Bike friendly? We’re downright obsessed!
Folks in Durango have been riding bikes since the 1880s. Yes, it’s a very old love affair. On any given day you’ll see the locals pedaling around town on cruiser bikes, road bikes and mountain bikes. Kids are competing after school at the BMX park. We have a seven mile long River Path that follows the Animas River from one end of town to the other, (although we secretly think of it as the “Bike Path”).
The area surrounding Durango is littered with miles of mountain bike trails and road bike rides. And, most of these rides take you through some of the most beautiful scenery in the country.
People friendly, too.
OK, biking, in any form is cool. But Durango is so rich in people pampering amenities, it’s just plain irresistible. Over 135 places to eat, four micro-breweries, one of America’s last wild rivers, one of the oldest operating narrow gauge steam trains in the country, spas, hot springs, festivals, night life, gold medal fly fishing, a four year college, and 22 places to get a pizza. A populace that is just down-to-earth friendly. And no pretense. Twice voted “worst dressed town in America” by the readers of USA Today, and proud of it.
The Iron Horse Bicycle Classic.
One of the oldest road races in the United States. The concept of this race originated with two brothers in the early 1970’s, Tom and Jim Mayer. Depending on whose version of the legend you read, Jim was either a brakeman, conductor or an engineer on the Durango train. As the train would pass their home in the Animas Valley, Tom would grab his bike and race it to Silverton, forty-something miles away. The train had a shorter route, but was limited in speed. Once Tom successfully beat the train, about three dozen locals decided to make it an annual race. It’s been happening every Memorial Day since.
Over the years several events have been added to the weekend. There have been criteriums, circuit races, road races, tours, BMX races, trials, dual slaloms, team trail rides, and mountain bike races. In 2011 the Iron Horse had over 3,500 participants in 5 events.
Mountain bikes rule!
The first ever Mountain Bike World Championships (NORBA) were held in Durango in 1990. The events took place at the Purgatory Ski Area, since renamed Durango Mountain Resort. Durango was already a destination town for mountain bikers and has long been home to several world class competitors such as Ned Overend and Juli Furtado.
USA Pro Challenge.
Considering the long history of biking in Durango, it’s not surprising that we were chosen as the starting town for the second USA Pro Challenge. The first leg of the race will go through some of the most dramatic scenery in the country, and climb to some high mountain passes that literally take your breath away. This event attracts top cyclists from all over the world. And Durango does know how to party.
As you would expect, there are quite a few bike shops in Durango. Complete support is available in many locations. These are a few of our favorites.
Second Avenue Sports
600 East Second Avenue
A great selection of road and mountain bikes, helmets, lights, bike bags, bicycle parts, and bike repair services. Hours: 9:00 AM to 6:00 PM
Mountain Bike Specialists
949 Main Avenue
Premier bike shop in the Four Corners area. Product lines include Specialized, Santa Cruz, and Niner, and a historical cycling museum in-house. Hours: 9:00-6:00 Mon-Sat
143 East 13th Street