This one is for all you bicycle-riding road trippers out there… It’s the X-Fire Laser Bike Lane Light, and for a measly $40 it could save your life. It’s one of the latest things distributed by Local Motors, a “global co-creation community” that continually brings us the coolest and craziest gadgets, gizmos, gear.
The Laser Bike Lane Light is simple- it mounts in under a minute using a couple shines two laser lines on the pavement to create a red border on the sides of your bicycle. These lines are super bright, and riders can even choose from multiple strobe patterns for extra attention.
And unlike most crappy bike lights, this one uses a USB charging cable so never again will you need to search the house for some elusive pack of AAA batteries you bought five years and forgot about.
The light also doesn’t mind a little rain, but Local Motors & X-Fire remind us it’s not completely waterproof: “This laser bike light is also rain resistant, but is not made to be submerged, so don't even think about mounting it to a shark's head.” Point taken.
So for $40 you may greatly reduce your risk of getting completely run over at night on your bicycle, but if you’re too cheap to spring for the Laser Bike Lane Light, at least follow these 3 tips on night riding from Emmy Fabich of Bike Miami Valley in Dayton, OH:
- Know your route- Ride your intended route during daylight hours to become familiar with side street entrances, main intersections, and general street conditions. If riding along a bike path, note if the trail has lamps to light the trail at dark. If not, choose another route.
- Being visible to motorists is important; don’t rely on front and rear reflectors to make a cyclist visible to a car. Always being visible is the primary safety measure when riding at night.
- Drive your bike – just as you would operate your car, changing lanes, stopping at lights or stop signs, avoiding weaving between other vehicles, etc. If you wouldn’t do an action in your car, you shouldn’t do them on your bike either. Being predictable is very important.
Fellow Ohio cyclist and safety instructor for Dayton MetroParks Jordan Hart has a few additional tips as well:
- The front headlight ideally should not only allow cars to see you, but be bright enough to illuminate your path. If your headlight is not too bright, stay within your limitations, and don’t go too fast.
- Be aware that drivers may not be expecting a cyclist, and ride defensively. Flash your headlight at drivers to get their attention by twitching your handlebars. And always remember to wear your helmet.
With tips like these coupled with new and affordable gear such as the Laser Bike Lane Light, riding your bicycle at night doesn’t have to be a terrifying experience. Of course, if you're just riding for pleasure you're always going to be safer on a path with little or no interaction motor vehicles. Most towns and cities these days are near tons of bike trails like the Miami Valley Bike Trails which snakes all over western Ohio.
More about Local Motors:
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