It was all about bikes and beer at Steamworks Brewing Co. on Sunday for the Iron Horse Bicycle Classic mountain bike races.
One day a year, servers and bartenders have to dodge sweaty, spandex-donning bike racers who come through the patio door and out the front window of the brewery.
For some racers, a beer hand-up was just what they needed to quench their thirst part way through the course that travels through downtown and around the Fort Lewis College mesa.
By the sound of their cheers, bar patrons sipping on ales, lagers and cocktails enjoyed the spectacle. Racers, too, said it was one of the best parts of the course, even though some of them aren’t legally allowed to drink yet.
Riley Amos must have found some extra energy from the fans lining the course, as he won the junior 15-18 race minutes ahead of his closest competitor.
“It’s awesome, so many people heckling and hollering, and it’s dark and fun and so many people to psych you up,” he said.
Simon Donnaway, who took third in the junior men’s race, also said that it was special to race through the brewery in front of hometown crowds.
“It’s so much fun, It’s so enjoyable to go through all the big crowds,” he said.
Mountain biking and craft beer are two Durango institutions, so it’s only fitting that three Steamworks brewers participated in the race.
Spencer Roper said that the best part was climbing up the ramp to Steamworks’ back patio and into his place of employment.
Roper also said he hopes the Iron Horse as well as Durango’s access to world-class mountain bike terrain could boost the town’s already bike-crazed reputation.
“There’s not too many places that you can park your car at a hotel room for a weekend and have access to 120 miles of trail without even getting in your car,” he said.
Monday morning, when the tire marks and beer stains are all mopped off the floor, don’t try to ride your bike through the brewpub - it’ll probably get you 86’d.