Tips for riders ready to go, even when their crew isn’t
It’s springtime and you’ve been staring at your unridden bike, your stead, your beloved chariot, for way too long. It, she, or he (this is a judgment-free zone if you love your bike enough to name and gender it) is calling you. It’s time to go on a two-wheeled adventure, whether your ride group is ready to join you or not.
In the case of “or not,” there are still plenty of ways to make sure your rides are safe - for your sake, for your loved one’s sake, and for the sake of a long bike season. From one cyclist to another, I present to you, a mix of tips both well-known and not, to make your solo rides safer.
Tip #1: Know where you’re going
Not so much in the literal sense, but more so know what environment you’re going to be in. Quick anecdote time … I was on a mountain bike trip in an area I had never ridden before. Before embarking on a ride, I noticed there were many stores displaying bear spray front center. Curious, I inquired why. The response? “There’s a high chance of running in a grizzly bear, or WORSE, an angry moose along your ride!” I’ve never whipped out a credit card faster. Moral of the story is, do your research, know your environment, and come prepared. This includes those road rides! Busy road? Don’t wear in-ear audio (we have a product for that, info below!). Rural road? That brings me to tip #2.
Tip #2: Tell people where you’re riding
Not to be that person, but you just never know what you’re going to encounter on those rural roads and out-there adventures. Put yourself and your loved ones at ease and let SOMEONE know two things: your route, and when he or she should expect to hear from you. We have a streamlined and SUPER easy way to do this, with one of Aleck gadgets, so just keep reading (or skip to tip #5 if you’re already antsy to ride).
Tip #3: Carry the extra weight
Listen, I’m all for lightening the load, but when you’re riding alone just be smart and wear the damn backpack. You probably already have a hip pack, a pannier, or a small riding backpack. You probably already have a way to bring extra water on your ride. I’d also bet, you probably already have a small first aid kit (if not, I’m calling your mom and you’re in trouble). Bring the backpack, get some essentials in there, and ride on. Bonus: carrying the extra weight will only make you stronger!
Tip #4: Be safe (duh)
Hey, I didn’t say all these tips were going to be groundbreaking. When you’re riding alone, it goes without saying that you should be riding safely! That means the jumps you usually send should be given a second thought, and the speed you normally take should perhaps be a little slower. For those of you who have one speed, though, you better at least wear a helmet, particularly of the full-face variety (like this sick Bell helmet, pictured) if you’re prone to catching air or top speeds. It’s 2023 … these helmets are comfortable and airy.
Tip #5: Ride with Aleck
You had to know it was coming, but Aleck really has some products you should consider for these early-season solo rides.
First and foremost, the Tocsen Crash Sensor. A self-explanatory product, but with a few key features that set our impact detection apart. This crash sensor is helmet-mounted and will only measure hard impacts (the ones you want to be detected). In the event of a crash, the Tocsen Crash Sensor will send an alarm through your phone that you have 30 seconds to turn off. If you don’t manually turn off the alarm, an alert will go to your emergency contact list set up within the Tocsen app (free on Google Play and App Store) as well as anyone else with the app within 3km (1.87mi) of you: your Heroes Nearby. When riding in an area with no cell service, you can also set a “back home” timer as an added safety precaution.
We’ve also launched a first-of-its-kind audio and comms device for your bike helmet: the Aleck Punks. The Punks boast near-ear audio - safer for cyclists - and you can also set up a group within the Aleck app that allows people to see your location. The Punks offer so many amazing features (which you can check out here) but in regards to safety, those top the list.
If you can’t rally your biking buddies to embrace the early season sends, I hope these tips resonate with you. Alternatively, I hope these tips resonate with your family and friends who now, won’t let you ride without knowledge, protection, and Aleck.