Bike Safety – It’s About Riders AND Bicycles Bike Safety: If you own and ride one; if you have a child still on training wheels or ride a recumbent bike; if biking is a passion or just a family activity; if you bike in New York City or in the rural English countryside, the consideration for bike safety should be the same. I know and understand both sides of the bike safety coin. I own and operate a company called Crate Works that is based in the Mt. Washington Valley of New Hampshire. We build packing crates for the ‘bike’ safety side of the coin, and we also sell reflective gear to protect the human side. Let’s talk a bit about the boxes. If you are thinking about taking a bike holiday, you have first to consider how to get your bike safely to your destination. Crate Works boxes are the strongest of their type on the market. We make them lighter than the hard cases sold by other bike crate manufacturers, which in turn makes them easier to check on as luggage or to ship separately to your destination. We make boxes for most budgets. If your bike is recumbent, we have only one option for you. Still, we do have you covered. Our boxes are built in components. An overview of the crates’ parts relates to all of our bike box options. The boxes consist of three main parts – the box itself, the upper interior (for wheels), and the lower interior (for frame, seat, and additional gear). Each part is made up of several components, but they add up to just three major sections of the crate. We know what kind of care a disassembled bike requires for a long trip, and we’ve addressed all aspects in our crate construction. The biggest asset beyond the safety of your bike? Your investment in a Crate Works bicycle box is solid. Because we can replace every part of your packing crate, its product life is indefinite! We have sold literally thousands of bike boxes in our ten years of business with only one report of mishap, and that was due to improper handling and not due to crate failure. Our Crate Works boxes have been to all corners of the world and, importantly, back again. Not only is there room for your bike, you can also pack lots of additional gear into one of our crates. In fact, more than one of our customers has packed in too much extra. Because the boxes were over the weight limit per item at that time, our customers had to unpack some gear at the airport. Keep that in mind, if you’re one who would pack gear with bike! Now, let’s talk about the human element of bicycle safety. We’ve come along way in the past 50 years in understanding how important protecting the cyclist is. Part of that is the emergence in the 1950’s of cycling as a competitive sport. Before that, the bicycle in some form was a novel means of transportation that had been in use since the introduction of the first officially recognized bicycle (the velocipede) in 1816. Two other major leaps in bicycle use are notable…the introduction in 1962 of the President’s Council of Physical Fitness created a renewed interesting in bicycling for fitness in recreation. Then, Earth day and the oil embargoes of the 1970’s created an environment that was highly conducive to bicycle advancement. By the time the first mountain bike was developed in 1977, cyclist safety was becoming part and parcel of bicycling. That isn’t to say that every cyclist wore protective gear every time they rode (we still can’t say that today), but inroads were being made. Bicycle helmets, at least, have become relatively prevalent in the U.S. For the bicycle enthusiast, the person who rides day or night, rain or shine, the most important thing after the bike helmet is being seen. The smart cyclist takes every precaution to make the bicycle and him or herself visible. Since bike enthusiasts share the roads with larger motorized vehicles, and since the roads do not always accommodate dedicated space for people-powered transportation, the onus is on the cyclists to be certain their larger, louder roadmates see them. We at Crate Works know that. We can put no less effort into protecting cyclists than we do in protecting their bikes. The hottest items we stock to that end are reflective wear manufactured in the U.S. by Jogalite. Jogalite sells the brightest products on the market using only quality materials. We carry a pretty extensive line of their reflective gear. There are different items for different sports including bicycling, running, and cross training We even have reflective items for dogs, if your best friend is involved with you in any of your sporting pursuits. A couple of items we stock are rated to military specs and used widely by the American military. For example, the High Visibility belt is standard issue for everyone entering the Military. In addition to reflective vests – the absolute minimum for a cyclist of any age (yes, we have children’s vests) to wear to be safe – we also carry reflective wrist wallets, weatherproof reflective tape for your bike or helmet, and reflective sash bands, wrist bands and shoe pockets, to name a few. But reflective wear is not the only means of being certain your place on the road is established. Lighting makes a big difference, too. We carry red and strobe safety lights, in addition to reflecting, for those conditions that require just a bit more visibility. If you’re not the bike enthusiast but want to get a gift for someone who is, we carry reflective gift packs for runners, cyclists, children and dogs. Since bike safety is our concern, we can leave out no one in our consideration for safety. To find out more information about our bicycle boxes or for a closer look at our wide selection of reflective gear, visit us on-line at http://crateworks.com/. If, after doing your research, you still have questions, please contact us. We’ve been in the business of bicycle safety for a long time and we’re happy to help you make the best decisions for your situation.