Central Texas bike riders have lots to prepare for

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WACO, Texas – Bike riders in Texas are getting ready for one of the hardest races of their lives.

The Hotter’N Hell Hundred kicks off next week in Wichita Falls. This race will be 100 miles in 100 degree weather.

Central Texas has a similar ride – the Waco Wild West 100.

Nancy Goodnight rides in both and says the passion for riding brings so many people out.

“I personally do that every single year,” Goodnight says. “Like, I’ve told my kids you can’t even get married on that weekend cause I always go.”

The Hotter’N Hell Hundred brings people from all walks of life together once a year to share one passion.

“It’s one of those really long 30-year traditions that a lot of people go to. It also offers different kind of rides – it has mountain bike races, it has trail, half-marathon, it has criterium racing,” Goodnight says.

While Goodnight prepares for this race, she’s got her mind on a similar ride – the Waco Wild West 100.

“Kind of a sister event. We support them, they support us.” Goodnight says. “It raises money for a lot of different organizations, but our primary beneficiary is the National Marrow Donor Program, or Be The Match, which helps find stem cell and marrow donors for patients in need.”

One of those patients is Joe Griffin, who says races like these save lives.

“The first year that I rode in 2014, I signed up to be a donor and be in the match program. And in 2017, when I was actually training for this race, I went to the doctor and found out that I had a diagnosis of bone marrow failure, so I needed a donor,” Griffin says.

Griffin has been riding in the Waco Wild West 100 since 2014. Doctors gave him just over a year to live – but thanks to a transplant he got last year, Joe will ride again.

“I’m back on my bike, I’m exercising. My blood counts are basically normal. It’s more than just a bike ride to me, it’s like a gateway. A link between the past and the the future,” Griffin says.

Because it truly is all about the ride.

“Feeling the wind in your face. When I’m riding, sometimes I just laugh out loud because it’s so much fun,” Griffin adds.

Hotter’N Hell Hundred is happening next week, and FOX 44 will have a special live show on August 24 starting at 6:30 a.m. The Waco Wild West 100 is coming this September.

Waco Wild West 100: https://wacowildwest100.com/

Hotter’N Hell Hundred: https://www.hh100.org/

National Donor Registry: BeTheMatch.org

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