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Earth Day Brings Out Elliott the Shop Dog and Sam the Plant
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Sunday, April 24, 2022
 

STORY AND PHOTO BY KAREN BOSSICK

Andy Solomon gestured towards a shiny new Trek electric mountain bike and talked not in terms of the number of miles he could ride on one charge but, rather, the elevation he could gain.

“I can get 4,500 feet of elevation gain on this bike per charge and I weigh 230 pounds so I’m not a small guy. But that’s a big day on a regular bike,” he said.

Solomon and Kyle Wies recently moved from Jackson Hole to Hailey to open The Trailhead Bicycles, a community bike shop in Hailey’s Meriwether Building.

And on Saturday they and shop sheepdog Elliott stood In Hailey’s new town square showing off an array of eBikes designed to meet anyone’s tastes from someone who just wants to cruise around town to that mountain biker who wants a little extra juice climbing mountain trails around Sun Valley.

“Our focus is to get everybody on bikes. There’s a bike for every occasion,” said Solomon. He pointed towards a line of bikes that ranged in price from $1,700 to $10,000 for that elite custom-built mountain bike.

“You’re not going to drive a car to the symphony and have two glasses of wine and drive back home. It’s funnier and safer to hop on a bike, enjoy the symphony, then ride home,” he said. “My dad is 68 and one of the reasons I bike is because of him. These eBikes allow us to continue to bike together, have the fun together that we’ve always enjoyed.”

Saturday’s Earth Day activities in Hailey brought out 86 runners in a Run for the Trees 5K, with the entry fees going to help reforest Bald Mountain.

Hailey City Council member Sam Linnet’s youngsters took part in bike skills rodeo, while other Hailey residents brought out garden tools for Rob Lonning to sharpen. And youngsters at Balmoral Park got the opportunity to check out animal skins and skulls, play games and make bird feeders using pinecones, peanut butter and a nut-berry-seed mix.

Back in Hailey, longtime quilter Janet Houts showed how to create a wall hanging from old T-shirts. She cut off the top of the T-shirt, including the arms. Then she folded the leftover torso section about one inch at a time, leaving a half-inch at the end. Cutting it just right, she ended up with a long, long strip of cloth, which she weaved in with other T-shirt remnants on her miniature weaving apparatus.

“We’re using T-shirts because we have too many in the world and they take a lot of energy to produce,” she said.

Retired Forest Service representative Jim Rineholt presented passersby with an array of suggestions for trees suited to Hailey, including the Kentucky Coffee Tree, Swamp White Oak, Japanese Tree Lilac and Northern Catalpa.

And Mountain Rides Bus Driver Kevin Morrissey described how the bus company is turning its four electric buses into work horses, what with diesel gas costing about $5 per gallon.

The buses can run six hours on a charge during summer and four hours in winter since running the heater takes more energy than air conditioning.

The bus company hopes to get seven more electric buses in September to augment its fleet, which currently includes four electric buses and 12 diesel buses. But a chip shortage could postpone the delivery, Morrissey said.

“The electric buses are a little smoother, a little quieter,” he said. “And this one has all the bells and whistles, including cameras, automatic passenger counter, and automatic audio announcing stops.”

COMING UP:

  • The Environmental Resource Center (ERC) will host its annual Clean Sweep Day on Saturday, May 7. Come in costume.
  • Bike to School & Work will be held Wednesday, May 11. Representatives from 15 organizations will reward cyclists with breakfast goodies.

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