Cycling is a great way to get in shape and enjoy the outdoors. Riding at night can even allow you to feel completely free and at peace with the world. While you may enjoy riding your bicycle at night, it is important to understand that there are dangers involved. This post lists five ways of staying safe from those dangers.
The most obvious danger of riding at night comes from cars and drivers that cannot see you. Strapping a blinking flashlight to the handlebars is a great way to draw attention to yourself and make sure that any driver will see you coming. The blinking light is important because a steady light stream can be misinterpreted as a street lamp or some other lighted device that is not moving. Make sure that the light always points in the direction you are heading.
Blinking flashlights are not visible to cars coming from behind you. To help those cars notice you, wear a reflective vest. The best options for these types of vest are those that are brightly coloured and have reflective strips. Cars coming from your rear will have a hard time seeing you without a vest. The vest will illuminate your back and ensure that any driver will be able to see you in plenty of time.
Wearing white clothing can help as well. Dark clothing is very difficult to see at night. Wearing a white shirt, hat, and shoes will help you stand out against the dark sky. Wearing white is vital if you do not have a reflective vest. A good idea is to get reflective strips for your shoes and tire spokes. Anything on your bike or your person that reflects light and brings attention from drivers can keep you safe.
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Many people suffer from poor vision at night and that makes them dangerous behind the wheel of a car. A good rule of thumb for riding at night is to avoid busy roads. It only takes a moment for a driver to lose focus and knock you off your bike. The fewer cars that you ride by, the fewer chances there are for you to get hit. If you have a bike path or residential neighbourhood to ride in, particularly one that has shoulders on the road and/or sidewalks, try to ride there. The shoulders and sidewalks give you a chance to move away from oncoming cars.
No matter how free you feel while riding at night, make sure that you stay mindful of what you are doing and the dangers that are all around you. A dog chasing you, a cat darting in front of you, a pothole, or a driver not paying attention are all serious dangers when you are on a bicycle. Prepare yourself mentally for those dangers and what you would do should a situation like one of these arise.
About the author:
Glenn is a cycling enthusiast from Brisbane, Australia. He says that if you follow these tips when cycling at night you are sure to stay safe but for extra piece of mind he recommends taking out cyclist insurance.