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‘Movers’ avoid traffic woes, burn calories

Peddlers, plodders log 27,300 miles

Express Staff Writer

It relieves stress. It helps them get in tune with nature. It saves the environment. And, they just really, really love human power.

Plus, it’s not that hard to do.

Jeffrey Davis logged 618 miles this summer commuting on his bike from Hailey to his work in Ketchum. Express photo by Willy Cook 

Those are some of the reasons 90 Wood River Valley residents left their cars at home and each logged thousands of miles commuting by foot and on skates and bikes this summer.

Altogether, they pedaled and plodded 27,300 miles between May 14 and Oct. 8.

Karen Bossick, a Hailey resident, covered 2,529 of those miles, more than anyone else who registered for the Move Yourself program organized by the Blaine County Recreation District, Wood River Rideshare and area businesses.

"When you see the miles added up like that, all of a sudden you say, gosh, I’m tired," she said.

During warm weather, she rides her bike to Ketchum at least four times a week for work and play.

She started the habit while working as a reporter at the Idaho Statesmen, a newspaper in Boise. Her assignment was to write about bicycle commuters, so she tried it herself and found that she could get around faster than in a car.

"The one thing that surprised me on moving here was that more people don’t commute by bike," she said. "I just don’t get it."

Beth Callister doesn’t get it either. That’s why she helped organize the Move Yourself program and the valley’s Rideshare program.

Collecting miles biked, skated and walked in the name of commuting is a "way that people can incorporate it in some kind of competition," she said. "People like to track numbers."

And the numbers also could help her obtain grants for the programs, she said.

Sydney Praegger, a physical therapist who lives in the Heatherlands neighborhood has been commuting the six or so miles into her Ketchum office for about eight years. She sometimes must use a car on days that her children need to get places, but she still managed to log 1,529 non-motorized miles this summer.

For her, there is no fancy bike involved—just a 25-year-old ten-speed—and no fancy equipment, except for a good light for riding after the daylight saving time change.

"It’s more pleasant than driving a car," she notes.

Chris Kastner burns calories on his daily bike commute between Hailey and Ketchum. That’s helpful for Kastner, because he’s a chef with a penchant for nibbling on rich foods all day.

"My average weight has dropped about 12 pounds," since he started biking to work in the 1980s, he said.

He could easily be called a bicycle enthusiast, with expensive road bikes and mountain bikes and even a little racing experience. But his interest in racing has waned because, "there’s too much driving involved," in getting to the races.

Biking more than 2,131 miles this summer also helped him avoid "the road rage thing" and helped him contribute to protecting the environment.

"My solution is to not be part of the problem," he said.


The Idaho Mountain Express is distributed free to residents and guests throughout the Sun Valley, Idaho resort area community. Subscribers to the Idaho Mountain Express will read these stories and others in this week's issue.