With July’s races now complete, it’s timely for the Golden Cycling Club to reflect on the month that was and what the future might hold for the organization.
The effects of hosting four separate races during a two week span – including 300 or so riders for the Transrockies Single Track 6 – might not be fully known for quite some time, but the early indications are exceedingly positive.
“With the Single Track 6, when they rated the six stages, Golden got 1st and 2nd place for favourite rides among the racers,” said Club President Chad Gennings.
What could this positive feedback mean for the club and Golden? Of course, if positive word of mouth spreads about the trails, it should mean more tourism dollars for the town. According to Gennings, however, the club could reap the rewards in a different manner.
“I think the biggest benefit is garnering support for trail maintenance and development. When you have a lot of people interested in your trails, it shows that there’s a lot of support from riders for them and that gets us support from local, provincial and federal governments when we’re trying to upkeep our trails,” he explained.
As was reported in last week’s issue, the club has begun raising funds for a new trail to honour Sean Schacher, who died last month of an apparent heart attack. The trail would connect the town with the paraglider launch site on top of Mount 7. In addition to that initiative, Gennings says the club is exploring the idea of adding an ‘epic alpine ride’ that would offer panoramic views from higher elevations.
“These trails attract a lot of riders,” he said. “People would come to ride here because of that trail even if they aren’t going to ride that trail because people start to associate an area with excellent riding.”
One of the most important aspects for the club is its trail maintenance, which is done entirely on a volunteer basis. The club hosts seven volunteer days throughout the summer to help with that. Gennings hopes to see more representation from different demographics when it comes to volunteering in the future.
“Typically it seems to be the same people, and that’s been my take on it, we get the same people out all the time and that demographic is usually over 50, when the bulk of our riders are actually between 20 and 35,” Gennings said. “Although we have some really committed volunteers, we’re still not getting the amount of effort that other towns are getting with their volunteers.”