Category Archives: Bike Safety

New Year, New Ride: Best Cycling Accessories

If you’re planning to start this new year on two wheels, make sure you’re doing it right. You can update your ride without purchasing an expensive new bike. In 2016, treat yourself to the little things; get the best accessories and ride to your fullest.

Bike Accessories

  • Water Bottle: We all know hydration is key, but keeping a bottle of water within reach while you’re pedaling can be tricky. I like to use a Water Bottle Bag to keep my H2O accessible. The one I have has an adjustable strap, a clip for keys and even a front pocket to hold my cellphone and ID. I snagged it for about twenty bucks and have definitely got my money out of it.
  • Handlebar Bag: I like to go for long rides on local trails during the summer and I always end up toting around a lot of stuff. I am known to pack up a small backpack and ride with that, but it can be uncomfortable for long periods of time. I recently found a really great Handlebar Bag and now I cannot bike without it. The on-the-go organizer is designed to clip around bike handlebars, stroller handles and more. It has four zippered pockets inside that have clear front windows so you can easily find you stuff. Plus, the outside has a mesh, elastic pouch so you can keep your phone or MP3 player handy while you ride. I love this a lot — I can’t ride without my music and I’m not a fan of the arm bands most bikers opt for.
  • Bungee Cords: This one is just as much for serious riders as it is for casual riders. Bungee Cords are great to keep on you just in case; You never know what you’re going to come across on your ride when you’re far away from your car or home. Once, while on a ride by myself, my seat came lose. I grabbed a bungee cord out of my bag and wrapped it around, securing it to the frame of my bike. The spontaneous hodge-podge fix wasn’t a long term answer, but it helped me get through my ride and back to the car. Bungee cords are also great to have in case you stop somewhere along the way and end up toting goods back home. (I’m a fan of hitting the cider mill on my bike in the fall).
  • Anti-Fog: If you’re riding during the colder months, you may not have consider my last recommendation: Anti-Fog Spray. I do a lot of biking near busy roads, so I have added mirrors to both sides of my handlebars. It doesn’t happen a lot, but when it’s colder outside they have fogged up on me, which can be dangerous. As a cyclist, it is so important to know what is going on around you. While we know the rules of the road are in our favor, not every driver obeys them. One afternoon I grabbed my anti-fog spray that I use in my car and tried it out on my bike — it was life changing! No more second guessing while riding near traffic. For less than $5, there’s no reason not to pick this up. Safety first!

What are your must-have cycling accessories?

Home Safety

Staying safe everywhere from at home to on the road is always a concern. By being prepared and having the things you need to keep yourself safe you can cut out some of the worry.

Bio-Matic Fingerprint Lock by Itouchless by Itouchless

When it comes to protecting your home your first defense should be locks that are secure. Using a high tech finger print scanner this door lock keeps your home safe while ensuring that your whole family can get inside, even when they don’t have a key on hand, perfect for anyone with kids.

 Solar Security Light - Centurion

At night keeping the exterior of your home well lit is a great way to keep intruders at bay. The Solar Security Light – Centurion has an eco friendly solar design that allows this flood light to provide its own power.

Power Dome - Portable Power Station

At home or on the go, having back up power on hand is always useful in case of a car battery that needs a jump or a power outage. The Power Dome – Portable Power Station provides portable power so you can bring it with you.

Tool Box - Mastercraft Lantern

Whether you’re running errands or going on a long car trip, you should never leave home without a car safety kit. Coming complete with a lantern and built in tool kit the Tool Box – Mastercraft Lantern has a compact design perfect for leaving in your trunk in case of emergencies.

53 Piece Roadside Tool Kit in Soft Sided Bag with Air Compressor

For even more roadside assistance the 53 Piece Roadside Tool Kit in Soft Sided Bag with Air Compressor has every scenario covered. Coming with an air compressor, booster cables, a flash light and other tools, this set has everything you need in case you have car trouble. A bag provides storage for all the tools, so all you have to remember to do is throw it in the car.

With a little planning you can be ready for any emergency.

Making the Garage Eco Friendly : Recycling Bins

Making your home more eco friendly is just a matter of getting things sorted. By adding recycling bins to your home you can make it easy to make sure paper, plastic and aluminum end up recycled, rather than in a landfill.

SimpleHuman Upright Grocery Bag Holder - KT1013

 

Find yourself at a loss as to what to do with all those plastic grocery bags? Use the SimpleHuman Upright Grocery Bag Holder – KT1013 to stow plastic bags when you get home from the grocery store and then use them to line trash cans everywhere from the bathroom to the office. With a compact design this bag holder can be stored under the sink or in the pantry.

Middleman by Harleman Products

For occasional recycling storage the Middleman Hamper by Harleman Products has a folding design that allows this recycling bin to be easily stored when not in use. If you need to presort your recycling then you can buy a bin for each type.

Recycling Bin Container - 3 Compartment

 

For classic and convenient recycling storage the Recycling Bin Container – 3 Compartment fits the bill. These stacking bins come in different colors so you can identify the right bin and have built in flaps for helping to keep everything contained. Place these bins with your other trash containers or in the garage for easy access.

15" Triple Slot RT Recycler by Witt Industries

 

For kitchen recycling the 15″ Triple Slot RT Recycler by Witt Industries has a compact design that sorts all your recycling in one convenient location. Individual, labeled slots make clear what goes where.

16 Gallon Dual Compartment Touchless Recycle Bin - by Itouchless - IT16RES

 

For a high tech touch to the kitchen the 16 Gallon Dual Compartment Touchless Recycle Bin – by Itouchless has a touch free design and a stainless steel exterior that looks right at home in any modern kitchen. With ample space for two kinds of recycling and set on casters so it can be moved wherever it is needed most, this trash bin makes a great choice.

Bike Maintenance Basics

If you’re just getting into biking, keeping up your bike, with all the various parts and different tools can seem overwhelming. Here are a few tips for keeping your bike in good shape.

Of all the upkeep you’re going to have to do on your bike, it’s your tires that you’ll probably work on most. All tires lose air, so having a tire pump is a must. Thinner tires probably need air daily, while thicker tires only need to be filled up about once a week.

When going out for a ride it’s important to be prepared for whatever types of accidents or repairs you might need to do. Going on a long ride? Then you should carry with you whatever key tools you might need to make a repair since you might find yourself far away from help. Usually find yourself riding in the city? City streets are more likely to have broken pieces of glass on them, so think about bringing along what you need to patch a tire.

Keeping your bike clean is another way to ensure it stays in top shape. While you don’t need to clean it after every ride, a wipe down with a dry cloth once a month is a good way to keep your bike looking good as well as riding well.

Giving your bike a through tune up once or twice a year is a good idea for anyone who bikes regularly. You can either check out your bike yourself or bring it in to your local bike shop, either way regular maintenance is the best way to prevent any serious issues with your bike that could lead to accidents.

When learning how to tune up or fix your bike the most important rule is to stick to what you know. Never try to fix something on your bike unless you’re sure what you’re doing, if you ever need help there’s always your local bike shop to help you get your bike back in top shop.

Tips for Safe Biking

Whether you’re an old pro or just starting to get into biking, it’s nice to review a few tips and tricks for staying safe while enjoying your favorite hobby. There are different rules to follow depending on the kind of biking you’re doing. Use your bike for your daily commute? Then you’re going to need to be aware of all the ways you can stay safe while riding your bike in traffic. Only take your bike out for the weekends? Then you should know the best ways to prevent an injury when going off road.

When commuting around town it’s always best to think like you would if you’re driving a car. That means riding your bike in the street as opposed to on the sidewalk, always riding with traffic and yielding to pedestrians. Obeying signs and red lights like a car is also key to preventing accidents. It’s also just as important to make sure you aren’t in a driver’s blind spot, this is especially true for trucks and other large vehicles.

When riding a dirt bike you’re dealing with a completely different set of rules. In order to stay safe you should always maintain a speed that allows you to react to unforeseen obstacles. Scoping out particularly hard sections of the trail beforehand can be a smart way to give yourself an edge when riding a trail you’re unfamiliar with.

Before any ride you should always double-check your equipment. This doesn’t just mean your bike, but everything from your car bike rack to your shoelaces. No matter where you’re riding, whether it’s a long trek or a ride down the block it’s always best to wear a helmet, you never know what’s around the corner and a helmet can be the difference between a minor bike accident and a serious one. With a few steps you can have a ride that’s just as safe as it is fun.

Outdoor Bike Storage

When it comes to storing bikes outdoors, there are two factors to take into consideration, the weather and safety. In many rainy places your bike can get damaged by rust, even making it difficult to unlock your bike lock. It’s important to shield you bike from the elements when storing it outside so you don’t end up with an unusable bike. Keeping your bike from getting stolen is also important, which is why having a safe place to lock up a bike outside is a great way to keep them safe.

 
Adding a compact bike rack like the Indoor/Outdoor Poly Lumber Bike Rack to the side of the house or backyard can be a convenient way to store a bike outside.
For an outdoor bike rack with storage for everything from bikes to helmets the Bicycle Stand – Floor Storage System is just the ticket. This bike rack has space for bikes for the whole family.
Further protect bikes when stored outdoors by camouflaging them in style. The Outdoor Screen adds an elegant touch to any outdoor space, while keeping bikes out of view.
For keeping your bike dry while stored outdoors the Esterna Bicycle Cover is just what you need. This cover can be used at home or brought on a trip to help keep your bike high and dry.
Keeping your bikes protected is a must for ensuring that you have it for many rides down the road. Whether you want to keep your bike safe from the weather or robbers, there is a clever way to add outdoor bike storage to your home. This holiday season when everyone is getting a new bike, think about giving a gift that helps protect that bike for years to come.

Summer Time Is Bike Time!

We are creeping up fast on summer folks! Finally the spring chill is giving way to warmer evenings and the weekends are starting to get booked up with activities. The kids are either out of school or school’s about to end and the pools heaters are ready to be turned on for daily use. One of my family’s favorite activities is bike riding. We ride to the park, around the park, to farmer’s markets, and we always take our bikes on camping trips. With a family of four, it is absolutely necessary to have great bike storage!

tension bike rack

tension bike rack

Since summer is our favorite season and we are a fairly active bunch, you can imagine the inevitable storage challenges in our garage. Our secondary car had to give up its rights to parking in the garage a while ago. That isn’t to say we have a cluttered garage, but we have a lot of sports equipment, including bikes, kayaks, golf bags, and just about every kind of ball you can kick, bounce or throw around! I researched a lot of bike racks before deciding on the bicycle hanger that stores up to four bikes. I like that it is wall mounted for space efficiency and the bikes are easy to pull down and hang up. If I hadn’t chosen this particular bike hanging rack, I would have gone with a gravity bike stand. The 2-bike gravity bike rack is pretty cool because it does not require installation and has a leaning design. Because it lies snug against the wall, you don’t lose walking space. There is also a tension mounted aluminum bicycle rack I was considering. It’s kind of like a vertical shower rod that hold’s bikes. OK, not really but the tension design reminded me of that. You can get accessories for it like a basket to hold your gloves and helmet. If you’re looking for something super sturdy and robust, I would go with the gravity bike rack that holds 2 bikes and 2 helmets. It’s got a really well designed base and looks perfect for the serious cyclist or mountain biker. And it’s just the right size for a married couple single person with two types of bikes. Gravity bike racks and wall mounted bike racks are a great way to save space, and with no permanent installation required, they’re ideal for renters and folks who are not too handy with tools!

The Luxurious Garage

I know what you are thinking.  How can a garage possibly be a luxurious place?  Well, it doesn’t have to be.  But if you have already upgraded the rest of your home, why not take a look in the garage and see if you could benefit from a little luxury in there as well.

Drymate Garage Floor Mat by RPM

Drymate Garage Floor Mat by RPM

Here are a few tips to get you started:
Storage and Organization – As I always say,  a clean, well organized home starts with a clean, well organized garage area.  This is because if you don’t have your garage ready to accept items for storage from the interior of your home, you will never get to that stage, which means the interior of your house will remain disorganized and messy.  A simple, affordable way to get organized in the garage is with plastic bins.  These are great for storing anything from out of season clothes to tools and a variety of other items.  If you can afford it, look for a specially designed rack that will hold each one of these plastic bins in its own cubby.  That makes it easier to reach what you need without having to dig through a stack of heavy boxes.
Bike Racks – and other sporting equipment racks. There are a great number of new sports organizers on the market, for everything from golf bags to lacrosse(!) storage racks.  My personal favorites are ones that mount directly to the wall.  This does two things. First, it protects your sporting goods from being run over by a car and two, it keeps your floor neat and tidy.
Finishing Touches – Finishing touches in the garage include actually finishing the walls so that you are not looking at joint compound over drywall.  Good lighting is a must and there are nice, modern choices for that.  Another great idea is to lay down a garage mat like the Drymate Garage Floor Mat – Large Size, SUV’s, Vans  which keeps your floor protected and lets you know when you’ve pulled into the garage enough!

Organize Your Yard and Garage with a Garden Cart

Gardening is my favorite part about spring and summer.  My house has a pretty good size yard; it’s not too big to the point where it’s too much to manage but it’s large enough to spread out and have all kinds of gardening projects.  I have a few flower beds, a couple of vegetable gardens, some lawn area and great fruit tress including an avocado tree – yum!  Even though mine is not a sprawling landscape, it still fills a few hours a week with maintenance but I don’t mind it.  Between watering plants, picking veggies, pruning and fertilizing it all adds up, which is why having a garden cart is a must.

garden cart

garden cart

Before I had a garden cart it was much more difficult to tend to my yard.  I’d have to go back and forth to the shed getting rakes, shears, etc. and at the end of the day they would end up strewn around the yard.  Needless to say, gardening tools would end up lost or hard to find.

But my garden cart is great because it serves two purposes.  It stores the tools, so I didn’t have to mount a permanent tool rack in the shed and it rolls around the yard with me so I don’t have to go back and forth to grab tools.
With this rolling tool rack, I can store every kind of gardening tool, small and large.  There are large slots to hold the shovels, rakes, pitchfork, etc. and pockets for my hand tools and gloves.  The best feature, which sold me on this garden cart, is the metal rack in front where I can stack bags of soil and fertilizer.  Not having to haul heavy bags is such huge relief!  And my cat seems to think it’s a place for her to plunk down and get a ride.  If you’re a gardener like me, save yourself some time and trouble and get a handy garden cart to help you with your yard work (your husband will appreciate that too).

Get Everything Under Control With A Bin Organizer

When you have a large and growing family of six, storing all of their possessions can get to be quite a difficult issue. Just some of the things I need to find space to store includes sporting equipment, camping gear, old clothing, trophies, books, old artwork, holiday decorations and so much more! Finding a place to put all of this stuff can become quite a burden on our attic and basement, with cardboard boxes upon cardboard boxes piling up everywhere! Another huge issue with storing things in cardboard boxes stacked on top of each other is that they always seem to fall apart – and it always feels like the boxes wait until you are carrying them to suddenly give out! That’s why bin organizers are a must.

Box Organizer PVC Storage Unit for Bins

Box Organizer PVC Storage Unit for Bins

So, while I was doing my yearly spring cleaning task, I decided that something had to be done about all of the clutter that was filling the basement and attic. I wanted something that would organize all of my family’s stored possessions in one easy-to locate place. What I was able to find that works perfectly is the Box Organizer PVC Storage Unit for Bins. This unit is made from durable PVC material, providing storing for up to 12 boxes! There are two types of storage bins that fit into this PVC unit – the 32-Gallon Folding Nylon Bins w/Lids – Set of 4 and the Plastic Storage Box (set of 4) 30 gallons.

The bins fit perfectly into the PVC unit, and can be slid out and opened. Now that I have this bin unit, I am sure where everything is at all times. I can even label the bins so it is easy and quick for me to find exactly what I am looking for. With up to 1200 pounds of storage capacity, I am still looking for items to store in this incredible storage unit!