When cycling during the day, safety precautions are pretty basic and easy to remember. If you choose to go cycling at night, however, there is a lot more to remember to stay safe. Once it’s dark out, riding your bike becomes much more dangerous. While it can be more dangerous, cycling at night can also be fun. If you choose to go night biking, here are the safety precautions you need to take:
When the sun sets, reflective gear while riding becomes a must. While during the day it can be optional, but as soon as night falls it is a necessity. Reflective gear makes you much easier to see at night, especially to be seen by oncoming cars. It’s essential to have plenty of retroreflective surfaces on your bike as well as your clothing. Although many bikes will come with a few reflective areas, when riding at night you’ll want to cover a lot more. It could be beneficial to add reflective tape to your helmet, rims, and pedals.
Again, being seen by cars and pedestrians could be the only thing standing between you and a brutal bike accident. This is why attaching lights to you and your bike is an excellent safety precaution to practice. Having lights will not only help others see you, but it can also improve your vision of the road ahead at night. When night biking, be sure to have a handlebar light, possibly also helmet light, and a rear light. Have your lights pointing at least 6 meters in front of you and always ride consider riding with a backup light just in case.
Temperatures tend to drop at night, so it’s essential to dress warmly to combat the cold weather. If it gets much colder at night in your area, layer up and put a gilet in your back pocket for an extra layer and a windshield with wool clothing. Gloves, a skullcap under your helmet, and thick socks are great additions to your reflective wear. Being too cold and shivering can easily distract you and make the ride less enjoyable. By layering up, you’ll also be protecting yourself against catching a cold while night biking.
Review Your Route
It should go without saying, nighttime is not the time to try out a new trail or route you haven’t taken before. If you want to go cycling at night, be sure to choose a route you know well enough. Something a route map won’t tell you about are the potholes and uneasy gravel that most cyclists come to remember when going through their favourite routes time and time again. Not knowing about the terrain of the road could easily get you into an accident.
If you truly want to try a new road at night, research the route, possible sharp corners and likely terrain first.