Everyday Bicycling Project Updates

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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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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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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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No more excuses: My year on an e-bike

IMG_20160411_193919345.jpgIt's too hot. I'll arrive at work all sweaty. It's too cold. I have errands to run after work and need the car. It might rain. I'm running late as it is. I'm too tired. If it weren't for that hill, I'd bike. It's too windy. 

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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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Walking - not just for humans!

Walking in Orleans County can’t be much better than this! When the opportunity presents I walk the trails and roads near the Pope Memorial Frontier Animal Society. Now… let me explain… I have a three-year-old Pitbull-beagle mix, Tuuka – as in Tuuka Rask, best Bruins Goalie ever! – and she is spoiled rotten. I figured, I could share the love. Not to mention – I’ve spent the last decade dedicated to school and my own personal life, I figured it was time to do something for someone other than myself. I already work at the local hospital, so the animal shelter was really one of the only other local non-profits that immediately came to mind. My husband, Dan, also made the suggestion. I was a little apprehensive. All I could imagine is sweet loving old dogs locked up and unloved. I had no idea how wrong I was!

 

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Memphremagog Ski Trail Foundation is where it's at!

MSTF.pngThere is something about nature that draws me into the woods year-round. The tranquility and beauty steal my breath. The vast space filled with known, and unknown, life cycles humbles me. Immediately life priorities become more apparent. I know as quickly as the woods teach me, the rest of the world will try to steal that wisdom the moment I leave. Spring brings a new sense of awakening for all the species in the woods. The smell of pine is incredible. I just want to bask in it! Baby snapping turtles are hatching. Owls are scouting for prey. Moments like this, I stop and look around, no longer in a hurry to complete the trail or to move until time runs out. I’m not rushing anymore – and I’m always rushing!

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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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