Like many of you, we at the Golden Giddyup are all frequent users of Jeffco Open Space trails. We live amongst them, drive to them, ride to them, take our kids and our dogs to them, and escape to them when life begs escaping. These trails are sacred to us, as they are to you.
But, like so many things in life, you don’t always appreciate what you have until it’s gone. After the floods of 2013, with devastating damage throughout the parks, we were suddenly and keenly aware of what we had had, and what was now missing.
After having our beloved trails closed due to the flooding, a small group of neighbors and frequent trail users formed The Friends of Apex and worked closely with Jeffco Open Space to help get the trails re-opened.
We had great support from Jeffco Open Space – we were given tools, support, guidance, and kudos.
We worked at odd hours, sometimes solo efforts, in the rain, snow and the blistering sun. We encountered rattlers, black widows, hosts of elk and deer, and a bear or two.
We moved rocks, and shoveled a lot of dirt.
On more than 50 different days, more than 60 volunteers – all mountain bikers – put in over 600 hours to get Apex Park re-opened.
In the process, we developed strong relationships with the staff at Jeffco Open Space, but most importantly, we developed a strong respect for all it takes to maintain the trails we love so dearly, and an appreciation for all of the work that went into procuring and preserving the land our trails are on in the first place (read more about PLANJeffco).
With Apex open and strong relationships formed, we wanted to find a way to do two things: First, we wanted to continue giving back to the trails, formalizing the “Friends of” efforts, and possibly replicating the model at parks across the system, engaging mountain bikers in ways not seen in Jefferson County before. Secondly, we wanted to celebrate the trails we love and the people and community who make them possible.
A long time dream, we broached the idea of a cycling event and festival with Jeffco Open Space and we were met with positive support.
Working with the JeffCo Outdoors Foundation, we partnered up with Team Evergreen, known for their outreach work in the cycling community as well as their event production (including the Triple Bypass, the Mount Evans Hill Climb, and others), and OnSight Public Affairs, known for their work with The USA Pro Cycling Challenge, Pedal The Plains, and a few other notable ventures.
The Golden Giddyup was born.