No matter how some drivers resent it, summer is the time of bicyclists. Even if you have a car, you may want to take your bike out for a ride periodically, or even switch over to bicycle transport entirely. If you’re going to be on your bike a lot this summer, follow these bicycle safety rules to keep yourself and others safe.
Before you go out on your bike, check it for mechanical problems. Underinflated tires, faulty brakes, and tangled chains are all things that can make you fall or even run into a car or another bicyclist. Make sure you know the traffic laws and how bicycling relates to them. Mostly, you’ll just be following regular traffic laws, so always signal before turning, stop at stop signs, and stay in the far right lane.
The key to being a safe bicyclist is being predictable, and following traffic laws is part of that. It’s also about making what you intend to do next obvious to the people around you with hand signals and looks.
After a long, blissful period of gas prices consistently below two dollars, they’re starting to go back up again. It’s a shame, but there are ways we can conserve fuel without going back to the bank-breaking fill-ups of yesteryear. Here are some quick tips on saving gas as prices shoot up this summer.
First of all, slow down. That’s really the easiest way to save gas. Cars get their best mileage around 60 mph, which is part of why we use less gas on the freeway, so going 80 isn’t doing you any favors. Plus, when you’re going slower, you don’t need to brake as hard or suddenly—another thing that uses up a lot of fuel.
Keep an eye on tire pressure—low pressure means more fuel use!
You should also keep in mind that rolling your windows down at speeds under 45 mph is better than using air conditioning, but as soon as you get up above that, the AC is more efficient than having the windows down because the drag from the wind reduces aerodynamics.
Don’t idle when you can help it, so avoid left turns even if it takes you a bit out of the way.
Thinking about taking a road trip anytime soon? While it’s always nice to leave the technology behind, these great road trip apps can really enhance your experience!
# 1 – Waze
If you don’t have Waze by now, you are really missing out. Crowd-sourcing traffic info is simply brilliant. You won’t find more up-to-date traffic data anywhere. Plus, you can ask other Waze users about attractions as you come into a new area.
# 2 – TollSmart
Planning on traveling to a location where there are tollbooths everywhere? TollSmart helps you find out exactly how much upcoming tolls are.
# 3 – GasBuddy
Ever get off on an exit to get gas and the prices are super high? Sometimes you feel compelled to buy the gas anyway in order not to waste time. You won’t have to go through that again with GasBuddy.
# 4 – Roadside America
Tired of mainstream attractions? The Roadside America app will help you find offbeat, weird, and otherwise strange attractions nearby.
# 5 – Spotify
What’s a road trip without great jams? There are lots of great music streaming apps out there but Spotify is one of the best. Pick a human-curated playlist, lower the windows, and crank up the volume!
Staying away from fast food when you’re on a road trip can be seriously difficult, and if you have dietary restrictions like food allergies, it’s even worse. Is it even possible to eat well on a road trip? We have some tips for you to stay healthy.
Tip #1: Bring your own meals, as many as you can. Get a cooler and bring fresh fruit with you, maybe a veggie tray, sandwiches, granola bars, nuts, and other healthy snacks. Eat these instead of stopping at McDonald’s. It’s cheaper, too, and it’s not like you can’t stop at a grocery store instead of a fast food joint.
Tip #2: Eat often and eat small portions. Being super-full on the road is never good, and eating small amounts of healthy food frequently will keep you energized and feeling refreshed.
Tip #3: Get protein. Nuts are a great source of protein, they’re easy to eat, and they keep well!
Tip #4: Drink lots of fluids, preferably water and juice. They keep your hunger down.
Tip #5: If you stay in hotels, eat breakfast. This will keep your energy up throughout the day!
In today’s world, drivers are always looking for ways to obtain a better fuel economy. However, you don’t need a fancy hybrid car to accomplish this goal. Here are some simple ways to improve fuel efficiency.
Don’t Slam on the Accelerator or Brakes
When you suddenly stop or start your car, you are also decreasing your fuel efficiency. In order to avoid higher prices at the pump, be sure to accelerate and coast at a more manageable rate.
Drive the Speed Limit
Speeding is not only unethical, it’s also inefficient. When you accelerate to speeds faster than 50 mph, your gas mileage decreases exponentially. A steadier pace will win the race in the long run.
Lighten Your Load
Packing the back of your car with too much stuff can really hurt your fuel economy. For every additional 100 pounds of cargo, your fuel efficiency decreases by 1%. By removing unneeded weight from the car, you can save some much-needed money.
For a long time, Porsche and Volkswagen vehicles were unique for being air-cooled. These days, these machines are liquid-cooled. The way it works is that the heat from your engine passes into the fluid and then the fluid passes through your radiator where it is cooled and heads back to your engine to absorb more heat.
The coolant system on your vehicle is a vital system so it is always a good idea to make sure it is healthy. How can you help maintain your coolant system?
Check for leaks
Always be on the lookout for leaks. A hose is the usual suspect as hoses can occasionally fail. In the case of a leak, you might see radiator fluid on the ground where your car has been parked. You might also see it, or feel it, on one of the hoses. A leaky radiator is a serious issue. In any case, you should never drive a car leaking fluid. Have a professional examine the car as soon as possible.
Maintain Proper Fluid Levels
Coolant does contain water so it can evaporate over time. Check your coolant level from time to time and, if you need to, add more. Your coolant system is pressurized and should never normally need large amounts of fluid. If it does, there’s likely a leak.
Never Drive an Overheating Vehicle
If you notice that your temperature gauge is rising, or you see steam coming from under your hood, immediately pull over and turn off your engine. Overheating can do serious damage to a vehicle, even totaling it.