Riding Tips

Night Riding

Riding with lights at night makes you much more visible and gives other traffic more time to see and react to you. Don’t just depend on street lighting to help you see in the dark; use lights and reflective gear to see and help others see you. Biking without lights at night is against the law, and for good reason: You are invisible without lights, putting yourself and others in danger. Here are some tips for making sure you can be seen:

Be predictable

Light your bike (or yourself) the same way vehicles do: White goes in front, red goes in back. LED “blinky” lights that use re-chargeable AA or AAA batteries are light, inexpensive, and do a great job of making cyclists visible. However, these lights may not do a good job of illuminating darkened roads or bike paths. If you need a light that brightens the route ahead of you, look for the new generation of high-power LED lights, powered by rechargeable NIMH batteries.

Be reflective

Wearing reflective pant-straps, jackets, vests and other gear makes you more visible to others (you can even make your own), as does having reflectors on your bike. Remember that reflectors only reflect under certain lighting conditions, and even then they aren’t enough by themselves to be seen at night—particularly on bike paths and other low-light areas.

Use your noggin!

A helmet-mounted headlight makes it easy to cast light to the side and alert motorists at intersections.