Vail Valley motocross riders dedicate kids’ track to pioneer Paul Miller
Riders open their throttles and ride through a huge red ribbon for official grand opening of motocross park
- The motocross park is 4.5 miles north of the I-70 Gypsum exit. It is staffed and open to the public on weekends. It’s self-serve on weekdays from dawn to dusk.
- Annual registration is $20. After registering, daily passes are $20 a day and annual passes are $300 a year. Family season passes are also available.
- For information or to buy passes go to www.rmsrco.com. Passes can also be purchased via cell phone at the gate.
GYPSUM — Siena and Windham Miller smiled into the brilliant blue Colorado sky and scattered some their father’s ashes in the soil around the motocross tracks that Paul Miller spearheaded. As Siena Miller tossed a bit into the air, a fresh spring breeze puffed some of her father’s ashes back onto her riding jersey over her heart.
“Look!” she said smiling, “I have a little dad on me!”
At Dry Lake Motocross Park on Saturday, Rocky Mountain Sport Riders sent Paul off at full throttle and dedicated a track where younger and inexperienced riders can learn. Siena and Windham Miller led more than 100 dirt bikers on a parade lap that celebrated their father’s life and legacy. They cracked open their throttles and rode through a huge red ribbon for this year’s official grand opening.
They took a half lap and stopped. Rocky Mountain Sport Riders President Joe O’Malley stepped into the reverent silence to say some wonderful things about Miller. They spread some ashes on the track, raised their helmets and cheered in salute. Then their bikes thundered to life again and they made their way to dedicate the kids’ track that Miller was so passionate about, the last project of the rider’s life.
Like many fathers, Paul Miller’s interests became his children’s interests. His son Windham was 3 when his father put him on a dirt bike. Daughter Siena was 5.
“The vision started the day his children started riding. He decided, ‘I have pee wee riders and we need a pee wee track,’” Paul’s wife, Mary Miller, said. “It was important to him that this be a family sport, that families should be together and riding together.”
Later in his life, most weeks Paul Miller worked 40 hours at his regular job and another 40 hours or more working on the kids’ track, Windham Miller said.
Siena Miller is now 20 and recalls it like it was yesterday.
“He wanted to have a place where kids like my brother and I could ride,” Siena Miller said. “He spent countless hours, days and weeks working on it.”
“He wanted to make sure this was finished for kids like Siena and me who didn’t have a place to ride,” Windham Miller said.
When they were hanging the sign on the track, Windham Miller said one of their father’s regrets might have been that he did not live to see grandchildren ride the track he built.
“He’s watching. He’ll see,” the crowd said almost in unison.
Most creative open space ever
The Dry Lake Motocross Park is the world’s most creative use of open space. It has to be.
It was Paul Miller’s vision as much as anyone’s.
Miller launched a version of Rocky Mountain Sport Riders in 1995. It went through a couple incarnations, as things will, and took off like a shot in 2008.
The motocross park is north of Gypsum in what was envisioned years ago as a high country lake. Neither that vision nor the lake held water and it languished, hence the name: Dry Lake.
Eagle County’s open space folks partnered with Gypsum and motorcycle enthusiasts from Rocky Mountain Sports Riders and many others to create a new vision — wildlife calving grounds in the winter and spring, and motocross tracks in the summer.
The park includes six track areas: A nationally competitive feature track, less demanding tracks for developing riders, a twisting, turning, single track trail circling the 180-acre property, a vet track is for 70s vintage style racing, an enduro cross play area features rock and log obstacles.
The Neighborhood Navigators, a group of six passionate Latina women, is working to create equity and elevate the voices of Hispanic people in Eagle County in a very simple, yet revolutionary way. They take time to listen and be present in their community.