Good Things Happening in South Burlington

When I'm not pushing for goldsprints races to happen, working my full-time job, or doing "family stuff" with my wife and son, I also serve as the chair of the South Burlington Bicycle and Pedestrian Committee. 

Our committee work is broad and varied. We look at most proposals for new development within the city to assess them for bike/ped connectivity, we participate in visioning exercises for new zoning in the City for bikeable/walkable infrastructure, and we help prioritize the construction of new paths and trails. 

Sometimes, we get to participate in something a little different, like last night. We had a presentation from a teacher at South Burlington High School who is spearheading a project to convert the old, informal, eroded trails in the woods behind the high school into a bona fide mountain biking facility, with almost two miles of well-constructed trails and a small skills progression area. The committee was very much in favor of these improvements. I'm personally excited because these trails will be a couple minutes' walk from my house and my son and I should have lots of opportunities to help out in their construction and eventual use. 

I must admit that the mountain biking phase of my life went on a near total hiatus more than 20 years ago. When I was a kid in the '80s and '90s, the mountain bike boom was in full swing and my first "big kid's" bike was a Sears-brand 26" "ATB," which I proceeded to ride absolutely everywhere, including down the face of the Waterbury Dam and into the reservoir a couple of times=- resulting in the complete destruction of the front hub and my first lesson in proper care and maintenance of bearings!

Mountain bikes, mountain biking, and especially trail care and advocacy around mountain biking in Vermont has come a really long way since those days of beating through the woods on my boat-anchor Sears bike.  Trails are constructed in a way to minimize their impact on the land and people are connected through terrific organizations like the Fellowship of the Wheel and MTBVT, both of whom are going to be helping out with this project. 

In the event that they need or want to raise some money for this project, I have also offered up the idea of a goldsprints race fundraiser, either as a standalone event or as part of something bigger. I'll keep everybody updated on that as soon as I know more. 

Matt BoulangerComment