Upcoming Bike Workshops

Join us for our first virtual “Get Out and Bike” workshop! During the pandemic, we are excited to cover the basics online—so you can get some exercise and fresh air, test ride your commute, or just have some fun!

“Get Out and Bike” virtual workshop
Tuesday, May 19
5:30-6:30 pm
FREE, click here to register

Come to this workshop to refresh your skills and learn:
– how to fit a bike and helmet
– what clothing and gear you need (and don’t need)
– how to “read” the street and ride safely
– how to plan your route
– how to do an “ABC Quick Check” and do a “power start” and “controlled stop”

About Our Bike Workshops

We offer our Everyday Bicycling Workshops in Partnership with Local Motion!

Email Bethany@VitalCommunities.org to schedule an Everyday Bicycling Workshop in your town!

The Workshops

Everyday Bicycling Basics: Fix A Flat & More This easy welcoming workshop for beginners gives you the skills to manage common problems encountered on a bike ride. While learning how to change a tire, you’ll become familiar with brakes, chain/gears, and how to remove a wheel. Participants leave with free tire levers, chain lube, and patch kit!

Bring a bike to practice on, if you have one. Hands-on practice will be done in pairs, so there are always enough bikes to go around! Please note: many entry-level bikes aren’t designed for much adjustment and can be frustrating to work on. If you have questions about whether to bring your bike to this workshop, call 802.291.9100 x111 or e-mail us.

Everyday Bicycling Basics: Getting Into Bicycling
Haven’t been on a bike since you were 13? Come to this workshop to refresh your skills and learn:
– how to fit a bike and helmet
– what gear you need (and don’t need)
– how to “read” the street and ride safely
– how to do a “power start” and “controlled stop” and how to better handle your bike

Everyday Bicycling Basics: On-Street Bike Skills Designed to follow the “Skills Refresher” workshop. Build your skills & confidence for riding your bike on the road. We will review some skills in the parking lot and then head out for a narrated bike ride with periodic pull-offs to discuss conditions encountered and how best to respond. Snacks provided! ALL PARTICIPANTS MUST BRING A WORKING BIKE AND A HELMET.

Winter Warrior Bike Workshop Get the tips & tricks from an experienced year-round bike commuter! We’ll cover how to plan a winter commute, how to dress, snow and ice safety, and how to keep your bike clean. This workshop is held indoors; no need to bring your bike.

Explore Biking or Walking to Work

Do you want to walk or bike to work but aren’t sure what trails and routes are available? Visit the Upper Valley Trails Alliance and click on Trail Finder to see detailed information on many Upper Valley trails that can be used for commuting!

The Upper Valley Loop Trail is a signed on-road bike route connecting Hanover, Lebanon, Hartford, and Norwich. Keep an eye out for UV Loop signs.

Can’t make the whole trip on bike or foot? Try a hybrid commute: bike to catch a carpool or bus and get some exercise on your commute.

VIDEO: how to put your bike on the bus

Learn Bike Skills

Are you interested in biking to work but haven’t been on your bike in years and not sure where to start? Check our calendar or see below for Everyday Bicycling Workshops coming to your community in the warmer months. Workshops are free but registration is required.

Organize a group of eight to ten coworkers or friends and contact us to set up your own free Everyday Bicycling Workshop series to teach you the basics and get you comfortable on your bike again. Contact us to schedule a workshop. Read more about the program for workplaces on our blog.

Get Out & Bike Week, May 18-25

“I LOVED our bike workshop with you yesterday.  You were an amazing presenter, so easy going and funny, but also very helpful and informative.  Thank you so much for taking the time to help our team get ready to launch our bike share program.”
– Laura Perez, Special Needs Support Center

HOW TO: ABC Quick Check

ABC Quick Check: A two-minute safety check to make sure your bike is road-worthy

A – AIR: Squeeze your tires. If they’re squishy, pump them up. Low air pressure makes you feel sluggish and tired while riding. Both under- and over-inflated tires can cause blowouts. See the fine print on the side of your tires for the correct psi.

B – BRAKES: Stand beside your bike and squeeze each brake lever as you push the bike forward. Does the front wheel stop when you apply the front brake? Does the rear wheel stop when you apply the rear brake? If so, GREAT!

Now spin each wheel. Do the brake pads rub against the rim? If not, GREAT! If so, you’re slowing down your ride and wearing out your brake pads, so it’s time for an adjustment.

C – CHAIN & CRANKS: Your chain should be fairly clean, free of rust, and move smoothly and quietly. Use WD-40 or special bike chain lubricant if needed.

Yank on each pedal. The crank – the piece that attaches the pedal to the bike – shouldn’t wiggle.

QUICK – Quick Releases: These are the small levers that tighten down your seat to the bike and your wheels to their hubs. The levers should run parallel to the bike (no pointing out to the sides!) and be tight enough that they leave a faint impression on your palm when you push them into place. Too loose and your seat will slide down as you ride and your wheels might come off!

CHECK – Take your bike for a 30 seconds spin to make sure everything sounds good and works well.

The ABC Quick Check should take 2 minutes, tops! If something is broken, get it fixed before you ride. There are lots of great how-to videos online or have a friend or nearby bike shop fix it.

Bike Safety Tips

Follow the Rules of the Road

  • Ride with traffic and obey the same laws as motorists
  • Use the rightmost lane that heads in the direction in which you are traveling
  • Obey all traffic control devices, such as stop signs, lights, and lane markings
  • Always look back and use hand and arm signals to indicate your intention to stop, merge, or turn

Be Visible

  • Ride where drivers can see you
  • Wear brightly colored clothing at all times
  • At night, use a white front light and red rear light or reflector, and wear reflective tape or clothing

Be Predictable

  • Ride in a straight line and don’t swerve between parked cars
  • Make your intentions clear to motorists and other road users
  • Signal turns, and check behind you well before turning or changing lanes
  • Make eye contact with motorists to let them know you are there
  • Do not ride on the sidewalk

Think Ahead

  • Anticipate what drivers, pedestrians, and other bicyclists will do next
  • Be aware of traffic around you and be prepared to take evasive action
  • Learn braking and turning techniques to avoid crashes
  • Be extra alert at intersections
  • Watch for turning vehicles and ride outside the door zone of parked cars
  • Look out for debris, potholes, and utility covers
  • Cross railroad tracks at right angles

Wear a Helmet

  • Make sure that the helmet fits on top of your head, not tipped back or forward
  • After a crash or any impact that affects your helmet, visible or not, replace it immediately

Ride Ready

  • Be sure your tires have sufficient air, brakes are working, chain runs smoothly, and quick-release wheel levers are closed
  • Carry repair and emergency supplies appropriate for your ride

Keep Your Cool

  • Road rage benefits no one and always makes a bad situation worse

More Information

Walk Safety Tips

  • Use the sidewalk when possible, or walk on the left side of the road, facing traffic.
  • Drivers may not be able to see you well. Wear bright-colored clothes and if it is dark or hard to see, carry flashlights or wear reflective gear.
  • Watch for cars at every driveway and intersection on your walk to school. Look for drivers in parked cars. They may be getting ready to move.

Crossing the Street 
1. Stop at the curb or edge of the street.
2. Look left, right, left and behind you and in front of you for traffic.
3. Wait until no traffic is coming and begin crossing.
4. Keep looking for traffic until you have finished crossing.
5. Walk, don’t run across the street.
6. Obey walk signals.
7. Don’t text or talk on the phone while crossing the street!

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Vital Communities Program News

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Bethany Fleishman

Transportation Program Manager


 802-291-9100 x111


— Bethany Fleishman, Transportation Program Manager

Bethany Fleishman was born at the old Mary Hitchcock hospital in Hanover, N.H., grew up in West Hartford, Vt., and now lives in Hartford Village, where she can see the White River and the trains from her window. She has a biology degree from St. Lawrence University and has worked in public health outreach, as a line cook in San Francisco, a pastry chef in Hanover, and as a member of the Town of Hartford Selectboard. She serves on the board of directors for both Advance Transit and Upper Valley CarShare and is a lifelong bike commuter.