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Child riding on Milvia Street Protected Bike Lane in Berkeley, CA

Fantastic Berkeley Bike Lanes: Riding on Milvia Street on a Sunny Day

Protected Berkeley Bike Lanes on Milvia Street We rode the new Milvia Street protected bike lanes in Berkeley again a few days ago.  These lanes are protected from automotive traffic in a few different ways.  There are concrete islands with metal rails in some sections (by Berkeley High School, for example) and then simply concrete barriers in other parts.  There are a few unprotected paint-buffered areas.  In general, the lanes allowed us to feel more comfortable riding around Berkeley with a physical barrier between us and moving automobiles. We were on our way home from getting lunch.  Our route took us south on Milvia Street from near the Cal campus in order to get back to Oakland.  It was a short but enjoyable stretch.  A few students were milling about and the vibe was nice and calm – perfect for […]

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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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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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USB Headlight Tail Light Kit

Bike gift ideas for kids and others who started biking during the pandemic (2021)

Hi, I’m making a quick list of gifts that I recommend for kids who bike. I also have gift ideas for people who have recently started biking during the pandemic.   For some gift guides, bloggers or writers solicit ideas. I’ve compiled this list based 10+ years of bike-commuting experience and daily rides with my child.  I’m also finding accessories and other bicycle-related gifts that make riding more fun.   My goal is to help make it easier to bike where you need to go. I hope that this gift guide will make it easier for your intended recipient to do so too! Bike accessory gift ideas Lights I recommend lights for anyone who might be riding when it’s starting to get dark. Lights also help when it’s very cloudy or raining.  Important factors for me are: size, ease of […]

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Kids and Parents biking on Slow Streets in Oakland

Neighborhood Bike Parades That Help Kids Learn to Ride Together

The kids bike parade is a way to let kids play, ride bikes together and learn to ride safely.  Children and adults make new friends and build community by bike. How did the bike parade start? Earlier on in the pandemic, we learned that COVID spread mostly through poorly-ventilated air. We tried to think of ways to still foster social interactions between children with a lower risk profile.  Our family and a lot of others have gone with their kids biking to spend time outdoors.   We started by turning a birthday party into a evening bike ride.  Kids had fun biking together and being able to see each other not on a computer screen! Parents got a chance to ride with their kids and others. Neighbors were treated to a lively mini parade.   A few parents loved the […]

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Poorly-locked Tern GSD e-bike parked at the library

Would you go find the owner if you saw a poorly-locked expensive e-bike?

  If you saw a nice $$$ bike that was locked poorly, would you let the owner know? And how? I was in a situation a few weeks ago, and was wondering what others in the bike commuting community would do.  I posted this question on Reddit, and will share some of the general sentiment of the responses as well. I rode with my child to the library to drop off a slightly late book (sorry!) and pick up one or two new ones.  I found this Tern GSD (I assume worth like $4k-$6k) locked to the bike rack. It’s a nice bike, so I checked it out for a while and then noticed some problems with the locking: The cable lock went around (not through) the frame and then through the U-lock. The U-lock was of questionable quality, and […]

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Red kid bike crew in Berkeley

A kids bike ride through Berkeley

 We went for a bike ride through Berkeley last week with some friends and kids.  Our friend’s child has a 20″ Frog 52 and we have a 20″ Opus Doppler.  Both red.  We enjoyed the Ninth Street bike boulevard and riding around the makeshift traffic circles (aka Healthy Streets Traffic Octagons)Third (and final, for now at least) Healthy Streets quick-build traffic octagon installed at 9th and Page! @CityofBerkeley https://t.co/Z2eIZVCGn9 pic.twitter.com/Kg8gbn7Z1C— Walk Bike Berkeley (@WalkBikeBerk) May 20, 2021The kids enjoyed singing, racing, playing games, and just chatting while riding, and I’m sure we’ll repeat this sometime in the future.We rode through West Berkeley and got food at Pollara Pizzeria and Tacubaya on 4th street when everybody got hungry.  Then we headed home. Or follow along for updates:

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Photo by Adrien Olichon from Pexels

Riding bikes with children: Talking about cars

In the USA, at least, I found that talking to kids about bike safety meant talking a lot about cars. Dedicated bike paths (in the USA) don’t always take you where you need to go When our child started riding with us on their own bike, I realized that 90% of our communication was about riding safely with cars on the road.  It wasn’t about kids bike safety gear, helmets, proper clothing or anything else like that.  Dedicated bike paths to the library, the playground, to school or wherever else for running errands usually don’t exist in the States.  So, we had to ride in the street, and this meant sharing the road with cars.  This is a little scary when riding with a young child. Though there are bike lanes near me, a layer of paint doesn’t feel like […]

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