One of the largest mountain bike stage races in North America has chosen Golden as one of their 2014 locations.
The TransRockies Challenge has been operating in the region since 2002, bringing as many as 600 riders to the Rockies and Kootenays. Next year they are changing the format a bit, and Golden will be one of the first locations to showcase the new race.
“We’re looking to create a twist on that mountain bike stage race concept, and we’re really highlighting community based trail networks, and single track mountain bike riding,” said Aaron McConnell, president of TransRockies Events.
Singletrack 6 will be a six-day mountain bike race in Bride Creek, Nipika, Radium, Revelstoke and Golden, with Golden being the only location to have two days.
“I think Golden has certainly been known for mountain biking, even though it’s been slanted more towards the downhill side with Mount 7 and Kicking Horse. In the past few years it’s started to develop more cross country trails, and it fits nicely into the route alignment that we’re looking at. It was a natural choice for us,” said McConnell, who was in town last week to track the route.
When Tourism Golden found out that TransRockies was changing their format, and looking for host communities, they began working with the Golden Cycling Club to create a proposal.
“It’s great that we got two days. If people are staying for two days, they’re going to be more relaxed and spend more time seeing what else Golden has to offer,” said Joanne Sweeting, marketing manager with Tourism Golden.
“I think if everything goes really well in 2014, we stand a chance of having it repeated here every two to three years.”
The two days spent in Golden (July 29 and 30, 2014) is expected to bring between 300 and 500 cyclists into the community, and upwards of 1,000 people including crews and families.
“They launch their marketing at the end of this month, and then we’ve got a year to market it. So doing that jointly with them, it will be a great way to market Golden as a cycling destination,” said Sweeting.
There is already a partnership with the Kicking Country Chamber of Commerce, the Golden Cycling Club, and Jordan Petrovics, manager of the recreation department at the Town of Golden, to get the community involved in the event.
“We really want to engage with the communities, and make them feel like they’re part of the event,” said McConnell, adding that in the past communities have organized events such as concerts to welcome the athletes and their families.
“It’s a destination event. People will make it a vacation. Most participants are not racing, they’re there to ride, and just have fun and finish.”
With the addition of the Mountain Shadows trails, Golden now has more than 100 kilometres of cross-country trails. Tourism Golden has a biking trail guide available on their website, but will be updating next year to include the new trails, as well as promotion for the Singletrack 6.