Poem on the Range

SAT, 7/19

Imagine yourself cycling merrily through trendy LoDo, the Ballpark neighborhood and the Platte River Valley one Saturday morning. Where do you stop down there during the day, before the area's nightlife heats up? If you're certified, cultured city folk, you go to galleries. If you're bohemian, perhaps you lounge on the riverbank and write poetry. You dine in the park on wine and cheese. What an artful lark. But today there's a twist on that theme, one that also masquerades as a good cause: Haiku by Bike, a benefit for the Museum of Contemporary Art/Denver, takes all of those elements and turns them into something absolutely unique. It's a retooled takeoff on MCA's Art by Bike scavenger-hunt events of previous years, during which participants pedaled around town viewing private art collections while raising money. "But they've now gotten too popular, and because of the bigger response, we can't bring participants to people's houses anymore," says the museum's Sunya Ganbold. Instead, this year's route will flow through an as-yet-undisclosed list of local galleries (with a surprise stop at MCA's future site) in search of clues; each clue will then be translated into a word. At the end of the trail, over light picnic fare and wine at Commons Park, teams will create haiku poems from those words. The wittiest verse bags a prize. Roll over, Basho!

Tickets to the event, which runs from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. today, are $40 per person, and attendance is limited to fifty riders. To reserve a spot, call 303-298-7554. -- Susan Froyd

Pray as You Go
The Oh My Gawd Race is no rush to judgment
SAT, 7/19

Praise the Lord! Runners just might find religion as they round the hairpin turns in today's Oh My Gawd Race. Sponsored by the Rocky Mountain Road Runners, the race follows Oh My God Road, a winding dirt road that runs through the mountains between Idaho Springs and Central City. The race includes a six-mile ascent covering over 1,800 feet and two miles of rolling hills; organizers will staff two aid stations along the way.

"It's a steep, strenuous race that will test your ability," says race director Deb Cunningham. "It's definitely one of our more difficult ones."

Registration begins at 7:45 a.m., and the race starts at 8:30 a.m. To sign up, visit www. active.com. Fees are $10 for Rocky Mountain Road Runner members, $12 for non-members in advance, or $15 the day of the race.

"The name is sort of blasphemous," says Cunningham, laughing. "But it's really a gorgeous course with some panoramic views -- if you feel comfortable enough to take a break from looking at the dirt road, that is." -- Julie Dunn