Nighttime can be a magical time of day to get out on two wheels, when the air is cooler and traffic is typically lighter.
But cycling at night is also significantly more dangerous than riding your bicycle during the day. You are less visible at night and it’s harder to see the road or path in front of you.
Given this, there are a number of things that every cyclist should be aware of before heading out onto the roads at night, in order to be as safe as possible. Here is a list of 5 things we would recommend to be aware of when cycling at night, from choosing the right clothing to keeping your bicycle road-ready.
Make sure your bicycle is visible
Your first point of call when preparing your bicycle for a night ride is to make sure it’s as visible as possible, decked out with all the right reflectors, and front and rear lights.
TIP: Check the batteries in your lights before you leave!
There are different regulations about this so make sure you check the rules for your area, but as a general rule of thumb it’s best to ensure that there are reflectors on your spokes and pedals as well as the back and front of your bicycle. This makes it possible for drivers or pedestrians to see you from a range of angles.
You should also ensure that your front light is angled down towards the road so as not to shine in the eyes of oncoming traffic, but lighting up a space large enough that you can see clearly where you are going.
NOTE: our ebikes all come with front and rear lights built into the frame so that you don’t have to attach anything extra. They also come with a pack of reflectors that you can install where you want them.
Wear reflective clothing
Why stop at making your bicycle visible when there are plenty of cycling clothing brands out there that make reflective, high-vis bicycle gear? Stock up on some kit to wear at night so that it’s even easier to see you. Proviz does some excellent jackets and other cycling clothing, as do Showers Pass and Pactimo.
Pay attention to your tires and battery
Before heading out on a night ride, it’s important to make sure that your bike is 100% road-worthy. This involves checking your tires and tire pressure and, if you ride an ebike, your battery.
If you’re pumping up your tires, the recommended pressure for road tires is usually 80 to 130 psi (pounds per square inch), but the more you weigh, the higher within this range your tire pressure needs to be.
For ebike riders, make sure your battery is fully charged before heading out onto the road. It’s also a good idea to care for your battery while you’re not using it by keeping it at about 60% charge when you store it. This will prolong its battery life.
Ride in groups or tell a friend
It’s always safer to cycle in a big group at night, as the more people there are, the more visible you are. It’s also safer because if something happens while you are cycling, there are people around to help you.
But if you want to go solo, tell a friend or family member where you will be riding and when you expect to get back, so that they will be able to find you if something goes wrong.
Tip: ride safely and predictably, signal all turns and slow down at blind corners
Finally, make sure that you cycle with your phone and ensure that you have reception, at least for emergency calls, during your ride. You may also want to stay connected via an app, send a friend your Google location, etc. This way you will be able to reach out for help if you need it.
If you have any questions about how to care for your MODMO ebike, how to set up the reflector kit that comes with our ebikes, how to use the lights on your ebike, etc or if you have feedback for our team, please feel free to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org