Gearing Up! May is National Bike Month
May 16, 2013
I know I’ve seen it, and chances are you have, too, because their numbers are growing like ants at a picnic: bicyclists are everywhere, especially for National Bike Month! They’re riding to work, to parks, across cities, across states, and for a number of reasons: charity, competition, health, recreation. All sizes, all shapes, from retro to Tour-De-France-ready, bicycling is back in a huge way, so it was impossible for us to ignore the growing trend. Not to mention that biking to work or school is a super-green way to travel and get in some exercise! Plus, one need not wear, ahem, revealing Lycra clothing; just some jeans and a comfortable shirt are enough to get you to thank yourself for not staying in to watch TV on such a gloriously beautiful day. Pedal up for biking accessories, finding bike routes, and a little safety info!
Let us take a quick lesson from Pee Wee: more is not necessarily better. In fact, more might attract the attention of a jealous neighbor who steals your bike and sends you on the adventure of a lifetime that later becomes a movie within a movie, making you a double-famous movie star. No, it’s not as great as it sounds, really, because then you’ll later get arrested for indecent exposure in Florida. See? It’s best to keep your biking accessories within a modest number– without sacrificing style, that is!
1. Reflective Biker Gear
So you’ve decided to jump on that two-wheeler and pedal your way through National Bike Month. Kudos to you! Except you want to bike at night, you know, beat the heat, traffic, and other cyclists. Be sure to pair up Reflective Bike Gloves with matching Reflective Bike Socks. This unisex biking gear uses reflective patches with arrows, making you visible to motorists while also making your intentions visible. You do remember your bike hand signals, right?…… We’ll get to that.
2. Bike Horns
Make yourself even more visible to motorists and other cyclists with a Beat It Bike Horn. In all its retro glory, the bike horn has that classic look with a classic bike horn sound to match. What’s it sound like, you ask? Get ready to chuckle:
3. Bike Bells
If you’re into adding a little more visual pizzazz to your bicycling, try a bike bell from Chubby’s Cruisers. Add a Swell Hula Bell to your beach cruiser. Make a simple, enviable statement with a Free Parking Bell. Or latch on a Burger Bike Bell when you cruise your Frankenstein bike down the boulevard:
Biking Routes and Safety
Great! Now that you’re ready to go bicycling… where are you headed? Not sure? Use MapMyRide (website or app) to 1) plan your bike route, 2) check the distance, 3) double check elevation and terrain, and 4) track your progress, and do it all by location. If you’re wanting to bike an official route, check Cyclopath for routes tested by other cyclists and based on skill and location.
Be sure to be aware of good bicycling behavior; after a little research, I’ve found that the topic of road bicycling (those who ride on city streets) is one that easily boils the blood of motorists. Check out this article on “self-righteous cyclists” and play it safe by obeying the laws that apply to everyone on the road, regardless of vehicle:
- Even if you’re on a bike, you must stop at stop lights, stop signs, etc. All the laws that apply to motorists will apply to you.
- Use bike hand signals to communicate your intent to others:
- Though it might not be required to wear a helmet, you really should consider one, and it should fit over your forehead, not behind your hairline.
- Bike with traffic. Nothing is more irritating than a cyclist making up his/her own rules about the direction of traffic, putting him/herself and others in unnecessary danger.
- Use the bike lane when available, or ride as far to the right as safely possible. If you’re going to use a traffic lane, ride in the center along the line; drivers will give you your space, and it makes you more visible.
- Be aware of your surroundings! Road cycling doesn’t make you invincible, you know.
Check with your local DMV website, as bike laws vary from state to state.
So grab a mountain bike, a 10-speed, a beach cruiser, a unicycle, something! Get out there, feel the breeze on your face, and celebrate that you’re not having to bike because you don’t have a car!
Sources: Sharing the Road