Idaho's Wood River Valley was recently awarded Silver Level Bicycle Friendly Community status by the League of American Bicyclists, and local businesses Smith Optics and ScottUSA have become founding members of Wood River Bicycle Coalition (WRBC).
"We moved here in 2004," ScottUSA's general manager Scott Montgomery told BikeRadar. "We got serious (about local advocacy) after the National Bike Summit in May of 2008. It has been great progress, with a lot of people working together."
The WRBC advocates and promotes bicycle and pedestrian access, education and safety, while encouraging policy makers, developers, residents and visitors to further incorporate human power for transportation and recreation throughout Idaho's Wood River Valley. Campaigns include “Complete the Streets” and “Two Wheels, Two Feet”.
While WRBC is pleased with this achievement, the Coalition now aspires to guide the valley toward attaining Gold status in the coming years.
“It’s such a pleasure to be involved in the cycling culture of your own community,” Montgomery said. “We helped form this coalition to address the growing attraction of cycling in our valley, because we feel the obligation as a bicycle manufacturer to nurture cycling culture.
"The rating by the League was exciting, but it presents us with some challenges in order to improve our status. Having connectivity for many forms of human powered mobility is good for the health and well being of our citizens.”
Since the rating, the WRBC has been involved in completing two community bike parks, both milestone achievements for the level of co-operation required between government, community and advocates. The parks were designed and built by Alpine Bike Parks, and embody the vision of user-friendly park facilities that serve multiple levels of enthusiasts while maintaining a community park appearance.
The Blaine County Recreation District (BCRD) Pump Park, located in Hailey, opened on 9 October with over 250 in attendance. Riders of all ages enjoyed the many pump track features and berms constructed adjacent the BCRD Aquatic Center and Wood River High School campus.
Also, on 4 November, the Ketchum Bike Park located by Hemingway Elementary School saw its grand opening, further adding to the pump park offerings in the valley. The WRBC aims to expose a broad range of users to this increasingly popular form of bicycling, and embed a sense of health, fitness and bicycle mindedness in the community.