You don't need to stop riding when the sun goes down! We have 5 tips below to help you keep riding in low light conditions or at night.
It is the law in NSW that all bike riders have the following in low light or hazardous conditions:
(a) a flashing or steady white light that is clearly visible for at least 200 metres from the front of the bicycle, and
(b) a flashing or steady red light that is clearly visible for at least 200 metres from the rear of the bicycle, and
Thanks to LED technically, the brightness and range of bike lights has really increased. You can pick up a bike light reasonably priced, that will do the job.
If you are riding in places with no street lights at night, such as rural roads, we encourage you to have a bright enough light that you could see potholes, animals or any other obstacles. Also, remember to keep your lights charged or carry a spare set with you.
Tip: Test your light to ensure you aren't blinding people, especially on shared paths. Turn on the light in the dark and see how bright it is from about 15 metres away, make adjustments as needed.
2. Visible Clothing
People riding bikes are not chameleons and can not change colour to contrast with their environment. They can become more noticeable to this ambient vision system by making the parts of their bodies that move the most apparent.
Bright colours by day and reflective strips in low light on the parts that move the most i.e. legs, feet or ankles, may make you stand out to driver better. Reflective trim on your wheels and tyres can also help at night by emphasising the distinctive movement of a bicycle to someone driving.
3. Mechanical Problems
Having an issue with your bike is bad at the best of times, in the dark it can be worse. We recommend you do a pre-ride bike check before riding to ensure you bike is in top order prior to heading out. Also carry tools and equipment (and know how to use them) in order to fix your bike if thing happens.
4. Ride the Route in Daylight
We recommend cycling the route you’re planning to ride at night, during the day. This is to make sure you know of any challenging spots and can handle them in the day – they can often be more difficult at night.
On your day reconnaissance ride we recommend checking the quality of the road surface (potholes, loose pebbles) or challenging turns.
5. Riding with a Group
Having additional bike riders around you when cycling at night or low light can help increase your visibility to other road users. There are also more eyes to look out for hazards on the road and more hands to lend if a mechanical problem happens.