In the winter, the days are short and nights are long. If you are a cyclist, that means you are more than likely going to, at some stage, be cycling at night. And you need to be prepared.
Cycling at night is a totally different beast to cycling during the day time. For instance, no matter how expensive your bike light is, your visibility to others simply won’t be as good as it would be during the day. That’s why you need to prepare properly and have the right kit to ensure safe night time cycling.
Lights: It goes without saying that you must have good lights when cycling at night. Do not rely on street lights to guide you. Even if you can see the road, you can’t assume drivers and other road users will be able to clearly see you in the dark. Legally, you must have white front and red rear lights on your bike as soon as night time arrives. To stay safe, it’s better to light up like a Christmas tree than lurk unwittingly under the radar in the dark.
Jacket: A high-vis, reflective cycling jacket is also a must. Not only will an insulated, wind-proof jacket keep you warm, but the reflective strips will also help you get noticed on the road.
Helmet: Helmets are not only vital for general cycling safety, but they are also perfect for attaching bike lights/torches and reflective strips to improve visibility. Many modern helmets have reflective strips already built into the helmet.
Puncture repair kit: Nobody wants to be stuck in the dark, walking their bike back. If you puncture or have another issue, be prepared with the tools to fix it. Bike shops aren’t able to help you 24/7 so it’s always best to be capable to sort it yourself.
Remember, don’t let the dark put you off. Get the right gear and cycling at night will suddenly feel a lot more comfortable.