The University of Washington: Facilities Services

Bike Tales

Bike Tips and Tales

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Tips

Know an inexpensive way to keep your feet dry? Know the safest route from A to B? What bicycle gear and equipment passes your impossibly high standards?

Tales

You can exaggerate to entertain or edify, create a completely fictional story out of "whole cloth", or tell us the real facts. After all, truth can be stranger than fiction.

The Bike Tips and Tales page is provided for sharing information and stories and is not intended as a discussion board. Do you want to share a comment on Ride in the Rain? Have an idea that might make it better? Please send your comments, suggestions, complaints and more to us directly at riderain@u.washington.edu. We look forward to hearing from you.

Post your tip or tale here!


Your Favorite Tail Light

By on Oct 31, 2011 at 8:29 pm

This isn't a tip (or maybe it is) and it's not a tail (pun intended). What are you using for tail light(s)? I have two Planet Bike flashers - one on the seat stay and one on my back pack. I think one ought to have more lumens on the tail - what do you think?

Mon. 11/7: Learn How to Glow in the Dark (re "Favorite Tail Lights")

By on Nov 5, 2011 at 6:32 pm

I have a blinding Blackburn Flea front helmet light. Maybe the rear Flea is good?

Reflectivity can help as much as lighting. Find out at "See and Be Seen."

========================================================================================== SEE AND BE SEEN: REFLECTION FOR EVERYONE FREE Monday 11/7 Drop by Skagit Lane between 5:30 & 7 p.m.

See how your bike looks in car headlights. Learn how to glow in the dark. [a href](https://www.washington.edu/facilities/transportation/commuterservices/events/see-and-be-seen-%E2%80%93-reflection-everyone "More info, sign-up.")

Sponsored by U-Pass and Cascade Bicycle Club.

[This post is solely my opinion and does not reflect that of U-Pass, Cascade Bicycle Club, the League of American Bicyclists, SFR, the UW BGs, or 3:4 of my pet snails.]

Cindy

League Certified Instructor League of American Bicyclists

Mon. 11/7: Learn How to Glow in the Dark (re "Favorite Tail Lights")

By on Nov 5, 2011 at 6:35 pm

I have a blinding Blackburn Flea front helmet light. Maybe the rear Flea is good, too?

Reflectivity can be as important as lighting. Find out Monday at "See and Be Seen."

========================================================================================== SEE AND BE SEEN: REFLECTION FOR EVERYONE
FREE
Monday 11/7
Drop by Skagit Lane between 5:30 & 7 p.m.

See how your bike looks in car headlights. Learn how to glow in the dark. <a href="https://www.washington.edu/facilities/transportation/commuterservices/events/see-and-be-seen-%E2%80%93-reflection-everyone"> More info, sign-up.</a href>

Sponsored by U-Pass and Cascade Bicycle Club.

[Disclaimer: This post is solely my opinion and does not reflect that of U-Pass, Cascade Bicycle Club, the League of American Bicyclists, SFR, the UW BGs, or 3:4 of my pet snails.]

Cindy

League Certified Instructor
League of American Bicyclists

~20 rides in the first day and a half?

By John Vidale on Nov 2, 2012 at 6:25 pm

A couple of riders seem to be off to a VERY fast start.

Light right

By Steve N Kato on Nov 8, 2012 at 8:35 pm

Well, again this is not a story - but a tip maybe. I have a headlight that has a flashing mode, a steady mode, and other combinations. When I'm riding in traffic and there's enough street light I use flashing mode. Most other times I'm in steady mode. But there are those times when the pavement is dark and traffic is blinding and I need to use steady mode. But I think flashing mode has saved me a number of times - cars and pedestrians recognize me. The tip: consider changing modes as needed if you don't do so already.

Get a Spoke light to increase side visibility dramatically

By David McClellan on Nov 9, 2012 at 5:28 pm

I got a spoke light a week ago and I think it makes me a lot more visible to cars approaching from 90 degrees, that is from the side. I've got 3 headlights (one is a spare) and 2 taillights but had nothing from the side except spoke reflectors and reflector tape. I know from driving, it's pretty hard to see a biker crossing in front of you until they are right in your headlights. This light changes that big time. It emits a sort of spooky-alien green light, so it's also very cool. I got mine on Amazon because I couldn't find it in the bike shops nearby.

Wheel Lights

By Judith Wood on Nov 9, 2012 at 6:43 pm

I just got motion-activated flashers that attach to your tire stem. There were several options at Gregg's Greenlake Cycle. I agree with the poster who mentioned that spoke/wheel lights or reflectors really help drivers recognize a bike from different angles besides head-on or behind.

Scary Ride

By Steve N Kato on Nov 19, 2012 at 9:30 pm

Well, last Friday was the scariest ride so far. Last Friday's fog was dangerous. I was crossing the floating bridge and I finally caught and passed someone. It was a hollow victory though because I saw the rider sticking a leg out - the typical position I use when I've got a cramp. Since it was cold I tried peddling a little harder. I went through the tunnel, crossed 23rd, and starting heading down the hill toward Rainier Ave. It was so dark and so foggy I could not even see the trail or where it ended. I had to guess where the trail was. Cars were no problem, neither were other cyclists, but I hoped there were no pedestrians on the trail because I wouldn't be able to see them until it was too late. I had the brakes on all the way down the hill. It got so bad I almost got off the bike to walk. What's your scary ride?

Worst and scariest rides

By John Vidale on Nov 23, 2012 at 5:07 pm

In response to Steve's request for anecdotes - scary-fun is riding behind the baseball field and across the Union Bay Natural Area in the pitch black to return home. The giant potholes behind the field are land mines. Staying on the gravel trail is guesswork and dead reckoning.

Today was the worst - hard cold rain, and discovering my building key had fallen off the key case, and so immediately repeating the chilly soak on the way home.

Entering the University Bridge

By Adelia Yee on Dec 3, 2012 at 8:27 pm

Always be careful getting onto the University Bridge from Pacific. It might be a little easier for cyclists, but watch out if your bike is on a bus. Buses have rear-ended drivers, thus crushing bicycles on the rack.

Some of my Nov 2012 rides

By Steve N Kato on Dec 3, 2012 at 11:50 pm

The frost - I managed to ride through morning frost on the Mercer Slough trail.

The I-90 bridge going east - I trailed two cyclists, hearing a skidding of tires by the trailing rider as the lead rider unexpectedly braked hard riding down the ramp. I decided such shenanigans justified me drafting them across the bridge. Then as they kept up an uneven pace, I had to pass them leaving them way behind. Just as I'm heading up the ramp on the east side of the bridge, the lead rider passes me and slows down in front of me (ever have someone do that in a car?!). I then pass him again and keep up the pace to finally drop him. Ha!

My showdown with a car was as I was waiting for the light to change at Jackson and 21st(?). The car was pointed east and turning left to go north - I was in my lane pointing south. The car rushed to clear the intersection but was headed straight toward me! A foot in front of me it stopped and swerved to my left.

Winning Route

By John Temple Mudge III on Dec 12, 2012 at 3:17 am

Greetings,

After the luncheon today, I received a fair number of questions about my route and riding distance. Since I do ride a very long commute, I thought it would help to give some details about how I ride. The route is longer on the way home.

In short, on the way to campus, it's a straight shot from Benson to Ranier Ave., to Lake Wa blvd, and side streets to campus. On the way home, I follow the same route until after Ranier Ave, when I turn off and head to downtown Kent. This is to avoid a steep climb up the hill.

I did create a Google map that shows my route to the general vicinity of where I live, if anyone is curious: https://www.google.com/maps/ms?msid=207010785048078775141.0004d09ed183c0edefcaf&msa=0

Hope it helps!

Sincerely, Jack Mudge