The Ironworks Century is 6th of 10 events in the 2014
Alabama Backroads Century Series!
Route Distances of 44, 66, 78 & 100 Miles
Event proceeds will benefit construction and maintenance of hiking & biking trails at the start/finish venue, Tannehill Ironworks Historical State Park (located 30 miles west of Birmingham, AL at I-59 Exit 100).
The first 100 riders completing the 100 mile route will receive a Centurion Medal (as shown below), courtesy of the friendly folks at the Bike Link shop, and every 100 mile finisher will be recognized as a Centurion on the ABCS website. Riders completing any 4 ABCS events will also receive an embroidered patch showing all 10 ABCS event locations on a silhouette map of Alabama.
Bring the family! While you're out riding, they can enjoy the park’s country store, crafts cabins, water-driven grist mill, cotton gin and many other 1800’s buildings, miniature railway, hiking & biking trails, picnic & camp grounds, the Iron & Steel Museum, and, of course, the historic replica blast furnaces. The registration fee includes the rider's park admission and post-ride meal; separate fees apply for additional park admissions and certain activities (e.g. the train rides and the museum).
For directions and more information on park features or on nearby lodging options outside the park, see www.tannehill.org.
Send event questions to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Or call: 205-994-1929 or 205-410-7540
Scroll down to see the elevation profile and route map, or click here for a Strava profile. The map may look complicated, but we've planned the distance options to be easy to follow, with no color coding needed or any tricky route crossings or split-offs to negotiate. The map is handy if you want to know where you'll be going (or where you've been), but the myriad markers painted on the road are all you'll need to navigate the course.
This year the IWC again uses the "new" route first adopted in 2012, which is notable for smooth pavement, nice scenery and a good mix of gently rolling country with a few serious hills. The toughest climbs come just a few miles from the start, before the first rest stop, so they are shared by all route options. You'll probably want 39x25 or lower gearing here, and if you decide to dismount and walk a little bit in the steepest places, you won't be the first! After that brief trial by fire, though, the rest of the route will be a relatively easy cruise to victory.
Sag vehicles will patrol the route and the rest stops will offer ample drinks, a variety of snacks and real running-water restrooms. Back at Tannehill you can enjoy red beans & rice with a cold one while you swap lies with your riding buddies. You might even want to bring along your mountain bike and check out the many miles of new single-track at Tannehill!
44 mile option ~2700’ elevation gain*
The outbound leg climbs up through the Coleman Lakes area to cross Shades Mountain via a series of short but tough climbs en route to a rest stop at Helena Fire Department Station #2. The return route takes a much easier route through Green Pond to get back to Tannehill.
66 mile option ~3400’ elevation gain*
This route adds to the 44 by going on south from Helena, but turns around a few miles short of Montevallo. It revisits the Helena FD #2 rest before the final leg home through Green Pond. Seriously, though, if you're feeling good and not too pressed for time, we recommend you ride the rest of the way on down into Montevallo (i.e. ride the 78 mile option) - the additional 12 miles entail little additional climbing and you ought not to miss out on the rest stop at The Eclipse in Montevallo!
78 mile option ~3900’ elevation gain*
This route adds to the 66 by continuing on down into Montevallo, and makes a swing through the pretty University of Montevallo campus before reaching the rest stop on the verandah at Eclipse Coffee & Books. Our rest stop volunteers there will be ready with plenty of drinks and snacks, but riders who might fancy one of Eclipse's famous milkshakes - or even a proper sit-down lunch - should remember to bring along some money. The way home departs by a different route, looping around town before heading back to Helena and another rest stop at FD #2 before the final leg through Green Pond.
100 mile Ironworks Century ~5000’ elevation gain*
The full century adds a 22-mile scenic tour around the Montevallo area to the 78 route. Riders will pass by Orr Park (with its noted tree carvings), the American Village historical center, climb and descend Pea Ridge (the highest point on the route), roll through some lovely horse pasture country and make another stop by Eclipse before following the 78 milers back to Tannehill, where up to the first 100 finishers will get a Centurion Medal as part of the new Alabama Backroads Century Series.
* Based on Strava profile of century route.
BUMP gives thanks to our sponsors for their generous support of this event: