Registration for the 2016 HOT is now up and running! In two days, we had 33 of the 100 tickets for the HOT grabbed! WOW!!!
Why did we open registration over 8 months in advance? Here’s the story: Many people start making their plans a year in advance so they know how to budget both their time and money. We do this as a courtesy to help people better plan. But what if something happens between now and the HOT and they cannot attend? Well, just like life, you have to gamble.
I was asked just why we only allow 100 people at the HOT. We are currently between a rock and a hard place on this front. When the HOT was first created, it was meant to be a very small group that wanted to come together to hang out with other bent riders and have fun and learn some things. How many of us have participated in rides where you go, maybe say hello to a few people, ride, eat a banana and get your t shirt and go home? It is a RARE occasion when you actually MEET some of the other riders. Well, we don’t do it that way at Easy Street. We want to sit around and talk, learn about those of us who ride recumbents, find out about as many different angles of bent riding as possible, ride with other recumbent riders – in general we wanted it to be a celebration of being a Bent culture! When numbers start creeping up. that gets harder and harder to do. Also, we try our best to make the HOT a first class affair. We do not just toss a t-shirt at you and say go home. I am rather obsessed with finding neat give-a-ways that we can use all the time. And I do not get cheapo stuff. It takes a lot of money to put the HOT on. We don’t have sponsors pumping a lot of money to us to host this. Mike Librik at Easy Street foots the bills. In 2016, we are having Austin Events and Lighting hosting the rodeo, which helps us out huge. But if we had over 100 people attend, we have to start scaling back. We don’t want to do that.
Another consideration is real estate. we are doing good to fit 100 people in the building for Recumbent University. Unless the University of Texas offers us classrooms, we have to hold it at Easy Street. Also, more than 100 people doing the Sunday rides throws a HUGE kink in things. As it is, the Sunday rides are a very casual thing. No support – no cute high school girls handing out fruit and goodies at rest stops, no police covering intersections, etc. This is something that the HOTties do ON THEIR OWN, In essence, you are just going on a casual rides with some friends. The HOT does NOT take responsibility for your safety and comfort. We are just telling you that a lot of the HOTties are meeting up Sunday morning for a ride on their own. This is a big group of Bent friends coming together to ride, not Easy Street putting on an organized ride.
Another reason for opening up the registration early is so we can get things done! Shelley Stracener and myself spend a ridiculous amount of time putting things together for the HOT. Shelley is TOP NOTCH. She runs a very tight ship and is a natural for details. She has made my life so much easier since she jumped on board. It is a daily task that requires a lot of record keeping and attention to details. Frankly, we need people to register early so we will not be overwhelmed at once.
So that is why we start so early. 🙂
Whew. Bottom line: the HOT threw away the mold when it came to creating this incredibly unique experience for recumbent enthusiasts. We don’t care how other events are run. The HOT is more like a family reunion than a stuffy organized bike ride.