A new adaptive-inclusive trail opened to the public on July 24, with an official ribbon cutting ceremony and inaugural lap of the 3.6 kilometre loop.
Located near the CBT trail network and parking lot, the trail, called Twisted Sister, is the first of its kind in Golden and is part of a larger network of adaptive trails that have been created to increase accessibility to mountain bike.
The trail, which is two metres wide and has a less steep gradient on the ascent and descent, is made for adaptive bikes for those who have spinal injuries or other disabilities that can make mountain biking difficult.
“It’s been a priority initiative for a few different reasons and it really allows for a wide range of users to access the mountain,” said Jason Jones of Larch Landscape Architecture, who designed the trail in conjunction with Starr Trail Solutions.
“It gives an opportunity for adaptive athletes to enjoy the trail and ride the adaptive network.”
While the trail is adaptive, it’s also enjoyable for bikers of all levels, from beginners to the advanced. There are adaptive trails across the Kootenays in Revelstoke, New Denver and Invermere, with talks of bringing one to Fernie. British Columbia and the east Kootenays are at the forefront of the wave of adaptive sports.
For Jones, working on this project was a dream come true.
“I’m very passionate about building maybe not the gnarliest and steepest trails, but trails that can be enjoyed by the broadest range of people,” said Jones.
“It’s been great to see so many people up there enjoying it and giving great feedback.
Funded through the Resort Municipality Initiative ($70,000), the Columbia Basin Trust ($25,000) and the Columbia Shuswap Regional District ($20,000), the project was made possible through the collaboration of the Golden Cycling Club, Town of Golden, Golden and Area A Trail Alliance, CSRD, Columbia Basin Trust and BC Recreation Sites and Trails.
“This is a fantastic initiative. Adventure and community are part of our identity here in Golden,” said Mayor of Golden, Ron Oszust.
“It’s great to see so many people coming together to make our local trail networks more inclusive and making sure everyone has an opportunity to participate in the activities Golden has to offer.”
Jones says that they were able to get input and feedback from the adaptive cycling community throughout the process, helping them shape the trail and ensure a solid experience.
Initial construction began in fall 2019 and continued into spring 2020.