One of the major annual attractions to Durango, Colorado is the Iron Horse Bicycle Classic. This Durango event is a Memorial Day weekend of pedaling fun. Not only do serious bikers race 50 miles to beat the Durango and Silverton Narrow Gauge Train from Durango to Silverton, but the Iron Horse Bicycle Classic also includes approximately seven other events. These events include the Citizens’ fifty-mile tour that is not a timed event, but a chance to accomplish the challenging fifty-mile ride and enjoy the beauty of the rugged San Juan Mountains. The mountainous terrain for the Durango Coca-Cola Road Race from Durango to Silverton borders a volcano, climbs in approximately 1,200 feet in elevation, and has a total elevation accumulation of 6,650 feet. The ride begin with a climb of 4,000 feet, to summit Coal Bank Pass, descend 1,000, climb 1,000 to Molas Pass, and finally descend 2,000 into Silverton.
However, Iron Horse Bicycle Classic participants have other options in which to choose to register in Durango. Another event is a twenty-five mile race called the Quarter Horse to Purgatory. Next, the Iron Horse Bicycle Classic Criterion is a challenging, fast-paced, eight-turn course in downtown Durango. Also, the Time Trial turns a popular Durango local’s ride into a timed competition. Eager participants can also register in the Iron Horse Bicycle Classic Omnium, and race in all of the challenging three timed events. Let us not forget the more light-hearted and amusing portion of the Iron Horse Bicycle Classic, the Cruiser Crit on Sunday; a creative display of costumes on wheels–Durango parade style. Last but not least, avid cycling children will not be forgotten and can participate in the Sprite Kid’s Race.
The Iron Horse Bicycle Classic began over 41 years ago when one brother was working on the train and the other rode a ten-speed bicycle, in attempt to beat the train from Durango to Silverton. A day came when Tom Mayer arrived on his bike at the Silverton Train Station before his brother. The Mayers’ challenge spurred a spring-time Durango race that originally included thirty-six participants. Now, over forty-one years later, the Iron Horse Bicycle Classic has expanded to include over 3,500 participants.
Registration for the annual Iron Horse Bicycle Classic usually begins December 1st, and has been known to fill up in less than a week. Plan ahead, and register early. Ride the Durango Iron Horse Bicycle Classic and use Cascade Village Hotel as your headquarters!