The past Memorial Day weekend marked the opening of the Local Motion Bike Ferry, connecting Burlington and Colchester to South Hero, via the Island Line Trail, as well as my very first time being a bike ferry passenger. For folks who have never experienced the causeway, it's an incredible ride for all abilities with plenty of gorgeous vistas for photography. All these overlooks make the 10 mile adventure feel like a breeze, but many of these go unnoticed from people focused on time and speed. If you allot enough time and enjoy stopping to observe your surroundings, then this is for you.
Walking in Orleans County can’t be much better than this! When the opportunity presents I walk the trails and roads near the Pope Memorial Frontier Animal Society. Now… let me explain… I have a three-year-old Pitbull-beagle mix, Tuuka – as in Tuuka Rask, best Bruins Goalie ever! – and she is spoiled rotten. I figured, I could share the love. Not to mention – I’ve spent the last decade dedicated to school and my own personal life, I figured it was time to do something for someone other than myself. I already work at the local hospital, so the animal shelter was really one of the only other local non-profits that immediately came to mind. My husband, Dan, also made the suggestion. I was a little apprehensive. All I could imagine is sweet loving old dogs locked up and unloved. I had no idea how wrong I was!
Over the past few years, Lyndon residents, business owners and local officials have been steadily working to become a more bike friendly community. Lyndon is part of Vermont's rural Northeast Kingdom, with its winding roads and village centers where people who live here and those "from away" are discovering everyday biking for transportation and for fun!
We had another successful Learn to Ride class this past Saturday! Almost 30 kids, ranging in ages 3 - 10, converged on Leddy Park in Burlington ready to Learn to Ride. A good number of them were successful and almost everyone improved significantly!
Our Learn to Ride classes are getting themselves a following! We had a family come back this year, because...
Do you live, work, or shop in downtown Burlington? Do you bike on the Burlington Greenway (aka the Lakeshore Bike Path)? Watch for big on-the-ground changes for better walking and biking this summer! Burlington DPW has committed to an ambitious slate of on-street improvements for biking and walking in downtown Burlington. The Parks, Recreation, and Waterfront department will rebuild the Burlington Greenway from North Beach to the Winooski River bridge. Things are in motion for putting Burlington on the map as one of the best small cities for biking and walking!
There is something about nature that draws me into the woods year-round. The tranquility and beauty steal my breath. The vast space filled with known, and unknown, life cycles humbles me. Immediately life priorities become more apparent. I know as quickly as the woods teach me, the rest of the world will try to steal that wisdom the moment I leave. Spring brings a new sense of awakening for all the species in the woods. The smell of pine is incredible. I just want to bask in it! Baby snapping turtles are hatching. Owls are scouting for prey. Moments like this, I stop and look around, no longer in a hurry to complete the trail or to move until time runs out. I’m not rushing anymore – and I’m always rushing!
I have an obsessive side, partly because if I didn't I would forget even more things than I already do. I have a long morning checklist, and also a checklist for going on a fun bike ride. Nothing ruins a ride like finding out you have forgotten something important. Read on to see what is included on my checklist...
Though spring is officially here, it sure didn't feel like it until recently. (Many Vermonters walk and bike through the winter, but more often than not in spite of the cold weather, not because of it.) For many folks, it really isn't until April or even May that walking and biking take center stage once again.
Local Motion is the world's only bike advocacy group with Coast Guard-licensed Captains on staff. While there are other bike ferries around the world - Martha's Vineyard; Buffalo, NY; Alma, Quebec, and many small cable-type ferries across the rivers and canals of Europe (link to sites and pics), this is the only one that is mainly supported by donations and memberships of people like you! Last year alone, we boarded nearly 14,000 riders and walkers and we can’t wait to break that record this year! Read the complete history of Local Motion’s Bike Ferry here.
When it is cold, wet or dark, I tend to only ride for practical transportation. I use my bike to get to work, do errands and shop and I choose the shortest route possible, to limit my time outside. Occasionally, I will do a "fun ride" but only if it also includes a practical aspect as well. For example; I live in Winooski, and work in Burlington so I will make my commute my "fun ride" - taking the longer route to work by way of Mallets Bay and the Burlington Bike Path. This past winter has thrown some challenges my way in terms of Cold, Wet and Dark but I've learned a lot along the way and while I'm not counting down the days until I get to ride again in the cold, dark and wet, I'd be lying if I said I wasn't slightly looking forward to it - I've included some of what I've learn after the flip, so hopefully I can encourage you to ride despite the cold, dark and wet weather that will be back before we know it.