RAGBRAI XLII Countdown – July 20-26, 2014
Friends of RAGBRAI

Ride Right

RIDE RIGHT Safety Tip #2: The RIGHT Gear



By Mark Wyatt, Iowa Bicycle Coalition

Almost all RAGBRAI riders will agree that a helmet is an essential piece of equipment that every rider needs.  A helmet will protect your brain if you are involved in a crash.  Lights are required if you ride after sundown or before sunrise and could prevent you from being involved in a crash.

If you have ridden RAGBRAI before, you already know that it is pretty rare to see someone without a helmet.  If you are one of the new riders, get a nice helmet and remember to pack it.

There is more to it than having a helmet.  You need the RIGHT gear.  Pick a helmet that is comfortable and well fitted.   All new helmets meet the same safety standard set by the Consumer Product Safety Commission regardless of cost.  Look for a CPSC sticker on the inside of the helmet.

The helmet should be adjusted properly to fit your head.  Make sure the helmet is level and covers your forehead.  There should only be two fingers width between the bottom of the helmet and your eyebrows.

If your helmet has a retention ring (the dial that tightens around the circumference of your head), make sure it is snug.  Test by shaking your head “no”.  Your helmet should move with your head and not wiggle independently.

Finally, adjust the straps.  The straps should meet in a “V” shape just below your ears.  The chin strap should be tight enough that you can only fit two fingers between your chin and the strap.

Nothing screams “Newbie” like an ill-fitting helmet.

Lights are another essential piece of the RIGHT Gear.  I have to be honest – I no longer pack a headlight or taillight for RAGBRAI.  I’ve used it once in my 10 years of RAGBRAI.  I plan my ride to be complete before dark.

There is plenty of daylight to ride each RAGBRAI day.  The RAGBRAI route and services times are set to encourage riders to be in before dark.  For safety’s sake, plan to be in before dark on RAGBRAI.

If you ride before sunrise or after sunset, remember lights are required by the Iowa Code.  Bicyclists must have a white headlight and red taillight or reflector.  They must be visible for 300 feet.  There are plenty of good lights available with a variety of options.  Check with your local bicycle shop for details and prices.

You can do more to be visible at night.  Reflective vests or clothing, additional lights, and blinking lights could prevent you from being involved in a crash.

As you begin your training for RAGBRAI, be sure you have a helmet that fits and meets the CPSC standards.  The helmet and straps should be adjusted for maximum protection.  .  If you are going to ride at night, the law requires you have a headlight and taillight or reflector.

If you are going to ride RAGBRAI safely, you are going to keep in mind the following safety tips:

1. The RIGHT stuff.

2. The RIGHT gear.

3. The RIGHT communications.

4. The RIGHT riding.

5. The legal RIGHT.

6. The RIGHT frame of mind.

7. The RIGHT abilities

8. The RIGHT attitude

9. The RIGHT attention.

10. The RIGHT condition

Mark Wyatt is the executive director of the Iowa Bicycle Coalition, a statewide advocacy organization for bicycling.  Mark is also a League Cycling Instructor (LCI), board member for the Alliance for Bicycling and Walking.  More information about the Iowa Bicycle Coalition can be found at www.iowabicyclecoalition.org.  

 

1 Response on “RIDE RIGHT Safety Tip #2: The RIGHT Gear

Abbey Schott

January 2, 2014 at 4:30 pm

Wow, that girl in the pinkish helmet, that’s me!!! And I’m now 14, wow.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

Advertisement

Latest Blog Posts

  • Rock Valley's Jaydn Faber Wins the RAGBRAI Kid's Art Contest

    The children of the RAGBRAI XLII overnight communities were invited to participate in the annual RAGBRAI Kids’ Art Contest.  The contest called for students in kindergarten through fifth grade to ...

  • RAGBRAI Training: Don’t put your bike away now!

    Well, another RAGBRAI is done and in the books. I hope you enjoyed yourself and I also hope this blogs gave you some advice that helped you prepare adequately for ...

  • Top 10 things we'll remember about RAGBRAI XLII

    After 42 years, each ride can seem pretty much like the one before -- except when they don't.

  • RAGBRAI celebrity Taco Johnson helps dad, son connect

    How to make the boy understand and simultaneously stay better connected with him throughout the week? Eureka! The universal, ageless antidote for the doldrums: Legos.

  • Beer ride: Microbrews catch up on RAGBRAI

    RAGBRAI has a reputation for being awash in light beer from corporate breweries. Yet more craft brewers are training palates at the state's biggest rolling party.

  • Conquered: What cyclists defeated to finish RAGBRAI

    This was only my fourth time on the Register’s Annual Great Bicycle Ride Across Iowa, and yet I struggle to conjure an appropriate description of this bizarre, beloved pilgrimage that ...

  • Colorado couple undaunted by RAGBRAI's tiny hills

    Dave and Kathi Dibbern perched themselves on a tree stump Saturday in Garber, the final pass-through town before RAGBRAI’s finish line in Guttenberg. They ride a tandem bicycle. And they’re unafraid ...

  • Video: How does it feel to finish RAGBRAI?

    Riders react at the Guttenberg dip site.

  • Video: Whoa! RAGBRAI riders overlook the scenic view in Guttenberg

    Riders stopped for photos on a bluff overlooking the mighty Mississippi River at Guttenberg.

  • "Strawberry Shortcake" greets RAGBRAI riders

    The 15-year-old Starmont High School student hands out strawberry hard candies to RAGBRAI riders in Strawberry Point

Latest Videos

  • A group of friends from Canada spent the week on RAGBRAI and recount their best moments.

  • As RAGBRAI XLII comes to an end, friends from California talk about the emotion behind dipping their tires into the Mississippi River at the end of the ride.

  • Riders react at the Guttenberg dip site.

  • Riders stopped for photos on a bluff overlooking the mighty Mississippi River at Guttenberg.

  • Iowan "Bachelorette" competitor Chris Soules greets riders in Strawberry Point

  • Former Iowa Hawkeye and NFL tight end Dallas Clark talks about his second RAGBRAI and his hope of someday moving his family back to Iowa.

  • The LeBeaus are known as royalty in Iowa and for their funky socks!

  • Jason Pardie, of Muscatine, is participating in his sixth RAGBRAI on a unicycle.

  • The LeBeaus are known as royalty on RAGBRAI and for their funky socks.

  • A Dutch woman describes the differences of biking in the Netherlands and biking in Iowa.

Find us socially

Email Signup

Sign up for the latest RAGBRAI news and notes (if there is no news in a day, you won’t get an e-mail).

© 2014 RAGBRAI | Terms of Service | Privacy Policy