Well, we knew it would happen.  It’s HOT!  First it was cold, then it was rainy and now, if you want to ride, you have to sweat. 

I really don’t mind sweating, but I definitely hate getting so hot that I get that weird feeling in my head.  So be careful as you are riding in this weather.  Hydrate a lot before you go, while you’re on the road, and a lot when you get back (and I mean WATER or some type of electrolyte solution.)

Speaking of heat….it’s almost that time again.  Time for the Hotter ‘N Hell in Wichita Falls.  I rode with some of the Websters and Armstrongs in 2005 when it really wasn’t hot, just windy.  But, it can totally live up to its name.  The heat can be brutal.  You can pick your mileage, but riders of the 100-mile course must make it to a checkpoint rest stop at the 62 mile point called Hell’s Gate by 12:30 p.m. or they are sent down the 80 mile route.  Sometimes they close it early because they’re afraid people might wilt and die.  Actually, the HHH, as it is called, has only had five fatalities, the last in 1994.

 It’s mostly flat, and the terrain isn’t really very exciting.  The rest stops are fun and are well decked out, some even with inflatable pools and water misters.  The start is really cool.  Ten thousand other cyclists and you line up, the jets from Sheppard Air Force Base do an “on the deck” fly over and the race/ride begins with a cannon shot!  By the way, you only race if you want to by purchasing a timing chip. 

If you haven’t experienced it, you should at least once.  You probably can’t get a hotel room within a 100-mile radius at this point, but camping is available at the event venue which is what we did.  Take your bug spray. 

Here’s the website if you’re interested.  http://www.hh100.org  You can register online.  I noticed that this year the Human Performance Laboratory from the University of Connecticut is conducting a study of electrolyte balance.  They are looking for volunteers!

This website deals with the medical aspects which are pretty interesting.  http://www.medmag.org/hhh.html

If you know of any “hot” events coming up, please let me know.

And here’s your cycling quote for this posting:

Life is like riding a bicycle: you don’t fall off unless you stop pedaling.
Claude Pepper