Mountain News 

Pairing butts, bikes and beds

STEAMBOAT SPRINGS, Colo. - Bicycling seems to be on the rise and several Colorado mountain towns are seeing a particularly big bounce in visitors this summer resulting from two big tours, the annual Ride the Rockies mass pedalthon sponsored by The Denver Post and then the USA Pro Cycling Challenge in August.

In Steamboat Springs, an effort called Biketown USA Initiative has been plotting how to make bicycling a bigger part of the summer menu. In doing so, it has looked at Whistler, which installed an innovative mountain bike park some years ago. A 2008 study found visitors at Whistler drawn by the mountain biking spend an average $133 a day.

In Steamboat, a typical summer visitor spends $73 per day. Promoters of the bicycling initiative hope to improve that to $112 per day, reports Steamboat Today .

Bicycling is also in the news in Aspen. Mick Ireland, the mayor, is an avid on-road bicycle racer, and he was off to Europe to sing the praises of Aspen for its bicycling possibilities.

Meanwhile, Lance Armstrong - he doesn't need an introduction, does he? - was recently in Aspen, where he maintains a vacation home. So was Tyler Hamilton, Armstrong's former teammate who recently accused Armstrong of using dope.

An account in The Aspen Times said they met up at a restaurant, and witnesses said they talked about five minutes. They also said that Hamilton tried to give Armstrong a hug, but Armstrong brushed him off. The FBI is said to be trying to get surveillance tape from the restaurant, although the tape would not have provided any conversation.


Plastic shopping bag ban?

HAILEY, Idaho - Paper or plastic? If a group of students from Wood River High School gets its way, the only answer in Hailey will be paper - and then at an added cost of 15 cents each.

The Hailey City Council had adopted a resolution discouraging use of disposable plastic bags. But the band of local students wants the city council to take an additional step. The council may ask for an advisory opinion from voters at the November election.

Hailey is the largest town in the Ketchum-Sun Valley area.

The Idaho Mountain Express notes that a new market in Ketchum does not give out plastic bags. But the largest grocery store in Hailey, while rewarding customers who use reusable shopping bogs, opposes a ban.

So do several readers of the newspaper. In the blog, one reader bemoaned the "enviro-social engineering." Another reader reported using reusable bags consistently, but does not like being told by a government that reusable bags must be used. "Am I also going to be regulated in the diapers I choose?" asked the reader.

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