Fall’s milder temperatures are perfect for biking in Southwest Florida’s beauty. For all cyclists, safety is priority number one, and technology is here to help with some new products that are a long way from handlebar bells and clip-on reflectors.
Suit up. Helmets aren’t required for anyone over 16, but Jane Cheffy, president of the Naples Pathways Coalition, says wearing one is the best way to avoid potentially fatal injuries. Recent technology and style upgrades make finding the right one easy. Here are two to consider:
- Giro’s Reverb (left) line features a simple molded design and the detachable baseball cap-like visor means there’s no need to double up.
- The Rudy Project asked elite athletes to help design the new Airstorm (right); improvements include increased venting to keep cool and a chinstrap that can be adjusted with one hand on the go.
Seen (and Heard). According to a study by the League of American Bicyclists, Florida is the most dangerous state for cyclists. One common complaint is riders not being noticed by drivers. Jonathan Lansey was so fed up he invented a unique horn called Loud Bicycle (right) to address it. He raised more than $50,000 through crowd-funding website Kickstarter to bring his vision to life. Because the device trills like a car horn, drivers are sure to notice.
And for those nighttime rides when visibility is even more diminished, the innovative See.Sense cycle light uses sensor technology to detect and react to your surroundings, shining brighter in the darkness of an underpass or flashing in case of sudden braking.
|Find your way. For those who prefer to blaze their own trail, with the Garmin Edge 1000 you’re never alone. The bike-mounted GPS-enabled unit arrives preloaded with paths and can guide riders back to the start with turn-by-turn directions.|
Finishing touches. Don’t risk getting a shopping bag or purse strap tangled in gears and spokes. Linus infuses its city-chic aesthetic into each product, such as the coated canvas Harrison, a mountable briefcase that’s equally stylish while commuting or working. The waterproof, reflective Barista (below) from Ortlieb USA, with contrasting leather trim, a shoulder strap and utilitarian look, will ensure no one will ever suspect it was designed to be attached to a bike.
Of course, high-tech gear is no replacement for riding smart. Always ride with the flow of traffic, use hand signals and never wear earbuds when you ride. “Cyclists have the right to be on the road, but they have to follow the rules,” Cheffy says.