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Park City's newest trail dedicated in honor of Cyndi Schwandt

Cyn City Chase and Tom-credit Leslie Thatcher.jpg
Leslie Thatcher
/
KPCW
Lead trail builder Chase Smith and Tom Schwandt (L to R) after opening Cyn City trail

Three years ago, long time Park City resident Cyndi Schwandt died doing what she loved best – being outside riding her mountain bike. This week, Park City’s newest downhill-only trail was dedicated in her honor.

With close friends and members of Team Sugar, an all-women mountain bike guiding group that Cyndi was part of for years watching, Mountain Trails Foundation crew member Chase Smith and Cyndi’s brother Tom used a chainsaw to cut the log that was blocking the trail from bikers riding the trail until after the dedication.

The new 2.75 mile trail with just over 700 feet descent is named Cyn City in Cyndi’s honor. It’s open only to downhill bikers. Rated as an upper-intermediate downhill flow trail, it’s filled with exaggerated grade reversals, known as rollers, as well as big, banked turns.

Mountain Trails Foundation Executive Director Lora Smith explained the idea for a trail grew out of a collaboration with Cyndi’s family, who also helped pay for it.

“I wanted to especially thank Tom and the Schwandt family for matching the grant that made this possible. So, we only had about half the money. But they stepped up and provided the rest of the money we needed to make this happen. We really owe them huge thanks.”

In June 2019, Cyndi, who was a strong, experienced rider, was found on a mountain bike trail in the Prospector area, unresponsive with no pulse. There were no witnesses to the accident.

On Tuesday, Tom Schwandt said his sister would have been very happy with the new trail. The family he said has also agreed to support the ongoing maintenance the trail will require.

“We will be looking to you help you guys along keep this trail maintain,” Schwandt said. “That's part of what we'd like Cyndi's legacy to be.”

He added that the family will provide a plaque that will not only identify the trail but also share a bit of Cyndi’s history in creating some of Park City’s earliest mountain trails dating back to the 1980s.

Mountain Trails Foundation Field Manager Rick Fournier credited his crew, and lead builder Chase Smith, for going above and beyond on the project.

“There is a tremendous amount of sweat equity that went into this project, and I think it shows on every turn and inslope, Fournier said. “Chase, this was his first major project and he absolutely killed it. And I would dare call him one of the premier trail builders in the greater Park City area, and his name will be associated with this along with Cyndi. So, we're incredibly proud of this. Cyndi was as you know, a pioneer in women's mountain biking and definitely an amazing steward for our local trails, as well as you know, building some of the early trails. So, we are just incredibly proud to be able to attach her name to this project.”

The Cyn City trail is accessed from the 9K and Black Forest trails at the top of Guardsman Pass and eventually connects to the Mid-Mountain trail.

Tough but fair, Leslie is the woman most of Park City wakes up with every weekday morning. Leslie has been at KPCW since 1990 and her years at KPCW have given her depth and insight, guiding her as she asks local leaders and citizens the questions on everyone’s minds during the live interviews of the Local News Hour.