Bicycle Riding at Night: Why and How to Stay Safe

Since the time change I’ve been contemplating riding my bike at night during the week.  There is a group of riders at my local trail head that go out every Wednesday night for a 12+ mile ride but I haven’t worked myself up to it yet.  In my research on the subject I found a few other reasons why bike riding at night is the best option.

  1. To avoid wind – during the day the wind can make it very difficult to pedal but if you ride at night most often you’ll find the winds have died down.
  2. To avoid the sun and/or heat – temperatures during the day, depending on where you ride, can reach well over 100 degrees and unless you are on a trail or road that’s pretty well covered with trees that sun can beat down on you, making your ride very uncomfortable.
  3. To avoid traffic – there is less people or other bikers to worry about when you ride at night.

Riding at night does have some drawbacks but by following these basic safety precautions and making sure you are prepared for anything that might come your way, you’ll enjoy the ride.

  1. Night Vision – your ability to see, even with a good set of lights, will be diminished.  If you plan to do a lot of night riding buy a good set of lights, both front and rear.
  2. Safe Speed – you may only be able to see a few feet in front of you so travel at a safe speed so that you can avoid potholes, road kill or debris that might be in your path.
  3. Your Safety is Key – if you don’t feel safe riding at night, don’t do it.  Keep in mind that you could have a run-in with a wild animal (bear, wolf, moose, etc) so be prepared.  Beware of drunk drivers, or other people looking to spoil your night ride.  Make sure you have a cell phone with you and a family member or friend knows your route and ETA.  If possible, travel with a partner or group.

I can’t see myself riding on the road at night but definitely on the trails.  Sounds like a lot of fun!

Do you have any comments on bike riding at night?

Ride, live, have fun!  Cindy 🙂

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