Thinking about switching to a Bicycle! Safety tip advice

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by r.h. in okla., Sep 2, 2005.

  1. Please wear a Hunters Orange safety vest. They are visible a mile away and visible even in the dark when lights are shined on.
  2. ajaxlucy

    ajaxlucy Well-Known Member Supporter

    Jul 17, 2004
    I like that tip, thanks! My husband does almost all his commuting by bicycle, but he wears black gore-tex. I'll get him one of those vests (if he'll agree to wear it).

  3. 9Pines

    9Pines Well-Known Member

    Feb 25, 2003
    With winter darkness coming on, reflective tape on the back of shoes helps vehicles know right away its a peddler ahead of you.

    I keep thinking about hauling out a bike and using it. But theres been stories of young kids 'making points' if they can run the bicyclist off the road. Or throwing things at them like they do for mailbox tag. There is no respect for cyclists anymore.

    Please be careful and wear a helmet.
  4. Colleen in WI

    Colleen in WI Well-Known Member

    Aug 19, 2002
    Please remember the basic rules of the road. My Mom's next door neighbor was riding his bike to work, but on the wrong side of the road. He and a car met head on and now he is paralized from the neck down. Such a tragedy for that family and from such a simple thing. :( Also review your hand signals. Be safe.
  5. mightybooboo

    mightybooboo Well-Known Member

    Feb 10, 2004
    So Cal Mtns
    A coworker of ours was just killed when a truck made a turn in front of him,driver never saw him.
    PLEASE consider where you want to ride if its safe,if its lots of traffic,maybe not such a good idea.
    He was 26 years old,good job,fiancee,and had a wonderful life in front of him.

  6. ttryin

    ttryin Well-Known Member

    Apr 10, 2005

    Biking long or short distance is the greatest. Blessings for many happy miles.

    These days I'd look at the condition of the road I would be riding on and buy a bike with the best tires and suspension for that. But, in most situations, I would get an old English-type 3-speed with a ladies' frame and medium tires, from the Salvation Army or somesuch. Cheap, strong, easy on and off, no worry about theft. For riding in town, sitting "up" is best. You can adjust the seat so you are balanced between the handle bars, pedals and seat and still be upright for traffic alertness. Wear a backpack for carrying things. For touring, try them all out and find the bike you like.

    And a good leather (detachable) seat (that will feel a heck of a lot better after you've broken it in). You can often find them secondhand.

    I hope you learn about helmets and how much protection they can provide. Buy the best one for the money. I didn't believe in wearing one and rode thousands of miles before I had an accident. Could have saved myself a lot of pain, money, time etc. if I would have taken advice on helmets. Now I wouldn't ride a half block without having one on.

    Happy biking!

  7. thanks for adding the other tips everyone. Really I don't think it is a good ideal to be riding at night, but daylight is very short in the winter time. I've had previous jobs where I went to work in the dark and came home in the dark. Seem like I never did see daylight until the weekend came around. So I can understand if you are in this situation and would still like to save gas by riding a bike. It would be very wise to add that reflective tape to your clothing and bike.
  8. shellbug

    shellbug Well-Known Member

    Jul 3, 2005
    a couple of tall orange flags on the back (maybe with some reflective tape strips on them) - better visibility over the hills
  9. Don Armstrong

    Don Armstrong In Remembrance

    May 8, 2002
    central New South Wales, Australia
    BIG red reflector to mount behind the seat - I'm talking dinner-plate size - so it shows up as a vehicle approaches you from behind at night. Little match-box sized ones are too easy to overlook, particularly with a bit of dust or rain on them or hanging in the air.

    Big white reflectors to mount on front of bike. Look like headlights when headlights shine on them - much bigger and brighter than bike lights can be. Add reflective tape to front of handlebars and frame as well, but this is an area (hah!) where size does count. If the wind-resistance worries you, make them to mount only at night, but you'll get a heck of a lot more than wind resistance if someone turns across the front of you at night because they're used to bright motor-vehicle headlighs and they didn't notice your little dim bicycle headlight.

    Reflective tape along all sides of the frame, plus little orange reflectors to move and twinkle on ends of pedals and towards rims of wheels (spoke-mounted, maybe) to increase night-time visibility from the side.

    You can get little flashing red strobe lights. Consider putting a couple of those on top of the poles that mount your red flags for over-the-hill visibility.

    And particularly be prepared to abandon the whole idea if it turns out for whatever reason - idiocy, carelessness or murderous - to be a bicycle-hostile environment.
  10. Jan Doling

    Jan Doling Well-Known Member

    May 21, 2004
    Zone 9b

    If he won't wear the orange vest, buy him more life insurance instead!
  11. roughingit

    roughingit knitwit

    Apr 6, 2005
    Bicycle commuting is awesome! Alright, so I might be a bit biased here :D Bicycle and my own two feet are my methods of transport. Here's my two-wheeled method:

    1. Well-suited bike in good repair. In my case, this is now a touring bike (these are made for long-distance riding with heavy loads). I have racks on front and rear and panniers for both as well. (Along with being great for long rides, I use them to haul my groceries as well) I also have bungies for any bulky items, mostly just the little bitty ones, but I recently aquired a spider web-looking thing similar to the ones they put on trucks. I have a big handlebar bag, in which goes my wallet, keys and other such things that I don't want to leave unattended if I stop. I also have some food such as power-type bars and bags of nuts to bring up my energy level if I feel myself flagging. In another bag under my seat, I carry bike repair tools, spare tube, and a patch kit and I have a frame-mounted pump.

    2. For lighting I use a 5 LED headlamp in the front and a couple of LEDs in the back. I also have the reflectors that came with the bike still mounted as well. I have put strips of highly reflective tape along my frame and wear a reflective helmet. In the day you hardly notice, but at night, those things shine bright! I have heard good reports from spoke lights (these screw over the stem of your tire) and reflective sidewalls too. When I feel the need to get new tires, I'm going to see if they have any that are relective *and* have the kevlar bands. I worry about flats more than being seen, since I already have a lot of reflective stuff, but hey, the more the merrier, right? Also, should you absolutely need to get somewhere on a night when you suspect drunk drivers (I had to work New Year's once after dark yikes!), put your lights on the steady setting rather than blinking. Drunkards get transfixed...

    3. Around town I just wear street clothes. To keep my pant legs from being chewed up, I use steel bands from the bike shop since they are more durable than velcro. For longer rides though, lycra is your buddy! Those silly looking shorts keep you from chafing and other things you's rather not deal with. If you are lacking in the self-confidence to be seen in them, then try at least wearing liner shorts under normal ones. Neon green windbreakers are great for fog and rain (a little rain ain't keeping me or hundreds of other Oregonians indoors lol!) or other bad visibility conditions.

    4. Bike smart! Use the bike lane if there is one NOT the sidewalk. If you are on the sidewalk, you should be walking your bike (unless that sidewalk is part of a bike trail and wide enough to share). In many places, riding on the sidewalk is illegal. Cars cannot see you as easily if they are pulling out. Also, ride *with* the flow of traffic! It's very hair-raising for me to see another cyclist going the wrong direction in my lane, and it makes it harder for cars to accurately gauge how far away you are. At night, your lights can even blind them if they are as bright as mine! Use hand signals for turning, especially when turning in the centre lane. (Yes, this is safe and legal as long as you are not impeding traffic...I personally will not do it on busy roads though). Just like a car, stay in your own lane, don't cut through the other lane trying to get over faster. Tip: for right hand turns, just stick your right arm straight out on that side, just like you do for left turns, many people don't know the proper signals and that is much easier for them to comprehend. Practice makes perfect! Practice riding a straight line. If there is a line of parked cars, ride straight, don't weave from road to gap next to curb and back, it makes you unpredictable. If a road makes you uneasy, see if there is an alternate route. For example, in our downtown there is angled parking on some streets. Since they are large and one way, I simply occupy the farthest lane over (the cars are still able to pass me on the other lanes and I have some cushion in case someone starts pulling out) or take a different route (my normal method, beside the side streets are often more interesting).

    I realize that there are some areas where it is not legal or safe to ride, but for the rest of you, especially the city-bound, give it a try! Haul out the rusty bike in the garage and clean it up. Check out a book from the library if you don't know how, or get friendly with your local bike shop. One thing that can make or break your ride is fit. For short distances, you can ride almost anything, but for longer ones, make sure the bike is set up for you. Bikes that are too small or too big will decrease your comfort dramatically. When buying a new bike, buy from a shop that has a fitting system like the Fitkit. Just hauling a leg over the top tube and checking for clearance is not enough, especially for females. Our shorter reach means that often the handlebars need to be adjusted as well, otherwise you can get neck and shoulder pains. Also, if your bottom is hurting, try a different seat! Any shop worth its salt will let you take different seats for a quick spin to test them and do exchanges until you find a comfy one. For in-town quickies, big soft seats are fine, but for long trips, they will make you numb because they don't provide good support.

    Don't worry if all you have is an old Huffy for now. Go out and give it a whirl. All the nifty racks and bags and stuff I accumalated over time. If you start yearning for something better, start shopping around. In the meantime, your health and our environment will thank you!