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Iron Horse Bicycle Classic

Register today for the Iron Horse Bicycle Classic 2021! 

Come ride with us May 28-30, 2021, and take part in this inclusive and exciting adventure we call the Iron Horse Bicycle Classic! This is a must-do, bucket list bike ride in Colorado for both visitors and residents of our state!

Origin of the Iron Horse

One day in 1971, Tom Mayer challenged his older brother, Jim Mayer who worked as a brakeman on the Denver & Rio Grande Western Railroad, to a race to Silverton. Steam engine versus bicycle. They wagered a candy bar on the results.

When Jim pulled into the Silverton station, there was Tom, waiting for him. He’d beaten the train, despite having a longer road and having to climb two mountain passes. He won his candy bar, alright.

Tom decided the best way to get others to try his favorite ride was to start a race. So in 1972, a group of 36 riders celebrated the train’s first run of the spring by accepting his challenge. Five of them managed to beat the train to Silverton, and it’s been all uphill since then.

For the last half-century, the Iron Horse has become one of the premier bicycle events in the West. Durango is centrally located between Denver, Albuquerque, Phoenix, and Salt Lake City. Now, riders travel to the Iron Horse from every state and several foreign countries. Simply finishing this classic ride is an accomplishment that keeps people coming back year after year to one of the best rides around.

Your event options – something for every rider!

Click the links in the descriptions to learn more and register. You can also click here to learn about the Memorial Day Weekend event schedule and see all the events.

“I’m Lovin’ It” McDonald’s Citizen Tour

The most popular event in the Iron Horse Bicycle Classic, the McDonald’s Citizen Tour winds through 50 miles of Colorado’s finest scenery. Cyclists conquer two mountain passes higher than 10,000 feet on this point-to-point ride, along with more than 6,000 feet of vertical climb and two breathtaking descents.

McDonald's tour iron horse

Ride in the spirit of those first friends who challenged each other to beat the train. Line up in Durango at 6,512’, cross a finish line like no other in Silverton at 9,318’, and earn bragging rights forever—whether you aim to beat the train or just enjoy the ride.

The McDonald’s Citizen Tour is a non-timed, non-competitive event. Competitive riders can register for the Coca-Cola Road Race.

Durango Coca-Cola Road Race

The pure essence of the Iron Horse Bicycle Classic – the Coca-Cola Road Race is the event that started it all. Forty-seven miles point to point. Two mountain passes higher than 10,000 feet. Monster descents. Legendary champions. And you.

coca cola road race iron horse

The Coca-Cola Road Race begins by category. You’ll line up at a race-specific start in Durango at 6,512’ and cross a finish line like no other in Silverton at 9,318’. This race is a Colorado classic that you want to be sure to catch.

The Coca-Cola Road Race is a competitive event. Non-competitive riders can register for the McDonald’s Citizen Tour.

Mountain Bike Specialists King /Queen of the Mountain

Are you an all- arounder? If so sign up for the omnium competition that combines both fitness and skills to crown the King and Queen of the mountain. This is a combination of the Road Race and Mountain Bike Race (plus Fri night Fat Tire Crit for Pro men and women ONLY) for an overall prize list. The Omnium is a points-based scoring system derived from finishing placings in each event. The road race finish is the tie breaker if need be.

mtb race

Quarter Horse to Purgatory

Riders in the Quarter Horse to Purgatory will tour the 25 scenic miles from Durango to Purgatory Resort. After riding through the gorgeous Animas River Valley, you’ll tackle more than 2300 feet of vertical climb to finish among food, fun, and festivities in the Village Plaza.

This point-to-point tour is great for beginning riders or families who want to participate in all the exuberance of the Iron Horse Bicycle Classic by completing a quarter-century at 8800’.

eBike Tour, Durango to Silverton

Ride the Iron Horse Bicycle Classic route to Silverton on a Pedal Assist Ebike enjoying the mountain passes, closed road and aid stations along the way.

eBike Quarter Horse to Purgatory

Riders in the Pedal Assist Quarter Horse to Purgatory will tour the 25 scenic miles from Durango to Purgatory Resort. After riding through the gorgeous Animas River Valley, you’ll tackle more than 2300 feet of vertical climb to finish among food, fun, and festivities in the Village Plaza.

This point-to-point tour is great for riders who require or want to try pedal assist, all while participating in the exuberance of the Iron Horse Bicycle Classic.

La Strada La Plata Gravel Ride

This beautiful tour of the Durango Gravel Ride will not disappoint in all lengths. There will be several Strava segments throughout each distance that will be scored on an omnium style scoring for each segment placing. Then the top three men and women in the Strava omnium will be given a prize. Note that the La Strada La Plata Gravel Ride is a ride not a race and is not a timed event.

Choose either the 55 mile gravel course with 4,985 feet of climbing up or the 93 mile gravel ride with 7,392 feet of climbing. There will be several aid stations for each ride. Please review and download the GPX files for a more detailed course description as well as to ride the course ride day.

Cross bikes, mountain bikes, and road bikes with 700 x 28c or larger tires are sufficient for the course!

Subaru MTB Race

An urban cross-country race with a serious dose of single track, the MTB Race has it all. Rip through the closed-off downtown. Tear up the hill and around Fort Lewis College on the best single track in town. And cap it all off by riding through the window at Steamworks Brewing Company. This is a mountain bike race like only Durango can provide.

Sprite Kids Race

The Sprite Kids Race inspires more smiles in four blocks than anywhere else on earth. For riders ages 3-10, we set up a multitap loop on a closed course in downtown Durango.

kids at iron horse kids 2 at iron horse

Kids get to experience the thrill of the Iron Horse Bicycle Classic from inside the tape, and adults get the glee of watching their youngsters enjoy an official cycling event.

Durango Cyclery Cruiser Crit

A full costume cruiser parade on Main Street! Helmets and a signed waiver are required but that’s about the only rule. The crowd judged best costume award gives every entry a chance to win a sweet Durango Cyclery refurbished bike and sweet trophy. All ages and abilities, and almost anything human powered and two (or so) wheels are invited! $10 onsite entry fee at the main stage.

cruiser crit

Learn more and register for the Iron Horse Bicycle Classic 2021!

Event Details

When:

Saturday, May 29, 2021

Time:

06:00am - 04:00pm

Location

Durango, CO
Event Webpage

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The Bicycle Colorado team had a great time at the Denver Century Ride this weekend. We're glad we got to make good… https://t.co/7h3aQzaACh

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  • DON’T DELAY: We’re placing another order for #BicycleColorado masks made by our friends at @primalwear TOMORROW (5/14) at noon! Click the link in our bio to get yours now!
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We’re thrilled to see so many people out enjoying (and often rediscovering the joy of) riding a bike right now, and we’re asking ALL bicyclists to do their part to prevent the spread of #covid19 by wearing a mask or other face covering when out for a ride. Doing so keeps you, your loved ones, those around you, and all Coloradans safer while helping reduce stress on our medical system. If you still need a mask, click the link in our bio to pre-order one now and support our advocacy work! Thanks so much to everyone who has already purchased, and to @primalwear for supporting our efforts over the years. Ride on.
  • #BicycleColorado volunteers and staff members spent time today helping @denverurbangardens and @denverfoodrescue deliver “Grow a Garden” food boxes to home-bound families in Denver—via bike! Supporting our community on two wheels makes for a great way to spend a sunny day. Many thanks to our friends @ddchen47, David M., and @juggernautcargo for your help! Head to denverfoodrescue.org or dug.org to learn more about these great local organizations. #rideyourbike
  • Tonight the #BicycleColorado team celebrated Stacey, our outgoing Development Director, with a virtual happy hour. Stacey has been an absolute rockstar for BC. We’re sad to see her leave, but thrilled for her as she heads out on a new adventure (hopefully in the #BikeAdvocacy space!) in North Carolina. Please join us in wishing her well!