Commuting by bicycle or walking is a glorious way to get to work in Vermont. Being outside in our beautiful state is why most of us live here so why not enjoy it on your commute if you can?
Go Vermont can support your effort with a Guaranteed Ride Home if you get stuck at work and cant use your bike or walk (say, in case of a bad storm) and you’ll be eligible for some fun prizes too.
Commuting by Bike in Vermont
Certainly riding your bike to work is one of the best ways to make yourself and the planet healthier at the same time. We also recognize that it can pose a challenge to folks also. So here are some simple recomendations to make the bike commute more appealing and sustainable. For more detailed information check out the Bicycle and Pedestrian Program, and don't miss the Commuter's Guide while you are there!
Set reasonable distance goals. Most successfull bike commutes are less than 10 miles each way. A typical ten mile trip on a bike will take 30 - 40 minutes compared to about 15 minutes in a car. And for taking that extra 15 minutes to get to work, you open up a whole new avenue of personal fitness and stress release. Some folks commute 20 miles or more to work each day and if that describes you, our hat is off to you. But for the rest of us, keeping it shorter means we are more likely to make it a habit. So start with a reasonable distance. And if you have a longer commute, you can start by taking your bike with you to a park and ride lot that is closer to work and riding the rest of the way to work from their. Where there is a will, there is a way. And dont forget that bikers and walkers can also use the Guaranteed Ride Home if they get stuck at work and need a ride home.
Learn to ride safely in traffic. A favorite quote of ours from John Forrester (long time cycling educator) is "Bicyclists fare best when they act and are treated as drivers of vehicles." This essentially means you should usually ride your bike the same way you drive a car, including being visible with lights and signals, using the full lane when appropriate, riding with traffic, not against it, being cosiderate and claiming your legal right to ride in the road.
Get educated. If any of this sounds a little daunting, we encourange everyone to take a safe cycling course from the League of American Bicyclists, who work with the Vermont Bicycle and Pedestrian Coalition to offer cycling classes and certified instructors in Vermont.
We also want to suggest a visit to our friends and Local Motion. These are the folks that bring you the Spring and Fall Commuter Another Way challenges and are key in many ongoing bicycle and pedestrian improvements, programs and other promotion around Vermont.
Click here to visit Local Motion.
Click here for classes offered by the League of American Bicyclists.
Click here for the Vermont Bicycle and Pedestrian Coalition.
Riding shouldn't be a chore. It's a chance to be out in the fresh air, moving your body, setting your own pace and feeling alive. Everyone has their own reasons to ride but make sure you keep the fun in it. Thats what keeps us all doing it over and over.
Want to ride off road? Great, we like that too. Be sure to connect with New England Mountain Bicycle Association for info on group rides, new trails and fun events throughout Vermont and New England.