It’s Memorial Day Weekend, and for locals in Durango, that means one thing: it’s time for The Iron Horse Bicycle Classic. This year is the 48th Annual bike race, and the weekend (May 24-26) is full of activities.
The featured race is from Durango to Silverton, heralding back to when one brother challenged another to race to Silverton: steam engine vs. bicycle. That first year, the biker beat the train, and started a trend that’s now become a local tradition. In 1972, 36 riders set out in the first Iron Horse race, and five of them beat the train. The race covers 50 miles, two 10,000’ mountain passes, and a 5,700’ elevation gain. The highway is closed, which allows riders full access to the road.
Friday evening, the events kickoff with the Steamworks Packet pickup, then there will be a beer garden, kids’ activities, live music, cycling vendors, and more at Buckley Park.
Saturday is the big race day: there are a variety of options and lengths to race: the full distance from Durango to Silverton, as well as the Quarter Horse from Durango to Purgatory and the E-Bike Quarter Horse to Purgatory. Silverton is a fantastic place to be on Saturday—cheering for racers as they cross the finish line. There will be live music, food, vendors, a beer garden, and even kids’ activities in Silverton.
Sunday includes the Kids Sprite Race as well as the La Strada La Plata Gravel Ride, Morehart Murphy Mountain Bike Race, the Downtown Durango bike festival at Buckley Park, and even a full costume cruiser parade!
The weekend is packed with activities for the whole family, and whether you participate or cheer racers on, it’s a Durango favorite. Here’s the link for more information and weather updates: https://www.ironhorsebicycleclassic.com/