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Flags for bicycles: A Pedalpalooza Pennant

It’s Pedalpalooza in Portland. We love using their pennant as a flag for bicycles!

Pedalpalooza is an amazing summer full of bike rides Described as “a festival of bike fun” and “three whole months of fun on two wheels”, Pedalpalooza is 3 months worth of hundreds of bike rides and bike-related activities.  The Pedalpalooza calendar features 2 to 20+ rides per day with all types of themes.  There’s a Pride ride, coffee rides, Bike Play performances (often-musical theater experiences), mural rides, cargo bike rides.. it really feels endless. Last year while visiting Portland, we went to a kids clown ride with Olive and Dingo, and the Foster Night Ride. The Pedalpalooza pennant makes for a fun flag for bicycles We’re celebrating Pedalpalooza remotely with our pennant.  I mounted it on our bicycle flag light.  We live in Oakland though and only get to visit Portland once per year.  But we knew we could still […]

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Bike Flag Light Pole, made in Oakland

Flag Poles for Bicycles: Helpful Pros and Cons

Hi.  We’ve been riding around with bike flags as a family for more than a year and a half now.  We’ve been riding in all seasons (in Northern California, so there isn’t a ton of variation) and in rain and in fair weather.  I wanted to share our experience of riding with a bike flag for kids. Pros: Why should I ride with a flag for my bike? Bike flags make the rider more visible The main reason to use a flag is visibility.  Until we get more protected bike lanes, we often need to share the road with cars, and it’s important to be seen by drivers when on the road.  The flag poles typically mount to the axle of the rear wheel of the bike.  While riding to school, we can see a bike flag from 3-4 blocks […]

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Bike Flag Light Pole, made in Oakland

Riding our light up bike pole lights (aka Bike Beam) in Oakland and Berkeley

Family bike riding around Oakland and Berkeley Our child is old enough to pedal themselves around to school, the library, and to sports practice.  Sometimes it’s hard, but usually we have a good time getting to where we need to go.  We get some exercise, take in our surroundings, wave to neighbors, give names to cats and dogs, and appreciate random sidewalk finds. And we can get around in an environmentally-friendly way. We ride around with a set of bike pole lights that I have been developing for a while.  The bike flag lights make us pretty easy to spot. If you see us, wave and say hello! I made our bike pole lights (aka the “Bike Beam” light) to keep my child visible When we first started riding around on neighborhood streets, I realized that my child was hard […]

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Bike Soccer Dad

Bike Soccer Dad (No Minivan or SUV Required)

I’m enjoying being a bike soccer dad. I guess I’ve become a soccer dad now.  Our kid has practice on the weekends, but we bike to the field instead of taking a the stereotypical soccer mom or soccer dad minivan or SUV.  We do it because we rarely drive, but there are plenty of benefits to doing so.  It’s good exercise, and it’s a great way to get outside and enjoy nature.  It also helps reduce car traffic congestion and pollution. It’s about a 3 mile ride that takes us 20-25 minutes. We selected our route based on Oakland’s Slow Streets (which are being taken away soon, sadly!) and other low-car-traffic roads.  Berkeley has done a decent job adding physical barriers on designated routes to promote safety by slowing the flow of automobiles.  There are a couple of hairier intersections […]

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Bike safety flags for being extra visible while riding a bicycle, even in the daytime

Bike safety flags can help keep bicycle riders visible The greatest risk for someone riding a bike on roads with automobile traffic is being hit by a car.  I strongly support infrastructure improvements that physically protect someone riding a bike.  Dedicated bike paths and protected bike lanes can help a lot with this. I don’t like putting the burden of safety on the more vulnerable in general.  At the same time, if there’s a low-effort way to improve safety, it’s probably a good thing to do.  According to the NHTSA, the 2nd leading factor in bicyclist deaths is “Not visible (dark clothing, no lighting, etc)”.  Vehicles are getting bigger, which causes more line of sight problems for other users of the road. Adding a flag is an easy and low-cost way of improving visibility, but it does have a few […]

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