cycling at night

5 Safety Tips to Remember for Biking at Night

If you’re an avid cyclist, then you probably know (and love) the feeling of riding your trusty old steed after dark. The air feels crisp, the breeze hits just right, and the open road ahead is yours for the taking. It’s the perfect time for an evening whirl.

Night cycling is also the perfect topic to discuss when it comes to safety. Whether you’re out on the trails or commuting home, biking through the dark can be dangerous if you’re not prepared.

Luckily, with the right knowledge and equipment, you can still safely ride your bicycle in the p.m. And in this article, we’ll cover everything you need to know about biking at night – the benefits, important safety tips, and answers to some commonly asked questions.

Four Benefits of Cycling at Night

A nightly bicycle ride has its many perks. It’s part of the reason why cyclists love venturing out in the wake of dusk. Below are some of the pros you too can enjoy from an evening excursion on your two-wheeler:

1. Get around traffic

Skip sitting in a jam-up. Riding your bike at night means you won’t need to race against rush hour after work. Likewise, if you prefer cycling later in the evening, you won’t have to worry about there being as many vehicles on the road.

2. Get in the zone

Flow state is the name of the game here. The everyday hustle-and-bustle is put to bed, allowing you to become wholly immersed in your ride. Let visual distractions fade away into the darkness as you focus on the cadence of your pedaling, along with the sound of your wheels winding down a path.

3. Get moving indoors

Riding a bike at night isn’t just an outdoor activity. If you’re pressed for time but still wish to get some cycling in, consider using a Peloton bike. It’s a great way to get in a good sweat at your convenience.

Don’t forget to invest in a quality Peloton-compatible bike seat cushion from Bikeroo – your rear will thank you!

4. Get to know others

If you care to cross paths with fellow cyclists in your neck of the woods, a bike-friendly community finder will come in handy. You’ll be able to easily pinpoint where to convene and what other routes to check out. And what better way to meet new faces than to go out for a thrilling bicycle ride at night together!

a bike line at night

Five Safety Tips for Bike Riding in the Dark

Now that you’re in the know on the advantages of biking at night, let’s cycle through a few helpful pointers on safety for when nightfall sets in.

1. Let there be light

To anyone wondering, “What is one piece of equipment a bicycle must have when used at night?”, the answer is lights. They enable you to see and be seen by others in the dark. A good rule of thumb is to at least have a handlebar light, helmet light, and taillight. If you’re feeling extra, attach some lights onto the wheels.

2. Rock the reflective gear

Another way to increase your visibility after sundown is by dressing in reflective clothing. You can also use reflective tape on the frame, fenders, and other parts of your bike for good measure.

3. Bundle up

When chilly winter weather strikes, so does the question, “What are you supposed to wear when riding a bike at night?” Easy – throw on a jacket, some gloves, leg warmers, and anything else you need to keep the cold from nipping at you. Just make sure that your reflective pieces can be seen amongst all those layers of warmth.

4. Abide by the law

Although bicycles aren’t motorized vehicles, the rules of the road still apply to the cyclists riding them. That means staying in the bike lane and following all traffic laws to prevent accidents, especially when visibility is low. For more information regarding what the bike laws are on riding at night, check with your state’s legislation.

5. Choose a familiar route

As exciting as coasting through a new course might sound, exploring places with no bike lanes or sufficient lighting pose some serious risks, such as stumbling into obstacles you can’t see. It’s best to save those daring adventures for the day and pick a route you frequent for nighttime.

bicycle parked on sidewalk

Commonly Asked Questions About Biking at Night

From questions on choosing the right bike lights to knowing what to bring on your ride, we’ve got all the answers below.

Do you need to have flashing lights when riding a bike at night?

Be wary of using flashing bike lights around oncoming traffic. The last thing you’d want to happen is for a driver to become disoriented and lose control behind the wheel due to these lights.

If you want to equip your bike with a flashing light, opt for one that has a pulsing light. Place it in the rear (never the front) to avoid blinding others coming toward you. We recommend pairing it with a steady light to help motorists gauge your distance and speed.

How bright of a light do I need for bike riding at night?

Your bicycle light’s brightness depends on where you decide to cycle. Lights ranging from 400 to 800 lumens should provide enough visibility when riding a bicycle at night on the road. For the off-beaten path, you may need something brighter to ensure motorists see you at a further distance.

What else do I need when riding my bike at night?

In addition to having proper bike lights and gear, here are some other essentials you’ll want to pack before heading out.

    • Food and drink: Remember to bring enough water, protein bars, gels, and chews to prevent bonking in the middle of your ride.
    • Bike repair tools: Don’t let a flat tire stop you in your tracks. A kit containing a spare tube, bike pump, multi-tool, tire levers, and patches will help you fix one up in no time.
    • Cycling computer: A device like this is great for keeping tabs on distance travelled, speed, and other trip information.
    • Mobile phone, cash, credit card, and ID: These items are always good to have on hand in case something happens.

Is Biking at Night the Right Choice for You?

There’s much to love about the sport – the array of benefits, the convenience of commuting, and the electrifying adrenaline rush – to name a few.

Safety, however, should always be a priority. Even more so at night. So, be sure to ride with appropriate lighting and gear, obey the traffic laws, and stick with a familiar route to ensure a safe, but heck of a late-night joyride.

With all that being said, it’s time to saddle up. Take a moment to explore our bike saddle collection to ensure you find a seat that offers ample comfort and support on your next joyride.

Contributing Writer: Samantha Lee