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Bicycle hand signal image via Wikipedia

Bike Laws in California (and other traffic laws)

Bike laws and traffic laws for people on bikes, in cars, and people who walk in the state of California I just finished a League of American Cyclists training course, and was really impressed with the depth of information covered in the course.  One important aspect of the training is the law as it relates to how people share the roadways.  This reflects traffic principles, bike laws, and infrastructure in their current state.  I’m hoping there can continue to be improvements that will make it easier for people to walk and bike to get to where they need to go without the fear of being hit by a car.  You shouldn’t be required to drive a 5000 pound vehicle to pick up a loaf of bread and 12 eggs from a grocery store. I’m still learning, and am definitely open […]

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Blitzu Gator Head light (Review as a Childrens bike light)

Blitzu Gator Bike Lights: 3 Month Review for a Childrens bike light

How is the Blitzu Head Light holding up? Bike safety lights are important for keeping bike riders safe while riding at night.  I purchased a set of lights for my kid.  We’ve been riding around for 3 months now with the Blitzu Gator 390, a budget bike light option for childrens bike lights.  We have been using it about once per day, 5-7 days per week.  The headlight/tail light set costs about $16 on Amazon, and is a good choice for a LED bike light for a child.  I wouldn’t call it the best kid’s bike light, but it’s a good value and a good option. Function, Usage and Visibility: OK The light works fine.  It’s fairly small, so it fits on small handlebars well.  It’s easy enough for a child to operate.  It has a few modes for varying […]

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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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Children riding bikes at night - Kids Bike Parade

A photo from December’s Kids Bike Parade

A Photo from the December Kids Bike Parade Adults and children ages 4-7 rode together for our December Kids Bike Parade.  We got together for an evening ride around the neighborhood on Oakland’s Slow Streets.  We made a stop in the middle on Lawton Avenue to see some of the fancy holiday light decorations.  There was unfortunately no pizza this time because Sliver was closed, but the kids still had fun riding together. Group riding helps get children excited about riding their bikes Our bike parades are a way for kids to have COVID-safe fun while building community through bicycling.  At each of our bike parades, adults ride along with the children to make sure they’re safe.  We provide childrens bike lights to make sure they’re visible to us, each others, pedestrians, and the occasional driver.  Group bike rides in general […]

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USB Headlight Tail Light Kit

My choice for children’s bike lights: Inexpensive (less than $15!) but effective

Getting a set of children’s bike lights probably worth it for your kid.  You can get a functional set for $10-15.  It’s an easy safety upgrade if you ride in anything but normal daylight. Bike lights for children’s bikes Your kid might need bike lights if you do anything more than recreational daytime rides. A lot of people view riding a bike as recreation.  That’s fine.  But if you’re also riding your bike to get from point A to point B with your child, sometimes you will have to ride in the dark.  It starts to get dark around 4:30pm during the Bay Area winters, so you may need lights even if you’re not staying out late.    Our school day ends around 3pm. If you have scheduled any after care, you’ll be coming home in the dark for at […]

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Lots of flashing to clean up, but interesting results. Air vents and molding sprues can be seen here too.

Behind the scenes: Molding silicone shapes and using a 3D printer to create cavities

I’m trying to make riding bikes as a family easier for everyone.  One project that I’m working on is building a light to help keep riders (especially smaller ones) more visible when it’s dark. Making prototypes of flexible shapes While working on the prototype bike lights, I needed to make some flexible shapes to connect poles together and to act as a soft bumper to protect one from any pokey parts. After some research on DIY silicone molding, I found that silicone rubber is a relatively friendly material to work with and was easily to buy. I bought a small trial kit to try making some parts.  (I found that it seems way more common for people to use silicone rubber to create the mold cavities themselves, such as in this Makerbot tutorial.  Here’s an example of someone working on […]

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