OK, right to the point! VBike is ready & committed to bringing a fundamental paradigm shift to Vermont in 2018. We are prepared to make the impossible possible!
Sure, in 2017, with our free bike consults, unique fleet, great programs and coalition building, we're gaining great traction and we're doing really vital stuff, as you'll see below. We've made good on our promise to "reboot the bike" in Vermont!
So, VBike is all about bold action that is literally and figuratively helping a growing number of Vermonters to think outside of the box and show up in the world in a way that we know we have to! This is good for all, regardless of whether you bike, walk or drive. That any of this may seem even remotely radical just means that our work is more vitally important than ever.
Let's transform Vermont together...
How did this happen? In 2015, Vermont passed a major revision of its renewable energy policy. Included in this policy is a provision technically called "Tier 3", but really it's an amazing renewable energy innovation program that generously earns utilities, like the Burlington Electric Dept (BED), credits for replacing fossil fuels with electricity. There's lots of possible ways for utilities to earn these credits, but as you and I know, nothing can replace fossil fuels more efficiently and gracefully like a bike!
So, the upshot of this is that after VBike pitched this idea to BED and they were interested, we brought in Local Motion and they brought in OSH. Now we have a great team. And as if the subsides weren't enough, BED is helping us take it a step further by funding an entire demo fleet, just like what we have in Brattleboro!!
Soon, VBike and Local Motion will be working to spread this type of plan to other Vermont utilities around Vermont. This could quite possibly become a model for the rest of the nation. Stay tuned for more news as we fully roll out this fascinating program in the early spring 2018 along with an absolutely thrilling fleet of e-bikes and e-cargo bikes.
- Our 2017 Fleet Rocks - The latest version of the VBike fleet was a massive improvement over 2016. And check out our latest addition, a fascinating folding, fat tire, utility e-bike called the RadMini. All our bikes have been demoed around the state and loaned out for the Take it Home project. They are also used to inspire bike shops to do way more.
- Take it Home! - We had some 40 folks trying out our bikes. Folks love to take them out, but it turns out that they are less psyched to return them. Lesson - you can take it home, but you gotta give it back.
- Research & Product Testing - We've been testing studded tires for the winter, e-assist kits, lighting systems, and all sort of things. We do this so that we can make the best recommendations to you.
- VBike's Free Bike Consultations - we provided nearly 100 consultations this year. Next year we are expecting to double that number.
- Vermont E-Bike Survey - VBike helped the Vermont Energy Investment Corporation develop this survey. Over 170 Vermonters participated (Wow!). We'll be helping to get the data and results to you as soon as its all ready.
- Presentations - We've been out there doing it. Our latest was for the Vermont Energy and Climate Action Nertwork (VECAN) annual conference on Dec 2nd.. Email us if you would like to bring our paradigm-challenging presentations to your group or event.
- Bike Shops - We're helping VT bike shops to become "Green Mobility Centers." Take a look at out how the shops have transformed in Brattleboro. Now bike shops in Burlington and elsewhere are catching on!
- Check out our Winter Bike Readiness Guide - There's more like this coming. BTW, in Feb 2016, VBike's Dave Cohen attended and presented at the 5th International Winter Cycling Congress in Montreal. Winter bike transport is a THING!
HAPPY HOLIDAYS & may this year be a good one for you & your family,
Dave Cohen, on the new, exciting Family Pedals podcast.