Spring is here, so it’s a great time to Get Up and Go! Take the challenge to walk, bike, roll, bus, or carpool May 1 through 16 and be a part of the Way to Go! Transportation Challenge. Whether you’re getting healthy, supporting a clean, green Vermont, or doing your part to battle the global climate crisis, you can earn points to win awesome prizes.

Log at least 2 trips (on the Go! Vermont app or the website) and you’ll automatically be entered into a raffle, or you can build points towards prizes including a folding e-bike!

Are you affiliated with a school participating in the Way to Go! School Challenge? Head to WayToGoVT.org to log activities and earn points for your school!

Launching Year 2 of the Upper Valley E-Bike Library!

Do you wish biking was part of your life? E-bikes can greatly increase that possibility. E-bikes (electric bikes) are like regular bikes but with an electric motor in addition to human-powered pedals, a battery to store power for that motor, and a heavier frame to accommodate the increased hardware. The electric assist can help with the physical issues, daunting hills, and the need to haul heavy loads (kids, groceries, or both are easier with a cargo e-bike like the one pictured!) that might otherwise keep you off your bike. This could enable you to replace many car trips with breezy, two-wheel journeys that don’t clog the roads or present parking challenges. 

Worldwide, e-bike sales are booming, and the market is stuffed with different choices on frame, type and size of motor, battery storage —  to name just a few variables. How do you choose?

The first step is to try some models and see what features you like best. Enter Local Motion’s Upper Valley E-bike Library. Organized by eight Upper Valley town energy committees with the help of Vital Communities, this program of Local Motion is in its second year and now features four e-bikes

From the end of April through the end of October, the library will be stationed in various Upper Valley communities. Residents of each community can borrow either of four e-bike models free of charge for a few days (or an hour) to get a feel for the two-wheel life. 

Here is the 2021 schedule:

2021 Schedule: 

Hartford (based in both WRJ and Quechee):  4/19/21 – 5/8/21

Hanover:  5/10/21 – 5/29/21

Sharon:  5/31/21 – 6/12/21

Norwich: 6/14/21 – 7/3/21

Lebanon:  7/5/21 – 7/24/21

Thetford / Strafford / Lyme:  7/26/21 – 8/28/21

Cornish / Plainfield:  8/30/21 – 9/18/21

Hartland / Windsor / Woodstock: 9/20/21 – 10/9/21

New London:  10/11/21 – 10/30/21

For more more program details and reservation information, visit Local Motion’s Upper Valley E-Bike Lending Library page.

NH Route 120 Improvements Near Exit 18

The New Hampshire Department of Transportation (NHDOT) has recently begun a project to study multi-modal improvements to NH Route 120 from Hanover Street to Etna Road in Lebanon, NH. This project (NHDOT reference #29612) seeks to address traffic and safety needs for all travel modes along the approximately 1.1 mile long corridor of NH Route 120, including the I-89 Exit 18 interchange and short segments of the adjacent local road network. YOUR INPUT IS NEEDED! Help us find ways to improve safety and operations in the NH Route 120 Corridor by visiting our interactive, online mapping tool and completing a survey.

You may have seen or participated in a survey from the Upper Valley Lake Sunapee Regional Planning Commission about NH Route 120 last spring, which was a more broad survey about transportation needs along the entire NH Route 120 corridor. This is a more targeted study from NHDOT that addresses a 1.1 mile section of NH Route 120 around Interstate 89 Exit 18 where specific transportation infrastructure improvements are being proposed.

Farm-Way gift cards, fat bikes, and YOU!

Whether you live in Vermont or New Hampshire, grab your bike, sneakers, or boots and join Vital Communities, Local Motion, and Go! Vermont for the 2021 Vermont Winter Bike/Walk Challenge, through February 12 (International Winter Bike to Work Day)!

No need to register, just record a bike ride, a walk, or a run on the Go! Vermont app or website at least twice by February 12 and be entered to win one of four $100 gift cards from Outdoor Gear Exchange or Farm-Way. (All gift cards can be used for online purchases.)

AND, we have a special Upper Valley-only incentive: if you rent an electric fat bike (for trail riding) from Vermont Bike & Brew through February 12 and log your ride on the Go! Vermont app / website, you will receive a coupon for 40% off your next electric fat bike rental. Just send them a screenshot of your trip in the app. And when you come to use the coupon, your friends and family will receive 10% off their fat bike rental, provided they have not previously ridden with Vermont Bike & Brew.

Download the app in the App Store or Google Play or sign up for the desktop version at govermont.agilemile.com. Make a profile, and start logging your trips!

Most years, eligible rides, walks, or runs needs to be commutes, but for 2021, we are excited to open the challenge to anyone who gets outside and gets moving, even just for fun!

The goals of the challenge are to get people riding and walking (ideally for transportation) AND reward those who are doing it already (especially those who don’t have access to other transportation). We know winter riding can be tough, and we’re putting together online resources to help. Check out these winter riding tips from us and Local Motion.

With the days still short, do you or someone you know need hi-vis gear for your winter commute but don’t have access to it? We have a limited supply of reflective / hi-vis gear that we want to give away to people who need it! Contact us so we can make the arrangements to get it to you.

Happy winter walking, running, and biking! 

Love your bike ride, even in cold weather

We (Bethany and Mike from the Transportation team) are still riding our bikes these cold dark days, because it keeps us healthy and relieves anxiety! Your bike can offer fresh air, motion, and safe social time. Here are tips to help you keep (or start!) enjoying your ride as the weather gets even colder and the days are short. Big thank you to our friends at Local Motion for the bulk of this content (and the cover photo).

We all know how to prepare for OTHER fall and winter outdoor activities, whether it’s to shovel the driveway or go skiing or hunting—biking is no different! With just a little forethought and prep for you and your bike, you’re ready!

General Guidelines

  • Fall and winter riding is like warm weather riding but colder and darker, possibly icy, and you need to prepare for road spray
  • Planning ahead and being well prepared makes winter riding easy and fun. If you’re commuting to work, give yourself extra time to wash up and change when you get to work. 
  • Keep an eye on the weather
  • Know your limits. It’s okay to bail if you’re not comfortable with the conditions 
  • Ease into it on a nice day. Begin slowly by extending your fall ride into early winter and beginning sooner in the spring
  • Remember that there are nice riding days even in January. 
  • The right gear is important

Stay warm but prepare for sweat and road spray

  • Layers are key
    • Start your ride with a cool core. Thin layers usually will suffice, but a down or warmer jacket may be necessary for those really cold days. You warm up surprisingly fast!
    • Waterproof and windproof jacket and pants keep you clean and dry, especially on days with road spray 
    • Be prepared for colder or wetter weather (or a flat tire) with an extra set of outerwear
  • Keep your extremities warm
    • Good gloves/mittens (windproof is ideal)
    • Windproof footwear keeps your feet warm. Hiking/winter boots are fine. Sneakers have too much ventilation for very cold weather, unless you put plastic bags over your socks to form a vapor barrier. You can buy neoprene shoe covers too.
    • Hand warmers are inexpensive and awesome (the new ones should last from your morning commute until your afternoon commute. In bulk, they’re about 50 cents per pair)
  • Protect your face and head when it gets below freezing
    • Clear glasses or clear lens ski goggles protect your eyes from wind
    • A neck warmer or balaclava 
    • A bandana or thin hat under your helmet protects your ears from the wind (otherwise you get that terrible achy brain feeling!)
  • At the first sign of frostbite, get inside!

Stay clean – The roads and trails may be wet or muddy more often. Consider fenders for your bike, and rain pants and a lightweight rain jacket for you. Fenders also help keep road salt off your bike and you. (Photo at left: Mike’s DIY front fender.)

Stay visible – Sunset rides are great, and cruising through the morning fog is a great way to start the day. But remember that the days are short right now, and if you’re riding to work, you’ll likely be commuting in twilight or darkness on one end. Help others on the road to easily see and be inspired by you! (photo below: Mike’s reflective gear.)

  • Lights: 
    • Have a bright front light (white) and rear light (red) and carry extra batteries
    • Use a light with 500 lumens or more if riding after dark. Anything less you won’t be able to see very far ahead of you
    • Consider one light on your handlebars and one on your helmet. That way, you will have a beam pointed to where you’re looking and you’ll have a back-up if one goes dead mid-ride.
    • Run your lights all the time. If cars are lit, you should be too!
  • Reflectors on your bike
    • If you ride with a backpack, remember to put reflectors or reflective strips on here too
  • High-visibility clothing:
    • “Hi-viz” colors, especially the yellow that cyclists and construction workers use, is best
    • Reflective strips on your clothing, reflective ankle and wrist bands, or a reflective vest 

More Tips for Safety

  • Remember that the road narrows when there is snow 
  • You might want to take a different route than your warmer weather route
  • Look for good shoulders, low traffic, areas without ice, and well-plowed roads

Riding on snow and Ice

  • Watch for changeable road conditions, just like while driving a car
  • Watch for ice hidden under a thin layer of snow! This can be disastrous if you aren’t expecting it!
  • Take your time
  • Avoid sharp turns
  • Stay relaxed
  • Try not to brake hard
  • Get studded tires, or reduce your tire pressure a little 
  • Or take a break from riding during or right after a storm until the roads clear! 

Bike Maintenance

  • Clean your bike a couple of times a week because salt = rust. An easy way to do it? Mike’s trick is to fill his water bottle with warm water at the end of his ride and use it to wash down the chain, gears, derailleurs, and brakes. 
  • Lubricate often
  • Get a tune-up in the spring; leaving salt on your bike over summer will eat away at the components

Plan B

  • Carry a cell phone
  • Have a friend or know a local cab company number who can help in emergencies
  • Know your local bus routes
  • Bring a pump, spare tube, tire levers, patch kit (only if you know how to change a tire!)


  • Get your gear ready the night before
  • Keep a record of your winter rides, including the coldest and snowiest
  • Take photos and post on social media if that’s your thing
  • Be brave, winter riding is a fun adventure!

Get LOCAL advice and gear – We are lucky to have great local bike shops and services that can provide reassurance and help for every kind of rider. Give them a call, order what you need for curb-side pick-up, or drop off your bike for a repair. 

Our list of area bike shops 

Red Clover Bikes

Claremont Cycle Depot 

Drummond Custom Cycles  

Omer & Bob’s
Mason Racing   

Hanover Adventure Tours

The Gear House  

Vermont Bike and Brew

Paradise Sports 

Discovery Bicycle Tours
Woodstock Sports 

Happy riding!

– Bethany & Mike


photo credits: Mike Kiess and Local Motion

One stop shop for VT green transportation news!

Some of our friends in Burlington have put together a super cool online resource called Vermont Goes Green for everything related to green transportation in Vermont — it’s an events calendar and a clearinghouse for info, news, and advocacy opportunities.

One of our favorite features is the Live Facebook Fridays, where you can catch transportation leaders around the state (and beyond) talking about their work.

Have an event or post you want to share or interested in becoming a regular contributor? That’s easy to do! 

And check back on the site often — it’s just getting started, and is growing fast!

Fall 2020 Transit Updates!

Just in time for fall and back-to-school, there are some exciting transit updates from both sides of the river!

Tri-Valley Transit (formerly Stagecoach) has a new midday route on the 89er South route. This route connects communities from Randolph to the Upper Valley along the I-89 corridor.
The 89’er has long been a popular route for commuters from Randolph through Sharon, providing three
morning and three afternoon runs to help riders get to large employers in White River Jct., Lebanon, and Hanover. By using the new mid-day service in one direction and the traditional commuter run in the
other passengers can have convenient access to appointments, shopping, and other services.

Tri-Valley Transit is also close to launching the Thetford Connector Route to expand upon the current public transportation service between Bradford and Sharon.  This expansion is intended to connect rural communities in Orange and Northern Windsor Counties, while providing vital access to important destinations in the community, including Thetford Academy, Sharon Academy and Vermont Law School.  This proposed expansion would connect to a growing hub of service at the Sharon Park & Ride, off Exit 2 of I-89, that would increase commuter options for residents to access the Hanover, NH region as well as Randolph, Bethel and Royalton.

Stay tuned, and direct questions or comments to Mike at mreiderer@trivalleytrasnit.org or 802-728-3773.

In case you missed the news last month in the Eagle Times, Sullivan County Transit (Southwestern Community Services) is close to establishing a commuter bus from the Claremont area to the Lebanon area! Stay tuned for more info.

For info on how to commute by bus safely during the pandemic, check out our previous post.

How to Commute Safely During the Pandemic

Even with the need for physical distancing and many people working from home, transit and carpooling are available for those who need them. Here is some information on how to use each safely these days. 

Riding the bus 

Our region’s amazing buses have been running throughout the pandemic! All passengers must wear masks and keep at least 6’ of distance from others as they board, ride, and disembark the bus. The bus companies have strict sanitation protocols in place to keep passengers and drivers safe. Several use plastic barriers around rows of seats to minimize contact between passengers. Here a guide from the State of Vermont on riding public transit during the pandemic, good guidance even if you live and travel in New Hampshire. 

Before riding, please check out the specific COVID-19 route/schedule changes and more from our local bus companies:

You can ride all Upper Valley commuter buses for free right now! 

  • All commuter buses in Vermont are currently running fare-free.
  • Sullivan County Transit (Southwestern Community Services) is running fare-free.

Since physical distance is maintained on the bus by limiting the number of passengers to keep some seats empty, please take the bus only if you have no other transportation option. That way, there is room on the bus for those who must ride. 


Fewer people are carpooling in these times of COVID, but if you do need a ride, carpooling is open. Please wear a mask if you are a driver or a passenger, and limit the total number of vehicle occupants to two, if possible. Keep the windows open if you can! Avoid sharing a ride if you have symptoms of or think you have been exposed to coronavirus. You can read more about precautions for carpooling from the CDC. You can find a carpool at Go! Vermont (or on the Go! Vermont app available at the App Store or on Google Play) or at New Hampshire Rideshare. Please note that since fewer drivers are comfortable with carpooling these days, you may have to wait longer to find a match. Likewise, if you don’t have to find a ride with someone, consider finding another mode of transportation to save that seat for someone who has no other option. 

Still Have Questions?

If you live or work in Vermont, and have any questions about your transportation options or need a ride, please call the Go! Vermont help line at 800-685-7433. No matter where you live in the Upper Valley, you can also email uvtma@vitalcommunities.org with questions about your options and we will either answer your question or direct you to someone who can.

You can also check out our Getting Around the Upper Valley page for more info. 

Safe Routes to School During Pandemic

School reopening is the big topic right now: how to do it safely, effectively, and efficiently. New requirements for health checks, physical distancing, and reduced bus capacity are likely to create bottlenecks, congestion, and lost instructional time at pick-up and drop-off. At the same time, students and their families may be seeking physical activity and stress relief—available through walking and biking. Below, find several resources that may be useful to school communities!

Check out this webinar from our friends at Local Motion to help school communities lessen transportation challenges this fall by encouraging walking and biking. (The PDF of the webinar presentation can be found here.)

Local Motion also offers this resource list, which has guides and information to help school communities through this work. Though geared toward Vermont schools, both resources from Local Motion can be useful to New Hampshire schools as well.

Here are some sources for New Hampshire-specific Safe Routes to School info:

Finally, here is a Safe Routes to School toolkit specifically for fall 2020 from a program in Oregon.

Thanks to Local Motion for contributing content for this post.

Bike & Walk Funding Available in Vermont!

Are you a Vermonter who would like to see better bike and pedestrian infrastructure in your town? Funding for this is available through the VTrans Bicycle and Pedestrian Program to local governments, transit agencies, school district or schools, and regional planning commissions. Talk to your selectboard, town planning staff, school administrators, etc. and urge them to apply!

The intent of the VTrans Bicycle and Pedestrian Program is to improve access and safety for bicyclists and/or pedestrians through the planning, design, and construction of infrastructure projects. Applications are due by Wednesday, September 30, 1 pm.

The Bike/Ped Program provides funding for either a scoping study or a design/construction project for one or any combination of the following facilities:

  • Bicycle lanes (on-road facility delineated with pavement markings and signs)
  • Shoulders (generally a minimum of 3-feet wide to accommodate bicyclists)
  • Sidewalks
  • Pedestrian crossing improvements, including median pedestrian refuge islands
  • Pedestrian signals
  • Improvements that address requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act
  • Shared-use paths (for both bicyclists and pedestrians)

Projects with the following emphasis will be considered favorably if they:

  • Address a documented safety concern such as a high-crash location
  • Connect to existing bicycle and pedestrian networks
  • Are accessible from village centers and downtown areas
  • Serve multiple uses; e.g., access to businesses, homes, and schools

For a copy of the VTrans 2020 Bicycle and Pedestrian Grant Program Guide and to access the application materials, visit the VTrans Bike/Ped Program website.   You may also obtain a copy or ask any questions about the program or application process by contacting Jon Kaplan by phone at (802) 498-4742 or email at jon.kaplan@vermont.gov.

1 2 3 7