Approximately 1,450 riders crowded the starting lines Saturday morning for the 35th Annual Iron Horse Bicycle Classic. Cyclists anxiously gulped a last few precious ounces of coffee, double checked their tire pressure and filled their water bottles. Jerseys crammed full of energy bars and bananas, citizen racers packed it in at the starting line waiting for the train to blow its whistle and the race to begin. In a flash Camino del Rio was awash in a blur of Lycra as riders calmed their nerves and readied themselves for the long haul to Silverton.

Peter Jensen, of Durango, relaxes as he makes the trip up Main
Avenue towards the valley shortly after the race began. The locomotive gathers momentum as it crosses Main Avenue while
tour riders cruise through town before heading to the valley floor
and then on to Silverton. John Shumaker, left, and Chris Stewart, of Phoenix, make a few,
last-minute adjustments to their bikes before heading to the start
line. Roy Willis, of Golden, begins the true test as he crosses the
train tracks in Hermosa and begins the day of climbing. Cindy Hockelberg, of Bayfield, gets her legs loosened up in
preparation for the race to Silverton. The early morning sun rises over east Durango through a pair of
bikes eager for the day's adventure. Shayne Halter, of Albuquerque, shares a laugh with a fellow
rider early Saturday morning.