Danya Leemhuis and his father loved Golden.
Both from Toronto, they travelled to the mountains together on many trips, enjoying powder-filled days at Kicking Horse Mountain Resort, and getting out to bike and explore the Valley in the summers. Danya and his father Adrian have many fond memories of Golden, and Adrian has countless amazing memories to remember his son by.
“We would come together, just he and I,” Adrian remembers fondly, which is why he wants people to join him on a gravel cycling route in August. “I would love to have people come out and see how stunning it is.”
The Blu Moose Ascent and Gravel is named for Danya, who had radiant blue eyes and a wild spirit.
On August 9 and 10, cyclists are invited to participate in a ride up to the top of Kicking Horse Mountain Resort on day one, and then along a gravel road on the west bench on day two.
All of the registration fees collected will be donated directly to the Golden and District Hospital.
The first day is a 10-kilometre ascent from the base of the resort to the top of the mountain via It’s a 10.
On day two, riders are invited to participate in the 200-kilometre ride from the resort along the west bench, south of Golden.
Along the way, there are many opportunities to grab food and drinks, or exit the trip at 50, 100, and 150 kilometre marks.
“The nice thing about gravel riding is you come here, and you’re going to see more bears than cars,” Adrian said, adding that the ride is an adventure and the natural setting is breathtaking. “And, the nice thing about this course is you can exit it anywhere.”
One of the reasons the Leemhuis family is donating the funds to the Golden and District Hospital is to help support those who provide medical care to those in the community that was so important in Danya’s life.
The Blu Moose is also hosting another cycling event the following month in Ontario, and will donate to the Couchiching Conservancy to help conserve and protect ecosystems for today’s children and future generations.
It has been over a year since Adrian’s 14-year-old son died suddenly. Although he says the wound will likely never heal, he wants to help spread the love Danya had for the Golden area and the great outdoors.
“He loved it here, loved the people, loved the nature, and all the crazy stuff you can get up to,” Adrian said. “I would like people to see what Danya saw and loved.”
Registration for the event can be found at www.theblumoose.com. Cyclists are already registering for the event, and Adrian hopes even more people will join him and his family for this charitable ride.
There are different route options for day two, which can include a 100-kilometre ride to Parson and back, or a 200-kilometre ride to Spillimacheen and back.