Crosswinds, fatigue problematic for riders at this year’s Hotter’N Hell

Ethan Metcalf

Felicia Svanehed, a freshman in mass communication, at the finish line for the the Hotter’N Hell in Wichita Falls, Texas. Photo by Bradley Wilson
Felicia Svanehed, a freshman in mass communication, at the finish line for the the Hotter’N Hell in Wichita Falls, Texas. Photo by Bradley Wilson

The Hotter’N Hell 100 is a major attraction for cycling enthusiasts, but for professionals and the MSU cycling team, that attraction becomes a battle against elements and fatigue, and in some cases, other riders.

To prevent the dangerous intermingling of a more aggressive, professional style of riding and casual cyclists, officials added a second finish line for competitive cyclists to the event at an out-of-the-way UPS shipping center off Texas 79, 3.9 miles away from the rally finish line downtown.

“Big Brown [UPS] came out as a sponsor so we thought, ‘Let’s just move it down here.’ It worked out well. We haven’t got a lot of negative feedback.” said Robert Clark, HHH steering committee member and vice president of administration and institutional effectiveness.

Given the timing of the race, heat is always a major obstacle, but this year’s competitors were largely unanimous in identifying a tougher obstacle: the wind.

“I pretty much expected it to be hot, super hard and windy. That’s basically what killed me, those crosswinds. It wasn’t really the heat for me. For some people it’s the heat, for a lot of people it’s the crosswinds,” said Garrett Hobbs, exercise physiology sophomore and new member of the MSU cycling team.

Ricky Randall, a senior in finance, at the finish line for the Hotter’N Hell in Wichita Falls, Texas. Randall finished 10th in the Men's Pro Race on Friday, Aug. 22. Photo by Bradley Wilson
Ricky Randall, a senior in finance, at the finish line for the Hotter’N Hell in Wichita Falls, Texas. Randall finished 10th in the Men’s Pro Race on Friday, Aug. 22. Photo by Bradley Wilson

Wichita Falls native and psychology senior Angela Streadwick said she also expected the wind to be a factor, especially with such a long race.

“It’s a bike race in Wichita Falls, and it’s a long one so all of those things are kind of to be expected,” Streadwick said. “In Wichita Falls we always have wind and it’s always hot and if you’re racing for 100 miles the heat and the wind and everything are going to get you.”

Claire Fisher, nursing senior, said she competed in the 100K for the second time and was much happier with her results this year.

“Last year I didn’t even start with the pack since I was two minutes late so I had to chase the pack the whole race,” Fisher said. “This year I stayed with them for 26 miles and me and two other girls worked together so I felt stronger.”

Fisher said additional training made the difference this year, keeping her comfortably in the pack.

“I started training in December over Christmas break. I bought a trainer for my house so I could ride indoors, and the whole race season that began in February helped me a lot,” Fisher said. “This summer I really didn’t ride that much because I was up in South Dakota. So this summer I didn’t feel prepared, but today I pushed it because it didn’t feel as hard.”

Les Akins, a 1999 graduate of MSU’s psychology master’s program, said managing the crosswinds is a major component of the race, particularly when it surprises you.

“The race is really about anticipating the environmental changes and also keeping track of who’s doing what, and gauging your efforts,” Akins said. “If you get surprised you better rectify the situation and get to where you’re supposed to be, and the challenge is, there’s 50 other people that know where the place to be is.”

Hotter 'N Hell 100

Sam Croft, sophomore in geology, rides in the Hotter 'N Hell men's crit races Friday afternoon.
Sam Croft, sophomore in geology, rides in the Hotter 'N Hell men's crit races Friday afternoon.
Ricky Randall rides in the Hotter 'N Hell men's crit races Friday afternoon.
Ricky Randall rides in the Hotter 'N Hell men's crit races Friday afternoon.
Luke Allen, freshman in political science, rides in the Hotter 'N Hell men's crit races Friday afternoon.
Luke Allen, freshman in political science, rides in the Hotter 'N Hell men's crit races Friday afternoon.
Luke Allen, freshman in political science, rides in the Hotter 'N Hell men's crit races Friday afternoon.
Luke Allen, freshman in political science, rides in the Hotter 'N Hell men's crit races Friday afternoon.
Sam Croft, sophomore in geology, rides in the Hotter 'N Hell men's crit races Friday afternoon.
Sam Croft, sophomore in geology, rides in the Hotter 'N Hell men's crit races Friday afternoon.
Cory Scott, graduate student in exercise physiology, rides in the Hotter 'N Hell men's crit races Friday afternoon.
Cory Scott, graduate student in exercise physiology, rides in the Hotter 'N Hell men's crit races Friday afternoon.
Ricky Randall rides in the Hotter 'N Hell men's crit races Friday afternoon.
Ricky Randall rides in the Hotter 'N Hell men's crit races Friday afternoon.
Luke Allen, freshman in political science, rides in the Hotter 'N Hell men's crit races Friday afternoon.
Luke Allen, freshman in political science, rides in the Hotter 'N Hell men's crit races Friday afternoon.
Ricky Randall rides in the Hotter 'N Hell men's crit races Friday afternoon.
Ricky Randall rides in the Hotter 'N Hell men's crit races Friday afternoon.
Luke Allen, freshman in political science, rides in the Hotter 'N Hell men's crit races Friday afternoon.
Luke Allen, freshman in political science, rides in the Hotter 'N Hell men's crit races Friday afternoon.
Sean Brown, graduate in exercise physiology, rides in the Hotter 'N Hell men's crit races Friday afternoon.
Sean Brown, graduate in exercise physiology, rides in the Hotter 'N Hell men's crit races Friday afternoon.
Felicia Westermark-Svanehed and Hannah Ross waits to cross the road at the Hotter 'N Hell men's crit races Friday afternoon.
Felicia Westermark-Svanehed and Hannah Ross waits to cross the road at the Hotter 'N Hell men's crit races Friday afternoon.
Luke Allen, freshman in political science, rides in the Hotter 'N Hell men's crit races Friday afternoon.
Luke Allen, freshman in political science, rides in the Hotter 'N Hell men's crit races Friday afternoon.
Sam Croft, sophomore in geology, rides in the Hotter 'N Hell men's crit races Friday afternoon.
Sam Croft, sophomore in geology, rides in the Hotter 'N Hell men's crit races Friday afternoon.
Ashley Weaver, senior in exercise physiology, rides in the Hotter 'N Hell women's crit races Friday afternoon.
Ashley Weaver, senior in exercise physiology, rides in the Hotter 'N Hell women's crit races Friday afternoon.
Hannah Ross rides in the Hotter 'N Hell women's crit race Friday afternoon.
Hannah Ross rides in the Hotter 'N Hell women's crit race Friday afternoon.
Hannah Ross rides in the Hotter 'N Hell women's crit race Friday afternoon.
Hannah Ross rides in the Hotter 'N Hell women's crit race Friday afternoon.
Hannah Ross rides in the Hotter 'N Hell women's crit race Friday afternoon.
Hannah Ross rides in the Hotter 'N Hell women's crit race Friday afternoon.
In the medical tent, Moriah Mann (with clipboard), a sophomore in athletic training, works with patient Robert Founds after he fell in the Hotter’N Hell in Wichita Falls, Texas. Photo by Bradley Wilson
In the medical tent, Moriah Mann (with clipboard), a sophomore in athletic training, works with patient Robert Founds after he fell in the Hotter’N Hell in Wichita Falls, Texas. Photo by Bradley Wilson
Felicia Svanehed, a freshman in mass communication, at the finish line for the the Hotter’N Hell in Wichita Falls, Texas. Photo by Bradley Wilson
Felicia Svanehed, a freshman in mass communication, at the finish line for the the Hotter’N Hell in Wichita Falls, Texas. Photo by Bradley Wilson
Kyle Anderson finishes the 100-mile race as part of the Hotter’N Hell in Wichita Falls, Texas. Photo by Bradley Wilson
Kyle Anderson finishes the 100-mile race as part of the Hotter’N Hell in Wichita Falls, Texas. Photo by Bradley Wilson
Cory Scott and Sam Croft look over a tire at the finish line of the 100-mile Hotter’N Hell race in Wichita Falls, Texas. Photo by Bradley Wilson
Cory Scott and Sam Croft look over a tire at the finish line of the 100-mile Hotter’N Hell race in Wichita Falls, Texas. Photo by Bradley Wilson
Cory Scott and Sam Croft look over a tire at the finish line of the 100-mile Hotter’N Hell race in Wichita Falls, Texas. Photo by Bradley Wilson
Cory Scott and Sam Croft look over a tire at the finish line of the 100-mile Hotter’N Hell race in Wichita Falls, Texas. Photo by Bradley Wilson
Cory Scott and Sam Croft look over a tire at the finish line of the 100-mile Hotter’N Hell race in Wichita Falls, Texas. Photo by Bradley Wilson
Cory Scott and Sam Croft look over a tire at the finish line of the 100-mile Hotter’N Hell race in Wichita Falls, Texas. Photo by Bradley Wilson
Angela Streadwick, a senior in psychology, after finishing the Hotter’N Hell 100K. Photo by Bradley Wilson
Angela Streadwick, a senior in psychology, after finishing the Hotter’N Hell 100K. Photo by Bradley Wilson
Ricky Randall, a senior in finance, at the Hotter’N Hell in Wichita Falls, Texas. Randall placed 10th in the Men's Pro race Friday, Aug. 23. Photo by Bradley Wilson
Ricky Randall, a senior in finance, at the Hotter’N Hell in Wichita Falls, Texas. Randall placed 10th in the Men's Pro race Friday, Aug. 23. Photo by Bradley Wilson
Ricky Randall, a senior in finance, at the Hotter’N Hell in Wichita Falls, Texas. Randall placed 10th in the Men's Pro race Friday, Aug. 23. Photo by Bradley Wilson
Ricky Randall, a senior in finance, at the Hotter’N Hell in Wichita Falls, Texas. Randall placed 10th in the Men's Pro race Friday, Aug. 23. Photo by Bradley Wilson
Ricky Randall, a senior in finance, at the Hotter’N Hell in Wichita Falls, Texas. Randall placed 10th in the Men's Pro race Friday, Aug. 23. Photo by Bradley Wilson
Ricky Randall, a senior in finance, at the Hotter’N Hell in Wichita Falls, Texas. Randall placed 10th in the Men's Pro race Friday, Aug. 23. Photo by Bradley Wilson
Marco Torres, psychology senior, watches the endless stream of racers leave the starting gates as he waits to deflate and transfer "Pyro Pete" to the Hell's Gate rest stop in Burkburnett. Photo by Ethan Metcalf
Marco Torres, psychology senior, watches the endless stream of racers leave the starting gates as he waits to deflate and transfer "Pyro Pete" to the Hell's Gate rest stop in Burkburnett. Photo by Ethan Metcalf
Macy Pritchett, education sophomore, and Talia Harris, mass communication sophomore, watch the endless stream of racers leave the starting gates as they wait cross the road to deflate and transfer "Pyro Pete" to the Hell's Gate rest stop in Burkburnett. Photo by Ethan Metcalf
Macy Pritchett, education sophomore, and Talia Harris, mass communication sophomore, watch the endless stream of racers leave the starting gates as they wait cross the road to deflate and transfer "Pyro Pete" to the Hell's Gate rest stop in Burkburnett. Photo by Ethan Metcalf
Talia Harris, mass communication sophomore, and Macy Pritchett, education sophomore, prepare to pack up and move "Pyro Pete" as volunteers begin deflating Hotter 'n Hell's unofficial mascot. Photo by Ethan Metcalf
Talia Harris, mass communication sophomore, and Macy Pritchett, education sophomore, prepare to pack up and move "Pyro Pete" as volunteers begin deflating Hotter 'n Hell's unofficial mascot. Photo by Ethan Metcalf
Victoria Shores, athletic training senior, Photo by Ethan Metcalf
Victoria Shores, athletic training senior, Photo by Ethan Metcalf
Collin Buerger at the Hotter’N Hell in Wichita Falls, Texas. Photo by Bradley Wilson
Collin Buerger at the Hotter’N Hell in Wichita Falls, Texas. Photo by Bradley Wilson
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