OVER 100 YEARS OF CYCLING IN DURANGO
The Iron Horse Bicycle Classic was the brain child of Tom Mayer and his older brother Jim. Jim worked as a brakeman on the D & R G W railroad which had run the steam powered locomotive between Durango and Silverton since the 1880’s. Tom was a young bicycle enthusiast who grew up alongside the tracks to Silverton. Tom challenged Jim to a race to Silverton. As the train came by the house, the steam whistle screamed and Tom climbed on his trusty steel framed 10 speed and pedaled up over the rim of the old volcano and descended into the caldera to the mining town of Silverton. The train takes a shorter and easier route, but with limited speed, so it is truly a race between man and machine. When Tom became strong enough to win, the bragging rights were his, and the whole town knew it.
The First Iron Horse
In 1972 a group of 36 riders decided to celebrate the first run of the train in the spring by accepting the challenge. It’s been all up hill since then. In 41 years the Iron Horse has become one of the classic bicycle events in the West. Durango is centrally located between Denver, Albuquerque, Phoenix, and Salt Lake City. The Iron Horse is an ideal early summer meeting of the riders from each of these cycling centers as they attempt to bring home the glory to their own communities. In recent years the participants have come from every state and many foreign countries to ride the famed Iron Horse course. Each year hundreds of riders will feel the thrill of descending into Silverton and looking to see if the train has arrived. And familiar faces will be there, as many people come back year after year to the “best race we have around.”
Growth of the Iron Horse
Over the years several events have been added to the classic train race. There have been criteriums, circuit races, road races, tours, BMX races, Trials, dual slaloms, team trail rides, and mountain bike races. There has been a full weekend of events every Memorial Day for the past 41 years. In 2011 the IHBC had over 3500 participants in 5 events. Not bad for a town of only 16,000 people nestled in the mountains of Southwest Colorado!
Historical & Event information courtesy of http://www.ironhorsebicycleclassic.com
Friday May 25, 2018
- Final Packet Pickup Buckley Park (3pm-7pm)
- Narrow Horse Swim – https://www.teamunify.com/
- Steamworks Faceplant Party: Beer, live music, vendors and bike parade. At Buckley Park 3-8pm
- Iron BMX
Saturday May 26, 2018
- Durango Coca-Cola Road Race (7:30am)
- McDonald’s Citizens Tour to Silverton (8am)
- Quarter Horse to Purgatory (8:15am)
- MBS King/Queen of Mountain (Road & MTB Omnium)
- Bike Pickup Durango High School (3pm-7pm)
- Silverton Finish Line Festival: Beer garden, food, vendors and racing. Memorial Park 9am-1pm. Come out and support Silverton’s non profits.
Sunday May 27, 2018
- La Strada La Plata Gravel Ride (9 AM Start)
- Morehart Murphy Subaru MTB Race (11 AM – 4 PM / Category times vary)
- Sprite Kids Race & Alpine Kids Village (Registration 8am)
Alpine Bank Kids Village – 9am-2pm
- BP BMX Straight Rhythm (1PM – 4PM)
- Durango Cyclery Cruiser Crit (5 PM)
- Durango downtown bike festival: kids festival with fun activities, live music, vendors and racing. Copper mug specials around town..