Trail Maintenance Endowment Fund
Donor of the Month: Todd Givnish

How do you enjoy trails?

Frequently!  Trail running and mountain biking are my primary means of travel.  Depending on the day the adventure can range from a lunch break trail run up Hot Springs, to an all-day epic ride along the Divide, to riding with my 6-year-old son on Fiddlehead and Panorama.  The variety and accessibility of trails in Steamboat are absolutely incredible.  We are fortunate that our after work “hot lap” on Emerald, is what many folks would drive hours to get to and enjoy only a few times a year.

 

When did you first become a donor of the TMEF and what inspired you to give?

On a small scale, likely at an early fundraiser at Mountain Tap.  On a more impactful scale, two years ago, Alex Pashley and I, decided to donate the proceeds of the Continental Divide Trail Run to TMEF.  We had recently taken over as race directors, added a 50k distance, and got one year under our belts to understand the finances.  Simultaneously, miles of new trail were opening in Steamboat and TMEF was gaining steam.  Without the extensive trail network, our runners wouldn’t have anywhere to train, and we could not have Steamboat Running Series trail events.  Not only are we donating our proceeds to TMEF, but hopefully, we are also inspiring participants and volunteers of the Continental Divide Trail Race to donate on a personal level as well.

 

Can you share a memorable experience you’ve had on our local or area trails?

There are far too many to narrow it down to one memorable experience.

In September 1999, I had just moved to town, to go to CMC, and got my first mountain bike at Sore Saddle.  I had ridden a little bit on Emerald…maybe up to loop 3 was my longest ride.  Some guys in the dorm convinced me to go ride from Rabbit Ears to the Ski Area with them,  “Its mostly downhill,” they told me.  I had no helmet or gloves, yet off I went with them.  We missed the turn down Fish Creek to get to Mountain View, and ended up riding over to Summit Lake, down the road, and down Spring Creek.  I walked my bike a lot and could barely feel my hands by the end, but what an adventure it was.

This past Summer, riding with my son, Theo (then 5 years old) on Fiddlehead was fantastic.  The combination of spectacular views, nearly flat terrain, and riders all encouraging each other, makes the Fiddlehead/Panorama zone spectacular.  Convincing my wife to drive the car and kid back down, while I “test” the new Spring Creek downhill back to the house topped it off.

 

What is your vision for the future of trails in the Yampa Valley?

We must continue to educate users on trial etiquette and sustainability.  There will be more and more users each year, and understanding how to use the trails will bring more enjoyment for everyone.  Keep the single track single!

The continued expansion of trails aimed at either end of the spectrum (beginner and expert) will encourage more folks to get out to use and support the trails.  This also takes pressure off the heavily used (Emerald and Spring Creek) trails, further reducing user conflict.

Finally, we all need to take pride in our trails and give back to the trails.  Giving back can be financially and/or by volunteering on trail building and maintenance days.  Show up and help out – I promise you it will be a memorable experience.

 

What is your message to people who have not given to the TMEF yet?

What are you waiting for?  We are beyond fortunate to have one of the best trail networks in the country.  Please give back, ensuring the network will only get better.

It could be $10 a year.  It could be one trail work day.  It could be encouraging a few friends to do the same with you.  Take pride in our trails and give back where you can.