“Simply because there is no other city that offers as much variety and spice. Whether you’re riding the Colorado trail, visiting the Ancestral Puebloan sites at Mesa Verde National Park, riding ‘Test Track,’ shopping downtown, doing loops in the mountain bike playground that the Trails 2000 has made available, or simply lying by the Animas River watching the clouds float by, Durango has it all.” - Zapata Espinoza, former executive editor, Mountain Bike magazine.
Durango, Colo--Nestled in the heart of the San Juan Mountains in southwestern Colorado, Durango is home to some of the world’s best single track mountain biking, road biking and outdoor recreation. In addition to more than 1,000 miles of trails surrounding this community, there are numerous organized races and tours that appeal to a whole range of biking abilities. Whether you are a professional racer, a weekend warrior or still on training wheels, Durango offers the perfect atmosphere, event support and vacation town amenities to make every ride memorable.
This extremely friendly bicycle culture has resulted in Durango’s new Gold Level Bicycle Friendly Community designation from the League of American Bicyclists. The application process provided an opportunity for the City to review its infrastructures, roads, bike paths, trails and school routes. The evaluation highlights the quantity, quality, interconnectivity and proximity of trail systems throughout Durango.
Durango is uniquely situated between the high desert and towering, ancient volcanic peaks. With the city at 6,590 feet above sea level, this high altitude training ground offers a superb range of options for development and growth of top-level athletes. Durango would challenge that we have more cycling national champions, world champions and Olympians per capita than anywhere, except maybe the Olympic training center itself.
Referred to as “America’s Race,” the second annual USA Pro Cycling Challenge selected Durango as the overall start for the second annual race. After drawing more than 1 million spectators in its inaugural year, the 2012 race will return to Colorado from August 20-26, 2012, and Durango will host the overall start on Monday, August 20. Durango: It all starts here. www.durango2012.com
Durango hosts one of the largest and longest continuously run bicycling events in the United States: The Iron Horse Bicycle Classic. Citizens and professionals race the historic Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad on its 50-mile trip from Durango to Silverton. This event pits man and woman against machine for an impressive ride over two-10,000 foot mountain passes and changing weather conditions. Durango has also been the staging site for national bike tours including Ride the Rockies Bicycle Tour, Colorado Peace Ride and the Bicycle Tour of Colorado.
Along with a host of professional and Olympic riders, Durango is home to Fort Lewis College, 17-time national cycling champions: the NCCA Collegiate National 2009, 2004 & 2003 Mountain Bike Champions, 2004 & 2003 Collegiate National Cyclocross Champions and 2004 Collegiate National Road Bike Runners Up. These athletes are a testament to the quality of riding found in the Durango area.
BIKE EVENTS IN DURANGO, COLORADO
Iron Horse Bicycle Classic
Celebrating the 41st year, the IHBC is one of the largest and longest continuously run bicycling events in the United States. For training assistance visit: www.ironhorsetraining.com. This unique event features a 50-mile road race and bicycle tour on Highway 550, the exciting downtown criterium, time trial, a kid’s race and a velo swap.
Durango Fall Blaze
Breathtaking fall views of the scenic San Juan Basin including Shalona, Vallecito, Bayfield and the Animas Valley. Proceeds benefiting the Fort Lewis College Cycling Team's Tom Danielson Cycling Scholarship Fund: "Ride the Blaze... We're Sending Cyclists to College.” This fully supported bike tour includes sag support vehicles on-course and food/aid stations. Post-ride catered celebration includes food, beverages, music and beer. The Blaze is about fun, safety and celebrating cycling. (970) 403-4842. Hagen_D@fortlewis.edu.
Squawker Classic Road Race
Fort Lewis College Cycling Team’s annual Squawker Classic—a road race and criterium held annually in the spring.
Hermosa Off-Road Classic
Hermosa Creek trail racing is back! Come one, come all, to race on the high country trail that made Durango famous. There is a 36-mile course for Professionals, 2 Single speed classes, cool prizes and a post-race BBQ/campout for racers and friends/family. Proceeds go to the Fort Lewis College Cycling Team. Contact Dave Hagen at (970) 403-4842 or email@example.com.
Durango Wheel Club Training Rides, Group Rides and Time Trials
Join the Durango Wheel Club for these “world famous” training rides. See web site for levels, meeting locations, women’s rides and information. Contact: (970) 259-0550
Dirt Lovers Race
Horse Gulch Trail
Challenge and fun in the dirt! The trailhead starts at 8th Avenue and 3rd Street; the beginning of the trail is up a rocky 4-wheel drive trail that turns into meadows. At the top of the dirt road, you have the choice of turning left or right. Turning right will lead you into the meadows where there are a few different trails. If you choose to turn left, the trail gets difficult and goes up the ridge face for some good climbs and descents. Experts will ride 18.5 miles, under 1:40 for pros. Sports will ride similar route as experts: 16 miles. Beginners will ride 6-mile route, approximately 45 min. Helmets (and Bikes) are required!
Tour de Farms
Harvest time signals time for the Tour de Farms Durango Bike Tour. This annual ride sponsored by Healthy Lifestyle La Plata and CSU Extension is an educational bike tour that highlights local efforts to promote what is unique, healthy and homegrown about our Durango community. Tour de Farms has two routes to choose from – a leisurely 5-mile in-town short route tour and a 25-mile long route loop highlighting an agricultural area in the county in Ignacio. The Tour will feature presentations from farmers, gardeners, and local food advocates garden directors while sharing ways you can support area efforts to strengthen our local food system. The Tour travels along in-town and county ‘safe-routes’ and culminate in a delicious seasonal lunch made from local ingredients. For more information, contact Darrin Parmenter, Parmenterdm@co.laplata.co.us or (970) 382-6464.
Bike to Work Week
Yes, sometimes a day feels like a week, so why shouldn’t it then be entertaining and productive?
Bike to Work Day was a great stepping-stone to “Durango Bike Week.”
Durango Family Mountain Bike Camp
Mountain Bike Camps are designed to provide skill improvement by quality instruction both on and off the trail in a fun, safe and supportive environment. The main goal is to increase ability and interest in mountain biking as a lifelong activity. The versatile, experienced staff includes trained coaches, athletes and moms, all with a passion for the sport.
Durango Mountain Bike Camp—Ladies Clinic
Ladies will learn bike handling skills, cornering, downhill, climbing techniques and gain confidence as they ride with other women and certified cycling coaches. All classes will begin at Mountain Bike Specialists, 949 Main Avenue.
SheRide Cycling Clinic for Women
Understand proper mountain biking techniques; build confidence and solid skills for mountain biking on trail! Ride great singletrack with a group of fun gals and SheRide's supportive women coaches! Open to all levels from never ever to advanced mountain bikers. We break into groups so you will ride with women of your own skill level. Push yourself in a supportive relaxed environment. All skills taught are focused on ability levels.
FLC Cycling Cyclocross Series
Cyclocross races on the FLC Campus: starting in November on five consecutive Sundays. Contact: Dave Hagen at (970) 403-4842 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
TIMELESS THINGS TO DO ON BIKES
Discover the Durango Trails System
www.trails2000.org, (970) 259-4682
The base of any good cycling community is the riding. Within an hour of Durango, there is an altitude range from 4,500 to 13,000 feet. This provides many varied choices of both altitude and climate for the preferred training opportunity any time of year. This landscape is enhanced by an awesome trail system. A hundred years ago, cattle barons and miners built trails all over this landscape in search of gold or grassy meadows. Today, Trails 2000 has transformed this historic trail network into hundreds of miles of recreational trails. Whether they are being ridden in search of gold medals or grassy meadows, they are some of the best trails anywhere. You can give back to the trails by joining Trails 2000, attending a trail work event or participating in a Volunteer Vacation. Trails 2000 publishes free maps of the Telegraph trail system available at the Durango Area Tourism Office or www.durango.org/Activities/SummerFall/BikingTrails.asp
Community Recreation Center
2700 Main Avenue, (970) 375-7300
Spin classes daily, Iron Horse Classic training classes: www.durangogov.org (or www.durangogov.org/resident/parks_leisure/reccenter.html. The Durango Parks and Recreation Department offers a wide variety of programs and activities for children year round. Specifically, in the summer the popular Kid's Mountain Biking program.
Durango Sports Club
1600 Florida Road, (970)259-2579
A complete cycling center offering comprehensive programming and service to the Durango cycling community. In collaboration with Dr. Bruce Andrea, David Farmer and Rick Crawford, DSCCC brings 70+ years of combined experience. Cyclefusion is a combination of exercises to prepare riders for the Iron Horse events is one of the first cycling-specific classes in their expanded schedule.
Offering sales, rentals, repairs and bicycle shipping options:
Boarding Haus BMX Repair, 2607 Main Avenue, (970)259-8182
Durango Cyclery, 143 E 13th, (970)247-0747
Durango Mountain Resort, 1 Skier Place, (970)385-2198
Hassle Free Sports, 2615 Main Avenue, (970)259-3874
Monty’s Town Bike Rentals, 143 E. 13th St., (970)426-2807
Mountain Bike Specialists, 949 Main Avenue, (970)247-4066
Papa Wheelies, 1077 Main Avenue, (970)259-1975
Pedal the Peaks, 598 Main Avenue, and (970)259-6880
Second Avenue Sports, 600 E 2nd Avenue, (970)247-4511
Bike Parking in the City
The City of Durango offers on street bike parking corrals on Main Avenue in front of:
Expert guided cycling; Hermosa Tours offers multi-day and single day guided mountain bike tours in the mountains surrounding Durango. Concentration on providing a cycling vacation that includes the best riding of the area led by knowledgeable guides, excellent accommodations, delightful meals, transportation and an array of amenities that leave our guests relaxed, rejuvenated and thrilled.
San Juan Hut System
San Juan Hut Systems proudly announces the Durango to Moab mountain bike route. The ride is a 215-mile mountain bike journey with 26,400 vertical feet of climbing from Durango, Colorado to Moab, Utah. This route follows secondary dirt roads from the high alpine tundra of the San Juan Mountains to the desert slick rock and canyon country of Utah. This route is for upper intermediate to advanced riders. Cyclists must be in good physical condition, although the riding is not technically difficult. The routes are remote. Riders must also possess basic bike repair, first aid and survival skills. Six wooden huts equipped with eight padded bunks, propane cook stove, propane light, wood stove, firewood and necessary kitchen facilities. Huts hold eight people. Huts are fully stocked with food, drinking water and sleeping bags. Contact: Joe Ryan Owner/Operator, (970) 626-3033, email@example.com
OUR CYCLING CELEBRITIES
Some of the world and national class cyclists who have lived/trained in the Durango area:
Numerous mechanics, coaches, promoters, designers and builders support any successful development program. The following people with ties to Durango have had an impact on the sport of cycling:
Chad Cheeney - Level 2 USA Cycling Coach
Steve Owens - Colorado Premier Training
Aaron Urquidez - BS-KINE, NSCA-CPT, NASM-PES
Durango Wheel Club
The Durango Wheel Club has been a cycling institution in Durango since 1895! The Durango Wheel Club was originally formed as an advocacy group for better roads. Back then horses and wagons dominated traffic, which meant the roads were not conducive to a smooth or safe ride on another form of transportation, the bicycle. While big fast vehicles have replaced the horses, what hasn’t changed since those early days is the grassroots upbringing of the Wheel Club.
Durango is a Mecca for not only cyclists, but also athletes and outdoors people of all kinds. With renewed interest and large groups of people gathering for rides at just about all times of the year, the Wheel Club has come full circle into initiating a new membership whether you are interested in racing or just having a good time on rides. The goal of the Durango Wheel Club is to be an inclusive group providing a more structured relationship within the community. The Durango Wheel Club is involved with promoting safe cycling in and around Durango.
Bicycle Lemonade is a not-for-profit, employee-owned and operated corporation dedicated to building community and protecting our planet by keeping bicycles out of landfills and encouraging more people to ride them more often. By restoring otherwise abandoned bicycles for a relatively low cost and teaching people how to maintain and repair them, we foster a cleaner, more active and more interactive community. There have been numerous individual champions in the history of the program.
Fort Lewis College Cycling Team
The FLC Cycling Team is one of the top cycling development programs in the country. Many former club members now race professionally and still ride the local streets and trails to mentor the top-level riders of Fort Lewis College’s perennial National Championship contending cycling team.
Along with a host of professional and Olympic riders, Durango is home to Fort Lewis College, 18-time national cycling champions: the USA Cycling Collegiate National 2011, 2010, 2009, 2007,2008, 2007, 2006, 2004, 2003, 2001, 2000, 1998, 1997, 1995, & 1994 Mountain Bike Champions (or you can just say 6-time defending USA Cycling Collegiate Mountain Bike National Champions), 2004 & 2003 Collegiate National Cyclocross Champions and 2004 Collegiate National Road Bike Runners Up. Many of the student/athletes go on to professional cycling careers and some are on an Olympic path. These athletes are a testament to the quality of riding found in the Durango area. The FLC mountain bike team has won 13 National Collegiate Cycling Association Championships in ‘94, ‘95, ‘97, ‘01, ‘02, ‘03, ‘04, ’06, ’07, ’08 and ‘09. There have been numerous individual champions in the history of the program.
Colorado Governor Bill Owens proclaimed February 21, 2006 Fort Lewis College Cycling Team Day.
The Durango BMX track was established in 2002 through the efforts of local volunteers and the City of Durango. The track, built by professional track builder Billy Allen is located next to the Animas River in Cundiff Park behind Four Corners River Sports and is open to the public. It is not surprising that the BMX program is thriving in a cycling-oriented city like Durango. Durango BMX has produced numerous regional and state champions and is the home of 12-year-old Christopher Blevins (four time ABA, and two time USAC National Age Group Champion) and 20-year-old Ashley Grubb (2007 UCI Cruiser Age Group World Champion). The track offers weekly clinics; evening races and gate practice April through October. Several times during a season top professional riders visit Durango and put on camps and clinics. The track is family oriented and an emphasis is placed on having fun as well as improving skills and conditioning. The track is a fertile farm system for other cycling disciplines, such as track, mountain, road cycling and cyclocross.
Durango DEVO began as a men’s high school race team and quickly grew. There are three age group cycling development platforms. Jr DEVO is aimed at elementary aged kids, 6-11 and is all about a fun introduction to mountain biking. The U-14 program is middle school based. Male and female teams get coached and introduced to mountain bike racing. The U-19 program is high school based and focuses primarily on race training. Durango DEVO's mission is to teach riders that cycling is a healthy activity that can last a lifetime in numerous different ways. For more information: (970) 764-5758 or www.durangodevo.wordpress.com or www.durangodevo.com.
Durango Bike Fit
Durango Bike Fit has the only Retül 3D Motion Capture Technology bike fit system in the Four Corners. Offering mountain, road, triathlon, time trial and cyclocross fitting, recreational and professional riders have had their riding position optimized by Dr. Ryan Siggins. Being a cyclist, chiropractor and USA cycling coach, Dr. Siggins understands each rider has unique biomechanics and goals when riding. The Retül 3D system captures your position relative to your pedaling motion, creating a realistic replication of your true pedal stroke and body position when out on the road and trails. Often overlooked, a properly fit bicycle can be the best investment a cyclist can make in their cycling endeavors.
Durango Performance Center
1201 Main Avenue, Suite 205
Exercise physiology lab and performance center in Durango, Colorado. Helping athletes and aspiring athletes to achieve peak performance in sport and life. The Durango Performance Center, along with the assistance of Performance Cardiology and Colorado Premier Training, and other coaches, will be a world class, state-of-the art physiology lab for all levels of athletes.