Don’t hang up your bike for the winter just yet. The Old Man Winter Bike Rally (OMW), a winter cycling celebration for bike aficionados and beer lovers, will debut in Boulder County, Colorado, on February 8, 2015. The OMW is a 31 or 62-mile adventure ride and race that promises dirt, snow, sweat, and beer, a hard-to-find combination for cyclists in the dead of winter.
“Our goal was to create an amazing experience that integrates two things near and dear to those along Colorado’s Front Range: the epic riding in Boulder County and the passion fueling the growth of the area’s craft beer industry,” said Josh Kravetz, owner of Adventure Fit, the company producing the event.
“The Old Man Winter Bike Rally is our idea of an amazing day of adventure on the bike, followed by a huge after party. We want this to be a winter cycling tradition for locals and others who want to experience the terrain, beer, and bike culture that makes Boulder County famous.”
The Old Man Winter Rally offers two courses, both starting and finishing at the Oskar Blues Brewery in Lyons, Colorado. The ‘short course’ is approximately 31 miles of scenic gravel and paved roads through rural farmland. It’s designed to be a fun ride for riders who want to bundle up and enjoy the camaraderie and scenery.
The long course is approximately 62 miles and starts with the same country riding as the short course, then shoots riders into the mountains. Riders of the ‘long course’ will push themselves against the clock and their fellow competitors as they go up and down canyons, over primitive roads, and through a ‘secret trail’.
Part of the adventure is choosing the right gear to tackle extreme variations in terrain and temperature, and close to 5,000 feet of climbing in the majestic canyons west of Boulder. If Old Man Winter does decide to blow on event day, riders will be able to take a break at the well-stocked rest stations. Heat lamps, hot drinks, and real food will help everybody warm up.
Riders on both courses are encouraged to look for “Snowballs,” hidden snowball like globes that contain raffle tickets for prizes that range from a custom $1,600 REEB bike frame, to bike tune-ups, to apparel, to a hot cup of coffee.
Riders are welcomed back to Oskar Blues Brewery in Lyons for a post ride party with hot food, cold beer, and live music. Both short and long course riders are expected to finish around 2:30 p.m. so they can enjoy the award ceremony for the fastest men and women, the ‘Snowball’ raffle, and an Oskar Blues craft beer while unwinding with a live bluegrass band.
The Old Man Winter Bike Rally raises money for Can’d Aid, the non-profit side of Oskar Blues Brewery dedicated to giving back and making a difference. Funds raised at the event will go toward rebuilding flood-damaged trails for hiking and biking. The foundation was formed as an immediate response to the massive flooding that devastated Colorado in September 2013. To date, CAN’d Aid has donated $700,000 for flood recovery and an additional $150,000 to charitable causes focused on outdoor recreation, child and family advocacy, arts and culture, and sustainability initiatives.
Courses, schedules, rules, prizes and other pertinent information is available at the website.