Quantcast

5 Cool Ways to Make Urban Biking Safer

Business

Remember when you were a kid, and all you needed to go bicycling was a clunky old bike handed down from your brother and a basic helmet from the local chain store? And maybe you are old enough to remember when bicycling was for kids and Tour de France racers—and chances are pretty good you are neither.

Now of course, that has changed, with everyone from hipsters to yuppies to old folks using bicycles for transportation, exercise and tourism and even social activities, like the Critical Mass bike rides that have swept the country. (Needless to say, they started in cutting-edge California). All kinds of companies making all kinds of equipment and products have sprung up to take advantage of this burgeoning market. Here are some we found particularly intriguing.

1. The Zackees Turn Signal glove is a bicycling glove equipped with LED lights activated by a built-in switch located between the thumb and index finger. You stretch out your arm as you normally would, but the lights make your intention to turn even clearer. Obviously, this is a great product for those who ride at night and inclement weather, when seeing your outstretched arm might be difficult. The glove is battery-operated and the rechargeable batteries can be removed so the durable glove can be tossed in the washing machine. The company is also working on an innovation that would allow you to signal without taking your hands off your bike handle. The gloves retail for $85-$100.

The Zackees Turn Signal glove makes it clear which way you'll be going. Photo credit: Zackees

2. Helmets with lights have been around a while, and they're almost essential at night. Some companies are now offering attachments for your helmet based on the increasingly popular fiber optic technology, giving riders options to customize colors and light designs to fit their personal style. Ohio-based LightMyLid makes LED-equipped Lid Lights that come in pink, red, orange, yellow, green, blue and white, in both blinking and static versions. They come in strips to apply to any hard-shelled helmet to increase your nighttime visibility and run $25-$35 for two strips and a battery case.

Lid Lights let you customize your helmet and increase your visibility at the same time. Photo Credit: LightMyLid

3. The Loud Bicycle Horn beats the pants off that tinkly little bicycle bell you had as a kid. It sounds just like a car horn and it's just as loud too—sure to get the attention of other vehicles on the road. It fits a variety of frame sizes and shapes and requires a special tool to be removed so it's hard to steal. It's water-resistant and runs on a rechargeable lithium-ion battery. Oddly, the company says "The Loud Bicycle horn is legal everywhere in the U.S. except for libraries." We hope you weren't going to ride your bike there! it sells for about $100.

Be heard as well as seen with the Loud Bicycle horn. Photo credit: Loud Bicycle

4. You've got front and back lights on your bicycle, but that's not much help if someone is coming from your side. A company called Fibre Flare makes side lights that attach to tube of your bike's frame to create side visibility as well. Coming in a variety of colors, it uses fiber optic technology to create a high-intensity light that can be seen almost 1,000 feet away. The flexible tubes come in three lengths and can also be attached to clothing, backpacks and outdoor/camping gear. They sell for $35-$50.

Attach these lights to the side of your frame so people can see you from all directions. Photo credit: Fibre Flair

5. Theft is always a concern for bicyclists; even if a bike locked, parts and attachments (like horns) can be taken. An Israeli company called Cardboard Technology thinks it has a solution: a bike not valuable enough to steal. It isn't in full production yet but it's been rolling out prototypes to show to potential investors. The bike made of recycled cardboard (along with some recycled plastics and automobile tires) folded origami-style to make it strong and treated with chemicals to make it waterproof and fireproof. It can carry up to 300 pounds. The company has plans to expand into wheelchairs, strollers and shopping carts. Stay tuned!

It's not on the market yet, but you could soon be riding a bike made mostly from recycled cardboard. Photo credit: Cardboard Technologies

YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

What Are the Best Cities for Cyclists?

Top 10 Greenest Cities in the World

Ride Your Bike to Work … And Share

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

Natural Resources Defense Council

By Emily Deanne

Shower shoes? Check. Extra-long sheets? Yep. Energy efficiency checklist? No worries — we've got you covered there. If you're one of the nation's 12.1 million full-time undergraduate college students, you no doubt have a lot to keep in mind as you head off to school. If you're reading this, climate change is probably one of them, and with one-third of students choosing to live on campus, dorm life can have a big impact on the health of our planet. In fact, the annual energy use of one typical dormitory room can generate as much greenhouse gas pollution as the tailpipe emissions of a car driven more than 156,000 miles.

Read More Show Less
Kokia drynarioides, commonly known as Hawaiian tree cotton, is a critically endangered species of flowering plant that is endemic to the Big Island of Hawaii. David Eickhoff / Wikipedia

By Lorraine Chow

Kokia drynarioides is a small but significant flowering tree endemic to Hawaii's dry forests. Native Hawaiians used its large, scarlet flowers to make lei. Its sap was used as dye for ropes and nets. Its bark was used medicinally to treat thrush.

Read More Show Less
Sponsored
Frederick Bass / Getty Images

States that invest heavily in renewable energy will generate billions of dollars in health benefits in the next decade instead of spending billions to take care of people getting sick from air pollution caused by burning fossil fuels, according to a new study from MIT and reported on by The Verge.

Read More Show Less
Aerial view of lava flows from the eruption of volcano Kilauea on Hawaii, May 2018. Frizi / iStock / Getty Images

Hawaii's Kilauea volcano could be gearing up for an eruption after a pond of water was discovered inside its summit crater for the first time in recorded history, according to the AP.

Read More Show Less
A couple works in their organic garden. kupicoo / E+ / Getty Images

By Kristin Ohlson

From where I stand inside the South Dakota cornfield I was visiting with entomologist and former USDA scientist Jonathan Lundgren, all the human-inflicted traumas to Earth seem far away. It isn't just that the corn is as high as an elephant's eye — are people singing that song again? — but that the field burgeons and buzzes and chirps with all sorts of other life, too.

Read More Show Less
Sponsored
A competitor in action during the Drambuie World Ice Golf Championships in Uummannaq, Greenland on April 9, 2001. Michael Steele / Allsport / Getty Images

Greenland is open for business, but it's not for sale, Greenland's foreign minister Ane Lone Bagger told Reuters after hearing that President Donald Trump asked his advisers about the feasibility of buying the world's largest island.

Read More Show Less
AFP / Getty Images / S. Platt

Humanity faced its hottest month in at least 140 years in July, the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) said on Thursday. The finding confirms similar analysis provided by its EU counterparts.

Read More Show Less
Newly established oil palm plantation in Central Kalimantan, Indonesia. Rhett A. Butler / Mongabay

By Hans Nicholas Jong

Indonesia's president has made permanent a temporary moratorium on forest-clearing permits for plantations and logging.

It's a policy the government says has proven effective in curtailing deforestation, but whose apparent gains have been criticized by environmental activists as mere "propaganda."

Read More Show Less