Thursday, July 28, 2011

Walk Through the Door

"I see it in your eyes. You have the look of a man who accepts what he sees because he is expecting to wake up.... Let me tell you why you're here. You're here because you know something. What you know you can't explain, but you feel it. You've felt it your entire life, that there's something wrong with the world. You don't know what it is, but it's there, like a splinter in your mind.... I'm trying to free your mind, Neo. But I can only show you the door. You're the one who has to walk through it." --- Morpheus in the movie The Matrix

Read that quote from the book Why We Love Dogs, Eat Pigs, and Wear Cows by Dr. Melanie Joy. That quote resonated in me and I felt like sharing.

Friday, July 22, 2011

10 Laws You Might be Breaking

If you have ever ridden a bicycle, you probably broke the law without even being aware of it.

My Experience

In an attempt to be more eco-conscious, I have been using my bike as my main mode of transportation. Previously, I used my bike as a form of recreation; using it as a means of fitness as I traveled throughout my State Park. Out of ignorance and feelings of invincibility, I never paid much attention to rules and regulations. One day while riding my bike on the shoulder of the road, I almost was hit by a motorcycle. It was obvious to me that the motorcyclist was shaken and apologetic as he continued on and I was left to wonder: what would have happened if I was struck? Who was at fault? I was riding with traffic, but with no helmet. The motorcyclist clearly was riding in the shoulder instead of the lane. I then started to investigate the bike laws of New York State. Was I required to wear a helmet? Was I supposed to be riding with or against traffic?
Photo Credit: L.Marie

The Rules and Regulations of New York State

Within New York State, several bike laws are universal, but some vary by county or village. Most laws, I had no idea existed and I am sure many others are not aware as well. If bicycles were treated as a mode of transportation rather than recreation, would there be less accidents? These are the thoughts that crossed my mind as a I read the following laws:

1.  Use of earphones while driving or riding a bicycle

“It shall be unlawful to operate upon any public highway in this state a motor vehicle, limited use automobile, limited use motorcycle or bicycle while the operator is wearing more than one earphone attached to a radio, tape player or other audio device."

Don't wear headphones on both ears. 

2.  Effect of regulation

“(a) The parent of any child and the guardian of any ward shall not authorize or knowingly permit any such child or ward to violate any of the provisions of this article.
(b) These regulations applicable to bicycles or to in-line skates shall apply whenever a bicycle is, or in-line skates are, operated upon any highway, upon private roads open to public motor vehicle traffic and upon any path set aside for the exclusive use of bicycles, or in-line skates, or both.”

Parents/Guardians if you see your child/ward violating these regulations… put an end to it.

Cyclists these regulations apply to you when you are on a highway, private road, and bike paths.

3. Clinging to vehicles

“1. No person riding upon any bicycle, coaster, in-line skates, roller skates, sled or toy vehicle shall attach the same or himself to any vehicle being operated upon a roadway.
2. No person shall ride on or attach himself to the outside of any vehicle being operated upon a roadway.

Do not hang on to the back of any type of vehicle while it is being operated, even if it looks fun, don’t do it.

4.  Riding on roadways, shoulders, bicycle or in-line skates lanes and bicycle or in-line skates paths

“a) Upon all roadways, any bicycle or in-line skates shall be driven either on a usable bicycle or in-line skates lane or, if a usable bicycle or in-line skates lane has not been provided, near the right-hand curb or edge of the roadway or upon a usable right-hand shoulder in such a manner as to prevent undue interference with the flow of traffic except when preparing for a left turn or when reasonably necessary to avoid conditions that would make it unsafe to continue along near the right-hand curb or edge. Conditions to be taken into consideration include, but are not limited to, fixed or moving objects, vehicles, bicycles, in-line skates, pedestrians, animals, surface hazards or traffic lanes too narrow for a bicycle or person on in-line skates and a vehicle to travel safely side-by-side within the lane.”

Ride in the designated bike lane, if there are no bike lanes, ride on the right shoulder of the road. When making a left turn or if you are unable to ride on the right shoulder, it is appropriate to move out the way towards the left.

“(b) Persons riding bicycles or skating or gliding on in-line skates upon a roadway shall not ride more than two abreast. Persons riding bicycles or skating or gliding on in-line skates upon a shoulder, bicycle or in-line skates lane, or bicycle or in-line skates path, intended for the use of bicycles or in-line skates may ride two or more abreast if sufficient space is available, except that when passing a vehicle, bicycle or person on in-line skates, or pedestrian, standing or proceeding along such shoulder, lane or path, persons riding bicycles or skating or gliding on in-line skates shall ride, skate, or glide single file. Persons riding bicycles or skating or gliding on in-line skates upon a roadway shall ride, skate, or glide single file when being overtaken by a vehicle.”

You cannot ride side by side on the road unless it is a path designated specifically for bikers or on the shoulder- then you can ride side by side (2 or more) if there is room. However, if a vehicle, biker, skater, or pedestrian is approaching/standing then you must ride single file. 

“(c) Any person operating a bicycle or skating or gliding on in-line skates who is entering the roadway from a private road, driveway, alley or over a curb shall come to a full stop before entering the roadway.”

If you are about to enter a road from a private street, driveway, alley, or curb, you have to fully stop before entering the road.

5. Carrying articles

“No person operating a bicycle shall carry any package, bundle, or article which prevents the driver from keeping at least one hand upon the handle bars”

Don’t carry anything unless you can keep at least one hand on the handle bars.
Photo Credit: NY Dept. of Transportation

6.   Lamps and other equipment on bicycles.

“(a) Every bicycle when in use during the period from one-half hour after sunset to one-half hour before sunrise shall be equipped with a lamp on the front which shall emit a white light visible during hours of darkness from a distance of at least five hundred feet to the front and with a red or amber light visible to the rear for three hundred feet.”

30 minutes after sunset to 30 minutes before sunrise you need a white light on the front of your bike and a red/orange light on the back of your bike. 

"(b) No person shall operate a bicycle unless it is equipped with a bell or other device capable of giving a signal audible for a distance of at least one hundred feet, except that a bicycle shall not be equipped with nor shall any person use upon a bicycle any siren or whistle."

You can’t ride your bike unless you have a bell or other type of sound device that is not a siren or whistle.

"(c) Every bicycle shall be equipped with a brake which will enable the operator to make the braked wheels skid on dry, level, clean pavement."

Your bike needs a working brake system. 

"(d) Every new bicycle shall be equipped with reflective tires or, alternately a reflex reflector mounted on the spokes of each wheel, said tires and reflectors to be of types approved by the commissioner. The reflex reflector mounted on the front wheel shall be colorless or amber, and the reflex reflector mounted on the rear wheel shall be colorless or red."

Bikes need to have reflectors on the tires or wheels. If the reflector is on the front wheel it needs to be orange or colorless, if it is on the back wheel it needs to be colorless or red.

7.  Method of giving hand and arm signals by bicyclists.

"All signals herein required to be given by bicyclists by hand and arm shall be given in the following manner and such signals shall indicate as follows:
1. Left turn. Left hand and arm extended horizontally.
2. Right turn. Left hand and arm extended upward or right hand and arm extended horizontally.
3. Stop or decrease speed. Left hand and arm extended downward."

Use your hands/arms to signal if you are turning right, left, stopping or decreasing speed.

8.   Passengers on bicycles under one year of age prohibited

"Passengers and operators under fourteen years of age to wear protective headgear. 1. No person operating a bicycle shall allow a person who is under one year of age to ride as a passenger on a bicycle nor shall such person be carried in a pack fastened to the operator"

If you are under 14 years of age you need to wear a helmet (some counties require all ages to wear helmet or under 17yrs- check your local government). A child who is under one years of age cannot ride on a bike or be carried in a pack by the rider.

"2. No person operating a bicycle shall allow a person one or more years of age and less than five years of age to ride as a passenger on a bicycle unless:
(a) such passenger is wearing a helmet
(b) such passenger is placed in a separate seat attached to the bicycle and such seat shall have adequate provision for retaining the passenger in place and for protecting the passenger from the moving parts of the bicycle."

Cyclist cannot have children between 1 and 5 years of age ride as a passenger on the bike unless they have a helmet and are placed in a separate seat attached to the bike. 

9.  Traffic laws apply to persons riding bicycles or skating or gliding on in-line skates

"Every person riding a bicycle or skating or gliding on in-line skates upon a roadway shall be granted all of the rights and shall be subject to all of the duties applicable to the driver of a vehicle by this title, except as to special regulations in this article and except as to those provisions of this title which by their nature can have no application."

Bikers must follow all the traffic laws unless there are provisions already stated in the biking laws.

10.  Riding on bicycles

"(a) A person propelling a bicycle shall not ride other than upon or astride a permanent and regular seat attached thereto, nor shall he ride with his feet removed from the pedals.
(b) No bicycle shall be used to carry more persons at one time than the number for which it is designed and equipped."

You can only ride on the bicycle seat, not on the handle bars or any other place on the bike. You must also ride with both feet on the pedals.

You can only ride one person to a bike at a time, unless it was designed to carry more. 

Final Thoughts

As you can see there are several laws in place to protect bikers, but many of these are not followed by bikers themselves nor drivers nor law enforcement. Perhaps when individuals are learning how to bike they should take a bikers education course sponsored by the local government.  Overall, there is a need for individuals to be aware of these safety laws. 

As of October 2010, these laws were current, but I have read that some in NY government are pushing for a bill that would make it mandatory that bikes be registered, have a license plate, and be inspected yearly. Whatever policies are put into place, it is important to stay up to date on all regulations. These laws are relevant to New York, but your own state might have similar laws. Visit your official state website to find out more information on Biking Laws. 


~ L.

On any given day, you can find L.Marie on her website,, her personal blog,, or on twitter, Join the conversation and interact. 

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Biking and the Law of Attaction

Every now and then the Universe reminds me that the Law of Attraction is real and works. These reminders often come when I am feeling low or losing faith. In April, a family member was in a car accident while driving my car. To this day, I am not upset that my car was a total loss; rather, I am relieved that my family member was safe and escaped any injuries. That day, I was reminded that life can be taken at any moment and of the importance of telling those you love that you appreciate and care for them.

The car accident happened a week before I was scheduled to drive to Atlanta and New Orleans. It seemed like nothing about the trip was going according to planned and the car accident was the Universes way of saying “stay in New York!” After that exclamation point of an example, I started to pay attention.

Prior to the accident, I had been stressing over the increasing prices of gas and other car related expenses; I had made the decision that I was going to attempt to spend the summer walking to places that were less than 4 miles away from my home. Every week I would visit my public library, which is located about 1 mile away from my home and each time I would drive. I started to notice that there were several places that I drove to, that I could easily walk or bike. After the accident, I felt like a weight was lifted off of my shoulder. I was given an incentive to walk to different locations; I was dropping weight, getting in shape, and saving money.

Though walking was a relaxing task, it was time consuming. I started to put out to the Universe that I needed an affordable bicycle so I could travel longer distances in less time.

One day after exiting the train station, I stood contemplating which route I was going to take to get home and I looked up and saw a sign advertising free bike giveaways. I couldn’t believe that a week after stating I needed a bicycle, I saw an advertisement, not for just any old bike, but a free one. A high school Girl Scout was collecting donated bikes and giving them away for free as part of her summer volunteer project.

It took me a month to actually get my bike because one was needed to be found that matched my height and activity style, but in June, I received my bike. The bike was quirky and not my normal style, as I rode mountain bikes, but by the time I rode the bike 3 miles back to my home, I was in love. The bike was brown, had a bell and a carrying case in the back; it just screamed character and eccentric.

Every time I ride that bike, I am reminded of how the Universe works in mysterious ways. I was able to use the Law of Attraction to obtain a bike for free. I put out a thought, kept positive emotions, and let the Universe do the rest of the work.

In what ways have you used the Law of Attraction to get what you needed?

~ L.

On any given day, you can find L.Marie on her website,, her personal blog,, or on twitter, Join the conversation and interact.  

Monday, July 18, 2011

Closed Lids Bookshelf: History

Photo Credit: L.Marie
Last month you caught a glimpse of the Closed Lids Library collection of wellness books. This month you will catch a glimpse of the history books on the Closed Lids Bookshelf. 

Each month I will showcase books on my shelf in order to give you an idea of what I am reading and where I am gaining my knowledge. The following list contains my 31 books that deal with history, primary the African Diaspora: 

5. Afro-American Folktales, Roger Abrahams
6. From Slavery to Freedom 4th ed, John Hope Franklin
7. The Zulu Kings,Brian Roberts
8. Centering Woman, Hilary Beckles
9. Skin Deep, Spirit Strong, Kimberly Wallace/Sanders
10. Crossing Boundaries, Darlene Hine and Jacqueline McLeod
12. Sisters in the Struggle, V.P. Franklin and Betty Collier-Thomas Kindle Edition
13. Mama Might be Better off Dead, Laurie Abraham
14. African Diaspora and the World 11th ed, Dr. Alma Billingsea-Brown
15. Women's Words, Sherna Gluck
19. Of Water and the Spirit, Malidoma Some
20. Too Heavy a Load, Deborah White
21. The Caribbean, Franklin Knight
22. Killing the Black Body, Dorothy Roberts
24. Voodoo: Search for the Spirit, Leannac Hurbon
25. Black Firsts, Jessie Smith  Kindle Edition
26. Caribbean Slavery in the Atlantic World, Verene Shepherd & Hilary Beckles
27. Women in Caribbean History, Verene Shepherd
30. Long Island, Robert MacKay

Enjoy! Next month I will list my reference books.

February- Dream books
March- Spirituality books
- New Age books
- Business books
June- Wellness books

Note: I am a part of the Amazon Associate program. 
 ~ L.

On any given day, you can find L.Marie on her website,, her personal blog,, or on twitter, Join the conversation and interact.  

Friday, July 15, 2011

A Transformation

Today, over on my personal blog, I wrote about losing interest in my passions and life purpose. Since April, I have been unable to tap into certain gifts of mine (dreams, spirit guides,etc). I wasn't sure what was going on, but I assumed that I just lost my touch and it was time to move on. I decided to take some time off to relax and reevaluate.

Closed Lids is something I started almost 2 years ago as a medium for me to interpret dreams for individuals, but over time I realized that Closed Lids can be much more and decided I wanted to change directions. It first started out with in my own personal life; I realized that sleep and diet played an important role in recalling my dreams, thus I started posting more about diet and sleep. Then I realized, that having a sound mind and soul also played a part in me tapping into all my gifts. Eventually, I came to the conclusion that even the surrounding environment plays a part in becoming whole. I started to toy with the idea that Closed Lids can be a wellness company that touches on many different topics; dreams, health,spirituality, environmental issues, etc.

During my break I felt guilty that I started Closed Lids as a new age/dream company, but now wanted to included various topics. I then realized that just like life, Closed Lids, is undergoing change and transformation. Things go through change.  Without change, progress cannot be made. Once I realized that it was okay to change and transform, it seemed like my block lessened a bit. I hope that in next coming months, you the readers, will be patient and supportive in the new direction. I am not sure where Closed Lids is going, but I do know that it is somewhere positive.

~ L.

On any given day, you can find L.Marie on her website,, her personal blog,, or on twitter, Join the conversation and interact.  

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