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Sunday sermon

... and Cycling Tip No. 2.

Offered collectively by the gang at Mathieu's Cycle & Fitness

* No matter your skill level on the bike, we highly recommend the use of flashing lights — front- and especially rear-mounted ones — while road riding.

And if I might add ...

Every year people ask me what my goal is for the upcoming cycling season. Instinctively, I know that inquiry usually entails the number of miles that will be ridden. While I may have a vague figure in mind, I always answer with "I just want to be safe."

Lights by Bontrager.

The benefits of climbing aboard these two-wheeled fun machines are many, but truth be told, sharing the road with vehicles can be dangerous. I was reading the other day that cycling fatalities have increased by 25 percent since 2010 — and pedestrian deaths are up a whopping 45 percent. So anything we, as cyclists, can do to minimize the risks just makes sense.

While wearing a helmet — without one I just feel naked — should be a given, I strongly believe that having flashing lights is just as important. It is mandatory equipment on all my bikes. I have had countless motorists come up beside me, roll down their window and say "Thanks for using those lights. I could see you from a long distance away."

I'm guessing the mind-set for many riders is getting around the additional cost for lights when they just shelled out a bucket of money for a bike. A valid point, but also a pointless one as far as I'm concerned.

The lights I use are from Bontrager. Yes, they are a little pricey, but the visual distance they can be seen from is two kilometers — even in daylight. Less expensive ones can be found through Planet Bike and others.

The point is, please make every effort to use flashing lights. Yes, road riding can be a perilous journey — even in Maine. I just think using them saves lives.

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