By Ethan Mays
Cycling is a long journey, and it won’t stop at dawn. If you haven’t tried it yet, cycling on evenings with a full moon is an enjoyable experience! However, cycling in the dark has many potential dangers.
Depending on each weather situation, the level of risk is also different. So here are some tips we give you when it comes to night cycling.
1. Carefully check the parts on the bike
- Fixing machinery in the dark is not that fun, so the first step before every night bike ride is to ensure your bike is thoroughly inspected to minimize risk.
- You need to check the nuts and bolts before the trip:
- Check all the nuts and bolts for your handle, trunk, seat belts, pedals, and wheels before going outside.
- Press your front brake and push the bike back and forth to check if the headphones are loose
- Tighten whatever falls off and make sure there are no squeaks.
Also, make sure to bring enough tools to correct possible mechanical problems. Carry a spare kit like tires, bike pumps, screws, and so on. Don’t forget to bring your cell phone if the worst case happens and you need to call home.
2. Light up the flashlight
Light up the lights to help you see how cycling in the dark will help pedestrians see you. You should prepare yourself a set of lights, including handle lights, helmet lights, and rear lights.Handle lights illuminate the road ahead, helping you and your fellow vehicle see oncoming traffic. Rear lights help you see behind, and people behind you will see you. The helmet lights illuminate your view as you turn your head to look at a foreign object.
Direct your lights down the street, don’t shine straight. So, it makes the driver on the opposite side of the road to see you.
Plus, don’t forget to take control of your speed and pay attention to your handle lights. Give yourself enough time to react to any obstacles in your path.
3. Purchase and install vehicle light fixtures at the front and rear of the vehicle
Most bicycles are equipped with red lights at the front and back of the vehicle, but that is not enough to draw other cars’ attention. Therefore, when riding a bike in the dark, you need to equip yourself before and after lights.
Usually, there are three popular types of cheap bicycle lights: taillights, signal lights, rear blinker. If we can choose 2 out of 3 types of lights, we should select tail lights and signal lights with higher lighting efficiency.
4. Ride cautiously at low speeds
According to ActivePedal, when pedaling at night, in low light conditions, you should be more cautious about your movement. If your daily concentration is five, then cycling at night, you have to focus at 10, which is twice as normal.
It would help if you also tried to avoid obstacles on the road that damage your vehicle and make your vehicle unsafe. Besides, you should also avoid heavy traffic areas, dark areas and avoid entering roads with speed limits above 50km/h (30 mph).
5. Know your route
As the seasons change, this is when you should consider the routes you will travel in advance. This preparation helps you to change direction to a road with better light promptly.
It can be easy to get lost if you are trying a new path in the dark, so try testing your ways during the day to get used to them and bring your safety.
It would be best if you went on roads that are familiar to you. The streets you are familiar with will be easier to control; you know what curves this road has, how much traffic is, and how fast you need to adjust the speed.
6. Wear easy-to-see clothes and protective gearWear bright clothes at night while cycling into the dark to increase your visibility. A person riding a bicycle at night with no lights or bright clothes is nearly invisible to other drivers.
You should wear light-colored, reflective clothing in accessories such as arms, helmets, flash, and so on. Reflective clothing will help you get more attention during the night.
This way also allows vehicles in traffic with you to recognize and tend to avoid and handle promptly. Plus, to enhance your visibility, you can use the reflective strap to reflect light into the viewer’s eye.
On the other hand, a bike helmet is a must for sports cyclists of all ages. It prevents serious injury when the head is injured.
Moreover, If you ride your bike at night, you should have an extra protective kit for yourself to avoid damage to your knee or elbow joints.
This season does not rain, so you do not need to bring raincoats, but you should bring a raincoat to avoid getting wet when the rainy season comes.
7. Always use manual signals
It would help if you used hand signals to indicate the direction of your next move. Doing this gives other road users time to adjust or predict your direction of movement, and then take a precaution if it is safe. It shows that you value the safety of road users as well as your own.
8. Go with the group
The last thing is to find yourself a group of friends to go with; never go alone. Having a group of friends is an excellent way to give you the momentum you may need while pedaling in the dark. Traveling with friends also brings safety; if something goes wrong, everyone will be able to help one another.
Riding a bike at night is always an enjoyable and challenging experience. However, if you know how to equip for the ride, you will have a satisfying journey. With the above tips, you should be able to stay safe and have a jubilant night ride. Finally, don’t forget to obey traffic laws and be a responsible road user. You would not only protect yourself, but also keep others around you safe and confident!
Ethan has been an enthusiastic cyclist for 15 years. He loves to share his biking experience in ActivePedal. Grabbing some coffee and enjoying a good book are also favorite daily activities of his.