Summertime is now symbolically underway with the arrival of the 4th of July weekend. The snow is melting fast, the lower terrain is getting dry and the campers, RV’s, motorcycles, sports cars, and sheep are all heading north. This is also the time of year when many of our retailers hope to finally achieve “profitable” status for the year. So, be nice to the tourists! They don’t know our traffic patterns. Their minds and actions are a result of their “worlds” at home. Many of them do not know how to slow down. Many of them find our simple communities very confusing. If they can’t find a parking space within 10 ft. of their destination, they may become frustrated. They may not understand that, as a pedestrian, they have the right of way and that automobiles will (should) stop for them. The bottom line……..be patient, be nice, and be alert, especially if you’re on a bike.
All of the trails are now officially “open”. However, that does not mean that some of them are even remotely “recommended”. Any trail above 8,oo0 feet will possibly (or likely) have snow, depending on the aspect. Some of our favorite trails up north are NOT ready to be ridden. That is, unless you like crossing waist deep, ice cold, swift moving streams and carrying your bike across snow fields. If you’re into that and the likely downed trees that haven’t been cleared, then go get it. If not, then you might want to wait another week or two.
Thousands of sheep are now roaming through the valley foraging on wildlfowers and leaving behind something less pleasant than wildflowers. You can usually hear them or smell them before you see them. If you encounter a band, the “recommended” action is to dismount your bike and speak nicely to the guard dogs as you proceed through the sheep. If this technique doesn’t seem to be effective, the necessary course of action may be to bushwhack around the sheep or simply turn around and abort your mission.
There is currently a band of sheep in the Croy Creek drainage that are likely on the upper reaches of Bull Dog trail. This band was scheduled to leave the area by now but, due to the cooler weather pattern, will likely remain in the area into next week.
In the Ketchum Ranger District, you can find “likely” locations of the sheep bands by checking their report here:
Ketchum Ranger District Trail Report (scroll down to the bottom)
If you’re heading out on the roads for a spin, please be aware of the increasing amount of traffic on the roadways. If you’re riding north of town, please use the shoulder for as long as it exists. Beyond that, please be aware and ride defensively. Idaho law allows cyclists to ride two abreast, but that doesn’t mean that it’s necessarily appropriate. If you’re holding up traffic, you should be single file, period.
Around town, please ride respectfully and defensively. If you’re on the Wood River Trail, SLOW DOWN!!!! We can’t say this enough. Yes, we commonly refer to this as the “bike path” but, the reality of it is that this is a multi-use pathway with pedestrians, children, pets, and even wild animals cruising around. Also, pets are NOT required to be on a leash. “Under voice control” is what is recommended, but the bottom line is that if you hit an animal, it’s your fault. We’re going to hammer this one a bit, because we repeatedly see cyclists who look like they’re “time trialing” down the bike path. Some of them are even on aero bars. This is NOT a safe way to ride on the path. If you’re doing this, you’re scaring (and angering) pedestrians and also increasing the time needed for you to react, which can cause a crash. In the end, you’re doing a disservice to the cycling community with your lack of awareness and consideration for others. OK, enough on that….
To everyone who came out last weekend for the Sun Valley Rhythm & Rides Festival, thank you!!!! The turn out for all of the cycling events was great. The weather couldn’t have been better. By our conservative estimates, there were at least 400-500 participants in the various cycling events over the weekend. The feedback has been great and we’re already looking forward to next year.
OK, that’s it for now. Have a safe and happy Independence Day. Take a moment to appreciate the significance of this holiday and have fun out there!