Riding the Iron Horse Bicycle Classic – Virtually


While thousands of bicycle riders and their families will arrive in Durango Memorial Day Weekend to ride in the Iron Horse Bicycle Classic or watch cyclists race the Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad over three mountain passes to Silverton, hundreds of others across the world will be riding Hermosa Valley leg of the race without rolling a wheel into town.

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And here comes Baker's bridge and the rocks on the left, the rocks on the right and similar to what we experience in life, There's the bridge. Don't jump!

The gun fires to start the 50th annual iron horse bicycle race against the Silverton Train on Memorial day weekend. Hundreds of others across the world will be riding the Hermosa valley leg without rolling a wheel into town. You're watching The Local News Network brought to you by the ACE hardware stores in the four corners.

This year for the 50th we've also started a virtual iron horse where you can ride your computer trainer, on any given day on an application, and you can ride a segment of the iron horse course with people from all over the world. And we're having races on that at some frequency as well. And so it's very authentic, it's called a real road, you see the same trees you're riding, when you're on your bike, you see Honeyville, you see the Springs, you see all the different things. That's another look into the future.

We saw this RGT company because they were doing a very live experience, It looked the high quality graphics, It made it look like you were actually there. And that prompted us to sit there and have a conversation with them and say, Hey we've got this iconic event that races a train and their eyes lit up, you know, and you know it's in these beautiful mountains and the scenery is great and there's a climb. And, you know, they started putting together this narrative that we could show that's entertaining but also highlights, you know our event highlights our location and it's kind of a marketing, It's a great marketing tool for visit Durango, visit Silverton. There's all things that you can do here. I'm going to go ahead and start from the very starting point, And I'm going to make sure that you can see it. You have to have your, your bike set up on a smart trainer, so like this one is called a wahoo kicker and there's sensors that are connected from my trainer to this device. I'm the icon in the middle here, the little avatar, and I'll go ahead and start riding. And I'm taking off down tremble lane. I'm basically riding right next to PJ's market on Trimble lane right now. And I'm getting ready to cross the train tracks for the first time. And then once I cross the train tracks I'm going to hang a right and head towards Hermosa, and hopefully you'll get a nice view when we go around the corner here of a Hermosa cliffs, which is really pretty cool. First time I rode this I just could not believe the graphics they were it was so incredible just to see our, you know community on a route like this, but there you go Hermosa cliffs, missionary Ridge, up to the right, and some of the buildings are exactly identical to what we have down in the valley. And just to give you an idea, I'm on this course I think I have 39 other riders worldwide on this course with me, I have no idea how many Americans are on there but there's all sorts of countries represented it, and it it's really cool, they get a glimpse of our area, they get to ride it, I have to do it at elevation, cause I live here, they get to do it, you know, at low elevation. If you don't like this view, you can change your view, this is called third person view. You can also go to first person so now it's like I'm riding, so you're getting that view. You can go to Drone-Cam so I can have a follow on drone and it can show me on the road where I'm going, going past the fire station right now. Moto-Cam, So this is like a, motorcycle's following me, now he's going by me, and you can see the whole valley back behind me, there's the train tracks, pretty cool stuff. I think the biggest benefit of some virtual platforms like this and I would recommend this one in particular is that during the winter months, when it's kind of miserable to be outside, it's really, really cold, you can be in here and you can have a very realistic experience. Trainers are not fun, often, but when you come in here and you have a virtual experience, it makes it fun. You know, it's, it's not just getting on and rolling, and sweating and being miserable, you're actually sitting there continuing to improve your time up Shalona during the off season. So it's, it's just great.

If you'd like to know more about the virtual iron horse training program visit the IHBC website at ironhorsebicycleclassic.com. Thanks for watching this edition of The Local News Network.


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