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Quench'd: One Crosswalk with a Big Impact

June 29th, 2024 | by Christina Erickson

For today's Quench'd story, we brought on Christina Erickson, Executive Director of a cycling and pedestrian advocacy group based in Burlington VT:Local Motion. Local Motion is Vermont's statewide advocate for active transportation, vibrant communities, and safe streets. Their mission to make biking and walking safe and fun is one we can get behind! Thanks, Christina, and the rest of the great crew at Local Motion.

As cyclists, we often get stuck in categoric bubbles: roadies, mountain bikers, weekend-warriors, recreational riders… But we have more in common than we care to admit. We all share a common ambition of making biking better, for ourselves and for others who share the road and trail. “Better” can be a hard goal to define, and this is where advocacy groups like Local Motion can lend a helping hand.

Let’s look for example at the efforts of Lyndon, a small town in the northeast corner of Vermont, tucked just below the famous Kingdom Trails. For a very long time, Lyndon has felt like a place to pass through, rather than a place to stop and spend time and money. Neighbors have felt like they are missing out on the economic benefits of KT, with their average household income far below the state’s average.

In 2023, Local Motion implemented a temporary crosswalk in Lyndon, crossing VT Route 5, the town’s central street. We saw an immediate improvement: traffic slowing and pedestrians crossing the road with more confidence. Since then, community members have continued the hard work, aiming at a permanent bike and pedestrian connection between Lyndon, KT, and nearby campgrounds.

For today's Quench'd story, we brought on Christina Erickson, Executive Director of a cycling and pedestrian advocacy group based in Burlington VT:Local Motion. Local Motion is Vermont's statewide advocate for active transportation, vibrant communities, and safe streets. Their mission to make biking and walking safe and fun is one we can get behind! Thanks, Christina, and the rest of the great crew at Local Motion.

As cyclists, we often get stuck in categoric bubbles: roadies, mountain bikers, weekend-warriors, recreational riders… But we have more in common than we care to admit. We all share a common ambition of making biking better, for ourselves and for others who share the road and trail. “Better” can be a hard goal to define, and this is where advocacy groups like Local Motion can lend a helping hand.

Let’s look for example at the efforts of Lyndon, a small town in the northeast corner of Vermont, tucked just below the famous Kingdom Trails. For a very long time, Lyndon has felt like a place to pass through, rather than a place to stop and spend time and money. Neighbors have felt like they are missing out on the economic benefits of KT, with their average household income far below the state’s average.

In 2023, Local Motion implemented a temporary crosswalk in Lyndon, crossing VT Route 5, the town’s central street. We saw an immediate improvement: traffic slowing and pedestrians crossing the road with more confidence. Since then, community members have continued the hard work, aiming at a permanent bike and pedestrian connection between Lyndon, KT, and nearby campgrounds.

Local Motion staff painting a new crosswalk and surrounding art, to act as a visual barrier & traffic calming measure

Local Motion staff painting a new crosswalk and surrounding art, to act as a visual barrier & traffic calming measure

For visiting mountain bikers, the connecting trail will keep the fun (literally) rolling, without the need to deal with loading up the car between every ride. For the Lyndon community, the trail will bring more of these riders past their storefronts, hopefully ready to eat, drink, and be merry! Beyond the economic impact, Lyndon is also benefiting greatly in the form of safety. This connection will keep kids off main roads as they visit friends, slow traffic at crosswalks, and make drivers more aware of riders and pedestrians.

We were asked by the Northeast Vermont Development Association (NVDA) to install the crosswalk extension as part of the Depot Street Block Party, which was funded by a Better Connections grant and coordinated by NVDA. This was part of a goal to help Lyndon residents re-imagine their village center as a safer, more engaging, and fun place to spend time.

When we create these bike or multi-use trails, think of them not just as recreational routes, but as facilitators for active transport within the communities that they pass through. Our shared goal to make biking “better” translates into creating safe and accessible spaces for all to share.

About Local Motion:

Local Motion was founded in 1999 with a singular goal: to get people on bikes across the mouth of the Winooski River, where the Burlington Bike Path then came to an end. 

Since then, they have grown to become Vermont's statewide advocate for active transportation, vibrant communities, and safe streets. Their mission is simple: Making it safe, accessible, and fun for everyone to bike, walk, and roll in Vermont.

They know there is no one solution that will work for every community. That's why their work ranges from on-the-ground advocacy and community organizing and project-specific technical assistance to workshops and classes for all ages and bike-friendly resources for businesses and communities.

For visiting mountain bikers, the connecting trail will keep the fun (literally) rolling, without the need to deal with loading up the car between every ride. For the Lyndon community, the trail will bring more of these riders past their storefronts, hopefully ready to eat, drink, and be merry! Beyond the economic impact, Lyndon is also benefiting greatly in the form of safety. This connection will keep kids off main roads as they visit friends, slow traffic at crosswalks, and make drivers more aware of riders and pedestrians.

We were asked by the Northeast Vermont Development Association (NVDA) to install the crosswalk extension as part of the Depot Street Block Party, which was funded by a Better Connections grant and coordinated by NVDA. This was part of a goal to help Lyndon residents re-imagine their village center as a safer, more engaging, and fun place to spend time.

When we create these bike or multi-use trails, think of them not just as recreational routes, but as facilitators for active transport within the communities that they pass through. Our shared goal to make biking “better” translates into creating safe and accessible spaces for all to share.

About Local Motion:

Local Motion was founded in 1999 with a singular goal: to get people on bikes across the mouth of the Winooski River, where the Burlington Bike Path then came to an end. 

Since then, they have grown to become Vermont's statewide advocate for active transportation, vibrant communities, and safe streets. Their mission is simple: Making it safe, accessible, and fun for everyone to bike, walk, and roll in Vermont.

They know there is no one solution that will work for every community. That's why their work ranges from on-the-ground advocacy and community organizing and project-specific technical assistance to workshops and classes for all ages and bike-friendly resources for businesses and communities.

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