Iron Horse Bicycle Classic 2015 
Monday, May 18, 2015, 08:49 PM - Weekend Fun
Posted by Administrator
I arrived in the late evening in Durango and took a stroll. There were heavy storm clouds to the north and I knew the passes were going to be getting some precipitation overnight. After catching up with Bri and Josiah at the check-in/party, I went over to Mike's parents condo and prepared the shuttle to Silverton. Somewhere around the 10,000 ft mark the rain turned to snow. It kept getting thicker and I began to think the ride would be cancelled for the 2nd year in a row. We dropped the car off and at 10pm, there was 20 ft visibility and 3 inches of sleet/snow on the roads. We went to bed with fingers and toes crossed.

The ride was a go at 6am and Mike, Allison, and I geared up. They were poaching the ride from the condo, so I rode down to the start alone. I found a spot in the 2nd row with Josiah, Briana, Tony, and Sam and we counted down to the start. They were all giving me a hard time about my thick winter gloves in the 55 degree morning, but I thought they might be needed later. When the whistle blew - we were off in the front peloton. By mile 2 Josiah said he wanted to drop off, but I yelled to stay with the lead group and bridged the gap. Unlike last year, the police transport was quick enough to spread out the riders and it was much safer. I found my spot in the front 10 folks and happily sat in the draft. Around mile 5, I could feel a little bouncy softness in my bike and feared the worst. When we hit the train tracks in Hermosa (mile 11), my front rim hit the pavement and I was forced to pull out of the 6th spot in the ride. I watched as the first set of hundreds of riders passed as I pulled out the pump, and the next wave of hundreds of riders pass as I popped the wheel off, and then another set of riders as. As my friends passed they said, "Oh no, Jaaayy. Sorry!" I pumped up the front and decided to ride before a full tube replacement. Hopefully the slime would do it's job. It did work fairly well, but I didn't get enough air in, and I wasn't able to stand for any of the first climbs. At the first aid station, I got a floor pump and returned it to 100 psi (from 20 psi!!). The rest of the ride was hard, but mostly uneventful. I got over Coalbank slowly and at a low heart rate. I couldn't stand at all because my right hamstring was on the verge of cramping. After a ripping, freezing, water-covered descent at 45 mph (glad I brought those gloves now!), the snow started and wind howled. It was painful for 10 minutes starting up Molas, but then relented. I climbed weakly and on the last 300 ft to the pass, my hamstring finally cramped up and I had to grab it hard to keep it operating. I tucked the hill into Silverton and rode strong to the finish as all the people lined the street yelling, "Come on, you can beat the train. You're going to make it!" 3 hr, 40 min for my first Iron Horse (6300 ft of climbing over 50 miles). Not bad considering I flatted and cramped. Plus, I showed up somewhere around when the train came in: I think it got to town before me, but hadn't finished parking (so call that what you will). Had a couple drinks with the crew at Montanya as the snows began and then shuttled back to the condo with M&A.



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We rallied and hit the town with everyone that evening. What a fun bike gang.


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