Everyday Bicycling Project Updates

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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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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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Traces of Bicycle History on the Land

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Velo Vermont Vintage is excited to offer an evening with local author and UVM professor, Robert McCullough for presentation of and a signing event for his newest book, Old Wheelways -Traces of bicycle history on the land. Old Wheelways explores the history of bicycles and the further development of the bicycle up to the first long distance rides and adventure bike tours.



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Bike Commuting - good for the environment, for your health and for your punctuality!

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We've all seen it (and some of us may even be guilty of it ourselves) - the exasperated looking driver, coffee cup in one hand and a scowl on their face as they sit in traffic. Or perhaps it's the person sitting across from you on your bus who keeps looking at their watch and muttering about how they're going to be late to their meeting. Commuting is no one's favorite part of the day but inevitable for most. Is there a way to make it more enjoyable?


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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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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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