Even if you bike to work, you probably never had to do it at night. Even when you had to stay up late at work, you probably took a trip home instead of riding your bike. Your reasons for this were good! Without the right gear, night driving is as scary as it is dangerous. Until you get used to it, riding at night can be scary. But there are steps you can take to make it simple and safe.
Tips for riding a bike at night:
- Tip No. # 1: choose a lighted path
Many bike lanes keep their lights on until late at night, making them suitable for cycling long past sundown. Finding a lighted path means that a cyclist does not need much more equipment to be able to ride at night. Be sure to read the signs before entering to see if the lights are on all night or if they have an automatic cut-off time.
- Tip # 2: Wear Clear Glasses
Many cyclists have stylish and functional glasses. But if you’re used to riding during the day, they probably have dark glasses. When searching for those perfect glasses, you probably wondered why anyone would want more than just sunglasses. The reason is clear. Clear is the best option for riding at night. If you don’t have a pair of clear cycling-specific glasses, a basic pair of safety glasses will work just fine.
- Tip No. 3: be careful
If you thought driving in broad daylight traffic was scary, driving at night is a whole new adventure. If you are used to driving on autopilot during the day, you will need to switch to a more alert mode when driving after sunset. If this is your first bike ride at night, go slow and keep your eyes open for unexpected obstacles, bumps in the road, potholes, and other obstructions. Consider your position to take the weight off your seat and put it on your feet, on the pedals. Use your legs as suspension to absorb anything you don’t see with your eyes first.
- Tip No. # 4: excessive use of reflective tape
Make yourself as visible as possible! Add reflective strips to your bag, bike frame, and clothing you plan to travel with.
- Tip No. 5: make a plan
The tips above are perfect for when you find yourself staring at an unplanned bike trip in the dark. Stopping at a nearby hardware store at lunchtime, using Google to find a bike lane, and making sure it’s covered in reflective tape will help you for an unexpected trip. To become an expert in night riding, you will need to take a few more steps. One of them is actually making a plan.
- Tip No. 6: choose the right bike
The right bike for night riding is one that can take a beating. A road bike with old parts and thicker tires is the perfect night bike. Thicker tires can absorb unexpected shocks better than normal tires found on racing bikes.
- Tip # 7: KEEP IT SLOW!