For beginners, biking at night can feel scary and disorienting. Plenty of bikers—even ones living in packed cities like New York—have safely ridden a bike to and from work at night for years. While it is not advisable, even in the safest places, to ride a bike at night with no safety lights or night gear, with a few simple purchases, you can be on your way to riding at night regularly. Whether you ride a womens hybrid bike or a mens electric, the basic necessities are essentially the same.
Invest in Quality LED Lights
When it comes to visibility at night, compromising is not an option. Purchase lights for your bike that are visible even to the most distracted drivers. Many lights designed for bikers feature blinking patterns that are more difficult to miss or mistake than ones that remain lit constantly. You should have lights on both the front and back of your bike. An LED headlight can allow you to see terrain features significantly ahead of you, making you less likely to stumble over a pothole or other obstacle. Drivers can see headlights clearly in instances where you and drivers heading in different directions.
Wear a Helmet
Helmets have been a staple of bike safety for years. Recently, however, several companies have developed smart helmets that connect with your bike to signal your turns and brakes. Whichever helmet you choose, make sure to wear it snugly but not tightly on your head. While helmets can sometimes protect your head from sustaining the most serious class of head injuries, they are not a substitute for safe riding. If you have trouble with the weight of a helmet, try riding comfort bikes that allow you to sit straight on your bike seat.
Whether you choose to signal by hand or with light signaling devices, you should always make sure that your signals are seen by motorists on the road. Signaling lets others know your intentions and doing so can cause them to slow down. Since few motorists want a collision with a bike on their driving record, even city drivers usually heed signals given by bikers.
Although various technologies can make riding at night safer for you and others around you, your behavior is the ultimate determinant of your overall safety. When riding at night, you need to be aware of your surroundings. While you should obviously avoid drinking and biking at night, you should also limit other distractions, such as headphones or speakers. Never assume that a vehicle has spotted you before making a turn or stop. If you need to get through an area with many drivers, always look before making any change in speed or direction.
There are many reasons to bike at night. For many, riding a bike is simply the best, most efficient method of travel over short distances. For others, commuting to and from work means dealing with darkness for a portion of the year. Whatever your reason, look for the best womens or mens cruiser bikes or road bikes, find appropriate safety gear, and take care.