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Bicycle Safety Lights

One of the most important things you need to do when you go on your next bicycle ride, is to make yourself as visible as possible. Install the brightest bike headlight, not only so you can see clearly at night, but to ensure that others see you as well.

Add a few Safe Steps Shoe Safety Lights, or a Safe Steps Arm Band to increase your visibility even more. These clip on lights can be seen from up to ½ mile away, so motorists will notice you sooner, and be able to adjust their speed and swerve out of the way, giving everyone plenty of room to share the road.

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Bicycle Safety tips

The first thing you need to consider when planning a trip on your bicycle, is safety. Ya, I understand, there is the bike, sitting in the garage, all ready to go. It’s a beautiful morning and you are itching to ride.

But, just like any trip you are about to embark on, you need to look over your vehicle, check the tires. Make sure you have a spare. Brakes. Wear the proper clothing. And of course, make sure you have enough reflective gear, not only on your bike, but on yourself as well. When riding a bicycle, or walking, you need to make yourself as visible as possible, to avoid being struck by a car.

I have prepared a comprehensive list of some essential items that every bicyclist should consider.

Bicycle Safety Equipment

  • Headlight - Look for the brightest bike light you can find. Not only do you want to see where you are going at night, but you want to make sure motorists can see you as well. It is advisable to use your bicycle headlight during the day time hours as well, just like in your car, to ensure the most visibility possible. Many states are now requiring that bicycles have a headlight installed on them, and are in use at night.
  • Tail Light – Since we walk against traffic, but ride a bicycle on the same side with traffic, a tail light becomes another essential safety equipment tool to install on your bike. Try and find a multi functional light, that can be used in a flashing mode, or as a steady red. The blinking light will definitely attract more attention than the steady light, when used at night.
  • Safety Flag – Safety flags are tall brightly colored flags, with reflective material attached, that hang on a long flexible pole, attached to your bicycle. Now these vibrant colored flags will definitely grab the attention of motorists and help you to become more visible.
  • Helmet – Never ride a bicycle without good head protection. It only takes a second to hit a small stone, or swerve to avoid hitting something and take a tumble off your bike, no matter how experienced a rider you are. Also consider, that since you are indeed sharing the lane with other motorists, stones or debris could be kicked up from the vehicle and hit you in the head. Bicycles can also reach very high speeds, especially coming down hills. You should never even consider riding a bike without a helmet, even if it is just a quick short ride. Accidents happen in a split second and they can happen to any one. Make sure your helmet is the right size for your head and is fitted and secured properly.
  • Gloves – While a good pair of riding gloves is not essential, they are certainly recommended. They can protect your hands from freezing in the winter and keep the hot summer sun off of them. Your hands can get wind burn or sunburn too, so you want to keep them protected. Gloves help maintain a better grip on your handlebars and will help keep your hands better protected, in case of an accident.
  • Clothing – Always wear the lightest and brightest clothing possible when riding a bike, to ensure you can be seen, especially at night. Add reflective vest, to create even more visibility. Choose light cool fabrics for the summer and heavier, more durable clothing for hardier riding in the cooler temps. Make sure you have some sort of rain gear handy in your pack. You never know when Mother Nature will decide to ruin your fun day.
  • Reflective gear – Add reflective stickers to the front, back and sides of your bicycle. You want to be seen from all sides. Add a few stickers to your helmet as well. Wear a pair of Safe Steps Safety Lights on your arm, or shoes. I can’t say this enough…...make yourself as visible as possible, from as far as possible!

Use your brain. Think back on your reaction, when you have encountered a bicyclist at night while you were driving. Did it scare you for a second, because you didn’t see them until the last minute? Were they wearing dark clothing? No rear tail light? Let us learn from others mistakes and not become another accident statistic.

Pay attention to the road and your surroundings. Keep an eye on the weather and any slick spots that may arise. Watch for stray dogs that may jump out and try and chase you. Watch out for the signal lights, when you are riding in the city. Make sure all cars have stopped for the red light as you approach the intersections. Be prepared to brake at any time.

Make sure your seat and handle bars are set properly to match the length of your legs and arms. Hover over your bike. You should have 1 to 2 inches of clearance between you and the top tube bar, when riding a road bike. Add 3 to 4 inches if you are on a mountain bike. Adjust the seat to allow a slight bend of your knee when your leg is fully extended on the pedal. Your handlebar should be adjusted to the same level as your seat.

If you must carry items with you on your bike, purchase a good bike pack and attach it securely to your bicycle. Riding with a backpack strapped to your back, can cause you to lose balance and fall, especially if the contents shift, while you are making a maneuver, or turning a corner. You need your hands and arms as free as possible to aid in steering your bicycle properly. Keep both hands on the handlebars at all times, to maintain the best control, ensuring your safety, as well as the safety of others.

Obey all traffic rules and signs while riding your bike. If you see a stop sign you are required to stop also. Just because you are on a bicycle, does not mean you can bypass the laws of a motorized vehicle. Watch for road debris, potholes, other bicyclists, motorcycles, pedestrians, cars and animals. Be on the look out at all times for any potential danger that might cause harm to you or to others

And most importantly, as I have stated earlier, use the brightest bike headlight you can find! The headlight is the most important safety tip I can give you. Burn the lamp even during day time hours, to ensure you make yourself as visible to others as possible. I hope these tips are informative and your next trip is a safe and fun ride.