Thursday, April 14, 2011

Biking in DC: #1 Be Seen at Night

The law in DC says that a cyclist must have a white front light and a rear red reflector. There is a minimum requirement for how bright the light has to be but I don't remember off the top of my head.

My suggestion is a rear red blinky light and a front white light too. It would be stupid to get struck from the back because you weren't wearing a red blinky.

That said, most crashes that occur at night happen when an automobile crashes into the side of a cyclist. My bet, though, is that it is probably a car pulling out of a driveway, not seeing the biker. This is the reason that I wear a white blinky light in the front when I'm in the city. A steady light is great for trails or dark roads

Most new bikes come with ugly reflectors in the spokes of the wheels. Those are dorky and should just be ripped off before they break off. If you feel like you need something for the sides, get creative! LEDs and such can be a lot of fun. Like spoke lights, pedal-powered wire lights, Orbit wheel lights from Cat Eye, or... you let me know!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Biking in DC: Intro

I've learned just recently that I have a gazillion simple tips for cyclists and that I probably know the laws better than 95% of road users (or more?) in DC. Maybe it was the workshop I did a few weeks ago at Visions in Feminism or perhaps responding to a friend's advice on Facebook about bike lights that got me thinking. Whatever it was, it helped me realized that the tidbits that I've learned in the last 8 years because I've biked just about everywhere are potentially useful. I guess I never saw this as valuable information so I never thought to put it down in words. But perhaps I should just post some stuff here as a reference for my friends, and networks, who welcome the pointers.
(Meanwhile I'm thinking to myself, "Geez, what am I getting myself into?")

As a disclaimer, I am in no means telling you that what works best for me, works best for everyone. You need to figure out what works best for you. I also do not condone any of flagrant violations of traffic laws. Unnecessary risks are stupid. Don't take 'em.

While this blog series — Biking in DC — will be primarily in regards to the DC metro region. Much of it transfers over to other metro areas in the U.S. so I'm sure others would find it as useful as the locals.

Biking in DC:
  1. Be Seen at Night
  2. Be Heard

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Tuesday, April 12, 2011

DC Officials Arrested on Capitol Hill

Nothing to do with bikes or recycling, but this clip is important for everyone to see. DC residents like myself are sick of the federal government controlling our city. We need statehood now!

See what DC Vote is working on:

Visit for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Bicycle: Machine of Empowerment or Oppression?

I put this powerpoint together for a workshop I did with Visions in Feminism 2011. I have received input on the workshop and plan to do an improved version again.

The next step I shall take is to host a workshop on cleaning and maintaining bikes. More information on that soon.

Bicycle: Machine of Empowerment or Oppression?