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Light & Easy

November 5, 2010

Here’s a great post from velojoy with some tips for staying visible now that it’s time to set your clocks back.  As Yogi Berra said, “It gets late early out there,” so your evening commutes–and even a few morning ones–will find you riding in darkness.

There’s really no need to be afraid of riding at night, so long as you stay safe and make yourself visible with reflectors, lights, and a light-colored jacket or vest.  As velojoy points out, front and back lights and reflectors are required by law.  They’re cheap, too, so there’s no reason not to have them.

In addition to front and rear lights, I find that it’s also helpful to clip a light onto my messenger bag and helmet.  This helps me stay even more visible than bike-mounted lights alone. Plus, the lights don’t get stolen if I forget to put them away.

If you really want to go for it, check out the SpokeLit.  (Pictured left.)  I have a red version of this on my rear wheel and it helps you be seen by cars approaching you perpendicularly.  If you’re going to run red lights, which I don’t advise you to do under any circumstances but especially not at night, you should make sure you can be seen from all sides.

There are more extravagant versions, including Hokeyspokes, that can have you lit up like the Vegas strip, but maybe there’s such a thing as attracting too much attention.

Some of my favorite riding experiences have been at night.  The temperature is perfect, the city is a little quieter, and there’s a great feeling of freedom.  Stay safe, stay visible, and have fun.

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