell Hundred are the main attraction, the consumer show brings many cyclists and vendors together as well.
“So many people are so excited for the consumer show. The vendors here are extremely excited. I have repeat vendors that come back every year,” HHH consumer show director Jeanie Boyd said.
“Feels like a little family reunion seeing all my old friends, old riders we’ve seen over the years. You get to know a lot of people as the years go on. You see them at different events and there hasn’t been a whole lot of events going on this year so we’re happy to be back,” Bike Mart founder Woody Smith said.
Now at the Hotter’N Hell consumer show, they have everything you need cycling wise: Helmets, jerseys. There’s even a company here that has coffee that’s high in protein and it’s actually pretty good. They even have a place you can get massages at the consumer show.
And people can even meet cycling trainer Bikin’ Mike Keel that has been with Hotter’N Hell for more than thirty years.
“It’s kind of like a rite of passage for Texas cyclists. Everybody’s gotta do the Hotter’N Hell at least once. There’s a lot of that camaraderie that you see the same people every year. And, coming up here for 34, 35 years, I spent half my life up here,” cycling trainer Bikin’ Mike Keel said.
And along with that camaraderie, community support brings riders and vendors back to the race that was missed dearly last year.
“So grateful because I was sitting there praying, ‘Lord, I’d love to see this ride go on’ because a lot of people need this. Just like people need concerts, people need that social time, that face time, we weren’t meant to be alone. I’m so glad. We’re not gonna let covid keep us down, we’re going forward. We’re gonna do it, be responsible but still come out and ride,” Smith said.
“The thing I like the most is how the people outside of the ride organization layout the hospitality for you and take care of you. Folks in the restaurants and the folks in the hotels and the folks in the convenience stores. It’s just great community support,” Keel said.
A unique sport that has helped Wichita Falls provide a must ride event for cyclists all around the world.
The consumer show is 1 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Friday and 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday.