Bicycling at Night? Use Lights and Reflectors!

With the days already growing shorter and Daylight Savings Time set to end on November 6, it’s time to prepare for riding in the dark. So, without further ado, here is 2011’s edition of the “Light Up Your Ride” blog post series.

The key to riding safely in low-light situations (such as foggy or rainy conditions or at dusk or night) is to see and, more importantly, be seen. Installing both a front and rear light is a great first-step (and required by MA law). But why stop there? It’s equally important to be visible from the sides and most light systems are not equipped to do so.

Here are some additional solutions to further light up your ride and avoid the dangerous ninja look:

Reflective or lighted ankle straps or pedal reflectors: Some pedals come with reflectors. While both types of ankle straps do double duty by keeping your pants away from your dirty chain, lighted ones provide incredible visibility.

Reflective Clothing: Examples include bicycling-specific jackets with day-glo accents and or a construction worker-styled vest. Both will provide the necessary sideways visibility with their neon colors and/or reflective striping.

Other Reflective Accessories: Wheel reflectors, reflective tires, and reflective tape and stickers that can go on almost any part of your bicycle are other options, especially for those known to forget a vest or jacket at home.

Remember, if you don’t already own a front, white light and a rear, red light, it’s time to purchase some now!  Your local bicycle store is well-equipped with lights and other safety gear so stop by and get equipped today.

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