Iron Horse 2023

Iron Horse 2023

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!

Road Racers Riding in the Iron Horse Bicycle Classic

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. 


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