It’s the start of a new school year, and we’re finally seeing things returning to normal. Schools are getting excited about getting kids active and are using Safe Routes to School (SRTS) to solve the School Drop-Off Dilemma.
We have 65 SRTS school and educational partners engaging in the work! Every year, these schools run fun events encouraging active transportation, like this fun walk to school day event at Twinfield Elementary pictured below.
On Friday mornings I teach a swim lesson at the YMCA that begins at 8:30 AM. I like to get to the Y early so I don’t have to rush. I live in Winooski and if I am going into Burlington I calculate that it will take me about an hour to get ready to go and then ride to my destination. On Friday August 1st I started getting ready at 7:15 AM so I could be at the Y at 8:15 AM. Getting ready means dressing, packing a change of clothes for after my shower at the Y, gathering my bathing suit and teaching shirt and choosing which bike shoes, hat, gloves and buff to wear for the day. I also put lights on my bike, helmet and hip pack. In late August and early September the days are warm but the mornings are cool. I wear a light jacket when I leave my house in the morning. In the event I got to the Y at 8 so I decided to go to City Market before going to the Y. I noticed that almond butter was on sale so I got some. Usually I just eat peanut butter.
Local Motion is excited to announce the addition of over 170 business locations and two new bike routes to its Interactive Biking and Walking Map. The “ONE Love Loop” and the Pine Street “Arts & Craft Loop” are now waiting to be discovered via Local Motion’s Interactive Map. The map helps users know where to go as they find local parks, beaches, restaurants and bars, hotels, shops, and public restrooms.
In late March I took my commuter bike for a tuneup to Winooski Wheels, a new bike shop in downtown Winooski. I am so glad to have a bike shop in town! I support Old Spokes bike shop, but because I don’t own a car, every time I dropped off my bike there, I had to walk an hour to get to my home. Then I had to walk back when the bike was ready to be picked up. Winooski Wheels is only a 10 minute walk from my house, which makes it much more convenient. Every city should have a few essential services including a swimming pool, a library, a bookstore, a bakery, a hardware store, a bike shop, and a grocery store. At least we have a bike shop, a pool and a library!
Local Motion staff worked with our partner organizations at Transportation for Vermonters to make progress on several key legislative issues.
Street Find Disappointment
On February 10th I set off for my dentist’s office in South Burlington. It was a sloppy day, with slush everywhere. I took Mill Street and noticed a balaclava on the ground. I did not stop because I wanted to get to my appointment on time. I made a mental note to go back later in the day and pick up the balaclava. After my dentist appointment I rode into Burlington, went to the Y, had lunch with a friend and then went to City Market. I took Riverside Avenue back to Winooski and crossed over Colchester Avenue and onto Mill Street. The balaclava was in the road so I parked my bike and waited for a break in the traffic. The balaclava was soaking wet and when I picked it up I saw it was so torn up that it would not be usable so I did not take it home. This happens from time to time when I spot something on the road. Often an item is so damaged and I cannot use it. I see lots of things that I don’t bother to stop for. Because I have a scavenger’s mentality, I notice discarded items but they are not always worth stopping for.
Summer’s here, and bikes are buzzing all over our streets, and it’s a beautiful sight. Less beautiful? The upsurge of bike thefts that come with the summer months.
Cold Weather Strategies
In early February we had a cold snap with two days of sub-zero temperatures. Riding becomes more complicated when it gets that cold. It takes me a long time to get ready for each mini-adventure. My rides are strictly utilitarian, getting from point A to point B. When it is that cold the biggest challenge is making sure that my hands and feet are warm as I begin the ride. When I am leaving my house, that is not a problem, but when leaving City Market or the YMCA to head home, it can be more difficult. There are heating vents in the vestibule of City Market. I park my shopping cart near the vents and warm my glove liners in front of them. Then I put on my mittens and do as much as I can with them on. I have to take off the mittens to unlock my bike, put on my helmet and turn on my lights. I can snap my panniers shut with my gloves on.
In the past I have lost my wallet and my keys. When it happens I get an overwhelming sense of panic. It is not a good feeling so I make sure to keep hold of my wallet, keys and phone. I have not lost my wallet, keys or phone for a while, but I lose other things. I often lose thing when I am going from one place to another. I have made special efforts to be mindful during those transitions but I still leave things behind. I have accepted that I am absentminded.