4 Tips for Bicycle Safety when Sharing the Road with Motorists

Posted by on Sep 28, 2013 in Bicycle, Bikes, biking | 0 comments

John F. Kennedy, the 35th President of the United States, once remarked, “Nothing compares to the simple pleasure of a bike ride.” That’s so true when you consider the rush of adrenaline from pumping the foot pedals, and the wind against your face. Biking is one of my favorite activities.

Sadly it just takes one accident to rob a bicycler of those simple pleasures. Believe it or not, bicyclists have the same responsibilities of following traffic laws as motorists. The difference is that most places do not require you to take any kind of written or practical test to obtain a license that allows you to operate a two-wheeled bicycle.

A lot of accidents are caused by bicyclers who mistakenly ride the wrong way on the highway. Another common reason is because bicyclists weave in and out of traffic, or ride in the wrong area of the lane on narrow roads. Bicyclists are not always at fault, but when they are it is because of a lack of knowledge about traffic laws.

Sharing Is Caring about Everyone’s Safety

Sharing the road means being courteous whether you are behind the wheel of a car or pedaling a bicycle. Because bicycles are the more vulnerable of the two types of transportation, they have a higher risk of taking extra safety precautions. These tips will help everyone share the road safely.

  • FOLLOW ALL TRAFFIC LAWS – As previously stated, following traffic laws goes a long way towards staying safe while sharing the road. Ride in the direction of traffic and be sure to obey all traffic signs and signals.

  • WATCH FOR SURROUNDING TRAFFIC – When you are riding in traffic, especially with vehicles that make very wide, right-handed turns, it is imperative that you keep aware of your surroundings. That is a case where one wrong turn could literally be deadly.

  • STAY VISIBLE – Wear bright colors. Use reflectors on your bicycle, or consider wearing reflective clothing. Have a headlight for times of low visibility. And always use hand signals making sure you use them well enough in advance for motorists to see them.

  • RIDE WITH TRAFFIC – This was mentioned earlier but is important enough to warrant another mention. Riding against the natural flow of motor traffic not only causes you to miss pertinent signs and signals, but it also puts you in unnecessary danger when crossing through intersections.

Bicyclers are not the only ones required to follow rules and regulations, though. Motorists should allow at least three feet of passing space between the right-hand side of their car and a bicycle before trying to pass. Ideally, they should treat a bike just as they would a slow-moving motorized vehicle, even if there is a bike lane present.

Furthermore, motorists should never pass a bicycler if oncoming traffic is approaching or if they will making a turn immediately after passing the bicyclist. That could cause an accident in the intersection which, if they had merely been patient, could have been completely avoided.

Why Alcohol and Vehicles Do Not Mix

Whether it is a motor vehicle or a foot-powered bicycle, drinking and driving just do not mix. Police in Denver, Colorado are now enforcing state-wide drunk cycling laws. What does this mean for cyclists? It means that if they cycle while under the influence, they can get a DUI just like any other intoxicated driver on the road.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that an average of 30% of Americans will experience some kind of crash during their lives where alcohol plays a role (http://www.nhtsa.gov/). However that figure only accounts for motor vehicles. Can you imagine if bicycles were included?

Although the law is harsher than some surrounding states rules about the same subject, it was created after a complaint from someone involved in a crash with a drunk cyclist who was not charged for riding while under the influence.

Failure to cite drunk cyclists before now has incited cases of “bike rage” that pits motorists against cyclists while on the roads. And unless some cyclists change their habits, they could wind up needing a DUI attorney as much as a driver who operates a motor vehicle.

Freelance writer Mark Harris lives with his wife in White Rock, BC on Canada’s beautiful western coastline. He always uses sites such as www.travisblacklaw.com to get inspiration and fact check when writing legal articles. Being so close to the beach gives Mark, an avid outdoor enthusiast, plenty of opportunity to spend time on outdoor hobbies such as kayaking and hiking.

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Socially Smart Bike Navigation System

Posted by on Sep 21, 2013 in Bikes, biking | 0 comments

 photo hammerheadbikepaths.jpg

Innovative device guides bikers onto good and safe bike paths

Hammerhead wants to guide bikers onto desirable and known bike paths all around the United States with a unique system to navigate streets or trails with ease. The compact device, named the Hammerhead affixes to handlebars and conveniently guides your ride with a bright LED light array. The LEDs provide turn-by-turn directions, and lets you know when you’ve reached your destination. As the name implies, it looks a little like a hammerhead shark.


Social media aspect to the Hammerhead

For social media junkies, the Hammerhead iPhone® or Android® app allows them to access crowdsourced route suggestions based on geolocation and other preferences. Similar to other popular social sharing apps such as Waze, Hammerhead showcases the best bike routes in a user’s area. For the first time, users can immediately send routes to others. Once a route is selected, the app communicates via Bluetooth Smart, allowing the phone to remain safely stashed away with its screen turned off.

Integration potential with local businesses

Hammerhead is the first device built to work seamlessly with major bike share networks Bixi and B-Cycle – the companies that offer public bikes for New York’s Citibike and other major cities like San Francisco. When utilizing the “sharing clip,” which quickly removes and affixes to handlebars, Hammerhead notifies time remaining on a rental bike, or navigates to the next rental docking station.

What else can it do? And will competitive cyclists care about this?

Hammerhead doubles as a bike light for night visibility, incorporating a bright headlight and two side lights. It’s packaged with a universal handlebar mount and can achieve approximately 15 hours of navigation use. The app will allow approximately 6 hours of smartphone use. Hammerhead believes in a strong biking community, and better health for people as well as the planet. Can you say low carbon footprint? As the first crowdsourced navigation solution for bike routes, Hammerhead will also bring real-time feedback to competition on popular apps like Strava and MapMyRide, showing riders how they are doing as their segment unfolds. It will showcase speed relative to competitors’ speeds at any given point in the segment.

What inspired Hammerhead?

“We think there is a huge gap in the biking market, in which we can not only promote safer, more frequent bike riding, but also leverage existing smartphone hardware rather than duplicating it as is done by standalone GPS units,” says Hammerhead Founder and CEO Piet Morgan. “Hammerhead offers users a simple, safe and efficient means of navigating.” “We are bikers ourselves, and aim to bring the power of real-time social navigation to biking, all in an affordable and simple package.” Piet Morgan is a Yale graduate from South Africa who, while biking from Connecticut to California, realized how crucial but difficult it is to be able to find safe bike routes. The danger of this this situation became viscerally apparent when this long-distance ride claimed the lives of more than one of his Yale peers, including a fellow Yale rower. Morgan realized how absurd it was that there was no easy way to find or follow safe bike routes. He noticed bikers actually resort to taping paper maps to their handlebars or trying to consult their cellphones while biking. With Bluetooth Smart and the new Dragon Innovation crowd-funding platform, Hammerhead Navigation has been able to create a solution that will bring bike navigation to a variety of bikers.

Will they make their funding goal?

Hammerhead is now live on one of the newest additions to the crowd-funding platforms, Dragon Innovation. Dragon Innovation is a venture backed outlet that ensures hardware projects are poised to execute before funding. Unlike similar platforms, Dragon Innovation will work directly with its first cohort of companies before, during and after the funding campaigns. “This new endeavor with Dragon Innovation is another game changer,” says Morgan. “As one of the first companies to collaborate with this new funding platform, we feel a great sense of confidence that we will successfully bring such an intriguing and promising device as the Hammerhead to the market to simplify anyone’s ride.” You can acquaint yourself with the Hammerhead project at Dragoninnovation.com. With less than 30 days remaining, Hammerhead is seeking $145,000 to bring this to market. They’re trying to spread the word through Facebook too. Visit that page to read what people are saying.

Featured images:
  •  License: Image author owned 
  •  License: Image author owned 

By Alex H Yong

Alex H Yong writes reviews on popular smartphones, tablets, cloud services, and other tech topics for his blog, TechMania411.net

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A Few Things To Consider Before Buying A Mountain Bike

Posted by on Sep 12, 2013 in Bikes, biking | 0 comments

If you are thinking of purchasing a new mountain bike in the foreseeable future, there are a few factors you need to take into consideration before you make your final decision. Probably the most important factor of picking a mountain bike is what you are going to be use the bicycle for.

For instance – avid downhill mountain bikers, as the name suggests, would like to take their bikes to steep, rocky mountain terrain and trails. On the other hand, more placid mountain bikers would prefer unpaved roads and trails, while some might stick to paved roads and bike trails.

As a result, there is a direct correlation between the kind of riding you want to do and the type of mountain bike you should buy. As a rule, there are three mechanisms you should pay special attention to -These are the bike’s tires, forks and saddle.

The Tires:

Before you buy a mountain bike, first inspect the bike’s tires. Are you planning to ride on very rocky terrain?  If yes – make sure the tires are bulky, wide, and provides lots of traction. If you plan to ride only on paved roads –rather stick to tires that are smoother and narrower, but still provides enough traction. This doesn’t necessarily mean that you shouldn’t use a thick tire on pavements, but you will gain more speed with a smoother, thinner tire.

The Forks:

There are numerous types of mountain bike forks, but the main thing you need to look for – is shocks. Mountain bikes with shocks generally offer a more comfortable ride than those without shocks. As a result, bikes with shocks are better equipped to ride over rough, rocky terrain. Mountain bikes that lack shocks will typically have a more rigid ride to them, but this is because these bikes are more focused towards speed rather than mountain-biking. The more advanced downhill mountain bikes will include Triple-Clamp Shocks, which offers the rider even more suspension on the bike’s fork.

The Saddles:

Certain saddles are light weight, whilst others are rather heavy. This is mostly due to the amount of cushioning offered by the saddle – The more cushioning, the heavier the saddle. Mountain bikes saddles with little padding are usually high performance oriented, whilst saddles with more cushioning are designed for leisurely riding. There are also some saddles that have shock absorbent seat posts, for those individuals who want a very soft ride. Also bear in mind that you can easily switch your saddle for a more comfortable one.

As with any pricey purchase, it is advisable to do your homework before buying. Take your needs and the amount of money you are willing to spend into consideration. A mountain bike will last anywhere between 5 to 10 years, so see it as an investment rather than a one-time expense.

Mountain biking is a wonderful past-time. It’s a fun way to get out and enjoy the outdoors, and improve your health. These are only a few things to consider, but ultimately – you should buy a mountain bike that you enjoy riding.

Citations:

License: Creative Commons image source

Muun-unit is a hippie, eco-warrior, and nature-loving kind of guy – who enjoys travelling the world and cooking gourmet dishes. He is passionate about everything “green” or eco-friendly, and believes that everyone should do their part in conserving our beautiful environment. Muun-unit wrote this article for an online mountain bike shop that promotes eco-living through cycling.

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Bicycle Transportation: Tips For Quick And Easy Bike Packing

Posted by on Sep 9, 2013 in Bikes, biking, Transportation | 0 comments

bicycle-transportation

For a real bicycle enthusiast relocation inevitably goes with the question of how to transport the favorite bike(s) safely and cost-effectively. Bicycles take much more space when they are fully assembled, which means that the moving companies and airlines will charge you really high for carrying bulky items. Fortunately there are ways to pack your bike for transportation so that it is well protected from damages and would not cost you a fortune. All you need is some cheap packing materials, simple tools, basic technical skills and no more than 30 minutes of your time. If you wonder how you can do it, just read the tips that follow.

Get the packaging materials. You don’t need much to pack a bicycle for safe transportation. The entire volume of the simplest packaging needed would not exceed the size of a loaf of bread. It includes thick plastic wrap, stuffing bubble wrap, self-adhesive tape and kraft paper. In order to ensure even better protection then get a cardboard box from bikes stores (they can even give them away for free) and put the bike inside.

Specialized bike transportation packaging. If you are not into the cost-cutting solutions then go for the best travel packaging for your bike and purchase (again from specialized bike stores) Bike And Wheel Bag or hard-shelled Travel Case (Bike box), where you can fit the disassembled bicycle. If your bike is going to fly with you on the airplane first check what are the airline’s requirements regarding the size of the box. After that make a research and purchase the one with the proper regulation size.

Prepare the bike for shipment. There is no much skills required to transform your bike into more compact, suitable for transport shape:

  1. First remove both wheels, which is pretty easy with the modern “quick release” system. If your bike is on V-Brakes, first release the pipe with the breaking cable on top and open them. In some cases you may have to partially deflate the tires, especially if they are wide profile MTB tires, to pass through the opening. For disk brakes insert plastic or wooden piece to keep the brake pads apart. Wrap each wheel in plastic wrap. Optionally add bubble wrap or kraft paper underneath for better protection.
  2. Now remove the chain and wrap it in paper or with an old cloth and then then seal it in plastic wrap, tightened with tape. If the chain is dirty or greasy it would be a good opportunity to clean it up before packing by soaking and scrubbing it in solvent. Do not forget to lubricate it again for proper use after reassembling the bike.
  3. Remove the pedals. Depending on the type of pedals you may need wrench or other special tool (such as hex wrench) to unscrew them. In most cases the left side pedal will have left hand thread and the opposite thread for the right pedal. Bear in mind this when removing and then reattaching back the pedals. Again, wrap the pedals together or put them in a small box, where you can also store bolts, other small parts and instruments.
  4. Remove the rear derailleur if you afraid that it might get broken or twisted during transportation. Simply unscrew it without detaching the cable, wrap it up and attach it with tape to the frame’s rear bar.
  5. Unpin the seat clamp and adjust the seat to its lower position, then close the clamp back. If you afraid that the surface of the seat may be damaged or polluted wrap it in bubble wrap or even remove it completely and put it in carton box.
  6. Finally it is time to pack the frame. Wrap each bar of the frame with bubble wrap and tighten it with tape. You can also use any other packing material that you have on hand. After that detach the handlebar from the stem and swing it parallel to the frame without removing the break levers and shifters. Wrap the handlebar and fix it to the frame with tape.

Now, if you followed these simple tips your bike is almost ready to be loaded and shipped to your new location. You can gather the frame and the wheel and wrap them up together in plastic foil to get a compact package. Find some space inside it for the box with tools and small parts and fix it with tape. You see how easy, safe and cheap can pack your bike be!

Featured images:

 

License: Royalty Free or iStock source: http://www.shutterstock.com/

Brian Jamesson is a moving industry professional and relocation marketing expert. You can follow me on Twitter and Google Plus

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The Coolest Two Wheel Drive To Be Seen On

Posted by on Aug 5, 2013 in Bikes | 0 comments

 

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With so much ado about the latest automobiles, people have seemed to forget about the two wheeled wonder that started it all. Cycles prove to be the most beneficial method of travelling, helping save on money and keeping you in shape. It targets the main aspects that dominate our lifestyle, fitness and savings. Who says the biking should be left to the kids? Besides, the muscle and speed one can get on bikes today is no child play. Here are the different types of bikes available.

Single speed bikes

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These are your age old single geared bike re-invented and modernized. This category of bikes possesses a certain kind of simplicity that new age inventions have thrown out the window. It is a basic and minimalistic concept that gives for easy riding. The number of components on the bike is lesser, which means lesser maintenance troubles and lesser costs on servicing the bike. Single speed bikes are sturdy and quite resilient to slush and water affecting it’s functioning.

Road bikes

roadbike

Road bikes are made depending upon the speed, gear systems, seating position and type of handlebar. Road bikes are broadly classified into various categories by the kind of components it comes with. Some bikes which lack in suspension make up for in speed and vice versa. The main reasons why people choose road bikes are either speed, or leisurely riding. Bikes that are in the lower category of speed make for great long rides. Faster bikes are usually used for shorter distances that get the rider to his destination quicker. Race bikes fall into this category.

Mountain bikes

mountainbike

Mountain bikes work best on rough, rugged terrain. If you are the adventure biker then this bike is perfect for you. Great suspension and mechanics that will ensure you have a comfortable and sturdy instrument for the rubble and dirt. There are of course a variety of these bikes available such as cross country, downhill, recreational and professional mountain bikes. The wheel base is thicker than that of road bikes and the grids help in not skidding or slipping on the dirt.

Hybrid bikes

hybridbike

Hybrid bikes are just what they say they are multipurpose devices that have aspects contributed from both road and mountain bikes. The mountain bike was deemed too slow for those craving that bit of speed, and the road bike were considered to not be terrain sturdy as the other. Modern inventors came up with the brilliant idea of combining certain specifics from both the bikes and the hybrid was born. This category of bike is well suited if you have an unlevel path in your daily commute as it does provide better suspension, but is not recommended for mountainous terrain.

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Biking is a sport or hobby that everyone can divulge in, regardless of age. The options are diverse and the bike selection process can be a bit overwhelming for someone with no knowledge of bikes. Do not be shy to ask companies dealing with bikes for help in assisting you choose a ride that highlights your requirements. All that’s left is to take the high road with the coolest two wheeler drive!

Author Bio-

This article is submitted by Julia Anderson, a fitness expert and a regular blogger. She shares weight-loss and health tips through her articles. She feels riding custom singlespeed bikes is one of the best and easy ways to lose weight.

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Review of the 2013 Polygon Collosus DH 1.0 – Downhill MTB, 8″ Travel, Shimano SLX

Posted by on Jul 23, 2013 in Bikes | 0 comments

My love of cycling has really grown in the past few months. I was always a keen cyclist but I wouldn’t have gotten out of bed an hour early to ride to work. That is until I threw caution to the wind and purchased the Polygon Collosus DH1.0; a bike I had been eyeing for a couple of months.

A bicycle, at least a decent one with a semi-hefty price tag, is a big spend and requires a fair amount of research before making a purchase. I began my research online and had a look through a range of mountain bikes before settling on the Polygon Collosus DH1.0. I chose this bike because the reviews I read online were encouraging; and the brand is known for their great frame design and manufacturing. I also asked a few friends who own Polygon’s and they pretty much had only good things to say.

Polygon Collosus DH 1.0 – Downhill MTB, 8″ Travel, Shimano SLX

I went with the 2013 model of the Polygon Collosus DH1.0 due to my inclination towards downhill biking and the lack of an abundance of cash in my wallet. It is said to be the entry level model of Polygon’s downhill range of bikes but still boasts the same technology Polygon is renowned for.

It has the advanced FS2 (floating suspension system 2) suspension—the same technology that Australian Downhill Champions Mick and Tracey Hannah use. What I like about this type of suspension technology is that it provides a stable platform while I’m riding. It also provides two important benefits—no pedal bob and low centre of gravity. Now I am more confident while trailing down steep and rocky trails – which just mean I am now on the hunt for steeper trails and rockier surfaces!

This DH1.0 model also incorporates a Rockshox Domain R Dual crown front fork which is perfect for long travel downhill biking. It is much more lenient and features external rebound and a low speed compression. It also has a Shimano SLX rear derailleur and an MRP chain guide which minimize the chance of picking up any rocks while biking.

Polygon Collosus DH 1.0 – Downhill MTB, 8″ Travel, Shimano SLX

I also noticed that the rear cassette of this bike is only a mid-range type, which doesn’t bother me too much as I, like most individuals, don’t do a lot of pedalling while biking downhill!

Installing this mid-range component is one of the reasons why this Polygon bike is cheaper than alternative downhill bikes on the market.

To sum up my thoughts on this bike, I think overall, it was a good buy as it was affordable and suits my biking needs. It’s a bicycle which includes great specs and key features, which I could afford without having to refinance my house…if I owned one. I would definitely recommend this bike to anyone looking for a quality piece of biking technology, who can’t afford any of the more expensive downhill mountain bikes.

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