Tips – Safety

5 Tips for Humane Headlight Practices

This is the Golden Age of Bike Lights; never has so much wattage been available to so many for so little. But there’s a dark side: being dazzled, flashed, annoyed and too often blinded on bike paths, trails and back roads by #$%^-*ing cyclists with badly aimed, overpowering and inappropriate lighting. Let’s assume that you have a great set of lights and that you are not a mean person w...

Safe Routes Philly: Bicycle Education in Schools

In the last Safe Routes post I introduced you to bicycle trains and offered tips on how to get one started at your child’s school or in your community. One of the most important elements of starting bicycle programs is teaching children safety skills. At Safe Routes Philly, we’ve put together a comprehensive program to teach walking and biking safety and get children active on two feet...

How to Teach a Child to Ride a Bike

This guide is based on a video that the Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia created in partnership with The Baby Center. View the video here. Step 1: Getting ready to ride You’ll need: A bicycle (preferably one with hand brakes) A helmet Comfortable shoes A 15mm pedal wrench (Sometimes a standard 15mm wrench will do) A good space to teach your child how to ride A grassy area with a sli...

How Street Harassment Affects Cyclists

Photo courtesy of the Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia. On Tuesday, the group Stop Street Harassment released Unsafe and Harassed in Public Spaces: A National Street Harassment Report. The impressive 63-page report is the first of its kind: While there have been public conversations and activism around the issue of street harassment (defined here) for some time now, including a recent sub...

Does Your Bike Fit Properly?

Many factors contribute to feeling more comfortable on your bike. The fit of the bike is one of the most important. When I went to Max Hamalainen of Philadelphia Bikesmith for a professional bike fit, I found out that it was more about me, my type of riding, and how I carry myself on and off the bike than it was about measurements and angles. Still, those measurements and angles are key, and most ...

Stay Warm, Stay Cool

Laura’s spring-approved gear for your viewing pleasure. After a rough and seemingly endless winter, spring is finally here! For many cyclists this means getting back in the saddle to breathe the glorious fresh air after a long hibernation. While it’s always absolutely great to get outside on the first nice days of the season, year after year I see people totally unprepared for the weir...

Reflecting on Casual Cycling Clothing

Editor’s note: Author Luke Elrath and I headed out to Washington Avenue Green to give our Photo Editor Thom Carroll a chance to capture some of the reflective clothing and accessories that help us be seen at night. Though lights and reflectors are required by PA law, there are lots of other ways to be even more visible, including reflective tape for bikes and casual riding-friendly clothing ...

Winter Riding: Get Your Gear Ready

The same tragic scene is playing out across the North as seasonal riders, with a tear in their eye, stable their steeds for a long winter’s sleep. C’est la vie, time for the trainer, you may be thinking. Please, don’t let this misfortune befall you. The winter season can give the dedicated rider some of the most fun and memorable rides of the entire year. It can be a time of sola...

Bicycle Coalition Gives Out More Than 200 Lights

On November 4, the first weekday after the clocks were set back, the Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia (BCGP) quickly responded to the earlier darkening. On Broad Street at the corners of Spruce and Pine Streets, BCGP staff and volunteers gave away and installed 200+ sets of lights. Here are a few pictures Philly Pedals photographer Thom Carroll took while stopping by to get a set of light...

5 Tips for Riding at Night

Riding at night may seem a little scary at first, yet it can be every bit as safe and fun as riding in the day when you follow a few basic guidelines. The Bicycle Coalition’s Katie Monroe installs lights during a recent light giveaway. © Thom Carroll Photography 2013 1. Use lights. The law requires you to have a front light and a rear reflector or light. You should be lit front and back ever...

5 Tips for Biking with Kids When Everyone is on Their Own Bike

I have been biking my kids around on a Dutch cargo bike for nearly five years. My eldest has recently learned to ride on his own and, as we are preparing to make the transition from passenger to solo rider, I have talked to other parents who are already experienced in the art of family bicycle convoys. I asked my friend, Krista Pfeiffer, how she taught her young kids to ride solo. I rode with them...

Safe Routes Philly: Bicycle Trains

Editor’s note: I had the great fortune of working with author Megan Rosenbach at the Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia for the three and a half years I was there. Megan has done some amazing things with the Safe Routes Philly program, and we are lucky to have her share more about her work here. Look for more articles from Megan about youth bicycle education soon. This weekend, while ...