Our roads can get pretty busy sometimes, especially in downtowns and major travel corridors. But there are many things we can all do--no matter how we're using the road--to stay safe and keep others safe. Check out the graphic below made by Audi South Burlington for some tips, whether you're driving a car or riding a bike!
By Peter Burns
Finding a place to urinate can be a challenge. I don't like to stop within sight of a house, and it is nice to have a place to lean my bike. On most rural Vermont roads it is possible to get out of sight fairly quickly, behind trees and bushes. It is easier when there are leaves on the trees and bushes.
The other day we were asked about what options a person riding a bike has when cars are backed up. Can a rider pass on the right or left? Do they get in line with the vehicles?
By Peter Burns
A couple of months ago I was in the locker room at the YMCA when a friend asked me about bike injuries. I said, "Sometimes my wrists hurt and once in a while I get a sore knee or back, but I don't have any chronic problems because of bike riding. Even on a steep hill it is possible to go slowly and stay relaxed if you find the right gear and use the correct cadence." My friend said, "That is a good life lesson." Here are two more life lessons drawn from my bike riding experiences.
It was the mid-90’s and Brian Costello had the vision to move people across the Winooski River. To make a long story short, by 1999, Brian made that happen with our first bike ferry, and Local Motion was born. Brian and Chapin Spencer then proceeded to build what is today Vermont’s only statewide biking and walking advocacy organization. Styles may have changed in the past 20 years, but our devotion to motion has only grown stronger with time. Click here for our early ferry history!
By Peter Burns
I can use the map apps on my phone, but I prefer paper maps. In an unfamiliar place, the phone maps are difficult to follow. They give a micro view of where you are, but not the bigger picture. When you zoom out, street names disappear. Last summer when I ventured across the lake to ride south to Port Henry and then took the ferry back to Charlotte, I almost got lost. I used my phone and maps copied from a New York State Atlas, but I would have preferred a regional map. Sometimes I can tell where I am but I am not sure if I am heading in the right direction. There is also the option of mapping out a route using one of the map apps and then printing it out. I first learned to use maps in England, when I was walking through the countryside. I used Ordinance Survey maps which are beautifully designed. Perhaps I inherited a bit of map reading ability from my father. He was a flight navigator for B-52 airplanes, although he was never involved in any actual bombing runs.
A true train extraordinaire and bike ferry advocate.
It is with great sadness that we mark the passing of our friend, Jeff Cohn. He will be deeply missed by Local Motion staff and so many in the Local Motion family who have known him over the years.
By Peter Burns
In the summer I am not usually bothered by mosquitoes or ticks but I still wear bug repellent because when I stop by the side of the road for a break or go into the woods to answer the call of nature, I get swarmed by mosquitoes. I also get attacked by mosquitoes when I ride up steep hills. I climb so slowly that they can keep up with me but when I get to the top of a hill I leave them behind. On sunny days I wear sun glasses and on cloudy days I wear clear glasses. This keeps most of the insects out of my eyes. Once, many years ago, I rode into a bee and it stung me on the chest. It was startling. From time to time I spot a butterfly flitting through a field. I can identify Monarch Butterflies, Swallowtails and yellow Cabbage Butterflies. Beyond that I am clueless. In the summer I often hear the sound of crickets and cicadas. One December, a couple of years ago, it was 70 degrees just before Christmas. I went for a ride in Shelburne and as I glided through the countryside I felt strange because although the temperature felt like summertime, I did not hear any birds or insects.
I have an old pair of Pearl Izumi winter bike tights that have a zipper at the bottom of each leg. One of the zippers broke and this presented a problem. The tights are second hand, so I did not feel that I could return them to the manufacturer. Having a seamstress replace the zipper would be expensive and my sewing skills are not up to replacing a zipper myself. The tights are very warm and aside from the zipper, in good shape. I did not want to get rid of them. I needed a way to keep the lower part of the tights closed. I could have duct taped them shut, but that would make it hard to put them on and take them off. The most obvious solution would be to tuck the tights into my socks. This would work, but I wear long underwear under the tights and I need to tuck my long underwear into my socks so the long underwear does not ride up under the tights. I tried keeping the tights closed with rubber bands, but that left big gaps. The same thing happened when I used metal pant leg cuff clips. Then I remembered a pair of footless wool socks that I bought a couple of years ago when Eastern Mountain Sports was going out of business. They proved to be the perfect solution! First I tucked my long underwear into my socks, then I put on my tights and finally I pulled on the footless wool socks. They kept the bottom of the tights secure and also provided an extra layer of warmth. I was very pleased.
Here's the 2018 Year in Review Newsletter that was emailed on January 23, 2019.
We’re walking and rolling! 2018 was a jamming year for biking and walking in Vermont. Thanks to you, our donors, community partners, and business members, Local Motion continues to make our streets more livable, get more people biking and walking, advocate for better policy, and grow Vermont's active transportation culture. Keep your eye out for a few Local Motion newsletters each year!