As we already know, it’s getting a lot more dangerous on the roads for cyclists However, there is some comfort in being able to provide our family and friends with our live location information while cycling. As I mentioned in my post DIY Garmin Charge Power Pack Hack, I use Garmin’s Live Track function while I’m cycling. However, you don’t need an expensive bicycle computer/GPS for live tracking.
The makers of ROAD iD offer the free ROAD iD – Live GPS Tracker App that can provide a real-time eCrumb trail of your location and an optional Stationary Alert if you are inactive for a set amount of time. Your loved ones can have peace of mind while they monitor your status when you’re out on your next cycling adventure.
I use this app when I am cycling, walking my dog, hiking or any time I want someone to know my location. It has worked faultlessly for me. And you can’t beat the price . . . FREE!
As cyclists we put ourselves at risk every time we ride. It seems like we are invisible to drivers sometimes. I have vehicles pull out and turn in front of me all the time. I’ve even been struck from behind and I’m sure the driver didn’t see me until I landed on her hood. Being more visible in traffic is a life saver.
The best way to make yourself more visible is to add front and back Daytime Running Lights (DRLs) to your gear. It makes sense that a cyclist with lights is easier to spot than a cyclist without lights. Lights increase our contrast with the background so we don’t just blend into the environment. In fact, one study, Safety effects of permanent running lights for bicycles: A controlled experiment – PubMed (nih.gov), shows that bicycles equipped with (DRLs) have a significant (19% lower) reduction in crashes with vehicles as compared with bicycles without. I’m so convinced of the effectiveness of DRLs that I’ve mounted a set on my helmet so I can direct the light by moving my head as needed by my situation.
If you don’t already have DRLs don’t wait another second, I suggest adding a set of bright high-quality front and back DRLs to your gear today. Be Eye-catching flashy. It could save your life.
I wear a helmet because I believe that a helmet can make the difference between life and death in the event of a crash. When I was hit by car (see My Biggest Challenge) the last thing I remember, just before everything went black, was that my helmet hit the road really hard. While I suffered some very serious injuries, my only head injury was bruising to my face.
I’m not saying that just because I wear wear a helmet, you should too. Wearing a helmet is a personal decision. However, if you are in the market for a new bicycle helmet,
you might be surprised to learn that buying the most expensive helmet doesn’t mean you will get the most protection.
A joint project with Virginia Tech and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety rated 180 bicycle helmets using the STAR evaluation system. They found that while all helmets meet the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) safety standard, bicycle helmets do not provide the same protection and that price is not a good guide for buying a helmet.
In fact, after review their evaluation of road style helmets, I didn’t see much correlation between the price of a helmet and the protection it provides. The helmets with the top ratings (five stars) range in price from $50 to $325. So before buying a new helmet checkout Bicycle Helmet Ratings and get the best protection you can find, in a style you like, that is within your budget.