The Creekside Dirty Century is one of few gravel grinders in Colorado. From what I’ve gathered the Century is hosted by Creekside Bikes in Parker, and has been run in ’09, ’10, and ’11. There are few photos on the event site and it seems that it’s pretty low key. Here’s the original route map courtesy of Colorado Dirt Road Randonneur. The route begins and ends on the Cherry Creek Trail which I elected to skip to do a bit shorter route.
|The old dam at Castlewood Canyon|
After leaving the canyon the route winds around through back roads eventually passing through Larkspur at about 20 miles. I didn’t take the opportunity, but Larkspur offers several options for refueling. The Larkspur Pizzeria and Café might not be a bad option if you choose a route that begins and ends here.
After Larkspur the route misses any options for stores, but continues to pass through some amazing and scenic landscape. This is one of the best gravel routes I’ve ridden on the Front Range to date. The roads were in great shape. Several sections of washboard and pure loose gravel peppered the route, but fortunately they didn’t last long. Most of the surface (at this time) was light gravel on hardpack dirt.
The course had very few flat sections. Overall the course was filled with rolling hills that provided about 4200 feet of elevation gain. There are few treed sections of the route leaving sweeping scenic vistas including quite a few old barns. Of course, the ride would be quite different story on a windy day.
|The washboard and rollers are both apparent here.|