The Trail Fairies of Golden

Rick - doing what Trail Fairies do!

Rick - doing what Trail Fairies do!

The genesis and maintenance of trails is often a mystery.  While we’re all out there loving the buffed out single track, it’s not often that we see the blood, sweat and tears that go into creating it... unless you’re awesome, like Golden Cycling Club members, Rick Seward and Pierre Lambert.

These two are the brains and most of the brawn behind the beautiful network of trails you’ll be running in Golden in September.  As directors with the Golden Cycling Club, Rick and Pierre are primarily responsible for chasing down most of the funding to resurrect and build trails, designing and building the trails, and also doing the day-to-day maintenance and improvements on the trails.  The result?  Literally, there is over a hundred kilometres of trails to enjoy and more being built every year.

We caught up with Rick in the winter season over a coffee to pick his brain on some new trails and his thoughts on the Golden Ultra coming to town.

What is your favourite section of trail?  Why?

I am loathe to mention one trail, as different trails will fall out of favour and then return with a vengeance.  I’ll name three (in no particular order).

Better than Boston – This trail, part of the Cedar Lake/Moonraker network works well in both directions.  There is something about its flow and location that always makes me smile.  It’s also the only trail that Pierre and I built that did not nearly end in an exchange of gun fire!

Sternwheeler – This is one of our newer trails and remains a work in process, it’s a diamond in the rough.  It’s built in really challenging terrain so it makes for a great finish to a ride or run.

CBT Mainline – This is just an all around great trail.  Without it, Gold Rush, the Mighty Quinn and Old Age and Treachery would not exist.

Editor’s note:  CBT Mainline is part of the Golden Ultra, while the others are not featured in 2015.  Sternwheeler and Better than Boston are both worth checking out if you’re in the area and looking for a fantastic run – they are great connectors if you’re looking to segment the Sweat (55 km) route into smaller sections for training.

Rick enjoying the trails on his mountain bike.

Rick enjoying the trails on his mountain bike.

What’s the most rewarding thing about building trails?

Again, this is not just restricted to one thing.  I really enjoy looking back on a new section of trail and knowing that I built it.  The other is the knowledge that so many people are out there and appreciate what these trails do for them. Last year I passed a visitor riding with a group of locals. Someone must have mentioned me to him since he turned his bike around and chased me down several kilometers to thank me!

Which section of trail do you think Golden Ultra runners will find especially wonderful?

While I’m not a runner, I suspect that the Terminator Ridge and LSD section will be the highlight.  The views are extraordinary.

Thanks Rick – for building all of these trails AND for taking the time to chat with us!

The Golden Ultra is a three-day stage running race (or relay) in Golden, BC from September 18-20, 2015.  Runners may participate in all three stages as a solo or part of a relay, or may register for any single or combination of two stages separately.  For more information, please visit www.goldenultra.com.