Riding your bike in the day is fun, but riding it at night is a different kind of experience altogether. There is less traffic, not much sunlight, and an overall calm atmosphere, making it the perfect time for most cyclists.
However, it is important that you know a few things before you hop on your bicycle and head out at night.
Some bike accessories improve your visibility at night. Accessories like front and rear lights, reflective jackets and bicycle wheel lights make you more visible to the traffic on the roads at night. When riding at night, it is as important to make sure you remain visible to drivers as it is to make sure you have visibility of the road ahead.
You can go on night rides without compromising your safety by following these five simple tips.
- Use Proper Lights
It’s essential to be able to see in the dark while riding. That’s why you should invest in good lighting that will help you see in the dark. The added benefit is that it also lets others see you without any difficulty.
A handlebar light, rear light, and bicycle wheel lights are the essential light accessories to keep you safe while riding in the dark.
- Don’t Use Flashing Lights.
Flashing or throbbing lights in the front can create difficulty for oncoming traffic. The throbbing lights not only irritate the eyes but also make it challenging to see correctly. If you use a throbbing light, you might create more difficulties for the oncoming traffic to see you clearly, creating safety concerns for both yourself and the other drivers.
- Use Reflective Clothing
The reflective fabric makes you visible at night. As the name suggests, reflective clothing reflects vehicle headlights, thus making you more visible to drivers on the road at night.
Use jackets and cycling pants with reflective fabric. Don’t forget to use the reflectors on fast-moving spots like your ankles which are constantly paddling. It will help others see that there’s a cyclist on the road.
- Prepare for the Ride.
It is crucial to undergo various preparations before you go on your night ride. Double-check different parts of your bike, such as brakes, lights, air pressure, tires, etc., to be sure. Carry other essentials like water or protein bars to be hydrated and energized while going for long night rides.
Don’t forget to carry a repair kit with a puncture patch and spare tube just as a precaution.
- Ride Intelligently
It is crucial to mind the space on the road while riding at night. If you are riding too close to the curb, it might encourage the cars behind you to pass you even in an unsafe situation. It’s best to ride defensively and not to hug the curb too tightly.
Drivers do not always expect cyclists at night. Anything you can do to signal your presence on the road will go a long way in keeping you safe.
If you are riding in a group, coordinate with each other properly to avoid miscommunication and confusion.
Night riding can be therapeutic and stress-relieving. Be sure to prepare for the night ride and obey all traffic laws so that your ride remains safe.