June 15, 2010
The story of bicycling being banned in the small town of Black Hawk, Colorado, has gained some steam. It's important to note the specific impacts in terms of cyclists using our Great Parks South Route, Section 1.
Cyclists riding this route have two options to avoid a $68 ticket for riding through Black Hawk:
Although SR 119 continues south and east of Black Hawk to an intersection with US 6, there are tunnels in EITHER DIRECTION that are prohibited for bicycle traffic, making it essentially a dead end for cyclists. There are no paved alternatives for cyclists south of Black Hawk on SR 119.
We are fortunate to have a volunteer who lives in Colorado within an hour of Black Hawk. Upon hearing of the circumstances, he voluntarily hit the road to see it for himself. What he discovered is that the actual distance a cyclist would be required to walk their bike through Black Hawk is closer to 0.5 mi. (we originally reported it to be 1.5 miles) There are no sidewalks or shoulders for about half of the distance.
While in town, he also looked into another road now closed to cyclists that we were informed of through the process of reporting on the ban. Central City Parkway, on the same Great Parks South map panel #7 (detail below) is closed from Nevadaville Rd. to Virginia Canyon Rd., necessitating a detour. His suggested reroute is as follows:
Leaving Central City (Southbound narrative on our map): There is an X shaped intersection at Nevada Street (the main street) and Spring Street. Take the LEFT fork, Spring Street, and begin climbing. Follow Spring to Roworth to Virginia Canyon Rd and climb to the overpass over the Central City Pkwy. Cross the Parkway, and take an immediate left into the gravel parking lot for a road service facility. Follow this frontage road for about 0.25 mi. and enter the shoulder of the Parkway.
En route to Central City (Northbound narrative on our map): There is a short gravel path that leaves the Central City Parkway and puts you on the frontage road just before Virginia Canyon Road crosses the highway on an overpass. There is no vehicle exit here, just the small gravel path (and a big sign saying bikes exit here). Follow Virginia Canyon Road downhill until it turns into Spring Street and intersects with Nevada Street.
Riding Conditions Note: The grade on Virginia Canyon Road is up to 12% in places.
Since posting our original road closure notice, coverage of the Black Hawk ban has expanded, been updated, and sites to show your support have grown:
We continue to encourage you to support Bicycle Colorado in their bid to overturn the ban via legal and legislative means. If this ban is allowed to stand, a precedent will be set with statewide ramifications that we'd rather not think about.
Top photo: In Black Hawk at intersection of Gregory St. and Main St.
Second photo: On SR 279 facing east from Central City toward Black Hawk.
Map image from Adventure Cycling Routes & Mapping.
GEOPOINTS BULLETIN is written by Jennifer 'Jenn' Milyko, an Adventure Cycling cartographer, and appears weekly, highlighting curious facts, figures, and persons from the Adventure Cycling Route Network with tips and hints for personal route creation thrown in for good measure. She also wants to remind you that map corrections and comments are always welcome via the online Map Correction Form.