8 Tips for Riding a Bike in the Dark
Whether you're out enjoying an evening bike ride, taking in the calm morning before sunrise, or just commuting home a little later than usual, it's important to be properly prepared for a ride in the dark.
We've compiled a few of the essential tips to make your ride as safe and comfortable as possible.
Wear the correct clothing
When out riding in the dark, your clothes should keep you both warm and visible. Even on a summer night, the temperature can drop and make for an unpleasant ride, so choosing the correct clothing is a must.
Be sure to invest in full-finger gloves, a balaclava, tights, and a nice thick pair of socks! Also, try to select clothing with reflective fabrics and details to make yourself more visible.
Be seen with reflectors
It goes without saying that you need to make yourself visible while riding at night. Aside from wearing reflective items, you should have a white reflector on the front of your bike, a red one on the back, and some on your pedals. Having reflectors on your bike pedals is particularly useful at alerting motorists of your presence because of the movement of your pedal strokes.
Always. No matter where you are riding, whether it be in a city or on a country lane, you will always need lights while riding in the dark. Some lights are for seeing, and some are to be seen. If you're riding in a city or on routes with good street lighting, you should have lights that help other road users see you, whereas if you're riding on dark roads or trails, you will need lights that illuminate your path.
The three lights you should always ride with are a headlight, taillight, and helmet light. The headlight will allow you to be seen by oncoming traffic while also lighting your path; the taillight keeps you visible from behind, and the helmet light illuminates your way when you need to turn or look in a different direction.
Check out our Luci Solar Bike Light Set for a great "be seen" headlight & taillight set!
Don't dazzle drivers
You know when you're driving, and you turn your full beams off when an oncoming car approaches so that you don't dazzle them? The same thing applies when riding your bike with albeit dimmer lights.
While riding at night, you should never use the flashlight mode on your headlight as it can affect oncoming drivers. You should also tilt the light downwards slightly, illuminating the path roughly 20 feet in front of you.
Riding at night can be much more dangerous than day riding if you don't take the correct precautions. Try not to plan anything too adventurous for a night ride, and try to stick with routes that you know. Slippery leaves, potholes, and other hazards are especially troublesome on a new route in the dark, so make sure that you're ready for anything that comes your way by keeping your weight on your legs instead of your seat.
And finally, be sure not to outride your lights by going too fast. Sure, picking up speed while riding can be fun, but when riding your bike in the dark, try to think about whether your parents would approve of your speed!
Before you head out for a night ride, make sure to do a pre-ride inspection to check for any potential issues. The last thing you want is to be repairing your chain on a dark road in the cold.
As part of your preparations, you should make sure that your lights are charged. Our Luci Solar Bike Light Set has built-in battery level indicators so you know how much charge you have left on each light, so there's no excuse for your battery dying while on the ride home! If you need help remembering to charge it, try setting a reminder on your phone to recharge it during the day at work. Our Bike Light can be charged via solar, or if you're in a pinch, via USB for a quick charge.
Ride where you can be seen
Generally speaking, drivers are looking ahead, so you want to be in their line of sight while riding on the road. When riding at night, you should position yourself a bit further into the road so that you're more visible. You should aim for around 3ft into the road— this also helps avoid roadside hazards!
Safety in numbers
Not only is taking a bike ride with your friends fun, but it's also the safer option at night! Having more of you on the road means you're easier to spot, and should you run into any issues, you won't be alone.
Well, there you have it; our 8 top tips for making your night (or morning) ride safer! Stay safe, and happy riding.
Are you looking for a great bike light for night road riding? Look no further. Check out our Luci Solar Bike Light Set and be seen in more ways than one.