Billy Olson and Cody Jones burn up the track at Sheeptown’s “Flaming Log Drag Race” in Hailey.
Photo: Hailey Tucker
IN THIS SECTION
Born in the USA
The Birth of Aerobars [pg. 2]
Bike In Style with Club Ride [pg. 3]
Saving the World, One Butt at a Time [pg. 4]
Ketcumite Creates Kilowatt bikes [pg. 5]
Lighter, Stronger, Faster - Waterworks Lamson [pg. 6]
Mobile Sound for the Outdoors [pg. 7]
From Criteriums to Crosstoberfest, there’s plenty of fast-wheeling action in the Valley [pg. 8]
THE BIRTH OF AEROBARS
How the Ski Tuck Progressed Biking
Charley French with Scott’s Aerobar in 2008. Photo courtesy SCOTT USA.
The story of Sun Valley’s own Ed Scott inventing the first aluminum ski pole in 1958 is common knowledge, if not local legend. Perhaps less known is that in 1987, his company, Scott USA, patented another game-changing aluminum pole called the Areobar; a new configuration of handlebar that remains the single biggest advancement made in cycling aerodynamics to date.
Boone Lennon, ski coach of the U.S. Men’s World Cup Alpine Team from 1984-1986, had been living in the Valley since ’73 when he had a moment of genius watching racers tuck down courses. “I had had a lot of time on the slopes to watch skiers go by, and I saw enough good tucks and bad tucks go by to know what made a difference,” Lennon, now 62, said. “I just thought, ‘Why in the world would you sit up in the wind on a bike?’”
With that single question he began developing handlebars that forced the cyclist to lean forward, much like in a ski tuck, and lowered the rider’s torso down along the frame of the bike, creating a more aerodynamic position.
Lennon teamed up with Charley French, engineer for Scott USA, and the two, along with numerous Valley riding friends, began bending and testing different bar configurations to see what the bars were capable of.
“It turns out that the body is two-thirds of the drag of a rider on a bicycle, so the bicycle is a very small part of the drag compared to the rider,” French said. “This means if you can work on the rider to get more aerodynamic, it has a much more pronounced effect than the stuff on the bike.”
French used the bars at the 1986 Ironman and the 1987 National Time Trial Championship, and set a new record for his age group in each. Feats such as these quickly pulled the interest of the triathlon community and Scott USA began producing the Aerobar DH (the DH standing for “downhill,” Lennon’s inspiration) on overdrive.
In 1989, the biggest breakthrough for the Aerobar occurred when cyclist Greg LeMond won the Tour de France by eight seconds with a pair of the bars French had handmade. After that point, it wasn’t just the triathletes who showed interest in the bars, “it was everyone,” French said.
Since then, Scott USA has developed many variations of the Aerobar and although the company no longer produces them, it still receives royalties on the new versions. Meanwhile, Lennon and French have both continued the Sun Valley tradition began by Scott to bring innovation to outdoor recreation; Lennon with concepts like the Quick Carve System for snowboarding and French through continuous engineering for Scott USA. -Hailey Tucker
BIKE IN STYLE
with Club Ride
Mike Herlinger and Mose Duchano performing quality control on Fox Creek. Photo courtesy Club Ride, Eric Kiel.
Tired of winding up at Grumpy’s in sweaty, tight spandex after bike rides, local Mike Herlinger decided there was a problem with technical bikeware. Herlinger went home after an afternoon ride and rummaged through his closet where he found inspiration in a retro, Western-style shirt he owned. Wondering why technical ware didn’t have comfort and flare like his button-down shirt, he began investigating if it could—and in 2007, Club Ride Apparel was born.
Herlinger began designing apparel that appeared to be regular active lifestyle ware but carried serious performance specs as well. Over the past 5 years, Club Ride Apparel has grown to a company of 32 employees with distribution across the U.S. and internationally in Canada and Japan. For its 2012 season, the company focused on beefing up its women’s line with new items such as the Eden short and Dayz-Eez hoodie tank. All Club Ride Apparel is made in America, in Oakland, California, and features a strict no-velcro policy (one Herlinger hoped would put an end to clothing hang-ups in the washing machine).
Club Ride Apparel can be bought locally at The Elephant’s Perch, Power House Pub and Bike Studio, Galena Lodge and the Brass Ranch, and can be found online at www.clubrideapparel.com. So now you can finally look good and feel comfortable whether you’re on your bike or you’re toasting another great day at the bar. -Hailey Tucker
SAVING THE WORLD
One Butt at a Time
One of the great joys of childhood is learning to ride a bike—and then riding that bike until it’s dark out and you’ve already been yelled at three times to come in! There’s just something so wonderfully empowering about riding, maybe that’s why most of us end up spending as much time as possible on our bicycles when we’re young.
Sadly, at some point later in life, many of us stop riding a bike because, well, it usually becomes a real pain in the butt—literally. Seat discomfort is the most common complaint from bike riders. But it just so happens that a couple from Idaho has made it their mission to create the world’s first truly comfortable bicycle seat—and it looks (and feels) like they’ve suceeded.
“I’ve always believed that if we could make a more comfortable bike seat we could change the world,” said Boise resident Jeri Rutherford. Jeri, who began really focusing on creating the seat after she reached her mid-forties and could no longer sit for long rides, and Larry Hill, who graduated from Wood River High in 1973, launched their mission to create the perfect bike seat seven years ago.
After trying 40 prototypes and having the final project tested by the University of Wisconsin, the RideOut Tech Carbon Comfort Seat hit the market in 2010. Sales and thank you letters from the owners of happy fannies from all over the globe have been pumping in ever since.
“It looks a little weird. It’s so small, but there’s a lot of science in it. It does take a little while to get used to, but once people do, they love it. The seat gets all the pressure off the soft, delicate tissue and that’s what it’s all about,” said Jeri.
She explained that the seat is ideal for lots of people who may have given up bicycling, like older males who suffer from prostate problems. Postmenopausal women also rave about how comfortable the seat is. But Jeri says riders of all ages enjoy happier buns and more time on the bike thanks to RideOut Tech.
“The best part about this seat is that it gets people riding again. I love riding my bike and I want people to share in that joy. I want people to ride,” said Jeri. “I’m trying to save the world, one butt at a time.” -Mike McKenna
PEDAL POWER TO THE PEOPLE
Ketchumite creates Kilowatt Bikes
According to numerous studies, the average American driver spends well over an hour each day behind the wheel of a car but travels less than 40 miles. That’s not exactly what you’d call great gas mileage.
And since much of that time will be spent in smoggy traffic, that’s not exactly what most people would consider a great way to spend their time, either—and it’s certainly not very healthy.
That’s why there are a lot of folks pulling for Kilowatt Bikes (www.kilowattbikes.com), the international company with local ties that’s trying to revolutionize bicycle travel and help people get healthier while reducing their carbon footprints.
“Kilowatt Bikes was born from an idea to provide alternative transportation that was both economical and practical, but with style,” Tyler Ferris explained. Born and raised in Ketchum and now happily married and raising two kids here himself, Ferris and business partner, Richard Kraatz, developed a plan to create an “E-Bike,” electronic bike, company after studying the strengths and weaknesses of the market for such bicycles in Europe.
According to Ferris, the E-Bike market had already been established in Europe, so “Kilowatt’s approach was to provide the same platform, but with style and attitude that would better appeal to the U.S. market.”
Instead of the clunky, moped look of traditional electronic bikes, Kilowatt’s bicycles look like regular old mountain bikes and cruisers. They also don’t weigh much more than a normal bike, as the motor and battery add only about 15 pounds.
But the slick looks and light weight aren’t the only things these Kilowatt Bikes have going for them. They can even adapt to fit your mood.
Say, for example, it’s been a tough day at the office and you want to take it easy and cruise home, the Kilowatt Bike will help you. If, on the other hand, it’s been a really tough day at the office and you want to work out some frustrations, the bike will also be there for you. They’re designed for adjusted assistance, so the rider can either take it easy and allow the bike to do most of the work, “pedal-assisted propulsion,” or it can be pedaled hard and moved primarily by manpower.
Because the bikes are pedal-assisted, they’re allowed on local bike paths and no license is required to ride one. Ferris said they offer bikes for everyone from junior to senior riders. Basically, if you can ride a regular bike, you can ride a Kilowatt Bike.
“The challenge for Kilowatt,” he added, “is to educate U.S. consumers on how to utilize this unique mode of transportation and not just look at a bicycle as an exercise tool.”
Since the average American car trip to routine places like the market is less than five miles, it would make a lot of sense for many of us to stop sitting behind the wheel burning expensive fossil fuels and start using pedal power.
As the team at Kilowatt Bikes argues, it won’t just save us time and money at the gas pump, it will help us have healthier bodies and a healthier environment. -Mike McKenna
LIGHTER, FASTER, STRONGER
To the naked eye, it would seem like fly fishing and mountain biking have nothing in common. But looks can be deceiving.
Both sports usually take place in spectacular mountains locales. Both are often done with others, but are ultimately individual endeavors. Both are rather gear dependent.
But for most of us, the similarities would stop there. That’s why most of us don’t work for the C1 Design Group. The Ketchum-based company originally made a name for itself designing the first mountain bike suspension systems for Cannondale, “Headshoks,” which revolutionized the sport.
Since mountain biking isn’t the only world-class summer activity in Sun Valley, the team turned their attention toward fly fishing. After literally fishing in a bathtub in 1995, C1’s Mark Farris came up with the now extremely popular catch-and-release tool called the “Ketchum Release.”
They then turned their focus from releasing fish to casting for them. C1’s team felt that most fly reels were too heavy, poorly balanced and had too many parts that couldn’t get dirty. So they came up with The Waterworks line, a sealed conical drag reel system that looks a lot like a bicycle wheel.
“In cycling it’s all about lighter, faster, stronger. We brought that into fly fishing,” C1’s sales manager Jen Lavigne explained.
The Waterworks has gone on to become one of the world’s premiere fly reel makers (the company added the Lamson brand to their stable in 1998) and even designs, primarily manufactures and assembles their rods in the Gem State. -Mike McKenna
MOBILE SOUND FOR THE OUTDOORS
It’s tough. It’s loud. It’s solar. It’s durable and built to last. The brainchild of local architect and inventor Jolyon Sawrey, the Blastmaster was designed to deliver high performance sound while withstanding the toughest conditions imaginable. How tough? Sub-zero temperatures with freezing snow and wind tough. In fact, part of the research and development process involved 40 hours straight of music (and partying) in the snow at a high altitude yurt as a way to test the battery.
The first generation of the Blastmaster was built in a garage for a birthday camping trip using high fidelity home audio equipment paired with “wheels I stole from a lawnmower and a motorcycle battery,” said Sawrey. The original Blastmaster (Generation One) died playing its heart out while being towed behind a snowmobile. Sawrey hit the drawing board with a redesigned, more souped-up version—the Blastmaster XL (a larger amp, bluetooth wireless integration and louder, higher quality speakers…just because). Built with deep cycle marine batteries and fully-sealed components, the entire unit is outfitted with an industrial Speedliner poly finish—so that nothing gets through to the more sophisticated inner componentry. Is it form over function or the other way around? It’s both! -Laurie Sammis
THE MOST EXCITING THINGS TO WATCH ON TWO WHEELS
Ride Sun Valley: The 2nd Annual Ride Sun Valley Mountain Bike Festival showcases the area’s 400-plus miles of continuous single-track in an event centered around some of the best race courses in the nation. The weeklong festival, which includes USA Cycling’s Mountain Bike National Championships, runs from June 30th through July 8th. Some of the highlights:
The Galena Grinder kicks off the festival with one of the longest running gut-wrenchers in the country. The fourth stop on the U.S. Pro Endurance Tour racing calendar is the first stage of Ride Sun Valley’s All Mountain contest.
The Baldy Super Duper D is up next and has riders bombing down River Run, covering 5,000 vertical feet including a 1,000-foot climb.
The 3rd Annual Idaho Pump Track State Championships hosts the best young riders in Idaho at the Ketchum Pump Park.
Other events include: the Smith Optics sponsored Local Stoker Guided Rides; a Consumer Expo showcasing the bike industry’s latest and greatest; Hailey’s Fourth of July Criterium; and the Sun Valley Shakedown, a music and food festival.
Catch a Criterium: It’s one of the most common forms of American cycling, full of attacks, chases, crashes, turns and tumult. The heats are brutal and the competition is fierce. It’s spectator friendly and one of the most exciting things to watch on two wheels. And this summer, you get two chances to check it out for yourself.
Criteriums, also commonly referred to as “Crits,” are bike races held on short, closed courses usually about a mile in length and averaging less than an hour in duration. During the races, cyclists lap the course over and over again, providing entertainment for the many spectators huddled around the track and excitement for just about anybody who enjoys cycling. So whether you want to get out there and race yourself or you just want to see all the action, don’t miss the Ride Sun Valley Festival this summer which will be offering two classic criteriums.
Fat Tire Criterium: This twisty, turny course in downtown Ketchum is one of the do-not-miss events of the Ride Sun Valley Festival. Taking place Tuesday, July 3rd (with heats starting at 6pm) the Fat Tire Crit promises to be one for the ages. And with the start/finish line located at the Visitor Center right in the heart of Ketchum, and surrounded by beer gardens and awesome local businesses, the location couldn’t be better. Pros and amateurs alike will vie for cash prizes, gear and glory. Heats will include a four-person relay race made up of biking crazies and, the highlight of the night, the Category 1/Pro Men racers. So grab your bike, put on your costume, stop by one of the Ride Sun Valley beer gardens and we’ll see you at the races!
Hailey Fourth of July Criterium Bike Race: Immediately following Hailey’s traditional hometown Independence Day Parade, this classic Wood River Valley criterium, with lots of prizes and spectators, is becoming a summer tradition. With an array of categories like cruisers and kids’ races, this criterium has something for everyone. Sponsored by the Power House, Blaine County Recreation District and the Hailey Chamber of Commerce, this crit is a local favorite. Registration takes place that day, so show up for the parade and stay for some good, old-fashioned competition.
The Sheeptown Fat Tire Rally: Now in its sixth year, the Sheeptown Fat Tire Rally has become a renowned event—and with fire and a touch of foolishness usually involved—it’s not hard to see why.
The Rally is the product of FARCA, the locally formed “Federation Against Ridiculously Competitive Amateurs.” FARCA stemmed from a group of friends in 2004, including both Billy Olson of the Power House Pub and Bike Fit Studio and former Olympic cyclist Greg “Chopper” Randolph, who decided there needed to be an organization in the Valley that reminded riders there can be a lot more to bicycle events than just the competition.
“We’re the people who’ve admitted that we’re just going to be amateurs now and that we should be doing these things for fun,” Randolph said. “So our whole point was to create events that were sort of anti-competitive but still kind of competitive, and then to make sure everyone had a good time. We want to make sure the competition is not so serious.” And with that basic idea, The Sheeptown Fat Tire Rally was born.
The Rally hosts a variety of contests, including one year featuring the “Hot Dog Hill Climb,” in which contestants had to ride up Carbonate Mountain while holding a fully stacked hot dog in hand, which they then had to scarf down at the end of the grueling ride to complete the race.
The “Flaming Log Drag Race,” in which contestants race two-by-two down River Street in Hailey pulling flaming logs behind each of their bikes, has been a Sheeptown classic from the start and will return at 7 p.m. on June 21st. This year’s Sheeptown will also feature a bike polo championship played in Ketchum at noon on June 23.
Randolph said most of the events are FARCA’s take on something well-known like bike polo, which in the Sheeptown version is played with Wiffle bats as opposed to the typical mallets. The drag race, however, is a FARCA original.
“We ripped just about everything else off, but we actually invented that. It was the flaming logs that really put it over the top,” Randolph said. “It adds just that last little dash of sensationalism to tip it over the edge.”
Randolph said the Sheeptown 2012 is going to be the biggest and best yet. He said FARCA has plans to spice up the events even more for both competitors and spectators.
“We just want everyone to come out, sign up and compete. And if you can’t do that, then come be a spectator. Just help keep this raucous tradition alive,” Randolph said. For more information visit www.farca.wordpress.com or www.ridesunvalley.com.
Crosstoberfest: Unlike Sheeptown, Crosstoberfest, now on its eighth run, is undoubtedly a serious competition. Riders take on whatever epic cyclocross course Billy Olson’s mind can create for them, sometimes involving riding in snow or trudging through mud.
However, this year’s Crosstoberfest, to be held in Old Cutters Park in Hailey, will be a beer-infused, Oktoberfest-style festival as well.
Olson said he had been itching to hold a Crosstoberfest-type of event in the Valley for years. So in 2004, he chose a weekend in October with nothing on the calendar and decided to host the Valley’s first Crosstoberfest on Bald Mountain’s River Run side.
While the festival has always offered a small selection of beer and brats, this year everything is changing. Olson has signed on 30 breweries, primarily from Idaho and the surrounding Northwest, to set up booths and give samples at this year’s races. Each brewery will showcase three or four beers.
Olson said he hopes to see the festival attract 1,500 or so people a day, and that having the festivities in Hailey for the first time will make it possible for most people to just bike to the festivities from their homes.
“I’m excited to see the event grow ... I’m also really excited to have a beer festival. It could be the next Wine Auction event for Sun Valley,” Olson said.
Crosstoberfest 2012 will start with an evening kick-off on October 26 and then continue with a full day of races, live music and beer on October 27. For more information about Crosstoberfest, be sure to check out www.crosstoberfestdaho.com.
SUMMER ART SCENE
It’s hard to believe that so much world-class culture could fit into such a small town in the middle of Idaho, but the Sun Valley Summer of Arts is again in full swing. This summer features enough internationally-featured artists, performances and music to keep you busy well into fall. Here are a few highlights to watch out for this year.
Left to right: Jean Richardson’s Concomitant at Kneeland Gallery; Bernadette Twirling, by Rodney Smith at Gilman Contemporary
Monthly Gallery Walks
Each year the Sun Valley Gallery Association (SVGA) hosts nine gallery walks free to the public. These exhibition openings are eagerly anticipated by locals and visitors as a way to take in the thriving arts scene in Sun Valley, while experiencing thought-provoking exhibitions of newly installed art, drinking wine and mingling with friends. Summer dates include Friday nights on July 6, August 3, August 31 and October 12.
This year, Gilman Contemporary Gallery celebrates its 5th anniversary with a July show that will feature pieces from Ashley Collins, Gerardo Hacer, Isabel Bigelow, Alex Couwenberg and Nick Brandt. August will feature legendary New York photographer Rodney Smith, with his classic and elegant monochromatic prints, during “Photographs, A Forty Year Retrospective” July 30th to August 24th.
Gail Severn Gallery, which celebrated their 35th anniversary last year, will be presenting “Private Spaces,” an exhibition between June 26th and July 21st that will feature the work of Linda Christensen, known for her signature solitary figures and depiction of the intimate female character.
Art abounds in Ketchum. Sculpture pieces feature prominently along the downtown streets and local businesses often open their doors in celebration of the SVGA Gallery Walk events. Many businesses (such as restaurants and beauty salons/spas) proudly display works hand selected by gallery owners and Sun Valley Real Estate even converts their office space into a gallery to display new works by Sun Valley resident and artist Jeannie Catchpole. This July 6th will feature a special exhibit with Catchpole and her husband/partner Steve Behals, with whom she has been collaborating for the past four years.
Plein Air Painting Workshop
This summer, Kneeland Gallery presents its annual three-day “Plein Air” exhibition featuring eight of the gallery’s premier plein air painters: Steven Lee Adams, Robert Moore, Lori McNee, Shanna Kunz, Jack Braman, John Horejs, Fred Choate and Bart Walker. “En Plein Air,” a French expression meaning “in the outdoors,” is used to describe the act of painting on location during this three-day demonstration. The artists face the challenges of changing light, strong shadows and time restrictions while attempting to capture the subtleties of their subject. This challenging and fast-paced technique requires that many artists bring in one or more wet paintings to be hung for the culminating Friday night Gallery Walk on August 3rd.
Ballet Beneath the Stars
San Francisco Ballet’s summer/fall tour includes a one-night-only performance at the spectacular Sun Valley Pavilion at Sun Valley Resort on July 8, 2012. It is a special evening and the San Francisco Ballet’s summer/fall tour includes this Sun Valley performance, as well as dates at the Bolshoi Theater in Moscow, Sadler’s Wells Theater in London, the Hamburg State Opera House and the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. The program includes choreography to “After the Rain,” “Don Quixote” and “The Dance House,” as well as solo performances and pas de deux from “In the Middle, Somewhat Elevated.” The performance will kick off Sun Valley’s Summer of the Arts which will include four weeks of performances by the highly acclaimed Sun Valley Summer Symphony; music performances and events sponsored by the Sun Valley Center for the Arts; and the well-known Sun Valley Writer’s Conference in late August. Visit www.sfballet.org or www.sunvalley.com for more details and tickets.
Left to right: Linda Christensen’s Fixing Hair in Kitchen at Gail Severn Gallery; Winter Aspens by R.A. Heichberger at Expressions Gallery
“Nez Perce: Promises”
The Caritas Chorale and orchestra will present “Nez Perce: Promises,” a newly commissioned cantata with libretto by Diane Josephy Peavey and music by David Alan Earnest. Caritas Chorale commissioned the new work in 2011 and hopes to present it as a gift to the Nez Perce tribe, who call themselves the Nimiipuu, on June 23. Local performances will be held in Sun Valley at the Community School on July 14 and in Hailey July 15 at the new Performing Arts Center, with both concerts beginning at 3 p.m. “Nez Perce: Promises” traces the bitter story of the tribe after their support of Lewis and Clark through their flight and reservation life (more of the story is available at www.caritaschorale.org).
And don’t miss the new work by Dave McGary—a name that is gaining momentum each year as a specialist in Native American artwork, specifically sculptures, statues, monuments and busts—which is being introduced by Expressions Galleries. Called the contemporary “Master of Realism,” McGary’s newest work, the Battle at Bear Paw, will debut July 13th at Expressions Galleries with an accompanying cocktail party, Chorus and Nez Perce Dancers. The “Native Landscapes” exhibition will also feature works by Mary Roberson, Bill Mittag and R.A. Heichberger for the entire month of August.
Massv: Music & Arts Showcase
Invoking the spirit of Mardi Gras and drawing some inspiration from Bonnaroo, MASSV is a family-friendly event that will feature music for everybody and is designed as an historic celebration of cutting edge music, arts and expression at the foot of the majestic Bald Mountain in Ketchum. MASSV Music and Arts Showcase Sun Valley makes its debut this summer during a two day festival, July 13-14, at the Simplot lot (across from the Ketchum Post Office). It will include cutting-edge performances by leading national touring acts and a celebration of some of the best of Idaho’s rising star bands. If the music isn’t enough, artistic entertainment will include jugglers, stilt walkers, break dancers, hula hoopers, African drummers and all sorts of talented and eye-catching entertainers to keep the senses alive for the two-day extravaganza that will end each night with laser shows in downtown Ketchum. Visit www.massvmusicfest.com for more details and artist schedules for this collaboration between art and music. -Kate Elgee