MAY 26 – MAY 28


The Iron Horse Bicycle Classic is THE big race! Gear up or just watch as bikers race the train from Durango to Silverton all day. Events include the most popular race, the McDonald’s Citizen Tour, which winds through 50 miles of beautiful Colorado scenery, La Strada La Plata Gravel and the Durango Mesa Cycling Festival.

Since 1971, this iconic event has tested man vs. machine, as bicyclists race on the beautiful Million Dollar Highway. Can you make it in time to enjoy the beautiful ride back downhill?

The annual Iron Horse Bicycle Classic will be taking place this Memorial Day Weekend. On Saturday May 27th there will be a short detour of southbound traffic through the valley on Hwy 550 starting at 7:00 am and ending at 9:30 am. The detour will be at CR 203 (the railroad tracks) and Hwy 550 in Hermosa (north end) and come at Hwy CR 203 and Hwy 550 (south end). Northbound traffic will be traveling in the southbound shoulder on Hwy 550 from Hampton Inn to CR 203 north. The reason for the short detour is safety for bicycle riders and vehicles. We thank you in advance for your support and would love to see you out cheering the riders on or even riding yourself!


Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad

479 Main Ave
Durango, CO 81301

The Iron Horse Bicycle Classic is a Durango summer staple. The journey from Durango to Silverton is 47 miles and takes road racers over Coalbank and Molas Pass, both exceeding 10,000 feet in elevation. Saturday, May 27th marks the 51st anniversary of this Colorado classic.


The History

The Iron Horse started in 1971 when the Mayer brothers raced each other; steam engine versus road bike, the winner takes the candy bar! When the bike won, they knew they needed to share this race with others. The following year, 36 riders took on the challenge and started this Memorial Day tradition.


The Events

Over the last five decades, the Iron Horse has grown so much that riders from all over the world come to Southwest Colorado to compete in and watch all of the events. From the Coca-Cola Classic to the many other gravel, road, and mountain biking courses, there is something for everyone. For those just wanting to complete the ride, but not race, the citizens tour is perfect for a more relaxed pace. The Quarter Horse takes you from downtown Durango to Purgatory Resort, for a 25 miles ride with 2,300 feet elevation. There is even a special course for kids 2 to 12 years old at Fort Lewis College!


In Honor of Veterans

Since the Iron Horse Classic falls on Memorial Day weekend, Veterans are honored with a special train ride from Durango and Silverton and a ceremony at the finish line. There are 100 seats on The Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad and it is free to Active Duty Military, Veterans, and Military-affiliated Gold and Blue Star parents, spouses, family members, and friends. This event is an all-day excursion for the whole family! With a first-come/first-serve policy, reserve your seats here.


Durango and Southwest Colorado are known for the abundant amount of trails and bike culture. The Iron Horse weekend is the perfect time to visit for riders and spectators alike! Please let us know if you have any questions about this Durango classic or other community events.


Save the date! Registration for the 2023 Iron Horse Bicycle Classic opens on December 16, 2022.



 1:00 PM – 7:00 PMLocal Packet PickupChapman Hill
 5:00 PMWomen’s Short Track RaceChapman Hill
 5:30 PMMen’s Short Track RaceChapman Hill



 7:30 AMRoad Race Wave Start33rd Street & 2nd Avenue
 8:00 AMMcDonalds Citizen Tour Start33rd Street & 2nd Avenue
 3:00 PM – 7:00 PMBike Return PickupDurango Transit Center



 8:30 AMStrada LaPlata StartChapman Hill
 9:00 AM – 4:00 PMChapman Hill Cycling FestivalChapman Hill
 9:00 AMMTB StartsChapman Hill

Post courtesy of Iron Horse Bicycle .


Share This Post On
%d bloggers like this: