Gone Fishin'


I'm not actively blogging here anymore. But if you got here because you were searching for something about bikes, you might want to check out my latest project, Vermont Goldsprints. In summer of 2014, I bought a used goldsprints racing setup and have made it a mission to get more bikes in more people's faces by putting on fun races in unexpected places. Come join me!


Shameless Self-Promotion Part II: Vermont Bicycles United Funding Campaign

As usual, this blog has become the neglected oldest child as bicycle-related pursuits have consumed my efforts. The latest is a stab at funding all three of those efforts and hopefully in the process creating a little piece of bike culture in Vermont that hasn't existed before. Please give if you can! Here's the copy from the Vermont Bicycles United blog:

"So here's the deal: Vermont Indoor Cycling is about to complete its second successful season of weekly indoor group rides. Burlington Vermont Kidical Mass is about to kick off with its first kid-oriented group ride in April. And there are movements afoot to bring back indoor roller racing to Vermont. Three great projects that share a mission and a need.

The mission:
 To bring bicycle riding experiences to unconventional places, to enhance and expand Vermont's bicycling culture, and to have fun.

The need: 
Lots of Vermonters have bikes and could get more use out of them, especially if they found a community of cyclists to join-maybe not hardcore racers or mileage junkies, maybe just regular people. Moms and dads and kids. Hipsters. Teenagers. Retired people. Poets. The goal of Vermont Bicycles united is to reach out to that vast untapped reserve of people with bikes who are just waiting to become bicyclists.

What do we want to do? 

  • We want to make Vermont Indoor Cycling's indoor group rides bigger, more widespread, scale-able  and sustainable. We want to go from it being a one-man show to training other group ride leaders who can set up their own indoor group rides in other parts of the state. 
  • We want to get Kidical Mass off the ground, first here in Burlington, then all over the state- give kids a chance to ride their bicycles in an enrgetic, synergistic multi-generational format that helps them make bicycling a lifetime activity. 
  • We want to secure and ensure the sustainability of bicycle roller racing by offering a consistent, scheduled series of training and race events- again, first in the greater Burlington area and later statewide as other organizers and leaders are trained and sent out to spread the bike love! We want to get roller racing in front of people at art hops, cultural events, in ski lodges and schools and everywhere else-and especially to give young people the chance to experience the excitement of bicycle racing . 
What do we need to do it? 
We need money, plain and simple. About $5000 to get it off the ground. With that money we can-
  • Purchase a complete roller racing setup and ensure that it is available for regular use in the community ($1500)
  • Secure indoor cycling space for the 2013-2014 indoor riding and racing season. ($600-800)
  • Purchase audiovisual equipment (a projector, sound system, and portable movie screen, $1500), which is necessary for all three efforts- to show training videos for indoor group rides, to enhance Kidical Mass rides through such events as bike-in movies, storytelling, and musical performances, and to project races in progress and results for roller racing. 
  • To become a true 501 (c)3 nonprofit organization, so future donations can be tax-deductible and to legitimize all of the operations of Vermont Bicycles United and its projects ($1200)
How are we going to raise the funds? 
We have an Indiegogo campaign in the works which will go live shortly WHICH IS LIVE RIGHT NOW! but if you just can't wait to donate, you can always use the paypal link at www.vtindoorcycling.blogspot.com

Who are you, anyway? 

That's me in the red jersey, fixing a flat. 
And there I am on the far right, riding with Vermont Indoor Cycling 

My name is Matt Boulanger. I'm a husband and father, a cyclist, an urban planner by trade and a writer and chef by aspiration. I founded Vermont Indoor Cycling in 2012 and Burlington Kidical Mass in March 2013. I serve on the South Burlington Recreation Path Committee.  Bikes and bicycling have done so much for me, and I want to share that excitement and fulfillment with as many other people as I can. I also want that effort to expand and last well beyond me, hence the creation of Vermont Bicycles United to ensure the long-term sustainability of these efforts.  Let's go for a ride. 


Nice Share the Road piece from AAA and the LAB, but...

Why, I was riding on Williston Road just the other day and it was totally like this!

No, wait, it wasn't.

I was in the left lane (westbound) waiting to turn left onto 116. There was a steady green light but oncoming traffic so I couldn't go. I waited patiently, signalling my turn so the drivers behind me would understand why I wasn't going. Not good enough for the driver of the white pickup with various aftermarket parts manufacturer's stickers displayed in the rear window.

He gave his engine an impotent but terrifying rev, then took off around me, using half of the right lane to do so and disrupting traffic in the process, clearing me by inches. The fact that he had a license plate and registration made no difference, nor would it have if I had had one on my bike.

I would love to have had him follow me home around the corner, where he could have met my beautiful 2 year old son, and where he could have seen that son give me a bigger hug than he looked capable of giving, happy that his adored father was home. But no, 30 seconds at the light and making a point were more important than all that, let alone the well-being of a fellow human.


More Bike Stuff!

So, I'm not sure what I'm getting myself into, but I started this over the weekend:

Click for Details. 

That's right, kid-oriented group rides.

Trying to pay my karmic debt for times I have left Austen at home to go for rides by myself. Oh, and because I think it will be a total blast. Come join us!

First ride is Saturday, April 6- let's meet under the shelter by the railroad tracks behind One Main and ride to the North Beach playground and back. More details on the blog.