DURANGO, CO (BRAIN)—Organizers of the Iron Horse Bicycle Classic road race called off the event for the first time in 37 years as winter weather persisted over Memorial Day weekend in southwest Colorado.
“The race goes over two 11,000-foot mountain passes and there was a between a foot and 15 inches of snow on those passes and it was completely snowpacked,” said Ed Zink, owner of Durango’s Mountain Bike Specialists and chairman of the race committee. “There was absolutely no way to proceed.”
The 2,500-rider race was scheduled on Saturday morning, but with the snow and temperatures forecasted into the teens, the decision to call it off practically made itself, Zink said.
The only other year the race hasn’t been held since its inception in 1972 was 1997 when bad weather forced riders to turn around after they’d begun.
Zink—whose bike shop typically racks up two-and-a-half times the sales of a normal week during the Iron Horse Classic—said the cancellation didn’t hurt revenue.
“Leading up to the event on Friday, we sold pretty much everything that even resembled cold weather gear in anticipation that it would be cold. Then, an awful lot of the jerseys that say Iron Horse sell after people complete the race, those sales were down,” Zink said, adding that sales came out about the same as any other year.
— Nicole Formosa