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Posts Tagged ‘headlight’

 

Getting around Sitka on foot or on a bike is good for your health, and it’s good for the environment. However it’s important that these activities are done safely.

Doug Osborne of the Sitka Bicycle Friendly Community Coalition speaks about the importance of cities becoming more bicycle friendly. He also discussed upcoming projects by the coalition, and the importance for cyclists to wear bright, reflective clothes (such as his jacket) when they ride, especially during the dark winter months.

Doug Osborne of the Sitka Bicycle Friendly Community Coalition speaks about the importance of cities becoming more bicycle friendly during a 2012 Sitka Assembly meeting. He also discussed upcoming projects by the coalition, and the importance for cyclists to wear bright, reflective clothes (such as his jacket) when they ride, especially during the dark winter months.

Sitka can be dark, especially in winter, and many bicycle and walker injuries happen in low visibility. Drivers can only stop or swerve for the people they see, so having lights, reflectors and high-visibility coats provides a great protective factor.  Thanks to donations from LFS Marine Supply and Grunden’s, a dozen high-visibility jackets will be raffled at various locations throughout Sitka:

  • Sitka Community Hospital’s Oceanside Therapy Center,
  • Tongass Threads,
  • the Sitka Public Library,
  • the Hames Center,
  • Sitka Tribe of Alaska Social Services Office,
  • Swan Lake Senior Center,
  • Salvation Army Little Store,
  • Yellow Jersey Cycle Shop,
  • Keet Gooshi Heen Elementary School (2), and
  • Blatchley Middle School (2).

Having a coat that covers your whole upper body and can be seen from all sides is one way to be visible and stay seen as you walk the family dog, bike home from work, or go for a stroll anywhere near cars.

For more information on the “Be Safe and Seen in Sitka” campaign, contact Doug Osborne, Sitka Community Hospital’s Director of Health Promotion, at 747-0373.

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The Sitka Community Bike Ride is the perfect way to celebrate the spring and National Bike Month in May. It also is a chance to celebrate the 127th anniversary of the first bike seen in Sitka, which arrived in May 28, 1891, on the cruiser Mexico.

Join us on Saturday, May 26, at Totem Square (near the Petro Marine dock, where the Mexico likely docked) as we host a short kid-friendly bike parade through downtown starting at 11 a.m. (get there early for quick bike tune-up and door prize drawing). Riders are encouraged to bring classic and unusual bikes, if you have them.

We hope to have a bike stand and mechanic on hand to assist cyclists from 10:30 a.m. at Totem Square. People will be able to check chains, brakes, tire pressure and other minor maintenance needs, but won’t be able to do major repairs. We also hope someone will be available to help check bike helmet fits.

Since we will be on busy city streets for this event, we encourage everybody to wear helmets and bright clothing for safety reasons. All cyclists should ride on the right side of the road (with traffic) and ride in a predictable manner. We ask drivers to be aware there will be a lot of cyclists out on May 26 and to please slow down and give them a safe space to ride. Thanks.

We held a community bike ride a few years ago that had about 300-350 cyclists, so let’s see if we can top that crowd. We had a smaller crew at our community bike rides the last couple of years, but it’s still lots of fun.

For more information, contact the Doug Osborne at dosborne@sitkahospital.org.

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Sitka cyclists are hardy souls, and many of us ride our bikes all year round, not just in the summer. Now Sitka cyclists can ride and win prizes by participating in the sixth annual International Winter Bike To Work Day on Friday, Feb. 9. This year also is the third annual International Winter Bike To School Day on Feb. 9, so watch out for younger cyclists.

New this year, your ride on Feb. 9 can be used in the Winter Clean Commute Challenge, where people are encouraged to walk or bike instead of drive during the month of February.

Our celebration of winter cycling in Sitka will be simple. First, go to the International Winter Bike To Work Day website, http://winterbiketoworkday.org/, and commit to riding to work on Friday, Feb. 9 (people who work at home can use a bike ride for errands or sport as their bike commute for the day). Then, on Friday, Feb. 9, during your bike commute, stop by the Yellow Jersey Cycle Shop (329 Harbor Dr.) between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. to enter your name and phone number in a contest to win prizes, including a gift card from Yellow Jersey Cycle Shop and other goodies from businesses around town.

This is the sixth year of International Winter Bike To Work Day, which started when several communities in Canada challenged each other to see which one could have the highest number of bike commuters. In 2014 the event expanded outside Canada, and Sitka and Anchorage hosted events along with several other communities around the world’s polar regions. Sitka ended up having the second-highest number of participants per capita, trailing only Oulu, Finland, in 2014. We also were the smallest community to have at least 20 participants. In 2015, there were even more winter cyclists participating around the world, and Zagreb, Croatia, became the first community to have more than 1,000 cyclists participate. Zagreb also had the most participants in 2016 (Sitka finished 107th overall, even finishing ahead of some large cities). The 2017 standings link wasn’t working on the website, but Zagreb won again. There now are ways businesses and schools can compete.

For students, go to the International Bike To School Day website, http://winterbiketoschoolday.org/, and commit to riding to school on Friday, Feb. 9. All of Sitka’s public schools should be listed on the site (including the University of Alaska Southeast Sitka Campus). Teachers can do a quick, 30-second survey about how students got to school to help their school’s Bike-Walk-Roll Score.

We encourage all cyclists to be safe in their rides. They should wear helmets, wear bright reflective clothes, and have working solid white headlights in front and blinking red taillights in back. They also should follow all rules of the road, such as riding on the right side of the road (not on the sidewalk) and stopping at all stop lights/stop signs.

We are still gathering door prizes, and businesses or people wanting to donate door prizes to the event can contact Charles Bingham at 623-7660 or charleswbingham3@gmail.com for more information. We are looking for items such as gloves, reflective safety vests, water bottles, helmets, etc., although some businesses donated gift cards, bike books, or non-biking and non-winter items in past years.

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Sitka is lucky because our mild climate allows most of us to bike and walk throughout the winter. But cyclists and walkers also need to take care to make sure they can be seen by drivers, especially since there is so little daylight this time of year. In recent weeks the Sitka Police have recorded several car-walker, car-cyclist, and cyclist-walker collisions, and said visibility was an issue in most of them.

Take a look at the photo above. Can you see the cyclist? This cyclist just rode through one of Sitka’s best-lighted intersections (Lincoln Street and Lake Street), but he’s wearing dark clothes and you can’t see him even though he does have a working taillight. By the way, the cyclist is in the right center of the photo, between the car’s taillights and the fire hydrant, near the Moose Lodge parking lot. There also is a walker ready to cross the street in front of Stereo North, who has some reflective bands on his sleeves but could use a bright jacket.

This time of the year provides special problems when it comes to visibility. In addition to fewer daylight hours, there also are problems with window condensation in cars and the lower sun angles sometimes can be in the eyes of drivers.  When it rains or snows, that also can obscure visibility. Even though pedestrians aren’t in the roads as much as cyclists, they still need to be visible to traffic especially at driveways and other crosswalks.

So how do you make yourself more visible, like the cyclist in the second photo (in the orange jacket with reflective tape)?

First, Alaska state laws require cyclists riding outside the daylight hours to have at least one working headlight that can emit a beam of light for at least 500 feet, a working taillight that can be seen from at least 500 feet, and reflectors (see Page 2). To make themselves more visible and to help light their way, many Sitka cyclists will have more than one headlight, taillight and reflector on their bike.

Next, wear white or bright clothes that can be seen at night. Many Sitka cyclists and walkers have started wearing traffic yellow or traffic orange rain jackets, which are designed to be visible at great distances. Some of these jackets have built-in reflective tape. Other people wear reflective vests, similar to what construction workers wear.

Finally, get some reflective tape and wrap it around your bike frame. You can purchase your own reflective items at most outdoors gear stores in Sitka. The Alaska Injury Prevention Center in Anchorage used to provide free reflective tape by clicking this link (they may not have it available now), but the AIPC website has tips about how to Walk Safe and Bike Safe. The link has a chart showing how reflective tape can increase a person’s visibility, even more so than wearing lighter clothes. If you have kids who walk or bike a lot, put the reflective tape all over their clothes, backpacks and lunch pails. You also can find elastic bands with reflective tape, or reflective tape built into jackets, hats and even shoes.

Remember, we are sharing the roads and so we should do what we can to make it easier for drivers to see us. Not only should we Be Safe, Be Seen, but we also need to follow the rules of the road by riding our bikes on the right side of traffic (ride with traffic, and walk on the left facing traffic) and in a predictable manner.

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We had about 30-35 people show up on Saturday, May 6, for the annual Sitka Community Bike Ride, an event that helped kick off National Bike Month festivities in Sitka. It also was a chance to celebrate the 126th anniversary of the first bike seen in Sitka, which arrived in May 1891, on the cruiser Mexico.

The cyclists, who ranged in age from infant to their 70s, met at Totem Square Park, then rode down Lincoln Street through downtown Sitka to the Sitka National Historical Park entrance and back. This family friendly bike ride encouraged safety by having cyclists ride by the rules of the road — riding on the right side of the street with traffic, riding in a predictable manner, and wearing bike helmets and bright clothes/reflective items.

Other National Bike Month events in May include National Bike To School Day on Wednesday, May 10; the Sitka Bike Rodeo on Saturday, May 13; National Bike To Work Week on Monday-Friday, May 15-19; National Bike To Work Day on Friday, May 19; the Julie Hughes Triathlon on Saturday, May 20; and the Sitka Trail Works Cross Trail Bike Ride on Saturday, May 27. You can find out more details by going to the Sitka Cycling website, https://sitkacycling.wordpress.com, and scrolling down to see the event announcements.

A slideshow of scenes from the Sitka Community Bike Ride is posted below.

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Cyclists pose before the Sitka Community Bike Ride on Saturday, May 28, 2016, through downtown Sitka.

The Sitka Community Bike Ride is the perfect way to celebrate the spring and National Bike Month in May. It also is a chance to celebrate the 126th anniversary of the first bike seen in Sitka, which arrived in May 1891, on the cruiser Mexico.

Join us on Saturday, May 6, at Totem Square (near the Petro Marine dock, where the Mexico likely docked) as we host a short kid-friendly bike parade through downtown starting at 11 a.m. (get there early for quick bike tune-up and door prize drawing). We will have complimentary bottles of chain lubricant for the first 20 riders. At last year’s Sitka Community Bike Ride we celebrated our upgrade earlier that month to the Silver level in the Bicycle Friendly Community program (we were a Bronze level award winner in 2008 and 2012).

We hope to have a bike stand and mechanic on hand to assist cyclists from 10:30 a.m. at Totem Square. People will be able to check chains, brakes, tire pressure and other minor maintenance needs, but won’t be able to do major repairs. We also hope someone will be available to help check bike helmet fits.

Since we will be on busy city streets for this event, we encourage everybody to wear helmets and bright clothing for safety reasons. All cyclists should ride on the right side of the road (with traffic) and ride in a predictable manner. We ask drivers to be aware there will be a lot of cyclists out on May 6 and to please slow down and give them a safe space to ride. Thanks.

We held a community bike ride a few years ago that had about 300-350 cyclists, so let’s see if we can top that crowd. We had a smaller crew at our community bike rides the last couple of years, but it’s still lots of fun.

For more information, contact the Doug Osborne at dosborne@sitkahospital.org.

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bikesinrackbystoplight

billhughesbillfosteronbikesFor once Sitka had a bit of winter weather on International Winter Bike To Work/School Day, but there still were some hearty souls who braved the high winds, rain, hail, snow, ice and cold to ride their bikes on Feb. 10.

Our numbers were down a bit compared to past years, but more than a dozen cyclists filled out tickets at Yellow Jersey Cycle Shop to be entered into our local prize drawing. There were a couple of full bike racks around town, so more people probably rode than entered. We only had a couple of people register to ride on the international website, so Sitka didn’t do as well in the overall standings as it has in past years. In 2014, Sitka finished second in per capita number of riders.

bikeatarrowheadpressThe top community for the third straight year was Zagreb, Croatia, with 611 riders. Novi Sad, Serbia, took second place for the second straight year with 434 riders, followed by Umeå, Sweden, with 388 cyclists; 2014 winner Oulu, Finland, with 338 bikers; and Saint Petersburg, Russia, rounded out the top five with 320 cyclists. Rounding out the top 10 were Ljubljana, Slovenia, with 267; Copenhagen, Denmark, with 228; Nazilli, Turkey, with 207; Porsgrunn, Norway, with 199; and Montréal, Quebec, Canada, with 175 as the top North American city. Minneapolis was the top U.S. city with 117 riders.

Here are the prize winners from Friday (winners can pick up their prizes at Yellow Jersey Cycle Shop):

  • Brian Weddel — set of bike lights from Yellow Jersey Cycle Shop
  • Steve Gage — reflective rain jacket from Sitka Community Hospital
  • Brett Wilcox — long-sleeve t-shirt from Sitka Conservation Society
  • Bill Foster — short-sleeve t-shirt from Sitka Conservation Society
  • Alyssa Russell — water bottle from SEARHC

Thank you to those who rode, and to the businesses that donated prizes.

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