Ear to the ground

“The weather makes me want to barbeque. But then I’ll have to buy charcoal. For some reason, that makes me want to eat pizza.”

-A local man in the grocery store experiencing the trials of springtime in the Rockies.

Up for bid

The Iron Horse Bicycle Classic went on the auction block this week. With the annual road race and bike tour selling out surprisingly early this year, race organizers have released an additional 20 slots in either the race or the citizens tour. The catch? The bidding starts at $75.

The annual Iron Horse between Durango and Silverton, which includes a 47-mile road race and 52-mile tour, is capped at 2,500 total cyclists. The cap was created last year for safety reasons and because of the logistical capacity of law enforcement, volunteers and staffing of the event. With the new cap, the Iron Horse, which is scheduled for May 24, was filled in mid-March with registrations pouring in from 40 states as well as Great Britain and Europe. Commenting on the rapid sell-out and success, Gaige Sippy, event director, commented, “I guess it only took us 37 years to get here.”

But unfortunately, many local riders hadn’t even aired up their tires when the race and tour were filled. This week, race organizers took an innovative step to reopen the Iron Horse’s doors to locals and benefit the Town of Silverton, which hosts the finish line and after-party. Twenty slots in either the race or tour are now up for bid. The auction began on April 15 and ends at 5 p.m. EST on May 1.

“This is really a person’s last way to get a slot if they want to ride to Silverton this year,” Sippy said.

The minimum starting bid price is $75, and after the close of bidding the top 20 highest bids will be granted berths at the starting line. All money generated from this auction will be donated to the Town of Silverton in appreciation of the long-standing support from Silverton, San Juan County and its citizens over the past 37 years. Bids can be placed at www.durangodowntown.com.

“We figured this would be a good way to get a few extra slots out there and benefit Silverton and San Juan County which have both done a lot for the race over the years,” Sippy said.

For those eager for a little late May bicycle racing without a happy Silverton ending, the Iron Horse still has spaces in both the May 25 Downtown Durango Criterium and the new East Animas Time Trail scheduled for May 26. Registration for those two races can be found at www.ironhorsebicycleclassic.com.


In this week's issue...

January 25, 2024
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State plastic bag ban is in full effect, but enforcement varies

January 26, 2024
Paper chase

The Sneer is back – and no we’re not talking about Billy Idol’s comeback tour.

January 11, 2024
High and dry

New state climate report projects continued warming, declining streamflows