Saturday, May 10, 2014

Light up your bike!

Put a light on it! Seriously!
A friend of mine who lives in Newtown recently posted this on her Facebook:

"ok so I'm not anti cyclist. in fact i love cycling and support it but here's what I hate about Newtown cyclists:
1. they wear black, don't have lights and it gets dark early now so I've nearly killed two of them on my way home from work, despite being super careful
2. many don't wear helmets especially the young women who want their hair to blow free as they ride their retro expensive bikes with baskets on the front. Guess what it's not the French countryside, it's f***ing King Street
3. Tired of being almost killed on King St they ride like maniacs on the footpath taking out kids and old people
I know this post isn't PC and it's the government's fault for not providing bus lanes but can I appeal to hipster riders to think safety before fashion please?
And hope my other half who has no lights on his bike gets home ok."
I have to agree with her, well mostly, I don't think helmets should be compulsory and as she lives in Newtown and works in the next suburb you have to wonder why she's driving at all. If she really wants everyone to be safe maybe she should lead by example and get herself (a well lit) bicycle. Still people should have lights. I've nearly crashed into other cyclists while riding because they didn't have lights and just appeared out of nowhere.  

In NSW it is a legal requirement to have lights on your bike if you're riding in the dark and yes you can be fined for not having them.
- A steady or flashing white light that is clearly visible for at least 200 metres
- A flashing or steady red light that is clearly visible for at least 200 metres from the rear of the bike
- A red rear reflector that is clearly visible for 50 metres when light is projected onto it by a vehicle's headlight on low beam
Lights don't have to be expensive so why wouldn't you put some on your bike? 

Maybe you think it's all a bit of a bore, being safe and obeying the law but you know you can get pretty artistic with lights. There's a whole page full of suggestions over at the Feather Brigade. It even has links as to where to buy them. 
Or if you're really cool you could go full Japanese Dekochari on it!

Anyway enough lecturing, the real reason I came on here today was to invite you to this.

The Third Annual Velo Vivid Spectacular!

Its that time of year again!  Get your tyres pumped, your bike all shiny and source your lights now to join us for this years ride to Vivid Festival 2014.  We do this ride to encourage the bicyclists of Sydney to be more VISIBLE while riding at night, the reactions from the Vivid crowds make it all the more fun.  This is our third annual Vivid ride so lets make it even more spectacular!!!

Where:  Meeting at 6pm for a 6.30pm start at the front of Fisher Library at Sydney Uni
When: Sunday - 25th May 2014
Route:  Through Glebe, along the Glebe Foreshore then past the Fish Markets along Prymont waterfront.  Crossing Prymont Bridge and heading past Bunnerong to The Rocks.  Ends at Circular Quay!
Bring:  Bike decorated with lights, helmet, lock, money for a drink or two.
This is a social slow-paced easy ride.  Upon reaching Circular Quay you are welcome to explore Vivid yourselves or join us at a local pub (yet to be decided).  Invite your friends, lovers, Grandmas, and obscure associates!

Everyone welcome!  Please come ready to ride.  This is an illuminated bike ride meaning the more ridiculous lights, high vis, and glow that your bike has the better.  Think battery-powered fairy lights, glowsticks, led lights, high vis wear, EL wire.  All cheaply available from $2 shops and Ebay.
I have included links below to help you get lights, find images from other years for inspiration. 
See you there!

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