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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
Wondering how to beat the cold and still enjoy your time outside this winter? In this blog, we’ve compiled tips, tricks, and safety considerations from our staff and Facebook community to stay safe rolling, walking and biking all winter long.