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This is a great spot to post on the upcoming Bike Winter workshop:  Make it Reflective! that Willow and I will be hosting over at Active Trans on Dec. 5.  I'm trying to organize another workshop for next week but I'm having trouble finding a central location for it.

 

Re. people who don't have lights... I see it as my personal mission in life to hand out blinkies and front lights.  I carry at least 2 flashlights on me at all times.  I frequently hand out a $4 LED flashlight with a fat rubberband wrapped around it.  You can buy these at most hardware stores, some Walgreens, grocery stores, etc.  It takes literally 5 seconds to mount it to their handlebars, and people are so universally grateful for it.  Almost no one knows that front lights are the law in IL.    The blinkies I buy are from trade show premiums, and run about $1.50/piece if you buy 75 or more.  You can also spend a bit more (about $3/light) to get a bike mounted blinkie from China.  Yes, I know this is not the best sort of business to support (buy local!), but I can't afford to buy these for freebies if they aren't super cheap.  

 

Jane

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One simple way to test your bike's reflectivity is to shoot a flash photo of it in a dimly lit room:

Also people might want to get some new batteries.I see a whole lot of cyclist with lights that are barely blinking and they think that is OK.

I've sometimes gone weeks when my rear blinkie was probably a lot dimmer than I realized, then noticed it when viewing my bike from a different angle, or when someone pointed it out. 

 

Good test - if you're next to a car or store window (assuming it's clean) and can't see the blinkie reflected back at you, it might be too dim.  Step back and look at it from at least 10 feet away.  If it doesn't look really bright from that distance (especially if you're not sure when you last replaced your batteries), it's probably time for fresh batteries.  Better to be visible and keep yourself safer on the road.

 

Adding reflective materials to your clothing and/or bags is great for supplementing your lights, but they won't take the place of your lights.  I went to the "make it reflective" workshop last year.  It was great fun, and I added reflective stripes to the sleeves of one of my winter jackets, which makes turn signals more visible to drivers.  What do you want to make reflective?


Ace Mann said:

Also people might want to get some new batteries.I see a whole lot of cyclist with lights that are barely blinking and they think that is OK.

Jane,

If you would like to use the REI Lincoln Park Community Room for your meeting space next week we have some openings:

Sun 11/6 anytime 11a - 5p

Mon 11/7 anytime 10a - 8p

Thurs 11/10 anytime 10a - 4p

Fri 11/11 anytime 10a - 3p or 6p - 8p 

Sat 11/12 anytime 10a - 8p

 

Give me a call or shoot me an email to discuss details.

Thanks!

-Elliot

elbenne@rei.com

312-951-6020



Anne Alt said:

I've sometimes gone weeks when my rear blinkie was probably a lot dimmer than I realized, then noticed it when viewing my bike from a different angle, or when someone pointed it out. 

 

I'm not sure the exact specifics but I've always understood that there's some ambiguity in the law regarding rear lights.  E.g. the law doesn't precisely spell out whether it's acceptable to have a rear light in lieu of a reflector.  Portland design works makes a pretty sweet reflector/light combo for bikes called the radbot and fenderbot that combines a pretty strong light with a cpsc reflector so that you're covered either way and as a bonus you're still covered  if your batteries die or get really weak.

anyone know the effectiveness of reflective spray?   can see myself getting a little carried away with this if it is effective.

 

http://www.grainger.com/Grainger/RUSTOLEUM-Reflective-Aerosol-Spray...

You mean like this?

 



iggi said:

anyone know the effectiveness of reflective spray?   can see myself getting a little carried away with this if it is effective.

 

http://www.grainger.com/Grainger/RUSTOLEUM-Reflective-Aerosol-Spray...

A couple event types still missing from the Bike Winter lineup--

anyone interested in helping organize of hosting a fleece-making party? Or a how-to workshop?

Elliot, you are a Godsend!  That would be fantastic.  Can we plug in a sewing machine and can we use table space?

 

I've got an email out to Willow to see if she is available on Sunday.  I'd love to host something before the time change really gets into effect.

 

Thanks!

Jane

I'm happy to host! How about Sunday, November 20 around noon?

wn said:
Julie started a group for cutting/sewing parties: Fleece Brigade for Bike Winter As usual, if someone hosts a cutting party, I can take the cut fleece home to sew.


Is there such a thing as a cutting and sewing party? Would love to drag my unused sewing machine somewhere and see it get some use.

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