It’s well past that time of year for the white and red lights of winter cycling fairyland to come out so I wanted to reinforce their importance.
As cyclists we have a legal and moral responsibility to be seen while not only riding at night but also during poor visibility – sun strike at sunset or in wet conditions. It is our opportunity to not just be avoided but have presence where we rightfully belong.
You can do this by doubling up with two lights both front and rear. Lights are inexpensive in the wider scheme of cycling and incomparable to the cost of your life. Use a forward or rear facing helmet light or something attached to a backpack if commuting (these positions are also less prone to fault from spray from the road).
Unfortunately, bike lights aren’t always so reliable so why not take out the insurance of having two in case one loses battery life or stops working. Also use high-vis or aluminous clothing as well to increase your chances of being seen.
Super bright bike lights are available but make sure you’re not blinding motorists or distracting those in front if following others while group riding. It also pays to take time to have someone (a caring partner/family member usually works best) to evaluate the effectiveness of your visibility while in a car at night, down your driveway or street.
Take pride in your best mobile Christmas tree impersonation but remember this advice: in this day in age it pays to ride like you’re invisible (to motorists). Take care out there and please, email me your innovative suggestions which might help cyclists to be safer this winter.