Tony Hermesman of Pedal Durango loves bikes. BMX bikes. Mountain bikes, road bikes. If it has two wheels and is human powered, chances are he’s ridden it.
“Biking is a lot of things to me,” Hermesman said. “It saved me in high school and gave me an outlet to express myself, and a place to fit. It’s a vehicle to push my mind and body to the limit.”
He’s the guy in the Iron Horse Bicycle Classic, a grueling 50-mile road ride over three mountain passes with 6,000 feet of climbing at elevations up to 11,000 feet. In spring weather, that means anything goes. Rain, snow, freezing temps or sunshine.
And he does it on his fixed gear bike.
That’s right. Hermesman, 31, not only eschews gears, he doesn’t use brakes. Fixie riders slow themselves by resisting momentum with their leg strength. They can even lock it up by leaning over the front wheel. It’s a little terrifying.
“In 2016 a friend got me into the Spartan obstacle races and the mindset to just beat yourself up got to me. I learned that it was more of a mind space where I got to push myself.”
Hermesman’s drive doesn’t stop out of the saddle. In his Colorado hometown he created a social media following: Pedal Durango
“Being into biking since the mid-90s, I have seen the peaks and lulls in the impact of biking in Durango. Our community seems to know what Durango has to offer, and (with Pedal Durango) I just want to help show the rest of the world and share my passion for it.”