The Minnesota Ironman Bike RIDE is coming up this Sunday, April 24th. It is a 100 mile ride that is pretty early in the season for Minnesota in that we could easily still get snow or something distasteful like that. There are two other routes on the Ironman that provide a metric 100 (62 miles) and a 30 mile for those who don’t want to do 100 miles. Bill and I are planning on riding the century and Steve and Michele are planning on riding the 62.

The Twin Cities Bicycling Club, of which we are all members, has been doing training rides that started with the paper man and ended on Saturday the 16th with the Tin man.

Unfortunately, the weather was not good. It was supposed to be light rain in the morning (the ride started at 10a) and then taper off to be nice. What actually happened was rain. Pure rain. Cold rain. It was 60 degrees and raining. The ride was split into two parts. The first was for people who are not intending to do the 100 mile ride and that bit was 46 miles and the second was for those of us planning on doing the full 100 and that route was 79 miles.

The Tinman was in two routes — 79 and 46. Bill and I took off on the 79 mile route and Steve and Michele rode separately on the 46. I mapped our route using my GPS it is in yellow on the map. For those of you who are familiar with this area of Minnesota, you know that it is quite hilly. For some reason I didn’t get it through my head just HOW hilly it was going to be until 10 minutes into the ride when the error of my thinking was shown to me in cold hard light.

Needless to say, 85 miles, 6 hours, and 3300 feet in vertical ascent later, I was one tired puppy. Happily, we all completed our respective rides and Bill and I found out later that we were the only two to actually do the longer ride!

This experience really brought home how much work the Ironman route is going to be. Michele and I drove/mapped the route with my GPS last Sunday and the 100 mile route has 4300 feet vertical ascent. Youch. At least I’m mentally prepared for it this time. We have also decided to re-do the Tinman ride tomorrow (Thursday) in better weather as the last practice run. Then I intend to rest until Sunday.