I mentioned a few days ago that I’m planning to ride the Waco Wild West Century in September. Part of my preparation is to learn as much as I can about the course. The event’s site has a course map but doesn’t include elevation data. It took me a bit of searching, but I finally found a GPS track of the course–including the elevations. This GPS track is from last year, but it agrees with the course map posted on the event site for this year.
Here’s the elevation profile. Click on the image to get a much larger view.
At first glance it looks pretty hilly, but it’s not as bad as it looks. Most of those inclines are less than 2%. The only bad climbs will be at 55 miles and 73 miles. Both have some grades that exceed 5%. The climb starting at 55 miles is a little more than a mile long and goes up about 170 feet. The one at 73 miles is two miles. The first half mile averages 6.4%. The rest of the climb averages about 2% but there are some short stretches that approach 5%.
The key for me will be to maintain an even heart rate as much as possible. That’s not a problem on a 2% or 3% grade, as I can easily climb those at 75% max heart rate while keeping a relatively fast pedal cadence. The 5% or steeper grades are a bit more of a problem. I’ll either have to slow down my pedal cadence or exceed my target heart rate. I’m not concerned about the short climb at 55 miles. The longer and steeper climb at 73 miles will be a bit of a challenge.
I’d like to say that it’s all downhill after 75 miles, but there are still some short climbs. Again, not a problem if I eat and drink enough during the ride. If I do that right, I just might be able to do the second half of the ride faster than I do the first half. That’d be something.
To download the GPS track, right-click on one of the links below and select “Save link as” (Google Chrome) or “Save target as” (Internet Explorer).
Google Earth .kml file. Includes lat/long and elevation data.
GPX format. Includes lat/long points only (no elevation data).