7th Annual Tour de Farms Set for Sept 21 in Shoreham
Over 700 bicyclists are expected to gather in Shoreham, VT on Sunday, September 21 to enjoy the beautiful scenery of the Champlain Valley and delicious foods prepared by local farmers. Participants in the 7th Annual Tour de Farms will pedal from farm to farm and sample as they go. The Tour de Farms is an important fundraiser for co-organizers Vermont Bicycle & Pedestrian Coalition and the Addison County Relocalization Network.
Click here to register now and save up to 50%. To inquire about sponsorship opportunities, please contact
Please support the following sponsors of the 2014 Tour de Farms (Click on logo to visit sponsors' websites):
Bicycling Mini-Classes Offered in Montpelier
Eight different mini-classes on various aspects of bicycling will be taught this summer by VT Bicycle & Pedestrian Coalition executive director Nancy Schulz, assisted by Anne Ferguson. Students may register for one, several, or all. The mini-classes are open to all adults over the age of 18 and will be held in Montpelier on Tuesday evenings from 5:30 to 7:30 pm beginning July 8. The classes run consecutively but there is no class on August 5. Each class has a classroom portion and an on-road portion. Note that the classroom portions will be held at the Montpelier Senior Activity Center (MSAC) and registration opens to the public on Monday, June 16. Individual sessions are $8 for MSAC members and $10 for non-members. The entire series of eight sessions is $50 for MSAC members and $70 for non-members. Registration closes one week prior to each class. Details of each session and registration info can be found below.
-Session One, July 8, 5:30 to 7:30 pm: “Adjusting Your Bike & Helmet for Comfort & Fit”
Does your helmet slip around or give you a headache? Is your back or neck sore when you ride? Do you wonder if your seat is at the right height? Do you want to know how to get a great helmet for under $10? This session will address these questions and it will also teach you the “Eyes Ears and Mouth Test.” One hour in the classroom followed by a one-hour, guided bicycle ride.
-Session Two, July 15, 5:30 to 7:30 pm: “Riding Safely on Vermont’s Roads”
How should a bicyclist deal with car traffic, loose dogs, sand, railroad tracks and rough roads? Are helmets required by law for adults and/or children? Is side-by-side riding allowed? Is riding on the sidewalk legal? This session will answer these questions and many more about sharing the road safely and legally. One hour in the classroom followed by a one-hour, guided bicycle ride.
-Session Three, July 22, 5:30 to 7:30 pm: “Is an Electric Bike Right for You?”
Bicycles come in many varieties, including mountain, electric, hybrid, road, cargo, and recumbent. Each type is best suited to a particular purpose. Find out the pros and cons of each as you consider which may be most appropriate for you. One hour in the classroom followed by a one-hour, guided bicycle ride. (Note that this session will be held at Onion River Sports on Langdon Street in Montpelier.)
-Session Four, July 29, 5:30 to 7:30 pm: “Taking the Mystery Out of Shifting”
How do you know when to shift? Which way do you shift to make the pedaling easier or harder? What are some tips for biking uphill and downhill? What is a derailleur and how does it work? Why is it important to lubricate a chain and how do you do it? This session will address all of these questions and more. One hour in the classroom followed by a one-hour, guided bicycle ride.
-Session Five, August 12, 5:30 to 7:30 pm: “Applying Simple Solutions to Common Bicycle Problems”
Do your brakes rub or squeal? Is your shifting sluggish or do your gears slip? Do you get frequent flat tires? Are there clicking or clunking sounds when you ride? This class will show you how to diagnose common bicycle problems and teach you what to do about them. One hour in the classroom followed by a one-hour guided, bicycle ride.
-Session Six, August 19, 5:30 to 7:30 pm: “What to Wear, Eat & Do to Stay Comfortable on Your Bike”
This class will address discomfort prevention and remedies in the form of specific stretches, alternative riding positions, equipment variations, clothing recommendations, nutritional suggestions and riding styles to keep your riding enjoyable in all kinds of conditions. One hour in the classroom followed by a one-hour, guided bicycle ride.
-Session Seven, August 26, 5:30 to 7:30 pm: “Changing a Flat Tire”
What do you need to carry to change a flat tire by yourself out on the road? How do you use a patch kit to fix a flat? How do you replace an inner tube with a new one? How do you locate a hole in an inner tube? This class will answer all these questions as each student gets hands-on practice. One hour in the classroom followed by a one-hour, guided bicycle ride.
-Session Eight, September 2, 5:30 to 7:30 pm: “Discovering Great Places to Bicycle in VT”
Where are the flattest places to ride? Where are the roads with the least traffic and the best pavement? Where can you find the most scenic spots and the best vistas while bicycling? What are some suggestions for two-day trips in Vermont with an overnight at a B&B? The instructors will make recommendations based on their personal experiences and will provide multiple maps and useful handouts for the students. One hour in the classroom followed by a one-hour guided bicycle ride.
MSAC doesn't have the capability to do online registration so please mail your completed registration form with a check to MSAC, 58 Barre Street, Montpelier, VT 05602 (or drop by and complete registration in person, if that is convenient for you).
2014 Walk Bike Summit a Success
Caroline Sampanaro addressing Summit attendees. (Photo: Kathy Davidow)
Attendees at the summit (Photo: Dave Cain)
An enthusiastic group of 250 attended the Walk/Bike Summit in Burlington this past Saturday. Those who journeyed to the Hilton enjoyed delicious breakfast and lunch foods, an array of 10 workshops, inspiring words from Transportation Alternatives' Caroline Sampanaro, input from a panel of VT leaders, plenty of table displays, networking opportunities, and late afternoon options to walk and bike a bit.
(If you attended the Summit, you'll soon be asked for your feedback so that future events of this kind can be made even better.)
Limited Edition Ed Koren Print
You can receive an autographed, limited edition print of the above drawing. The drawing was done for the VT Bike/Ped Coalition by Ed Koren, an artist and VBPC member. You may be familiar with Ed's work through The New Yorker magazine or perhaps through Onion River Sports in Montpelier which used Ed's characters in its promotional material for many years.
To obtain a copy of the print, simply give the gift of a VBPC membership to a friend (who is not currently a member) and notify the Coalition whether you would prefer to receive an autographed print on cream or white paper. Please check out our membership options by clicking on the green "Contribute" square to the left of this message.
Thanks for your support of the Coalition's important work.
Montpelier Awarded Bicycle-friendly Community "Bronze"
by League of American Bicyclists
Montpelier Mayor John Hollar announces that Montpelier has been awarded the bicycle-friendly community "bronze" level by the League of American Bicyclists, a national advocacy group. Recent efforts in Montpelier include organizing a bike summit and a bicycle advisory committee, installing more bike racks, finalizing details to complete the city's bike path, and obtaining funding to develop a bicycle master plan. (Photo courtesy of Anne Ferguson)
VISTAs who work for the city of Montpelier, Hannah Recklow and Alex Prolman, pose with one of the signs designating Montpelier as a bicycle-friendly community. (Photo courtesy of Gwen Hallsmith)
l to r: Nancy Schulz, Josh Wilson, and Tim Blagden (Photo courtesy of David Cain)
VT, NY, and NH Advocates Gather
The VBPC's executive director, Nancy Schulz, met recently with her counterparts in neighboring states. Josh Wilson, the executive director of the New York Bicycling Coalition, and Tim Blagden, the executive director of the Bike-Walk Alliance of New Hampshire came to Montpelier to discuss a range of issues including funding, legislative priorities, board recruitment, rails to trails, and lobbying. It was helpful to all three organizations to make this connection and to discover that we share many of the same challenges.
(The VBPC is grateful to Christopher Parker of Vermont Rail Action Network (VRAN) for permission to use the photo above.
Amtrak Releases Results of Carry-On Bike Tests
In July of 2013, Amtrak conducted a series of bicycle tests on trains in New York and Vermont. The VT Bike/Ped Coalition was asked by Amtrak to recruit bicyclists to participate in tests on the Vermonter and Ethan Allen train routes. Each volunteer bicyclist was asked to board at a particular stop with a carry-on bicycle and detrain at the next stop. Over 40 bicyclists were recruited by the VBPC to participate in these tests. Unfortunately, the Vermonter test took place during the hottest week of the summer. Multiple days of extreme heat caused a heat kink in the track, which resulted in the need for a repair crew and a four-hour delay in the train schedule. This huge delay forced many of the volunteer testers to drop out, so only a limited number of survey responses were collected on the Vermonter.
To see the summaries of what bicyclists had to say about their experiences, you can click on individual links for the Vermonter test, the Ethan Allen test, the Northeast Region test and/or the Adirondack and Niagara Falls test. The VBPC will be meeting with Amtrak officials in September to discuss the next steps to implement carry-on bicycle service in Vermont. Thanks for your support of the VBPC as we work to enhance train access for bicyclists.
Board Nominations Welcome
Bruce Lierman, President of the Board of Directors of the VT Bicycle & Pedestrian Coalition, welcomes nominations of potential board candidates. Ideal candidates are committed to advancing bike/ped advocacy and are willing to work to bring about necessary changes within Vermont. The board of directors meets quarterly and keeps in touch via email between meetings. The VBPC's goal is to have a board which includes individuals from throughout the state of Vermont who bring skills that will advance the Coaliton's mission. For more information, please contact Bruce Lierman via (802) 447-2553 or
Please help the VBPC keep the good bike/ped news coming by clicking here. All contributions are tax deductible. Thank you.
The mission of the Vermont Bicycle & Pedestrian Coalition is to promote bicycling and walking in Vermont, emphasizing access, safety, and education. The VBPC is a member-supported organization. Please join us, and share the word!