5 ways to enhance urban cycling safety

Bike deaths and injuries are on the rise – here are some ways cities can make their communities a safer place to ride

Not to be a downer, but deaths and injuries to bicycle riders have been steadily rising in the last decade.

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According to recently released statistics (April 2013) from the National Highway Transportation Association, bicycling deaths increased by almost 9% from 2010 to 2011, while pedestrian deaths increased by only 3%, and deaths to occupants of vehicles (cars, trucks, etc.) decreased by more than 7,500 during this time frame.

In 2011 alone, there were nearly 48,000 American cyclists injured in crashes, with most taking place between 4pm and 8pm.

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Worth noting: the average age of a cyclist killed in 2002 was 36. 10 years later, the average age is 43.

What state had the highest number of bicycling deaths in the U.S.? Florida. In the sunshine state, bicycling deaths totaled more than 5% of all traffic fatalities (125), which is shocking when compared to the fact that Delaware, Idaho, Maine, Rhode Island, Vermont and West Virginia all had zero bicycling deaths!

Bicycling has plenty of benefits, including better health, decreased local pollution and auto emissions, positive economic impacts on the community, and more. But with statistics like those mentioned above, how can we make our cities a safer place to ride?

I propose the following five ways that communities can enhance urbane cycling safety:

Make it a fineable offense for bikers to wear headphones, texting while riding, or partake in any other distracting habit. If they’re on the road, their focus should be on the road, just like a driver.

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Add more bike lanes, and put barriers between vehicle and cycle traffic at all intersections.

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Also, to this point a bit, paint shared lanes so that bikers and those on foot know where to ride / walk, and cyclists needn’t swerve out of the way of an unmoving group, and wind up in oncoming traffic.

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Install clear signage that tells bikers where they can and cannot ride. These signs will also allow drivers to be aware if they are in a biker-heavy zone or not.

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Signage can be your standard nail-up or post in the ground, but electronic signals can certainly be used to.

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Invest in developing key routes that include safe intersections and recommended paths for bikers to follow through a city. Make these maps easily downloadable so cyclists can follow them on their phone’s GPS system, or listen to them on their portable speaker.

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Teach bike education and safe cycling in gym class at elementary schools. Make this a mandatory topic to cover so that children grow up with a sense of what’s safe and what’s not when it comes to biking in an open traffic environment.

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What do you think? Agree or disagree with any of these points? Have any that you would add? Let us know!

Bike light is as loud as a car horn

Headlight helps bikers let drivers know where they are on the road

Well here’s a nifty little gadget for your bike. It’s called the Orp, and it’s a $65 LED headlight that easily mounts and dismounts from any bike’s handlebars.

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The reason why it’s so expensive is because it’s function is two-fold; you see, it also serves as a horn. When triggered, it will release a loud-as-you-know-what shriek that can be heard inside a running car with its windows rolled up.

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Boombot REX LTD Series hits Indiegogo

Boombot REX LTD Series

The Boombot REX has been shipping for the past month. The feedback we have received has been phenomenal. Your continued support has given us inspiration to continue on our journey to make the best portable audio devices possible. This fall we will be releasing several new designs of the Boombot REX. We have three new models being released including a sleek Brushed Aluminum, the bike havoc inspired Mudrunner, and the hand crafted Plox pattern. In addition to these models, we have some awesome accessories.

OUR GOAL TO SUPPORT THE BICYCLE MESSENGER EMERGENCY FUND

Going beyond the rad new gear, we are also putting together our launch campaign on Indiegogo and driving 20% of all sales towards the Bicycle Messenger Emergency Fund (BMEF). The BMEF allocates a $500 emergency relief check to messengers injured on the job. Our goal is to raise $10,000 for this fund and become the biggest contributor in the non-profit’s history. Bike messengers have one of the most dangerous professions of all. This campaign promotes bike safety and also gives back to a community that stands for the same values our company was built upon.

ABOUT THE LTD SERIES

Beyond the really cool designs, we’ve made several little tweaks to the Boombot REX to improve it beyond our launch state. We’ve raised the switch a couple millimeters to make turning it on and off easier. We’ve also reinforced the micro USB to withstand additional wear and tear. Each design has a bit of a story behind it so be sure to check out what went into this project.

Check out all the new designs directly on the campaign page.

How to keep your Boombot secured to your bike handlebars

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The concept of using the Boombot speaker on bike handlebars has always been one of the more fun applications of Boombotix speakers.  The speaker faces directly at you.  You enjoy the safety and legality of biking without headphones.   At the same time, we have faced a number of challenges in having a solid bike mount. Some of our riders that use the handlebar mount on bumpier roads found that the speaker vibrated off the bars.  This was especially evident in guys that were using the product for trail riding or just rougher urban streets.

While this isn’t the most elegant of fixes, this simple rubber band solution keeps your speaker securely on the bars and keeps the music blasting right at you.

Installing the bike speaker

Installation is easy.  You need one big rubber band.  For a really secure fit, use one of these silicone wristbands that are frequently offered as swag.  A regular rubber band will work, but these wristband are even tighter.  You will need your Boombot and a bike handlebar mount.

1.  Feed the rubber band through the center of the bike handlebar mount along with the clip.

2.  Wrap one end of the rubber band around the top of the clip.

3. Wrap the other end of the rubber band around the feet of the Boombot and behind the teeth.

If you are completely silly and need to watch a video on how to do this, you can!