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Cross-country biker makes a stop in Summit County to raise awareness of distracted driving

Ben Grannis
Ben Grannis
CT resident Ben Grannis is making his way across the country to raise money and awareness about distracted driving

Connecticut resident Ben Grannis is about two-thirds through the first of three legs of his cross-country bike trip, raising money and awareness of distracted driving.

Twenty-six-year-old Ben Grannis left Cape Cod August 21st to pedal his way to Seattle. He launched a website called Eyes Up to document his progress – a plan that he has strayed from several times due to weather changes.

“I was originally going to go north from Denver up through Wyoming and Montana, but because of the weather I changed my route to go through Utah where I am now and then, through Idaho toward Seattle in a less, less hopefully less cold climate,” Grannis said.

He says the ride isn’t about performing an incredible physical feat in a record-setting amount of time – it’s to raise money for the Text Less Live More organization that was created after a young cyclist was killed by a districted driver in broad daylight in 2013.

“A horrible tragedy happened in 2013 when a student was killed by a distracted driver and the family of that student started this nonprofit, with the goal of, you know, eliminating all distractions and cars while driving and just making the road safer for all users of the road,” Grannis explained.

While his goal is to raise money, it’s also about raising awareness and paying more attention to the present moment than the ding of a cell phone.

“The bigger picture of course is just to have people go about their lives with a greater awareness for what they're doing,” Grannis said, “while they're driving and then, you know off the road as well. You know distractions are obviously a problem while you're in a car but, you know, it kind of affects their, their life generally as well. When you're more present an off your phone. You know, I found that, you know, a much more meaningful way to live."

Grannis’ route took him through Summit County last Thursday, when he rode from Hanna over Wolf Creek Pass, into Kamas and on to Park City. He left for Idaho on Saturday. You can donate and follow him on his journey at www.eyesupride.com

Once Grannis arrives in Seattle, he’ll head south to San Diego, CA and take some time off for the holidays before he heads back east to Florida in early January – totaling nearly 10,000 miles.