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Do you know the beauty of cycling at night? It’s as fun and exciting as cycling in the day. It enables you to engage in outdoor fitness activity while every other person is sleeping. Of course, you will still retain your summer strength, have fun with autumn and winter comfort food. However, before you cycle in the dark, ensure that your bike is equipped with good light. Otherwise, it’s not safe for you to cycle at night. When your bike has good light, drivers regard you and give you enough space when overtaking. It’s a reminder that you too are traffic. It’s also a good idea to have reflective items in your bike when cycling at night. It pinpoints your presence and identifies you out as a cyclist. There are instances when your bike doesn’t have reflective items; you can wear reflective ankle bands. It’s an excellent way to cycle safely in the dark.
I do not deny the fact that commuting in the dark is enjoyable, but you must adjust your speed and route. Also, it would help if you made yourself visible by ensuring that your bike’s light and reflective items are in perfect condition. So, if you are planning of having a great experience cycling at night, here are some tips to help you cycle safely;
How to Embrace the Dark when Cycling at Night
Have Lights on Your Bike
As a rule, never ride your bike at night if you don’t have light. It’s unsafe, dangerous, and makes you invisible to others. But when your bike has a light, you can see where you are going, and other people can also see you. So, try to have a flashing front and backlights on your bike. They make you more visible to drivers compared to static lights.
Use Reflective Gears
Even though cycling at night is fun, you must never neglect safety. And the first rule of riding your bike at night is to make yourself visible. Interestingly, you can achieve this by getting reflective gear for yourself and your bike. It’s not advisable to get dark colours reflective gears; they aren’t visible in the dark. But if you insist on dark reflective gear, get the one with reflective straps that will illuminate in the dark. However, if you don’t have the budget for reflective gears, you can get a reflective tape and apply it on your helmet, arms, and pants. With this, you will still be very visible.
Plan Your Route
Like every other thing in life, it’s essential to plan your route before you start cycling at night. Even when you are cycling during the day, it’s always advisable to plan out your route. The essence of this is to ride on routes that you are familiar with. Again, when you plan your journey, you can avoid hazards like potholes, small shoulders, etc. Furthermore, I suggest you should plan any route that looks challenging during the day before you cycling on it at night.
Don’t Disobey Traffic Rules
Ordinarily, everybody using the road must obey traffic rules. But when cycling at night, you must never take chances. Give attention to every rule. Otherwise, you may be putting your life in danger. It doesn’t matter if the roads are quiet, never ignore stoplights, red lights, or assume motorists can’t see. Trust me; many cyclists have lost their lives by taking chances on traffic signs. Unlike cycling in the day when you can make eye contact with drivers or use hand signals, you need to always be on the defensive at night. You may spend more time before getting to your destination, but it’s safer that way. Always remember, you can’t be too careful when it comes to cycling at night.
Do a Pre-ride Bike Check-up
Many cyclists don’t check their bikes before they ride. It may be normal for you, but it’s severe safety negligence. However, if you want to ride at night, ensure you check your bike before you start cycling. Checking your bike before going out isn’t a complete guarantee against possible break down. But it enables you to find some common issues that may likely affect your bike and fix them in advance.
Slow - Down
Even though most routes are empty at night, it’s strongly advisable to reduce your speed. I know, you may feel that the street belongs to you when riding your bike at night. But visibility is always very poor at night; it’s safer to slow down and move at a moderate speed.
Keep Your Bike Safe at Night
Cycling at night is an experience everybody wants to have. But it comes with its challenges. One of such problems is the possibility of bike theft. So, try as much as possible to keep your bike safe at night with a durable and secured bike locker. It keeps your bike safer, and nobody can easily break it to steal your bike.
Get a Company
Cycling at night with someone is a great idea not only for personal and safety reasons but also for a better experience. If you go on a night ride with someone who understands the route you are taking, you tend to have more fun. Furthermore, if your bike develops unexpected technical issues in the middle of the night, someone will be there to assist. So, if you don’t want to be alone in the middle of nowhere at night when your bike develops issues, riding with someone at night is a great idea.
Certainly, cycling at night is an experience most people don’t want to miss. But if you aren’t used to it, it’s quite intimidating to bike at night. Nevertheless, the peacefulness of biking at night outweighs the intimidation. However, if you adhere to the safety tips shared in this article, you will enjoy the beauty of cycling at night.