As we say goodbye to daylight saving time and head into the shorter days of winter, it is important your bicycle is equipped with the right bike lights to keep you safe.
There are two safety issues with riding in the dark: making sure you are able to see the road and hazards, and making sure drivers are able to see you. Two problems require two solutions.
When you start to think about bike lights, most people automatically think about a white light that is either on the front of the bike or on the rider. These types of lights are essential for riding after dark because they allow the rider to better see the road and the hazards that are in front of them. But front lights can also help drivers and other bicyclists see you as you approach an intersection.
What most people don’t consider is a back light. The CU Boulder Police Department recommends using a red blinking or solid light rather than relying on the red reflector that came with the bike. By using a light that illuminates on its own, you are more likely able to be seen by drivers and other riders as they approach from the rear. Hoping that a reflector will catch the vehicle’s headlights to illuminate is just too risky of a proposition.
Combination sets of white and red lights start around $25 and increase from there at sporting goods stores—but that is a small price to pay for safer biking after dark.