Awhile back, I mentioned that I would be putting on goldsprints races for fun at Open Streets BTV, and now, it feels like "awhile back" was years ago and the date is fast approaching. I need to make a few adjustments to the racing rig, fix a broken toe strap that succumbed to somebody's massive leg power back in July, and generally get myself psyched up for five hours of getting people to race bikes in place as part of their Open Streets experience. And handing out free stickers. And maybe selling a few shirts.
Mostly, though, I'm really glad that Open Streets is happening. As a planner, I spend lots of time in meetings talking about projects that might get built a couple of decades from now, if at all. We talk and dream about bike lane installations that MIGHT have some chance of happening SOMEday if the permits, the public input, the funding, and all the stars in the universe line up juuuuust right.
Open Streets isn't like that. It's immediate, the streets will be closed to traffic, and a whole bunch of people will get to see what it's like to walk, bike, and LIVE in an environment that maybe is just a wee bit less dominated by cars than they are used to. That's why I got into this whole goldsprints thing. To have fun, yes, but to raise consciousness and enthusiasm for bicycles and bike culture, or at least to give people a chance to do something outside of car culture, just for a little while.
I'll also be doing a little bit of promotion for Mad Dashes, Burlington's signature goldsprints racing event. We had an excellent series of races last winter, and I can't wait to see what this winter brings.
See you there,