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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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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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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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13 Investigates: Millions of vehicles have unexpected, dangerous front blind zone | wthr.com

Are cars and trucks too tall? A quick note on rider visibility

It’s often hard to ride a bike safely as an adult when roads must be shared with automobiles. According to the NHTSA, the 2nd leading related factor for fatalities in bike/car crashes (in the USA) is “Not visible”. It makes sense that visibility is a leading factor. I don’t think I view the data as a whole as completely reliable, since I’d assume that in most of these cases the victim wasn’t around to tell their side of the story. Kids are less visible on bikes than adults and cars are getting bigger As a kid, it’s even more difficult to be visible. Children can ride erratically.  They are shorter, their bikes are shorter, and thus they are less visible to drivers.  The opposite is true for automobiles.  Vehicles are getting larger, which creates a bigger “blind zone” in front […]

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