Wyse Way celebrates with a soft opening
July 6, 2015
AVON — When twin brothers Cody and Casey Wyse moved to Eagle County in 1996, they never expected to one day ride a trail named after them.
However, after months of hard work this year, the Wyse brothers celebrated the opening of Wyse Way this week in the West Avon Preserve, an area between the local Wildridge and Singletree neighborhoods.
Wyse Way is the latest in a series of trails to open in the West Avon Preserve in 2014, and this year, it will join the Avon Singletree Connector trail with Playground Way near the O'Neal Pocket Park trailhead in Wildridge. The trail will be an alternative to the popular climbing trail Saddleridge, which has seen heavy traffic from uphill users wanting to lap the popular downhill trail Lee's Way.
For the Wyse brothers, however, the trail means much more.
"This year, we were out at least one day nearly every weekend," Cody Wyse said Friday.
That meant time away from family, with the brothers both being fathers of 1, 2 and 3 year old children. Cody and Casey say the trail is also named after their wives, who tolerated so much time on the trails with volunteer crews. The bothers say they hope the work pays off when they're able to ride with their children one day.
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In the mean time, however, those volunteer crews became a family in themselves.
Fellow volunteer Lee Rimel said the naming of the trail is a good choice as he saw a volunteer work ethic in the brothers beyond anything he had ever experienced.
And Rimel has experienced a lot. Now in his 70s, the hiker, mountain biker and responsible trail use advocate has memories of local trails older than many of the users on them. Last year, Rimel himself was also honored with a namesake trail —Lee's Way — which was immediately recognized as one of the most fun downhill descending trails in the Vail Valley.
"Cody and Casey served as an inspiration for many people to volunteer for trail work in the West Avon Preserve," Rimel said. "Their dedication and passion is truly incredible."
Moreover, said Rimel, the Wyse brothers, who both live in Wildridge, take a neighborly mindset to the trails.
"They understand the importance of building trails that serve all users," Rimel said.
For users of Wyse Way, look forward to a trail that has fewer switchbacks than Saddleridge, and gets shade in the earlier in the afternoon.
"When I'm coming back home from work, it's got a little shade, which is nice," Casey Wyse said.
Wyse Way was built by hand, unlike the machine-built Playground Way which is connects to, and a large portion of the trail was constructed in a single day last fall when Vail Resorts' brought their EpicPromise Day to the West Avon Preserve.
The Wyse brothers were out volunteering on that day, Casey Wyse said he couldn't believe how much work the 270 volunteers out that day were able to accomplish.
"Walking down the trail this morning, and coming back this afternoon, was like absolute night and day," Casey Wyse said.
Despite the name, the Vail Valley Mountain Biking Association deserves the real credit for the trail, Casey Wyse said on Friday.
"We really want to thank the VVMBA and all the volunteers who came out to help build," he said.
Vail Resorts partnered with the Vail Valley Mountain Bike Association and the Eagle Valley Land Trust to bring the EpicPromise day to Wyse Way in 2014. At the time, the trail was going by the name of "Masher."
Now renamed and ride ready, Jamie Malin with the Vail Valley Mountain Biking Association said they're still making some final improvements to the trail and could use volunteer help on Wednesdays.
For more information, or to get involved, visit vvmba.org.