WICHITA FALLS, Texas_Approximately 14,000 cyclists are expected to descend upon Wichita Falls this weekend for the annual Hotter 'N Hell Hundred.
Keeping track of the cyclists can be tricky, but that's where the chipped handlebar tags come in to play. If a rider is taking longer than expected to finish, checkpoints along the bike routes can narrow the search.
'Where are they? What happened to them?' [The chip] narrows down our search, and the search of the people looking for them," HHH chairman Roby Christie explained.
HHH has been using the chips for 12 years. During those 12 years, they've switched providers and increased the number of checkpoints from two to six. Christie explained that a child was on the 10K course two years ago and turned onto the 50-mile route by accident. The checkpoint system narrowed their search drastically and they were able to find the child at a rest stop.
The checkpoint system is only capable of narrowing a search currently, they hope to have a more precise and real-time solution in the near future.
"We hope to have a real time locator so a person can go on the internet and look up a number and see where they are," Christie said. "It's not happening yet, but we expect that it will in the next few years."
The City of Wichita Falls has announced a series of event changes and road closures for the Hotter 'N Hell Hundred.
The Wichita Falls Travel Center will be closed beginning at 3:00 pm on Friday, August 28. All pick-up and drop-offs for Greyhound and Jefferson Lines will be conducted at the Flying J Truck Stop, 2311 Jacksboro Highway, from August 28 through August 30. Normal routes will return on August 31.
The City's public transportation, Falls Ride, will relocate from the Wichita Falls Travel Center to the section of Fourth Street, north of Midtown Manor. This is the old location for transferring passengers before the Travel Center was constructed. Days effected will be Friday and Saturday.
The Farmers Market will be closed for the Hotter 'N Hell Hundred, Saturday, August 29.
Beginning at 4:30 p.m., portions of Scott, Lamar and Indiana between 2nd and 5th will be closed for the criterion race. 6th Street traffic will be detoured north to Lincoln at Burnett.
Please observe the temporary no parking signs in this area along the race route. Any vehicle parked along the route after 4:30 p.m. will be towed.
4:30 a.m. to 6:00 a.m. - Lamar from 2nd to 11th will be closed
4:30 a.m. to 4:00 a.m. - Lincoln from Scott to Burkburnett will be closed.
4:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. - Burkburnett from Lincoln to MLK will be closed.
4:30 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. - Scott from 11th to Sheppard Access Road will be closed.
4:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. - 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th, 8th, 9th, 10th and 11th will be closed between Scott and Lamar. There will be a police officer directing traffic across Lamar at 7th and across 11th at Scott.
8:00 a.m. to 6:00 a.m. - Indiana from 13th to 11th will be closed
8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. - the 13th Street exit ramp on E. Davis overpass will be closed.
8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. - the northbound right lane will be blocked on SH 240 from Main Gate to Missile Gate.
9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. - Scott from Lincoln to 7th will be closed
Portions of Lamar, Travis, Austin and Burnett will be closed between 3rd and 5th Streets 7:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.