Peter Burns

  • Navigating Life with Checklists!

    checklist.jpgI use a checklists to negotiate my daily life.  Most people can keep stuff in their car, and take it with them wherever they go regardless of weight, shape and necessity.  However, on a bicycle all these things should be considered or you're in for an uncomfortable ride. I pack my necessary supplies for the day every morning before I leave the house.  The following is for fall and summer fun rides.  As the weather gets colder, my riding becomes more utilitarian, although I can usually get in a few fun rides in November and early December.  Once the snow flies and the weather is consistently cold, my riding become strictly utilitarian until spring.

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  • published Fall Fundo in Bike Rentals Updates 2017-10-06 05:59:05 -0400

    Fall Fundo

    Fall_Fundo_thumb.jpgOn September 30th I participated in the Fall Fundo - Old Spokes Home fundraising ride. There were three possible distance participants could choose from -  a 10 mile ride, 30 mile ride or 60 mile ride. I originally opted for the 30 mile ride but then at the last minute decided on the 60 mile ride instead. I was inspired by a friend who told me she did the ride last year and that the 60 mile route was beautiful. Also, recently, I have been doing some long road bike rides, including my first century, so I thought I could finish the 60 mile course.

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  • published Dual Personality in Everyday Bicycling Project Updates 2017-09-13 19:30:03 -0400

    Dual Personality

    share_the_road.jpgLast month, I rode my bike from Winooski to the Brownell Library in Essex Junction. Between Suzie Wilson Road and West Street Extension, Route 15 is divided into two lanes and the right lane must turn right. That means that if I want to go straight I have to get into the left lane. Bikes in the middle of the road make drivers nervous and angry, even if that is the place they should legally be.. 

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  • published Sunday Ride in Everyday Bicycling Project Updates 2017-08-22 18:57:54 -0400

    Sunday Ride

    lets_ride.jpgI do a fun ride every Sunday, a ride that allows me a temporary escape from my day-to-day life but also a ride that takes place in the context of the rest of my life.  I always feel a sense of escape when I'm on my bike, but I also bring along my physical ailments, anxieties and preoccupations. My spiritual practice is to focus on the present and while I'm not very good at it, I do make an effort. When riding there is always a lot going on in the present. I can be appreciating the brilliance of Queen Anne's Lace and Chicory by the side of the road, anticipating the next hill, worrying about a chronic physical condition and feeling grateful that my legs are strong, all at the same time. Riding is a complex activity

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  • published My Car in Everyday Bicycling Project Updates 2017-07-07 07:09:50 -0400

    My Car

    Car.jpgI came to driving relatively late in life. I did not get my license until I was in my thirties. That was also when I bought my first car. I was starting to do work outside of Burlington and driving was the only way to get where I had to go. In the past 30 years I have owned a series of cars, all of them second hand. I have had my share of driving adventures, and for a while I even used a car to transport my bike so I could ride outside of the city.

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  • published Last and First Ride in Island Line Bike Ferry Updates 2017-06-04 08:00:08 -0400

    Last and First Ride

    view_from_the_ferry.pngOn May 26th, 2017 I left my house at 8:30 AM so I could be on the Colchester Causeway by 10:00 for the first bike ferry ride of the year. Last fall I was on the very last ride of the season, and I wanted to begin a tradition of being on the first and last ferry rides of each year. It was raining and little chilly, and I thought I might be the only passenger but another diehard was there. This other diehard, Lindy, told me she last rode across country when she was 77, and she has been establishing the tradition of being on the very first ferry ride each spring... 

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  • published Check List in Everyday Bicycling Project Updates 2017-05-03 05:59:54 -0400

    Check List

    checklist.pngI have an obsessive side, partly because if I didn't I would forget even more things than I already do. I have a long morning checklist, and also a checklist for going on a fun bike ride. Nothing ruins a ride like finding out you have forgotten something important. Read on to see what is included on my checklist...

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  • Darker, Colder, Wetter

    When it is cold, wet or dark, I tend to only ride for practical transportation. I use my bike to get to work, do errands and shop and I choose the shortest route possible, to limit my time outside. Occasionally,  I will do a "fun ride"  but only if it  also includes a practical aspect as well. For example; I live in Winooski, and work in Burlington so I will make my commute my "fun ride" - taking the longer route to work by way of Mallets Bay and the Burlington Bike Path.  This past winter has thrown some challenges my way in terms of Cold, Wet and Dark but I've learned a lot along the way and while I'm not counting down the days until I get to ride again in the cold, dark and wet, I'd be lying if I said I wasn't slightly looking forward to it - I've included some of what I've learn after the flip, so hopefully I can encourage you to  ride despite the cold, dark and wet weather that will be back before we know it.

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  • The Many Faces of a Single Yellow Bike

    sq._yellow_bike.jpgOwning a bicycle is not a static experience. As my bike riding evolves, and my needs change and so does the bicycle I ride. Most daily practices change over time, sometimes slowly and sometimes quickly. 

     

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  • Being Seen During the Day

    bike_lights_square.jpgFor some time I have been building up a formidable array of reflectors and lights for night riding - I currently have reflective tape on the bike frame, a reflector on the handlebars, two lights for my helmet and lights for my backpack and handlebars. For the last couple of years I have also been wearing high visibility clothing. I have noticed that when I wear it I get more courtesy from drivers, especially when I am on a crosswalk. I believe that drivers think I have some sort of official position so they hesitate to ignore me.

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  • published Indoor Bike Parking in Everyday Bicycling Project Updates 2017-01-19 07:37:58 -0500

    Indoor Bike Parking

    indoor_bike_parking.jpgWith winter comes cold weather, and with cold weather comes challenges for the intrepid winter cyclist. One of the greatest challenges is the simple act of locking and unlocking a bike. When it is very cold, simply taking off mittens to unlock the bike means cold hands before the ride even starts. Glove liners only help so much. In a dream world, there would indoor bike parking everywhere and the locking and unlocking of bikes would take place in the comfort and warmth of the indoors. Until that day however, we winter cyclists will have to make do with what we have.

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  • published Slow Rider in Everyday Bicycling Project Updates 2016-12-19 19:24:15 -0500

    Slow Rider

    cropped_slow_rider.jpgIn my 60th year, I have come to accept that I am a slow rider. It began last year when I got a lightweight road bike.  With my new light and speedy bike, I thought to myself, "now I'll be one of the faster riders out there, there's no stopping me now!"  In spite of my optimism, it turned out that I was, in fact, one of the slower road bike riders.  Luckily, I did not let that stop me from enjoying the bike.

     

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  • published Checklist in Everyday Bicycling Project Updates 2016-11-23 05:55:58 -0500

    Checklists for Preparedness

    The key to a good bike ride, whether it be for a daily commute or a fun, recreational ride is being prepared. In order to ensure that preparedness, I always make sure to set out my riding gear and daily equipment before I go to bed at night. Some things go in my pannier, other things in my backpack. I use a checklist to make sure I don't forget anything...

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  • Winter Riding: Upper Body & Legs

    I ride my bike to commute to work no matter the weather. I have found that the key to dressing for winter riding is having a cool torso as you start off on your ride. Your upper body will warm up quickly and it is all too easy to start sweating even in the coldest temperatures. 

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  • Winter Riding: Head & Neck

    My ears are very sensitive to cold, so I often cover them up when it is only moderately cool. I use an adjustable helmet so I can accommodate a variety of different hats. I use wind proof hats fleece hats that cover my ears. As it gets colder that hats get thicker. In the thirties and forties I wear the hats in combination with a neck warmer, either a merino wool neck warmer or a thicker fleece one. Until it gets very cold, the neck warmer also serves to cover my face and nose until my breath warms up my face. When it gets into the twenties and colder, I add a balaclava to the mix.

     

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  • published Winter Riding: Hands in News & Events 2016-11-04 20:32:57 -0400

    Winter Riding: Hands

    I have poor circulation, so in the winter my hands get cold. I see people riding with no gloves when the temperature is in the 40's and I wonder how their hands feel. I want to stop them and say, "There are these great things called gloves, you put them on your hands when it is cold and the keep your hands warm!" I sometimes feel that I should carry around gloves to give away, but who knows if the gloves would even be used. 

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