Fort Collins Horseshoe 100, CO
This self-supported 100-mile bike ride starts in west Fort Collins, Colorado and then “horseshoes” up to within 10 miles of the Wyoming border before coming back down to east Fort Collins. Retrace the “horseshoe” backwards, and there’s your century. There are a few short-but-steep hills, but otherwise it is a reasonably flat course that is terrific for time-trialing due to only a handful of stop signs, one or two traffic lights, and few cars to contend with.
The western part of the horseshoe is especially nice with views of the mountains, open prairie, and ranch land. The eastern part is noisier due to going on Frontage Road by I-25, but at least few cars are actually on the frontage road. You remain fairly close to civilization distance-wise at all times, but there’s a wonderful feeling of just being out there with the horses especially on the western parts of this ride!
From the Logbook
March 17, 2006(Fri)
Started at 8:40 a.m.; finished at 2:48 p.m. Actual ride time was 5:46, or 17.4 mph average. That was more satisfactory than last weekend in the Fort Collins-Boulder 100, and I would have been a little faster were it not for the significant hills on the Overland-Shields-Douglas Rd. stretch. Temperatures were around 40-45 and comfortable. I wore the same cold-weather cycling gear as last weekend and it was probably not necessary to wear the nylon pants over my tights. Was in the aerobars 95% of the time and felt very comfortable with helmet tilted upwards. Very encouraging for Ironman Arizona; would like to go at the same intensity I did.
Even more encouraging was the 5-mile run immediately afterwards. My legs felt very good; they have been more sore on other days even without a 100-mile bike ride preceding the run. This is exactly how I want to feel going into the marathon leg during Ironman Arizona!