Phantom Canyon is all about dirt; 25 miles of it after the pavement runs out just off Highway 50 from Colorado Springs. Ride host John Philips, who sports a Fabian Cancellara like build, did a good bit of pulling on the long line of highway rollers leading up to the canyon and the road that was cut and blasted to route trains destined for the gold mines of Victor and Cripple Creek. It climbs at a steady 3-4% grade through two rock tunnels and over several bridges before it arrives at the quaint historic town of Victor, Colorado.
Once committed to the journey there's no escaping the heat and the dust (from numerous passing cars) as the steep canyon walls engulfed the intrepid band of Continental riders, and our two following vehicles. Shooting out the back of the video car, Dave Christenson's video camera eventually succumbed to the fine choking dust and it needed a good cleaning to become fully operational again. The images that follow don't really capture the true grit of the place, but they are the best on the day.