In response to concerns about the Golden Giddyup. The organizers of the Golden Giddyup mountain bike event recently published a statement on their website and social media pages stating, “The Golden Giddyup is Over.”
Before we go any further, we must thank the many people who have shared their time and talents stewarding JCOS trails. These efforts are noticed by many and we sincerely appreciate each person’s contributions to improving our trail system.
To be clear, Jeffco Open Space (JCOS) did not cancel the 2020 Golden Giddyup. That decision was made by Giddyup leadership and the Executive Director. In fact, we were willing to permit this event in 2020 at one JCOS park and that was clearly communicated to Giddyup leadership. The Giddyup leadership declined, saying it was not workable on their end.
The genesis of Golden Giddyup came after the catastrophic floods of 2013, when members of the mountain bike community approached JCOS to offer their assistance in reopening the trails at Apex Park. In 2016, JCOS agreed to permit, on a trial basis, the first Giddyup race in Golden. Initially, this event was to be hosted by closing one JCOS park for exclusive use. Since exclusive use of JCOS parks was not permitted at that time, the JCOS Director made an exception to permit the Giddyup on a trial basis. JCOS hosted this event for three years, closing three popular parks for almost an entire fall weekend day. During that time, we received many comments from upset residents and park visitors about this exclusive closure. Additionally, we found ourselves deploying many of our rangers to staff this closure at the many points of access to these parks. This pulled valuable resources from the other 24 Open Space parks and cost approximately $20,000 which was not charged to the event.
For the past eight months, JCOS has been working with the organizers of the event, typically hosted in September. The original communication in October 2019, centered around the concerns mentioned above. In conversations with the Giddyup, we were clear that these issues needed to be addressed in 2020. To address these, we offered several single parks for the event, including White Ranch Park and Apex Park and a phased fee schedule to cover part of our costs to host the event.
On February 6, 2020, the event’s Executive Director emailed JCOS staff to express that “I am forced to make the decision to suspend the race for one year." He went on to say, “I will not be making a public announcement of this change until later this spring, and we’d appreciate it if you and JCOS would not make any public announcements about the race until we have had the opportunity to plan a celebratory event in its place.” JCOS honored this request and has not heard back from the Giddyup leadership on this announcement or matter.
We understand that the Giddyup is a popular event for the Front Range mountain bike community. Hence the willingness to work with the Giddyup to issue a permit at one park for the 2020 event with a few requirements to address community and JCOS concerns. This includes a modest fee of fee of $4,500 to cover our direct expenses (less than $9/participant for an exclusive event) and hosting the event at one JCOS park to reduce visitor and staff impacts.
We remain open to discussing the future of this event with the Golden Giddyup leadership. Thanks again for contacting us with your concerns.