Hotter’N Hell Hundred Given Its Own Texas Historical Marker
The recognition, in the form of a new historical marker, was presented by Robert Palmer, Wichita County Historical Commission Chairman, and Becky Trammell, the Marker Chairman for the Wichita County Historical Commission. Several member of the Hotter'N Hell Hundred Steering Committee and other interested Wichita Falls citizens were on hand and Roby Christie gave a brief history of the event and how it began as a part of the centennial celebration for the city of Wichita Falls in 1982, and Robert Palmer explained the significance of the historical marker program.
Mark Wolfe, the executive director of the Texas Historical Commission says,
The Official Texas Historical Marker Program helps bring attention to community treasures and the importance of their preservation. Awareness and education are among the best ways to guarantee the preservation of our state's history. This designation is a tool that will increase public awareness of important cultural resources.
The full text of the marker reads:
Hotter'N Hell Hundred. An annual 100-mile bicycle ride in 100-degree heat on the roads and highways of the Texoma region, the Hotter'N Hell Hundred (HHH) first began as a kick-off event for the 1982 centennial celebration of Wichita Falls. The plan was to celebrate the tenacity of the people who settled Texoma, thus the event's motto is 100 miles in 100 degrees to celebrate 100 years. The name stemmed from a comment that the ride would be "Hotter than hell." Though a bit controversial, the unforgettable name helped to market the ride.
The first HHH, set for Saturday, August 28, 1982, was wildly successful with an attendance of 250 volunteers and 1,203 cyclists. The ride had varying routs of 100 mi., 100k, 50 mi., 25 mi., and 10k. The Wichita Falls Bicycle Club conceived of, organized and conducted the centennial HHH. They have continued running it and expanded its offerings to a four-day event with multiple rides of different categories and a flyover and cannon blast to initiate the ride. Ever focused on health and safety, HHH boasted more than 20 rest stops, 1,000 medical volunteers, and invented Hell's Gate. Located 60 miles from the HHH start, 100-mile riders must reach Hell's Gate by a given time before they are detoured to the shorter 100k route, thus limiting their heat-related issues.
Over the years, HHH has consistently proven its popularity with thousands of participants, as up to 4,000 volunteers and 13,067 cyclists registered in 2010 alone. In 2013, the 83rd Texas legislature passed House Resolution 1784 to commemorate HHH attracting more than 300,000 cyclists in its first three decades. HHH has helped to bring in millions each year to the local economy as well as donating to non-profit groups. With its warm hospitality soothing the strain of its rather inhospitable weather, HHH has become one of the classic cycling events in the nation.
Appropriately, the Hotter'N Hell Hundred Historical Marker is the 100th marker to be designated in Wichita County and is easily visited at the Hotter'N Hell Hundred Clubhouse at 104 Scott Avenue in downtown Wichita Falls.