With the start of fall, riding in the dark on evening rides may be unavoidable. TeamCBC does not officially approve of riding at night. However, for those of you who choose to do so, here are some tips to help keep you safe.
- Be aware of the setting sun. If you’re having trouble seeing, the vehicles behind you will have trouble seeing you. Take an alternate route.
- Be sure to have flashing lights on the front and rear of your bike. Add one to your helmet as well.
- A flashing front light will help motorists see you better, but it won’t help you see the road. Therefore, have another front light so you can see where you’re going.
- Your front light should be at least 700 lumens and pointed down slightly so as not blind oncoming motorists.
- The faster you ride, the brighter the light you need. A light with at least 700 lumens is recommended for riding 12 mph, but most of you will need at least 1,000 lumens.
- Wear a reflective vest or add tape to your kit. Place the tape on your arms and around your ankles. Motorists can then see you signaling and will pick up the up and down movement.
- Replace the lenses in your sunglasses for clear ones or wear clear goggles. There are more bugs in the air at night, so eye protection is important.
- Download your route to your bike computer. Things look different at night and you don’t want to miss a turn.
- Ride with a buddy or in a group. The more flashing lights, the easier it will be for motorists to see you.
- If you ride in a group, always ride with the same riders. A night ride is not the best time to add new riders to your group.
- Don’t ride close to the edge of the road or gutter in case there is an unexpected obstacle in your path. Give yourself room to avoid them.
- Bring a flashlight or have a headlamp in case you need to stop for a mechanical problem or a nature break.
Here is a video that explains the above tips in more detail and a link to our tip on bike lights: