Golden played host to two stages of one of the biggest and most exciting mountain biking events in the region last week. The Singletrack 6 went off without a hitch.
This is the first time Golden has hosted the event, run by TransRockies, and Golden Tourism’s Joanne Sweeting says the organizers couldn’t be happier with how it went.
“I went to the awards on Tuesday, and there was some really great feedback from the athletes, saying how great the trails were. A lot of them said they were the best trails they had ridden,” said Sweeting, who originally put in the bid for Golden to host the race.
An informal participant vote even named Golden and Stages 4 and 5 the best in the event.
Golden, being the only community to host two stages of the six-day race, was able to provide a beautiful start and finish line in downtown Golden, and have trails close enough that the riders were on them and off the pavement within minutes of starting.
“It just shows that as a destination, we’ve got the wherewithal to hold these kinds of massive events,” added Sweeting. “And we were able to pitch for two stages. We can do that because we have 100km of racable trails.”
TransRockies is a professional event organizer, and ran a very smooth event here in town. But before they got here, it was the Golden Cycling Club who laid the groundwork by building the trails, through donations and volunteer hours, to make Golden a genuine mountain biking destination.
“The club was so great. After we put the bid in, I contacted them because I didn’t know the trails, and they just jumped on it and kept in contact with TransRockies to help map the routes.”
Now that the race is done, Sweeting and Tourism Golden have their sights set on next year, and making their Totally Spoked Festival (which included the Singletrack 6 and multiple other biking events in town) successful again next year.
One of the great things about hosting such a prestigious event is that Tourism Golden has images, video, and lots of other marketing collateral that will help the organization attract similar events to the community. And TransRockies was very helpful with that goal.
“They were really nice, very helpful with what we wanted. We got some great imagery and video to help us in the future to target similar event organizers,” said Sweeting.
The benefit of attracting professional events like these is that the organizers take care of what they need to. All that needs to be done at this end is pave the way, and make it easy for them to get what they need (which was done with the help of the Golden Cycling Club, the Town of Golden, the RCMP and Fire Department, as well as local business and service organizations).
That is not to say that the community is not involved. The reception in town has also been inspiring says Sweeting.
“It was unbelievable. The buzz around the start area was amazing,” she said. “There was a really cool atmosphere in town, with a lot of things being hosted by the community. I’m just so pleased with how it all turned out, it was great. We just need more of it now.”
To see more video and footage from Golden’s leg of the race, go to http://www.tourismgolden.com/activities/totally-spoked/updates.
There will you will also be able to find the Strava (an app that logs bike rides, and allows you to compare your rides to those of fellow riders in the area) logged routes from local rider Shane Kroeger, who won the 5k downhill race portion of the event.
Kroeger wasn’t the only Golden rider to have success in the Singletrack 6. Rich Marshall came in first place in the 50+ division.