Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Bike events designed to build wheel enthusiasm

Biking offers health and wealth


Bike to Work and School Day on Friday, May 15, promotes the Wood River Trail and reduces fuel use.

The Wood River Valley is a scenic and safe environment for people of all ages to ride bikes, whether they are on a one-speed cruiser or an expensive custom-made machine.

"The big effort here is to get out of the car and provide other options," said Sean McLaughlin, Smart Moves coordinator for Mountain Rides. "Bikes are a great resource and viable economic option."

May is National Bike Month, and Mountain Rides is celebrating National Bike Week with a Bike to Work and School Day on Friday, May 15, from 6 a.m. to 10 a.m. on the Wood River Trail. The trail from Hailey to Ketchum will have 12 booths with giveaways from several valley businesses, including Smith, Sun Valley Bar, Blaine County Recreation District, Rocky Mountain Hardware, Mountain Rides and Power Engineers.

In addition, the fourth annual Community Bike Swap will take place at Sturtevants in Hailey on Saturday, May 16, and Sunday, May 17, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mountain Rides will donate 20 percent of all proceeds to the Wood River Bicycle Coalition and the area Safe Routes to School effort.

McLaughlin is part of the Wood River Bike Coalition, which promotes the Wood River Valley as a biking community. The coalition has joined the League of American Bicyclists and has been awarded "silver" status for the valley's system of bike and pedestrian paths and bus routes.

"We want to reach gold status, and be able to build more bike paths," McLaughlin said. "Anyone who commutes to work on a bike knows it's an addiction."

With the intent of raising awareness and moving toward a community dedicated to alternative transportation, the Smart Moves Commuter Challenge encourages valley residents to log their biking, walking, carpooling and public transportation miles from Friday, May 15, to Wednesday, July 15. The logs will be collected and totaled for an awards party at KB's in Hailey, date to be announced.

For details, call 721-7183.

Sabina Dana Plasse: splasse@mtexpress.com

Bike activities and events

Wednesday, May 13, and Thursday, May 14

· Safe Rides to School Conference, Sun Valley

Open to the public and registration appreciated. National Safe Rides to School staffers will highlight Mountain Rides programs and discuss new ones.

Thursday, May 14

· Ribbon cutting at Hemingway Elementary School

New Safe Rides to School program to be inaugurated at 11 a.m.

Friday, May 15

· Bike to Work and School Day

Celebrate National Bike to Work Day by biking on the Wood River Trail. From Hailey to Ketchum 12 businesses will have stops with giveaways.

Friday, May 15, through Wednesday, July 15

· Smart Moves Commuter Challenge

Commuters enter their miles walking, biking, riding the bus, vanpooling and carpooling on Trip Trackers available on Friday, May 15, at bike shops and Mountain Rides. Trackers will be collected and tallied for awards at KB's in Hailey after Wednesday, July 15.

Saturday, May 16, and Sunday, May 17

· 4th annual Community Bike Swap

9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Sturtevants in Hailey. Gear drop off on Friday, May 15, from 12-5 p.m. Mountain Rides will donate 20 percent of all proceeds to the Wood River Bicycle Coalition and Safe Routes to School.




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