The preparations have been going on ever since the 2019 event and it’s finally here; as of the opening of the Consumer Show at the MPEC Thursday afternoon the 40th Annual Hotter’N Hell Hundred will be under way.

Whether you’re riding, watching, or just trying to go about your daily life this weekend there are a few things you’ll want to keep in mind.

First, there will be some traffic congestion all around town and especially surrounding the Wichita Falls MPEC. The consumer show opens inside the Ray Clymer Exhibit Hall this afternoon and will be open daily through Saturday.

All of the riders will go through the MPEC to pick up their ride packets and browse the consumer show. While not required, the Hotter’N Hell Hundred organization is encouraging everyone to mask up inside as keeping a reasonable distance from vendors and other riders can be difficult at packet pickup and in the vendor booths.

In addition to the happenings at the Consumer Show there will also be some racing events on Friday. The Wee-Chi-Tah Off-Road Mountain Bike Trail Races begin at 8:00 Friday morning at the J.S. Bridwell Ag Center, and the USA Cycling Criterium Races will be held at the MPEC from 5:30 until 7:30 p.m. The Criterium races will involve the blocking of some of the downtown streets on Friday evening.

Image Courtesy Hotter'N Hell Hundred

Saturday is the official Hotter’N Hell Hundred Endurance Ride with participants lined up along Scott Avenue from 2nd Street all the way back past Big Blue and Park Central at 8th Street.

Image Courtesy Hotter'N Hell Hundred

The Endurance Ride begins at 7:05 a.m. with a four-aircraft flyover by Sheppard Air Force Base and the firing of the cannon.

Once the cannon fires the riders will set off on one of several courses including 10K, 25 miles, 50 miles, 100K, 100 miles.

It truly is an amazing sight to watch more than 10,000 cyclists all taking off on their rides and there are several points for spectators to watch Saturday morning. The ride starts on Scott Avenue at 2nd Street and follows Scott over the overpass, around the curve, passing the intersection of Sheppard Access Road, then along Old Iowa Park Road. Watching and cheering the riders along is welcome, but remember you won’t be able to CROSS the course when the riders are this close together.

Image Courtesy Hotter'N Hell Hundred

Another great place to watch the riders is the Finish Line on Lamar Street at the MPEC. That vantage point places you in the heart of the action with the Consumer Show continuing on throughout the day on Saturday and Finish Line Village in full swing from about 10:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m.

Dave Diamond

One person recently described Finish Line Village as being just like a base camp on a ski trip but without the cold.

In addition to what’s going on inside the MPEC the Village has food and drink vendors and no less than three live bands in the entertainment tent. This year’s entertainment comes from Hannah Belle Lecter at 10:15, Erick Willis at noon, and Forte’ from the Dallas – Fort Worth area at 2:00. If you were at the city’s 4th of July celebration, Forte’ was the band that had everyone up and doing the conga on the lawn.

The Hotter’N Hell Hundred course officially closes at 7:00 p.m. and the final rider usually rolls in not to long before that.

Dave Diamond

But there’s more going on this weekend!

The Downtown Wichita Falls Development’s Hotter’N Ale 0.5K takes place around 5:00 p.m. in downtown Wichita Falls with revelers setting out on an exhausting 0.5K course involving giant tricycle racing and 5 bar / restaurant ‘Rest Stops’ along the way.

Dave Diamond

Then at 7:05 p.m., exactly 12 hours after the start of the Endurance Ride, the Hotter’N Hell Hundred Grava del Fuego begins on the street outside the Wichita Falls Brewing Company at 7th and Indiana.

Dave Diamond

These riders take off on several gravel road courses around the area and return later to downtown Wichita Falls. The public is encouraged to come out and watch the start of their ride.

Sunday features the final events of the weekend, those being the Wee-Chi-Tah Off-Road Trail Runs and the downtown Wichita Falls Criterium racing.

Whether you’re riding or watching, it’s a huge weekend in Wichita Falls with extra traffic on the roads near downtown and out on the country roads.

Dave Diamond

You can see the official schedule of events, maps, and more on the website. Enjoy the weekend and share the road.

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