Iron Horse spurs fun time

Cruiser Criterium brings out the goof for young at heart

Racers in the Cruiser Criterium fun race round the corner from Main Avenue to 10th Street on Sunday during the Iron Horse Bicycle Classic’s zaniest event. Enlarge photo

SHAUN STANLEY/Durango Herald

Racers in the Cruiser Criterium fun race round the corner from Main Avenue to 10th Street on Sunday during the Iron Horse Bicycle Classic’s zaniest event.

In some cities, people identify themselves by what they drive, but when it comes to the Durango Cyclery Cruiser Criterium, it’s all about what you pedal.

Durangoans united downtown Sunday afternoon for the second day of Iron Horse Bicycle Classic events, watching as a colorful mob paraded their cruiser bikes – and other interesting contraptions – up and down Main Avenue in the ninth annual Durango Cyclery Cruiser Crit.

It was basically Halloween on wheels, and the streets were jam packed with people hoping to catch a glimpse of the madness. Amid the chaos, dogs wagged their tails, kids stood on their tip-toes to see through the crowd, and at one tent, people were lying on a table right next to the course receiving acupuncture.

When the cruising finally kicked off, a clown and several princesses rode near the front, with a person wearing a fright wig and some kind of animal-print suit doing tricks behind them.

A Rastafarian, some Uncle Sams, and a crew of little Army men followed.

Also not to be missed: a bike converted into a polo style pony, a Canadian on a Cannondale, a three-seater full of superheroes, and some beach babes complete with inner tubes around them.

Two of the most eye-catching oddities included a contraption boasting a shopping cart as a front tire and a local racer peddling his legs off on an unbelievably tiny blue bike.

“I loved the real racer guy on the little blue bike,” said Suzan Lane who was among the kooky crowd of participants, “I said, that guy’s got stamina.”

Lane herself was dressed as the Black Swan, wearing a short saloon-style black dress and a tiara on her helmet.

“I lowered my standards a bit to be out there with those lunatics,” said Lane, who has participated in the event five times, and is hoping to win a new bike and replace her vintage model.

Lane didn’t have much luck this year, but one raffle winner at the event did walk away with a recycled yellow mountain bike built by event beneficiary, Bicycle Lemonade, which is a nonprofit organization that builds and donates recycled bikes, working mainly off sweat equity.

Members of the organization don’t want to charge people, but recipients tend to value the bikes more if they help build it, John Bailey, of Bicycle Lemonade, said.

Proceeds from this year’s Cruiser Crit will help Bicycle Lemonade convert a used trailer into a traveling bicycle maintenance shop, which will create a more efficient way to keep bikes out of landfills and in the community, Bailey said.

Bailey helped announce this year’s Cruiser Crit, and noted that the event offers something dramatically different from the more serious races.

“It’s nice to get some different energy on the course in the afternoon,” he said.

scook@durangoherald.com

Monica Bartlett entertains the crowd as she rides her two-wheeled pony along with other costumed cyclists during the Cruiser Criterium fun race in downtown Durango on Sunday. Enlarge photo

SHAUN STANLEY/Durango Herald

Monica Bartlett entertains the crowd as she rides her two-wheeled pony along with other costumed cyclists during the Cruiser Criterium fun race in downtown Durango on Sunday.

Gloria Buerger raises spirits as well as bubbles as the crowds gather at Ninth Street and Main Avenue Sunday afternoon moments before the start of the Cruiser Criterium. Enlarge photo

SHAUN STANLEY/Durango Herald

Gloria Buerger raises spirits as well as bubbles as the crowds gather at Ninth Street and Main Avenue Sunday afternoon moments before the start of the Cruiser Criterium.

Some people found the best vantage place for Sunday’s Cruiser Criterium craziness to be from downtown Durango windows. Enlarge photo

SHAUN STANLEY/Durango Herald photos

Some people found the best vantage place for Sunday’s Cruiser Criterium craziness to be from downtown Durango windows.