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Night Cycling: 5 Tips to Ride Your Bike Safely in the Dark
Need to ride a bike at night for commuting, or just want to do some night cycling to enjoy the silence? Here are 4 tips to stay safe while biking in the evening
Riding your bicycle as a means of transportation is a great way to get some exercise and reduce your carbon footprint.
But with all the good things that it does for you and the environment, it also comes with a few risks, especially if you have to bike at night.
Let’s look at some things you can do to ensure you stay safe while cycling at night.
1. Light it up
One of the challenges night cycling is visibility. Your bike (and by extension, you) are less likely to be noticed because bikes do not have any lights, unlike cars.
If you need to bike at night, you should have at least a front and back light attached to your bike. Ideally, you want your headlamps and tail lights to be flashing, but you can also opt for bright LED lights like the ones from www.xkglow.com.
You may also want to attach lights on your ankles when you bike at night. Other drivers are more likely to notice your presence if they can track your movement as you pedal.
2. Obey the rules of the road
The thing about riding a two wheeled vehicle is that it often gives us a false sense of superiority; that bikers are just as safe on the road as motorists because they are doing the right thing for the environment.
Some cyclists feel that they are invincible, which is the reason why you see cyclists weave in and out of traffic, or ignore traffic lights; using their mobility and size to their advantage.
This mentality is what often causes many cyclists to fall victim to accidents. As much as possible, obey traffic laws and stick to bike lanes.
Try to avoid fitting yourself into small spaces, which is a common behavior among cyclists. You may get clipped by passing cars, especially since they might not be able to see you clearly.
3. Wear reflective gear
As mentioned earlier, visibility is one of the main concerns when it comes to night riding. A lot of drivers who end up causing injury to a cyclist will say that they did not see the biker because of how dark it was.
This is why a lot of bicycles nowadays come equipped with retro-reflective surfaces to make bikes easier to see at night.
You can further up your visibility by wearing the right gear. It’s one thing to wear bright colors during the day, but that won’t cut it if you’re riding at night.
Aside from wearing a bike helmet, wearing bike gear with reflective surfaces will ensure that you are safe and that your bike is visible to other vehicles in the evening dusk and dark.
4. Familiarize your route
It’s nice to take the road less traveled and explore new routes when biking during the day, but when you’re riding at night you may want to stick to the familiar.
This way you avoid getting into an accident because there are no bike lanes or proper lighting on the route you took.
Riding your bicycle at night can be very scary and dangerous compared to riding during the day, but being prepared for a night ride will go a long way to making sure that you are safe and that your experience is a fun and enjoyable one.