Riding in the dark is something I don’t even think of until October rolls around every year. It’s October, so here’s how to safely ride your bike at night.
Lights: You gotta have lights or don’t even think about riding in the dark. You will need a headlight and taillight. I would stick with the major brands, Lezyne, NightRider, and Light and Motion.
Headlights: The most common headlights are handlebar-mounted LED. There are options starting at $50 from the major players Lezyne, NightRider, and Light and Motion.
If you ride off-road, you might consider a helmet-mounted light. The advantage is you can point the light where you want, which comes in handy on tight corners and rough terrain. Helmet-mounted lights also come in handy when you’re working on your bike and doing stuff around the house in less-than-ideal lighting. Warning! You will look like a dork; just saying. If you want to be super fancy, get both.
Tailights: Like headlights, stick with the major brands Lezyne, NightRider and Light and Motion.
Don’t make the rookie error of not charging your lights! Screw-ups here are potentially dangerous. Think “Always Be Charging” when it comes to your lights.
Be Careful: With proper lighting, you can safely ride the same roads/trails you ride in the daytime. However, you may need to ride them a little slower, as potholes and other obstacles can be more challenging to see at night.
Dress Warm: Don’t forget to wear warmer clothing when riding at night. Check the weather report before you go out to ensure you’re appropriately dressed.
With a good headlight, taillight, and warmer clothing, and a little night riding experience, you should be just as comfortable riding at night as you do in the light as long as you’re riding at a sensible pace.