Almost 1,900 people have signed up to ride to Silverton in the 51st Annual Iron Horse Bicycle Classic with about two weeks to go before the celebration gets underway. Unlike last year, when registration closed after selling out early, registration remains open for events.
Ian Burnett, who is directing his second IHBC this year, said registration will remain open right up to the night before events begin.
At a planning meeting on Wednesday featuring volunteers from Durango, La Plata County, Silverton and San Juan County, he said that he hasn’t yet poured through registrant data to determine where people are traveling from, but typically, attendees represent over 30 states and five countries.
Last year, registrants traveled from 43 states and five countries to participate in the 50th Annual IHBC, according to data from last year’s events.
Although many registrants, 948 people so far, will be attempting the grueling but rewarding uphill ride to Silverton for the first time this year, Burnett expects a good number of participants to be experienced with the ride. He said he anticipates at least two riders will reappear for their 33rd rides to Silverton.
At least 28 riders have traveled the path to Silverton over 20 times, according to registrant data he provided.
“We’re trying to really honor that and bring out our history and show what it’s all about,” he said.
He anticipates the 35-45 age group to be the largest, although most age groups usually get around 150 registrants. So far, each group has about 130 people registered, he said. But the McDonalds Citizen Tour from Durango to Silverton is the largest event of the weekend and accounts for about two-thirds of total participants.
It isn’t clear how many pro riders will attend the IHBC this year, although the planning team will release more information closer to Memorial Day weekend, he said.
He credited several organizations with helping fund activities for this year’s annual IHBC and said Durango Derailers helped raise the most funds, contributing over $200,000. Other contributors include La Plata County Mounted Patrol, Durango Devo, Fort Lewis College Cycling Scholarship and the Davis Phinney Foundation.