How To Ride Your E-Bike In The Dark SafelyApril 2, 2023
For those who enjoy riding their e-bikes after work or during daylight hours, it gets increasingly difficult due to the reduced daylight hours of Wintertime (but thankfully we are coming out of it now). However, this doesn’t mean that riding has to come to a halt when the sun goes down. Riding at night can be a thrilling and unique experience, provided you take the necessary precautions and use proper lighting.
One of the main concerns when riding in low-light conditions is visibility. While commuting to work or school at night, riders need to ensure they are seen by other road users. Lights are essential in low-light conditions, especially during the twilight hours when the sun’s glare can be distracting to drivers. Using a flashing setting on lights will catch other road users’ attention and make riders more visible. LED lights are an inexpensive and easily accessible option that can be used on bikes or helmets, but thankfully most e-bike these days come with lights built into them anyway.
When riding in low-light conditions, riders should always be aware of their surroundings and assume the worst-case scenario. Pay extra attention to other road users, especially at junctions, and use lights to improve visibility. However, it’s essential to choose lights with appropriate lumens to prevent dazzling other road users. A 600+ lumen strength light is recommended for unlit roads during nighttime riding.
For those who want to ride through the night on quieter roads and see where they are going, brighter lights are necessary. While these lights can be expensive, research can help riders choose a suitable option based on their needs. Battery life, brightness, and durability are all factors to consider when purchasing lights.
Another thing to consider when riding at night is your clothing. While it may not be necessary to dress up like a Christmas tree it’s important to wear clothing that makes you visible to other road users. Wearing reflective clothing or accessories, such as reflective vests, arm or leg bands, or even reflective stickers on your bike or helmet, can make a big difference in how easily other drivers can see you on the road. In addition, wearing bright or contrasting colours can also help increase your visibility.
It’s also important to make sure your bike is equipped with reflectors, which are required by law in many countries. Reflectors on your wheels, pedals, and handlebars can help other drivers see you from all angles. Consider adding additional reflectors to your bike, such as spoke reflectors or reflective tape, to make yourself even more visible.
Finally, it’s important to be aware of your surroundings and adjust your riding style accordingly. Riding at night can be more challenging than riding during the day, so it’s important to stay focused and ride defensively. This means slowing down in areas where visibility is low, such as corners or intersections, and being prepared to react to unexpected obstacles or hazards on the road.
In conclusion, while winter does shorten the days and reduced the time available for riding during daylight, it doesn’t have to mean the end of riding altogether. With the right equipment and precautions, riding at night can be a safe and enjoyable experience and dare we say it is also a lot safer to do on a e-bike!