The Greeley Bike Blog
Biking in low light conditions
As the winter solstice brings shorter days, visibility while on your bicycle becomes even more important for a safe drive. When driving after dusk, cyclists are required to have a white front light and rear red reflector. This is the minimum required by state law. However there are many additional measures that you should consider for the next time you drive your bicycle in low light conditions.
First, outfit your bike.
Consider using a red rear light. They are typically brighter and command more attention than just a rear reflector. Lights do not have to be expensive. A battery operated LED system for the front and back of your bike can be purchased for as little as $20.00. Frog lights are often given away at bike events, are rubbery and attach easily to your bike without the use of tools. Do not remove the spoke reflectors from your bike! Many people will remove these in favor of an uncluttered look. They are imperative to your safety! The movement of the reflectors spinning on your wheels helps to provide an additional heads up to motorists that a bike is present. If you just cannot bring yourself to keep the reflectors on your spokes, consider battery operated products that snap on as needed.
Reflective leg straps are a cost effective solution. Purchased for as little as $5.00 or often obtained for free, the movement of the reflectors on your legs alerts drivers to your presence. You can purchase complete LED light systems that boast 360 degree visibility for your bike but obviously you are going to have to shell out some cash for that!
Then, consider your clothing and gear choices.
High end bike clothing, bags and gear often come with reflective material
sewn in. These are terrific for adding additional visibility on, however, these
products are often pricey. Choosing light colored jackets, bags and backpacks
that you already own are a solid start. Reflective clothing tape can be added to
your existing gear at a cost of $15.00 per 25 foot roll. Utility safety fabric can be purchased at your local fabric store and added to your clothes and bags. Reflective stickers and patches are another option for working with the gear you already own. If you want a quick solution and don’t want to modify your wardrobe, a reflective safety vest like those worn by construction workers will cost you $10
to $15 dollars. It adds a level of visibility that may compromise your fastidious style but
also helps to ensure you get to enjoy another day in this beautiful Colorado biking weather!
Sarah Boyd, LCI