If the last several months have taught us anything, it’s how important it is for Local Motion to be adaptable and resilient. Practically overnight, we have transformed the way we communicate with our community of supporters, volunteers, and partners, reimagined much of our programming, and found new ways to deliver it. As we learned of the killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and too many others, we began the difficult process of evaluating our role in becoming antiracist in our work.
These are challenging times, and what we do has never been more important. We have provided leadership and expertise in supporting communities as they create new spaces for people to recreate, commute, shop, and be outside by advocating for—and even helping to maintain—everything from expanded parklets to new and improved bike infrastructure. Our instructional video series is helping new and returning riders (and there are many of them!) be safe as they discover the joy and utility of bicycling. Many of these same riders are utilizing our expanded E-bike Lending Libraries as a way to try an electric bike for the first time.
By Sarah Illingworth, Local Motion's Communications Coordinator
I’ve lived in the South End of Burlington for 4 years now. Every second was a blast! I was within walking distance to literally EVERYTHING. Farmer’s Market? Check! Church Street? Check! Waterfront Events? Check! Food Truck Fridays? Check! Shy Guy Gelato? CHECK! Fitness Gym? Check! Having the ability to just lace up my shoes and walk to anywhere my heart desired was a total bulls-eye. It enabled me to move my body, help the environment, become immersed in my community, and be present. So when I got the Communications Coordinator job at Local Motion it was the icing on the cake! Now I didn’t even need to turn my car on ALL week.
By Mary Catherine Graziano, Local Motion's Senior Manager, Education, and Safety Programs
I work for a bike organization, and until a week ago, I didn’t really enjoy biking. For me, biking has always been more theoretically fun than actually fun—there was fun, sometimes—, But it occurred in brief snatches gleaned from a trip like chocolate chips in a particularly fiber-filled trail mix. For me, biking is hard work, requires a lot of concentration, and I always felt a little like I was skating on the edge of a painful disaster.
We’ve had new guidance from Governor Scott on outdoor recreation, and we’d like to help folks parse it out a bit.
As the state begins its “Play Smart and Play Safe” protocol, the golden rule will continue to be: be mindful of your most vulnerable family members and neighbors, and err on the side of caution to protect them.
The new guidance doesn’t change much for people recreating, but more places will be open.
We hope this newsletter finds you safe and well. As spring blooms right before our eyes, we are adapting to our current environment to ensure our programs continue to operate successfully.
We are holding public online workshops to help folks get out on their bikes, continuing to advocate for safer and more equitable streets, monitoring and giving feedback on infrastructure proposals, and pushing officials to take notice of the inadequate infrastructure that this crisis has highlighted. Not only that, but we’re also working on projects that will make our other programs even more effective once they restart. Scroll through our Spring Newsletter and see for yourself all the great work we have been up to!
As we all know, regular exercise can help reduce stress and improve the immune system response. It is especially important to exercise now when our immune function is so important and stress levels may be at an all-time high. Bicycling is a great way to exercise while practicing social distancing, especially as the weather begins to warm. However, bicycling, like any repetitive movement, can lead to aches and pains or even injury if not counterbalanced by other movements.
The position our body is in while cycling--flexion of the spine, with the head forward--can lead to neck and back pain if not counterbalanced. The movement of pedaling can lead to overuse of the hip flexors and quadriceps, especially if the bicycling shoes are clipped onto the petals. This can lead to back and hip pain, and contribute to injuries in areas both above and below the hips and pelvis. The flexed position of cycling also can lead to tension through the whole muscle, fascia, and neural system of the back body.
A simple yoga practice to perform in conjunction with your bicycling is described below. This can be performed either after cycling or on alternate days when you are not cycling. This practice is great cross-training for cycling, reducing aches and pains possibly even reducing the risk of injury.
By Jonathon Weber, Livable Streets Program Manager
One impact of the coronavirus pandemic has been a drastic drop in motor vehicle traffic in our communities. Step out to a normally busy road in your town, and you’ll probably notice it. At the same time that there are fewer cars, many more people are out biking and walking. There are so many people at times, that there isn’t enough room on the sidewalk for them to abide by physical distancing, which is forcing people to walk in the road.