Sorry for the delay it has been a busy couple of days.
The Iron Horse Classic Race (IHBC) was unreal and I’m a better person for doing it. I can honestly say it is the hardest thing I have done on a bike, ever. To ride a bike at 11000 feet cannot be described with words. The day was perfect and the weather completely cooperated with the race. The race organizers said what they needed to say and told of the long history of the IHBC, which was celebrating it’s 40th year! Before I knew it we got the five minutes to go bell and then the gun sounded and we were off. As we raced out of town the people on the side of the road were solid and all I could really make out was the noise from the cowbell’s everyone had and rattled as you rode by, it was a cool feeling. I could also see the train racing out of town and could hear the old steam horn blasting away as if screaming.
The leg out of town was called flat but it still had an upward incline to it for about 15 miles. The locals I spoke with said to grab a wheel and stick to it to get out of the wind, so I did. At mile 15 the road pointed up for another 10 miles to Purgatory Ski Resort, it was a long 10 miles. Once we reached Purgatory we got a bit of a break and got a ¼ down hill, it was all a blur. After the ¼ mile we were met with a daunting 6 mile climb, with an average incline of 8% with no flats until the summit. Now keep in mind it is 8% average which means there are sections at 4% and sections at 10%, they killed your legs which were screaming all the way up while your lungs burned the whole time.
Once you reached Cole Bank Pass at 11000 feet the road pointed down, a fast down hill was just enough to get some water in and a Gu. The down hill did not last long and the road pointed up again to Molas Pass, another 11K and all the pain over again but worse because you were pretty gassed at this point. I hit the summit and flew down to the finish line in Silverton. On the way down a large Beaver or Ground Hog came running out on the raod right in front of me, I swerved around and thought of hitting this animal at 40 mph on a bike, not pretty.
Both passes were cover with snow and about the last 2 miles of each climb snow lined the sides of the road and covered trees and bushes alike. You could feel the temperature change when you road in the snow lined road. There were natural water falls all over the place. The scenery was absolutely gorgeous and I set my GoPro to take a picture every 60 seconds for the first 2.5 hours of the ride.
My greatest memory as I look back is I was able to ride within myself. I kept things right where I wanted them and meet all expectations I had going into the race. I completed the race in 3:35:40. In the thin air I was able to keep my heart rate below 159 which was great as I usually can hit 175+ on hard training rides.
I was able to pass out Aquaphor and get the word out about the great product. 3+ hours is a long time in the saddle and if it were not for the Aquaphor I used prior to the race I would have had serious chaffing issues.
I cannot seem to get the photos to work on the blog and will try to get it fixed asap.
I’m now in MOAB for MTB ridding, more like a mini camp for me and I hope to leave here much more equipped for the summer series mountain bike races. I will follow this post up with another tomorrow of the Moab details but a teaser would be Slick Rock trail in 3 hours (average rider in 5 hours) and Dead Horse Point trail, in one day…this is serious mountain biking out here! I should use this time wisely and get much better on the bike in down hills, look out summer series here I come!
I will check in tomorrow…