New Years Resolution: Training for the Iron Horse Bicycle Classic

Last Sunday afternoon, while most people in San Diego were watching the Chargers lose to the Steelers I was out enjoying an unseasonably hot day in January with a bike ride through La Mesa and up Mount Helix. One of my new years resolutions this year is to train for, and ultimately ride in, The Iron Horse Bicycle Classic. The Iron Horse is a 47 mile race/ride from Durango to Silverton Colorado. The idea behind it is the race the Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad Train from the start in Durango to the finish in Silverton.

I’ve never ridden 50 miles, but I have no doubt that I can do a 50 mile ride. The part that starts to worry me is the two 10,000 foot mountain passes between Durango and Silverton. Living in coastal-California all my life, I’ve only been above 10,000 feet a few times, and never ridden a bike up that high. It’s going to take a lot of exercise and training to get ready for this.

So Sunday I donned my new lyrca shorts (those padded spandex like shorts road bikers wear), bike jersey shirt and rode off in the 85F+ heat. I only rode about 15 miles, just warming up, my first time riding in quite a while but it felt good. I was huffing and puffing as I got to the top of Mount Helix, which isn’t a good sign seeing as its only 1000ft or so above sea level, but I’ve got time to work on that.

Unfortunately toward the end of my ride the freewheel on my maintenance-neglected bike siezed up, so I need to do some serious cleanup on it, and probably take it into the shop for a tune-up. Luckily I’ve got my fixed gear I can ride for a while.

I’ll be posting periodic updates here on my training progress and hopefully come the end of May some pictures and my results.

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4 responses to “New Years Resolution: Training for the Iron Horse Bicycle Classic

  1. Hey, just came across this. Sounds like a good goal and good luck with those 10K passes. I live at 4500 feet and ride betweet that and perhaps 9000 feet and the air gets thinner and thinner and thinner. So, I’d say, train, train, train and, above all, make sure you enjoy it!

  2. Good luck on the race!

    The Iron Horse sounds a lot scarier than it really is. There are people who just get off the couch and do it (not that I’m suggesting that). I won’t downplay that it’s really hard, but if you can exercise for 4-5 hours, you can do it. And some of it is downhill. Coming from sea level will be tough, but it’s manageable. You can do an early start if you’re worried about missing the cutoff. I like to start right when it gets light outside and get to see all the pro cyclists pass me.

  3. I am in training for this ride too. I live in Denver. i have been here since July 2009. It is really hard to train with the snow. I have no problem with the distance its the climbing for me. I come from Tucson pretty flat there. Good luck

  4. Pingback: Iron Horse Bicycle Classic 2010 « It’s Just A Life Story

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