24 July, 2011

Oh-My-God Road aka Virginia Canyon

'Tis Sunday morning. Another cathartic TdF is about to be under wraps with my boy Cadel Evans finally taking the win after so many close calls and crappy teams not designed for him to win the tour. Rode and ran to my satisfaction and now I'm listening to the Oliver Nelson sextet's The Blues and the Abstract Truth (Impulse, 1961) drinking french pressed Kenyan Roast (and ingesting particulate solids of the bean). If you have no inclination for Jazz (straight ahead, bop, hard-bop, circa 50-60's AMERICAN jazz) can I suggest you pick up John Coltrane's My Favorite Things ? No question mark in the title. If you don't like that after a month or so of listening you might have right-brain aesthetics issues you might need to correct. Life can't be sweeter with the week I just had (I don't need much to keep me grinning).
Yesterday after corner marshaling the Mt Evans-Bob Cook Memorial-Hillclimb I was so baked from standing in the sun stopping cars from running over competitors, yelling at my compatriots for non-numbered riders trying to poach the course (we actually pay to shut down this road for this event, otherwise I wouldn't care), collecting tossed water bottles, cheering the slowpokes on...etc. I was too tired to ride with Kenny. So when our Natural Grocer's Boss Mr. T. came cycling along and told us we're done, I asked Kenny L. do you still want to ride? Thankfully he said yes. The day before he was scheming up a cool off-road with some on-road route that would take us over Oh-My-God Road to Central City and back to Idaho Springs. As volunteers we got the usual post race schwag but this year the T-shirts are cooler and we got a free sandwich from a local restaurant (being a vegetarian I gave my fleshy parts of my sandwich to Kenny). So after eating a Clif-shot and the lettuce, cheese, and bready parts of a sandwich and putting on a clean kit on a sweaty, stinky, warmed-over body (I especially love putting on form-fitting bib shorts on said stinkiness) we're off to ride in 95°F (35 C) temps. Here's an interesting description about this route Kenny chose from TrailCentral.com:
About This Trail: Oh-My-God road was once a major link between Idaho Springs and Central City. This road was critical for many miners bringing supplies to there camp by horse and wagon in 1865. Once the railway included stops in both cities the traffic along the road dwindled signifigantly.Along this road a great deal of mining activity took place, some ruins still remain to this day and add to the history you get to see while riding this trail.
Trail Description: The road is a well-maintained dirt road. There is a short paved section at the top, and the county is paving one mile of the road per year. Along the road, you will see many service roads branching off. Some of these go to national forest land, so feel free to explore. HOWEVER, some of these go onto private land with signs like this. We don't want to be responsible for anybody getting attacked by dogs, or shot, so please make sure you know where you're riding! The bike shop in town, Mountain and Road Bicycles (303-567-4666), carries an excellent map of the area. If you are planning on branching off of the main road, make sure you have a map.

Here's a link, to see the map as well as the profile.
Here's the video, thanks Map My Ride...

I especially like the if you are planning...have a map part. It was a rather fun exploratory ride for future references. The drag about the slight detours was usually after we bombed a downhill and we figured we went the wrong way, we had to 180 it and climb back out to retrace our steps. Kenny climbed in the big gear to get a power workout, I just pedaled to get over. We got all manner of friendly hints of NOT to ride your bike at Blackhawk, instead walk it to save the fine from the local po-po. We saw some abandoned mines, investigated its innards, and moved along. The weather was a little on the warm side but tolerable. After we bombed Central City Parkway we traveled on a little known (at least to us) bike path that paralleled I-70. It dumped us on the far eastern edge of Idaho Springs but what a cool path we saw and what amazing scenery we witnessed at the the top of OMG and Central City. There was some cool information a local gave us as we were filling water bottles up at Freedom Valley Resort. We also saw the town of Russel Gulch. A "town" in various stages of disrepair. Had that old, near ghost-town feel I witnessed riding around Jay's cabin in NM. High alpine mining towns are cool best witnessed with homies on a bike. Cool loops near Nevadaville we can explore on the 29er because the roads are sometimes unpaved out here in the old mining towns of Colorado. All of this information will be stored and used in late season or early season stuff when we need to pile on long-ish pedal rotations to get the body primed for (XC) race abuse and quality saddle sitting, gabbing with friends time.
Afterwards I meet up with the rest of Team M to celebrate mother in-law's birthday with some quality dinner components complete with imbibitions. Man what a most excellent way to end a most satisfying week. If you weren't listening, to recap: soccer with kids, listening to the TdF with my favorite winning, riding solo, riding with Kenny, celebrating mother in-law's b-day, and free socks and Clif products from our sponsor (thanks Kenny) make for a glorious week in this particular life. Mine...so there.

No comments: