I had hoped to ride the Iron Horse Bicycle Classic last year but didn’t do it. I didn’t train enough and it filled up before I felt I was ready. I’ve been talking for a few weeks now about wanting to ride in the Iron Horse, and decided I’d better get serious and sign up for it. I’m definitely not ready right now, but have a few months to get in shape. I even talked Chris into riding.
Last week I started training for it. The weather had been really nice for a while so I got to ride about 60 miles on the road and then when a storm came in last weekend I rode about 20 miles at the gym. There’s a good 15 mile, mostly flat loop I can do on my lunch break, and an 11 mile out and back ride with some climbing I can fit into my lunch break as well. My plan is to ride about 100 miles a week for a while and then some longer rides on the weekends as we get closer.
The Iron Horse is a 50 mile ride/race from Durango to Silverton with abotu 5700ft of climbing over 2 10,000ft passes. It happens on May 29th, so I have about 95 days to get in shape.
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.