Keep your trails legal, and you'll be Golden

We are no strangers to the mountain bike trails located in Golden, BC. Ever since we started travelling west for mountain bike holidays we've made a point of stopping in Golden. What first brought our attention to this destination was the Mount 7 Psychosis downhill race that was run yearly from 1998-2008. Top racers from around the world would come out to race on this 1200 meter descent that would take the pros 12-20 minutes to complete.

One of the first ride days we did in Golden was at the Kicking Horse Mountain Resort. With a vertical mile of descending through open scree fields, high alpine meadows and coniferous forests, we were lucky if our bodies could handle up to 6 runs in a day. While there is some gnarly terrain in the mountains surrounding the town, there are over 60 kilometers of beautiful beginner and intermediate level singletrack in the Moonraker trail system and the CBT Mainline. There is no lack of riding opportunity in Golden and even if you are fuelled by Kicking Horse Coffee you would be hard pressed to ride it all in a few days.

The club responsible for the trails in the area is the Golden Cycling Club. Formed in 2002, the main focus of the club was the race on Mount 7. After the Psychosis race was retired in 2008, they devoted their volunteer efforts into building trail that was accessible to a wider variety of riders. Each year they submit trail plans to their land manager for approval and obtain funding through a variety of sources including MEC and the Columbia Basin Trust to hire local youth, athletes and club members to help complete projects. In 2010 the club surpassed the 100 member mark and it continues to grow.

One success of our visit to Golden was getting the Golden Cycling Club and the Columbia Valley Cycling Society (CVCS), based in Invermere, talking and working together. Invermere is located about one and a half hours south of Golden along highway 95 close to Panorama Mountain Resort. The CVCS is currently in the process of getting many of their trails legitimized in order to promote the area as a destination. Both clubs are in very similar situations (located at the base of a resort with lift access mountain bike trails) and are of similar size. Collaboration between the two clubs (and other clubs in the area) will help to do more with what little resources they have. If multiple towns in a region can promote themselves as mountain bike destinations, then it means mountain bikers who travel to ride can stay in an area for a longer period of time.

We'd like to thank Warren from the Golden Cycling Club for stepping up to the plate and organizing the visit so quickly. Kudos to Rick for his dedication and continued work on the trails around Golden. We worked with some talented builders from the Golden and Invermere area and it was great collaborating with everyone on such an outstanding project.

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