The days are short but the bike is calling, here are some tips on how to have a great night ride. Riding and cycling at night undoubtedly adds an invigorating touch towards the end of the day. Night riding is a great way to experience your favorite routes in a new perspective, and enjoy the later hours in the day! Nighttime riding can expose you to unique riding challenges, but we always have you covered with some of our key safety tips.
- Tell someone where you’re going, and ride with a friend.
- Do a pre-ride bike check. See our blog here.
- HELMET – Wear it!
- Whatever the season you’re riding in, it’s always chillier at night, bring layers and gloves.
- Wear clear safety glasses to protect yourself from unseen hazards.
- Bring your nutrition, hydration, safety and emergency kit
It’s Going to be LIT!
Lights are the most essential part of night riding. Using suitably bright lights is crucial to step out on a night ride for both road and mountain bike rides on your bicycle. Some lights are for seeing while other lights help you be SEEN. We recommend – a helmet light, a handlebar light, and a rear light. The handlebar light illuminates the road in front of you and makes you visible to oncoming traffic. The rear light keeps you visible from behind, and the helmet light illuminates your field of vision when you need to turn and look at something. Being particularly aware of the run-time of the bicycle’s lights is also important for nighttime cycling. Pro Tip – Battery life and fully charged lights, plug them in the night before to be sure they are fully charged.
Light Management – When to dim and when to flood with LIGHT.
While you are climbing up the trail, it is advisable to dim your bike light because you have expectedly slowed down and should be better able to deal with roadside or trail obstacles. When descending, hit the brakes as a precautionary measure, you don’t want to go faster than you can see. Don’t try to get too close to a friend if you are behind them. Obviously, you are not looking out to create disorienting shadows for them, or for you. If you are taking a rest break, shut down your handlebar light, to preserve battery and prevent from overheating. When using your helmet light, be careful to not blind your buddies and look with your eyes vs. blasting them with your headlight.
Your top-notch priority when riding your bike at night is being visible. The first step towards achieving this is to take care of your clothing. Wearing a reflective jersey may be helpful, or you may also want to invest in a cyclic-specific jacket having reflective accents. In addition to wearing reflective clothing cyclists wear clothing of retroreflective material on their arms, ankles and legs to show the body in motion. Also, wearing your helmet is an absolute must!
Our friends at Pearl Izumi have developed a cool new technology called BioViz which helps cyclists stay more visible when riding at night. Check out their video below.