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July 11, 2013
Jefferson County, Colorado
The heat is on during fire season Six fires in less than a month By Glenn Wallace
A unique bicycle, with “Welcome to Golden” lettered on the cross bar, was just one of the array of bikes that were spotted at last week’s Golden Bike Cruise. Photos by Glenn Wallace
Cycling in high gear
Golden a bicycling community on the move
By Glenn Wallace
This is the first in a three-part series about bicycling and its role in the Golden community. Part two, focusing on the business of cycling, will appear next week. It’s summer, and on the last Tuesday of June, it seemed like half the city took part in the that edition of the Golden Bicycle Cruise. Hundreds of people milled around the cruise staging area and the bicycle racks. They ranged in age from infants to the elderly. Some came just to enjoy the festive atmosphere and the live music, and perhaps get something to eat and drink. Most, however, came to ride. The theme of the June ride was “superheroes,” as the plethora of capes and spandex clearly demonstrated. Adam “Bo” Boe, a manager at the Golden Bike Shop, says there is nothing extraordinary about cycling in Golden except that 30 to 40 percent of the community is connected to it in some way. “The cycling community here is blowing up, exponential growth,” Boe said as he surveyed the crowd at the bike cruise. Among those community members was Jordanna Quinn. She sported a red cape, as did her 3-year-old daughter, Avery. Quinn said her family was quite bicycle focused, using it as their primary way of transportation, including her means of commuting to work in Denver. “Between all of us, we have about eight bikes,” Quinn said. The allure of the cycling lifestyle is clear, according to Quinn. “It’s fun. It’s easy. It’s exercise. It’s outdoors, and you can do it with your
Two members of the Gorman family of Golden, sporting their matching “The Incredibles” shirts, ride off into the sunset during last week’s superhero-themed Golden Bike Cruise.
‘It’s fun. It’s easy. It’s exercise. It’s outdoors, and you can do it with your friends.’ Jordanna Quinn friends,” she said. Down the street from the bike cruise is the office of the Bicycle Racing Association of Colorado, run by Chris McGee. “We were a motorcycle town 10, 15 years ago, and now we’re a bicycle town,” McGee said. A quick look around the city quickly reveals the ways in which this is true. Bicycles parked outside businesses on Washington Avenue outnumber motorcycles nowadays. At certain businesses, they outnumber the
cars too. McGee said it is amazing that a city of Golden’s size could support five bicycle shops. He said a cluster of bicycle-related companies call Golden home as well. With so many riding opportunities, active competitive race, and a bicycle-friendly City Council, both McGee and Boe said the local cycling trend showed no signs of slowing. “With so many active people in and around Golden, I only see it growing,” Boe said.
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Things are getting hot in Jefferson County this fire season. In the last four weeks, six named fires have occurred within the county’s borders. “And I’d say we’ve lost count of the small fires that went unnamed because they were quickly extinguished,” Jeffco Sheriff’s Department spokeswoman Jacki Kelley. The Jeffco Sheriff’s Department handles organization, evacuation and security duties JEFFCO FIRE INFO for all fires withThe Jefferson County in unincorporatSheriff ’s Department uses ed county land. several methods to commuThe sheriff’s nicate fire and evacuation department was information to residents: the lead agency on the Bluebell WEBSITE: JEFFCO.US/ Fire last month, SHERIFF/ which burned CODERED MOBILE 10 acres in the notification: Sign up Evergreen area, at the website forcing the evacuation of hunFACEBOOK: WWW. dreds. FACEBOOK.COM/JEF“In the grand FERSONCOUNTYSHERscale of fires, it IFF was pretty small. TWITTER: @JEFFBut for the peoCOSHERIFFCO ple affected, they definitely KNOW EVACUATION felt it was a malevels: jor event,” Kelley LEVEL 1) Be ready to leave. said. So far, Jeffco LEVEL 2) Leave soon. residents have LEVEL 3) Leave imbeen spared the mediately! level of fire devastation experienced by the Black Forest Fire victims near Colorado Springs this year, or the Lower North Fork Fire last year. -The latter fire claimed three lives, 23 structures and charred more than 1,400 acres of Jefferson County. Still, Sheriff Ted Mink warns that the dry, hot weather being seen along the Front Range is similar to what was seen last year. At the end of June, he announced a fire ban for all land to the west of State Highway 93 and C-470. Kelley said the area would need days of considerable rain to defuse the level of fire danger. Beyond the potential loss of life and property, all these fires have other effects, straining law enforcement resources and costing county taxpayers. Only five deputies are typically on patrol in the mountain regions of the county. “If we’ve got two of them chasing fire calls, that spreads us pretty thin,” Mink said, adding that he had authorized some overtime for patrollers to do nothing but re Heat continues on Page 18
Entertain business associates, friends and family overlooking beautiful mountain views Pool and Tennis may be added for additional fees. Mount Vernon Country Club, Genesee exit/I-70, Golden, CO
Linda McFarlin – LMcfarlin@mountvernoncc.com 303-526-3135 www.MountVernonCC.com
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July 18, 2013
Jefferson County, Colorado
Corrections coming to Colfax County to move facility west of New York Building By Glenn Wallace
“It’s great we’re to the point where Golden can support five bike shops,” Boe said. Golden also boasts Pedal Pushers Cyclery, Big Ring Cycles, Peak Cycles and Rise Above Cycles, all supported by the week
A tentative deal is proceeding at the county level to build a new facility for Jeffco’s Community Corrections program. The proposed building site, 12300 West Colfax Ave., is near the intersection at Wide Acres Road and across Colfax from First Bank headquarters, It is about 4 acres, and could be home to a proposed 58,000-square-foot, community-corrections building. A new community-corrections facility was planned to be built next to the existing county jail, but rising budget estimates led the county to consider other options. “We’ve looked at 20, 30 locations, and this is the best we’ve found,” County Administrator Ralph Schell told the county commissioners during a July 9 staff briefing. The building would house convicted adults, diverted from incarceration in jail or prison, and help transition them back into society. “It would be very much patterned on apartment buildings,” Schell said. He said that if the community-corrections program ever moved or closed down, the facility would be designed for easy conversion to basic apartments. Commissioner Donald Rosier said that community outreach would be important for the project. He said that while the community-corrections program seemed to enjoy wide support from other elected officials, a “not in my backyard” mentality still exists. Jeffco’s community-corrections program is currently administered by the private, nonprofit company Intervention Community Corrections Services, located in the New York Building, 1651 Kendall St. That building, built in 1922, served as a tuberculosis sanitarium and later as a cancer research facility. The facility has rising maintenance costs due to its age and has been identified as a
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Colfax continues on Page 19
Spot Brand Bicycles President Andrew Lumpkin is pictured outside of his company’s Golden, Colorado headquarters with one of his mountain bikes. The company van behind him includes a logo proclaiming “Braincrafted in Golden, Colorado.” Photo by Glenn Wallace
cycle Bicycles equal commerce in the city
By Glenn Wallace
email@example.com This is part two of a three-part series exploring bicycling and its role in the Golden community. Part three, describing the many ways to get out and go on two wheels, will appear next week.
CDOT Executive Director Don Hunt, left, participated in a signing ceremony on July 11 with Golden Mayor Marjorie Sloan, right, to finalize the agreement between the agency and the city, regarding a longnegotiated agreement on the future development of the State Highway 93, and U.S. 6 corridor. Photo by Glenn Wallace
It is quite possible for a bicycle to be designed, built, purchased, tuned up, torn apart, rebuilt and finally donated to the needy all within Golden city limits. Bicycling is a way of life for many in the city, but it can also be a living. Among those for whom bicycling is a business career is Adam “Bo” Boe, manager of the Golden Bike Shop.
It’s a done deal in Golden City and CDOT sign highway agreement By Glenn Wallace
firstname.lastname@example.org With a few pen strokes, years of failed negotiations and legal sparing were put to an end July 11, as officials with the city of Golden and the Colorado Department of Transportation signed an agreement regarding the future design of the U.S. Highway 6 and State Highway 93 corridor.
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CDOT Executive Director Don Hunt and Golden Mayor Marjorie Sloan participated in the formal signing ceremony, which was attended by several elected officials, including two Jefferson County commissioners, and Arvada Mayor Marc Williams. Golden city leaders had long opposed regional transportation plans to complete the 470 beltway system, saying that invasive freeway modifications to U.S. 6 and Highway 93 would damage the Golden commu
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The Transcript 19
July 18, 2013
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end warriors, and local riders of the city. Boe said each shop has a little niche in which they excel, ensuring room in the market for all five to survive, and also ensuring a huge variety of bikes and gear for sale to residents. Bicycles are also made in Golden, including some of the most innovative on the market today. Yeti Cycles, makers of some of the fastest, most high-tech and expensive mountain bikes made today, has its headquarters in south Golden. “Any product we make has been tested, tuned and refined on the trails around Golden,” Yeti President Chris Conroy told the Transcript late last year in an interview. In fact, the Yeti office shuts down for an hour every day just so staff can go for a group ride. Just around the corner from Yeti is Spot Brand Bicycles, which proclaims that all its bicycles are “Braincrafted in Golden, Colorado.” The boutique brand specializes in belt-drive bikes, perfect for single-speed mountain bikes (though geared models are available too), as well as stylish commuter/ road models with interior gearing. “We love it here,” Spot President Andrew Lumpkin said. “We love the lifestyle that our employees get to enjoy. We test bikes on the trails and on the roads, and we have both those options right out the door.” Lumpkin, whose father founded Avid Brakes in Lakewood, said the family always wanted to move closer to the mountains for better access to trails. When the family sold Avid and bought Spot, it was a foregone conclusion that they would keep the company in Golden. On a much smaller scale is native Coloradoan Richard Gangl, who handcrafts road and race bikes in his Golden workshop. With custom-fit geometry and personalized paint jobs, Gangl’s bikes take time to build. He currently has a 10-month wait list for new bike construction, according to his website. Last year city of Golden Ward 3 Councilman Bob Vermeulen, seeing the concentration of cycling businesses and being a rider
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nity, which would be cut in half by the changes. The most recent round of negotiations between CDOT and Golden proved successful, however, and in May, the sevenmember City Council approved that agreement, 6-1. Councilor Bob Vermeulen voted against the agreement in May, saying approval of the agreement gave the appearance of approving the entire beltway plan. The July signing represented CDOT’s official acceptance of the Golden plan. Commissioner Marcie Miller said she had been an active opponent of beltway plans for years, but was happy to see the agreement become a reality. “We figured out what would work for our community. That’s what good government is, you find the way through,” Miller said. The agreement sets parameters for “a shared vision” for long-term improvements to the roadways, including setting speed
himself, organized an industry dinner. He said that every time he handed out an invite, he heard about someone else to invite. “I knew about the retailers, I knew about the manufacturers, but I didn’t know about everything else,” including charities, and even a cycling-centric law firm, Vermeulen said. The “Cyclist Law Firm,” led by Megan Hottman, opened up its Golden office in August last year. She said Golden just happened to be where she wanted to live and opening up the firm close to home made sense. “I kind of consider this a cycling mecca, which was one of the reasons we moved here,” Hottman said. Hottman, a professional racer with 10 years competitive experience, said a nice 60-mile morning ride along the classic Lariat Loop helps make her day. And most days include working on personal-injury cases involving cycling accidents, something Hottman said she has special insight into. The Hottman Law Firm does more than just work on cycling cases. The office also sponsors a racing team and offers spinning classes in the winter months. “It’s open to the public; classes are only $5. Bring a bike, and we’ll provide the (stationary riding) trainers. Other cycling-related ventures can be spotted across the city. There is Victory Circle Graphix in north Golden, which helps make the graphics and decals for competitive cycling teams. There’s Steve Stevens and his basement museum of the classic, old-fashioned “big-wheel” bicycles. There are also at least two bicycle-centric charities in town. The Golden Optimists Club helps repair and refurbish old bicycles and then ships them off to impoverished communities around the world, providing free, reliable transportation. Also in the city, and with a similar mission, is the World Bicycle Relief grassroots development office. Vermeulen said the concentration of cycling-centric businesses is a result of Golden’s geographic luck in being so close to high-quality road cycling and mountain bike opportunities. “It all helps, together with everything else Golden has to offer, to make it a desirable place,” Vermeulen said. “Looking to the future, I just see more of it.”
limits, road alignments, landscaping guidelines and sound mitigation for the highway sections through Golden’s city limits. The agreement grants CDOT a plan for long-term improvements to the busy traffic corridor, allowing the department to increase lanes (including adding toll lanes), and remove intersections. In exchange, the city was able to keep speed limits at their current levels, and have many of the new freeway sections lowered beneath grade instead of creating overpasses. Other CDOT concessions included promising to maintain all current lanes as toll-free, providing improved landscaping, soundproofing, and also promising to keep the corridor to two lanes until traffic reaches certain congestion levels. Funding for all of those upgrades remains a challenge. “There are miles to go and a lot of pennies to gather along the way,” cautioned Councilwoman Saoirse Charis-Graves. Still, she said, she was happy to see the “Golden Plan” be officially adopted by CDOT. “This is a great path forward but let’s not stop here, and continue working together,” Hunt said.
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town starting at 10 a.m., and a show called “Cody’s Wild West” re-enacting some of the Wild West shows of the past. That will be at Lions Park ball field 12:30-3 p.m. Saturday’s featured bands will be The Last Flight Out, Strange Radio, JP Harris and the Tough Choices, and Brad Lee Schroeder. Sunday is another fun filled day that will begin with a community worship service,
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expand, upland bird hunters will want to take a look at what Metro Denver Pheasants Forever has planned. A hunter-safety class is set for Aug. 1011; Intro to Shotgun Shooting for the Novice will be staged Aug. 17 and Sept. 14 at Barr Lake State Park. On Oct. 5 at the Kiowa Creek Sporting Clays, members and friends will gather for the annual Fun Shoot. Call 303-915-7170 to register and finalize your plans. The Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge continues to offer a wide variety of nature education, with both handson and wildlife viewing opportunities. Photo contests, high-quality bass and other warm-water species fishing, working with a specialist in the Visitor Centers Discovery Room, growing a garden that attracts birds, viewing owls and other refuge
followed by the ever popular Muttin Bustin contest for kids. All day long you can see two great car shows happening up and down Washington Ave. The 13th annual Orphan Car Show as well as the 10th annual Classics and Street Rods Car Show. This is also the day the Duck Race is happening. What’s that? Buy a numbered rubber ducky and watch it race down Clear Creek for prizes. For more information about all the activities, visit the Buffalo Bill Days website at www.buffalobilldays.com or call 303279-3342.
wildlife and a close look at the growing herd of bison are all possibilities for kids, families and seniors. Call 303-289-0930 for information and to register for one or more of these exciting programs. Colorado Trout Unlimited will stage its initial Family Fly Fishing Camp at the Pickle Gulch Campground in Gilpin County Aug. 9-11. TU will be supported by Angling University in this exciting introduction to the fastest growing angling sport. The camp focus will be on kids ages 9-13 in age who are accompanied by a responsible adult. The camp is hosted by TU and AU skilled anglers, and ensures both youth and adults a unique experience to test the fly-fishing trout waters firsthand. Equipment basics, casting, knots, fly selection, trout habitat and water ecology are all topics to be explored and discussed. To gain more information and register for this event, which has a fee, call Jake Lemon at 720-354-2646
Ron Hellbusch may be reached at RonHellbusch@comcast.net
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prime location for renovation to become part of the nearby Rocky Mountain College of Art and Design campus. The county had been considering selling the New York Building since at least 2010. In 2012 the county entered into an exchange agreement with Colorado Investment and Development Company. As part of the agreement, the development company would buy the Colfax property and build the replacement facility to county specifications, and then swap the new building for the New York Building. The Board of County Commissioners gave its initial approval to proceed with the exchange agreement, with official approval scheduled to take place at the Aug. 6 public meeting, as a consent item. Schell said that barring any complications, the county’s Planning Commission could approve the new communitycorrections site plan in September. Construction would start in December, and would take 12 to 14 months. The official exchange of properties could then occur in the spring of 2015. The cost of building the new facility is estimated at $12.4 million, while the county would receive $5 million for the sale of the New York Building. The additional $7.4 million in costs is budgeted to come from county bond funds.
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Jefferson County, Colorado
July 25, 2013
Toad gets colorful New mural by local artist adorns Mountain Toad Brewing By Glenn Wallace
Bike versus bike, Kyleann Hunter, co-owner of Rise Above Cycles, pedals her way up Golden Gate Canyon Road as a motorcyclist heads down. Photo by Glenn Wallace
Golden offers cyclists a plethora of options
Lovers of art, as well as IPA’s have something new to croak about. Golden artist Jesse Crock has painted an outdoor mural on the north wall of the city’s newest brewery, Mountain Toad Brewing. The three-panel mural measure 10-anda-half by 7-and-a-half feet. “They’re panels showing different scenes of Golden, and I had to throw in a toad,” Crock said. Another scene, showing a kayaker on Clear Creek with the Colorado School of Mines (CSM) “M” in the background, was included to honor the school where two of the owners met.
One of those owners, Kaylee Acuff, recently earned her doctorate degree from CSM, and taught there, until recently. “I see a lot of my students here, so it’s an interesting change of roles,” Acuff said. Acuff, and the other three owners — Thad Briggs, Josh Robbins, and Brian Vialpando — opened Mountain Toad on Memorial Day weekend, and say they have enjoyed strong community support so far. The brewery features six beers on tap, typically including a range of styles, such as their Mt. Zion IPA, and White Ranch Wit (Belgian white). The brewery has followed the lead of fellow Golden breweries like Golden City and Cannonball, and invited Toad continues on Page 20
By Glenn Wallace
rom here to there, from there to here, great places to ride are everywhere. Apologies to Dr. Seuss, but Golden really does offer an amazing array of cycling opportunities, courtesy of canyon and hill access, along with hundreds of acres of surrounding Jeffco Open Space. There is also a lot of riding opportunity within the city limits. “You can go east to west or north to south on nothing but multiuse trails,” Ward 3 Councilor Bob Vermeulen said. He added that the city’s Complete Streets policy, which has added pedestrian and bike amenities along Ford Street and Jackson Street in recent years, has made it very easy to be a cyclist in the city. “We live in such an incredible place, especially in Golden, and you really don’t get to enjoy it if you’re in a car,” the “Cycling Lawyer” and Golden resident Megan Hottman said. For younger cyclists, or for adults new to two-wheeled fun, just enjoying a ride around town can be a great way to start. Try joining the next Golden Cruise for a family-friendly dinner and spin around the city; cruises take place the last Tuesday of each month through October.
For road cyclists
The climb up Lookout Mountain, winding its way above the city, is “The Ride” for local cyclists, with several skinny-
tire devotees making the climb a regular part of their pre- or post-work routines. Lookout is such a good climb that in 2011 the USA Pro Cycling Challenge made it the defining feature of the final day of racing. Take 19th Avenue west, and just past the pillars, the climb truly begins. It is just over 4 miles, at a 5 to 6 percent grade, of amazing views. Things flatten out at the top, and trees offer some shade for the weary. To put in more miles, continue on the historic Lariat Loop route, which eventually winds back out of the mountains through Red Rocks. The more casual road warrior can pull into the Buffalo Bill Museum and Grave atop Lookout Mountain, and reward themselves with a root beer float from the museum diner. Another popular road ride is Golden Gate Canyon. Ride the canyon out and back to Golden Gate State Park for a solid 30 miles. Hottman, herself a professional rider, says one of her favorite routes actually passes the state park, continuing through Rollinsville on Highway 119, north to Coal Creek Canyon Road, all the way back to Highway 93, and home, making a ride of more than 50 miles. “There’s 4,500 feet of elevation gain. That’s a pretty incredible ride. That’s the quintessential Colorado ride for me,” Hottman said. Ride continues on Page 20
Jesse Crock works on some of the finer details, adding a field of barley around a cyclist with South Table Mountain in the background. Glenn Wallace
20 The Transcript
July 25, 2013
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She said the curvy mountain roads don’t have much in the way of a shoulder, and should only be tackled during nonpeak traffic times.
For mountain bikers
Apex, is indeed considered the apex of quality mountain biking along the front range. The trails in Apex Park are perhaps too renowned. The technically challenging trails, and great views attract a large number of hikers and equestrians, along with single-track seekers. Check out the county’s park page (jeffco.us/parks/parksand-trails/apex-park/) for a detailed trail map, and be aware that mountain biking is restricted to one-way movement on oddnumbered days. The trail head for Apex is in the lower parking lot of Heritage Square. For added difficulty, the route of choice for the local fat-tire folks is nicknamed Chimpex. Start at the Chimney Rock trail head — across U.S. 6 from the School of Mines athletic field — and climb the punishing switchbacks up to Lookout Mountain Road, connecting to the top of Apex Trail. Vermeulen tries to get a morning ride in most days. His spot of choice is North Table Mountain. “For kids and beginners, if you leave from the new Jeffco parking lot off Highway 93 and go north on the North Table Mountain Trail (NTMT), the terrain is a great introduction to mountain biking that is a mix of rolling singletrack and doubletrack,” Vermeulen said. For the more ambitious, Vermeulen recommends heading straight up the service road at the south end of the main parking lot. The 18-percent climb is a steep entry price, but once on top of the plateau, miles of varies trails become available. Several loops are available, with varying difficulties. “You will get to see the Coors factory and amazing views of downtown Denver as you circle the Mesa, ending up back at the parking lot,” Vermeulen said.
Golden resident and artist Jesse Crock works on a three-panel mural he completed last week, on the northern wall of Mountain Toad Brewing, on the corner of 9th Street and Washington Avenue. Photos by Glenn Wallace
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food trucks to swing by most evenings, providing food to go with the libations. Newly added umbrellas for the brewery picnic tables have added shade to their beer garden. “We really are passionate about the community, and just wanted to add to it,” Acuff said. She described that Golden atmosphere as being “where you can just pull up a chair and share a beer with anybody.” Besides the new mural, there are other big changes afoot at Mountain Toad. Acuff
and Robbins are getting married. The happy couple is celebrating by crafting an “I Do Brew” Belgian ale for their wedding guests, as well as for visitors at the brewery.
The ownership decided to feature Crock’s artwork, both for the wall mural, as well as hanging several of his pieces inside the brewery, because of its vibrancy, and its reflection of the Golden lifestyle, Acuff said. “It’s alive. It’s what we’ve all seen out there, except it’s in paint,” Bar Manager Kelly Burton said. Briggs said the mural, and the building’s overall red paint job was a massive
improvement over the pale pink color the building was in when first purchased. “It just adds so much color,” Briggs said. The brewery received funding assistance from the Golden Urban Renewal Authority for both their sign, as well as the mural. Crock said the mural was the first he had ever done outside, and the largest. He said that even though painting on cinder block was “difficult to say the least,” he had enjoyed the work. “I couldn’t ask for anything else,” Crock said. “It’s a dream come true to be able to share my art in my hometown.” Crock said his future artistic endeavors include getting ready for the Golden Fine Arts Festival Aug. 17 and 18.