Sunday, August 26, 2007

Hotter N' Hell 2007

Another Hotter N' Hell has come and gone and I have to say that this was one of the best. Everything went right for Aimee and me and we had a wonderful ride.

We left Houston about 10am Friday morning and stopped for an incredible BBQ lunch at Woody's Smokehouse in Centerville, about half way to Dallas. I had the best pork chop I've ever tasted. All along the trip from Houston to Wichita Falls we saw cars and trucks with bikes on or in them. We knew where they were going. We arrived at the Exhibition Center around 5pm and late registered. We were riders 10,111 and 10,112. Then it was on to the trade show. We found some great deals on helmets and bike shorts. Finally, we headed to Duncan where dinner and our room awaited. It's a little under an hour to Duncan. I've stayed in Wichita Falls, but that was before the high prices and two night minimum. I tried Lawton as well, but didn't like it much. Too crowded. Duncan is small, quiet and uncrowded. We've been staying there for the last five or six rides.

After an excellent meal at La Fiesta we retired to the Days Inn and were asleep by 10pm.

We rose at 5am Saturday morning and had the bike on the ground in Wichita Falls at 6:30am. By 6:45 we were in out start position at the front of the pack. TV crews roamed the tandem riders conducting interviews. At 7am we were off. This is the first time the tandem/recumbent group has started before the main body, but I think it's a good idea. We did miss the canon and the jet fly-over though.
Rigtht after the start of the ride we sighted another Seavo. It's set up differently from ours: it has a fairing, different seats, no independant pedalling, no bike mounted mirrors and no rear seat bag. We saw these same folks on Freewheel in June. They were on a sleek black Screamer then. Seeing their yellow Seavo was a treat.

The bikes are still pretty thick in the first 10 miles.

Big Ring and friend.

Bikes passing Rest Stop 1.

The weather was kind to us this year. We had the usual SW wind and some heat, but nothing like last year. It was about 95 degrees when we crossed the finish line this year as opposed to 105 last year.
The routes were pretty much the same as last year. Lots more pickles and pickle juice this year. Lots of young airmen cheering us on as we passed through Sheppard AFB.
We had the bike back on the rack by 1 and we were back home in Houston by 7pm. I can't wait to do it again next year!