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 ...

The End of the Trail

Philly has great trails around the city, but the areas where the trails and car infrastructure meet, cross, or mix are often problematic. We provide some infrastructure for bikes, but that infrastructure disappears completely when we come to intersections. I recently read Kidicalmass organizer and Philly Pedals author Dena Driscoll’s blog post, Last Half Mile Home. Dena lives in a big bikey ...

Trails Don’t Build Themselves

The Cresheim trail is an amazing little nugget of trail I try to get to regularly. It’s one of the few bits of trail in Fairmont Park that all different levels of riders can ride and still find fun and challenging. The builders nailed the flow. Harlan Price,  professional mountain bike racer and cycling skills coach. The Cresheim Trail is a proposed 8-mile trail that starts in Philadelphia a...

Communication Breakdown

I have been biking in Philly for 22 years. I remember biking before there were bike lanes. It is a lot better now that there is some infrastructure for bikes, and I really want to see separated/protected and respected bike lanes become a reality. Nevertheless, for all our progress we have a hard time with clarity of design* on our streets. We need to do better job of communicating road usage in pl...

Bike Touring on the Cheap

Have you thought about going on tour, but have had second thoughts due to the associated costs? Well, there are plenty of things you can worry about while on tour (being flattened by a reckless driver, dehydrating in the middle of the desert, getting eaten by a bear, etc.), but money doesn’t have to be one of them.  Touring can be as costly or inexpensive as you’re willing to make it. ...

Women’s Cycling Clothing: Layering with Merino Wool

Being a female in the cycling world, I’ve come to accept that there just aren’t enough good options for women’s clothing. It can be tricky because not many cycling companies make women’s gear, and the ones that do usually seem to think if it doesn’t have a swirl or a flower on it no one is going to buy it. Bike and merino hero shot in the Wiss! Now I don’t know ...