More and more adults in cities throughout the U.S. are riding their bikes to get to work and run errands these days. While this is good for people’s hearts, waistlines, and wallets, it can also mean more visits to the emergency room. According to a recent study in JAMA, hospital admissions more than doubled between 1998 and 2013 – and many of these involved cyclists aged 45 and over.
Whether you’re pursuing your dream of racing the Tour de France or just trying to get to the corner store, the following 5 innovations can help make your ride better – and safer – in 2016 and beyond.
Image credit: lumoshelmet.co
Brake, turn signal, and front lights – all in one helmet! Lumos built in an accelerometer that detects speed reductions and illuminates brake lights. A wireless switch mounted to the handlebar allows riders to illuminate turn signals without relying on hand signals. The helmet is recharged with a micro-USB charger, and its water-resistant design means that you can use it even in a downpour.
Availability: April 2016
Image credit: blaze.cc/laserlight
With Blaze Laserlights’ powerful combination of LED and laser projection, cyclists are more visible – keeping everyone on the road safer and out of the emergency room. Blaze projects a bike symbol on the road ahead, creating a bike lane even where there is none. And even citywide bike-sharing networks are starting to get into the action – starting in London, which installed the technology on thousands of Santander bikes.
Image credit: connectedcycle.com/#pedal
After receiving rave reviews at International CES 2015 and incredible support in Indiegogo, smart cycling is becoming a reality. The Connected Cycle pedal provides a simple solution to bike theft. Whenever the bike is moved, the pedal notifies the owner’s smartphone immediately with the bike’s location. Not only does this deter theft, but it also helps you locate where you last parked your bike.
Availability: April 2016
Image credit: itunes.apple.com/st-john-ambulance-first-aid
While we hope you’ll never need a mobile app like this, it can be lifesaving. St. John Ambulance (UK) created this free global mobile app to guide riders through first-aid treatment for a variety of common cycling-related injuries, offering step-by-step advice and diagrams for roadside care and instructions for dealing with a serious emergency.
Image credit: hammerhead.io/#
Like most of us, you’re probably guilty of using traditional GPS methods (most likely, a mobile app or two) when navigating the roadway. With the Hammerhead, you can tuck away your smartphone and rely on this GPS device, which mounts firmly on your handlebars. No, it doesn’t provide turn-by-turn directions with a polite disembodied voice, nor does it dangerously distract your attention to read texts. Using a combination of smartphone apps such as Strava and MapMyRide, the device uses light signals to indicate turns. Riders will be able to use Hammerhead on bike-share bicycles in major U.S. cities as well as Canada, United Kingdom, and Australia.
Availability: In development
Want more on how innovative technology can improve lives? See The Technology That Could Help Improve Employee Engagment.