Elements of Bike Riding 57
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.
How to Lock Your Bike
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.
Elements of Bike Riding 56
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.
Elements of Bike Riding 55
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.
2023 Spring Newsletter
Spring is here! 🌷
Local Motion Represents Vermont at the 2023 LAB National Bike Summit
By Susan Grasso, Complete Streets Associate
Day 1 of the LAB National Bike Summit took place on a beautiful sunny and warm day in DC with cherry blossoms abounding - a real taste of spring! I borrowed my daughter's bike for a safe and pleasant 2 mile ride to the National Union Building (which is next to the amazing National Portrait Gallery), took advantage of the League's pop up indoor valet bike parking, and began a full day of sessions in the LAB Active Transportation Leadership Institute (ATLI).
Elements of Bike Riding 54
City Market Parking
On January 5th I noticed that someone had parked right in front of the bike racks at City Market. There are white parking lines there, but itshould be obvious to anyone that it is not a parking space because if someone parks there it blocks access to the bike rack. City Market could help the situation by removing the white lines and or putting up a sign. I went inside and reported the situation to someone at Customer Service. He notified security but in the meantime I went back out and took a photo. At that point the driver and a friend came out. I explained the situation and the driver apologized and said she would not park there again. The friend said, “I don’t expect to see bike riders in January.” I said, “Have you noticed the weather lately?” I could also have pointed out that my bike was not the only one in the rack. More and more people are riding in the winter. After mentioning it a few times last year, City Market now does a good job removing snow from around the bike racks. I am working on having the YMCA do the same thing.
Survey: 2023 Burlington City Council Candidates on Transportation Issues
Local Motion, the Burlington Walk/Bike Council, and Old Spokes Home are excited to provide the Burlington community with insight into 2023 City Council candidates' perspectives on questions related to walking, biking, and rolling.
Elements of Bike Riding 53
On December 18th I rode from my house in Winooski to Scout coffee shop in the center of Winooski. I met five guys who I know from the Winooski Bike Gang which meets every Wednesday during the warmer months of the year. We hung out for a while drinking coffee and I told the story behind some of the clothing I was wearing, including my Donegal salt and pepper tweed vest. It is called salt and pepper because of the black and white specks scattered against a tan background. Originally the vest was a jacket but I had someone remove the sleeves. That provides more freedom of movement for my shoulders. Other people told stories about something they were wearing. It had snowed a few days ago, so I was riding my fat bike. As we set off I felt a burst of gratitude to be riding with this group. Every once in a while I experience feeling of great warmth and pleasure when I do a group ride. For someone who often felt like a misfit, finding a community is especially important. After the warm weather ends I am usually riding on my own. I thanked everyone for coming. We went up Riverside Avenue and took a meandering route to Battery Park where we took a group photo. We ended up at Reuban James where we watched the World Cup finals. I don’t spend much time in bars, and I don’t usually hang out with guys so it was an unusual Sunday Morning. I had to go to work later in the day so I drank orange juice instead of beer.
How a hospital’s location can heal—or hurt—or community
By Dr. John Raser
This year we celebrated the 50th anniversary of Northeastern Vermont Regional Hospital in Saint Johnsbury. We are fortunate to have such a strong community hospital in our region. It is an institution with strong leadership and committed staff, and one with which I am proud to be affiliated.