In celebration of National Bike Month, today's post comes from Kari Svenneby of Active Kids Club.
We often go for family weekend bike trips as it is a great way to get some exercise and add to our outdoor time. Asa cyclist and bike commuter I try my best to bike only during the daytime, but sometimes you get caught in the dark.
Here are a few safe biking tips for night riding:
- Follow traffic rules
Always follow the traffic rules and keep a safe distance from the curb and parked cars. I know most bicycle safety advocates in North America advise not to go on sidewalks but lack of bike paths on high traffic areas in big cities sometimes force cyclist off the road. If you need to choose the sidewalk, make sure you slow down or walk on the sidewalks with your bike.
- Well-maintained bike
Make sure your bike is well maintained and that your brakes work well and that your tire pressure is good.
- Light up the bike
Make sure your bike has a red rear-facing light and white front lights and that the batteries are in good condition. You also want to have reflectors attached to the bike for safe biking at night.
- Increase your visibility with reflective items
Become personally equipped for nighttime by wearing reflective items on you and your clothing. Modern safety reflectors are very effective in the headlghts of cars and wearing a reflective vest or items like safety reflectors or slap wraps greatly increases your visibility at night. Slap wraps around your legs and arms catch the eyes of drivers sooner, as your legs are in constant motion, giving the reflective surface a bigger effect. Attach safety reflectors to your bike and on bike bags so the dark spots really light up. I like to attach slap wraps around our handlebars and when dusk time comes they are handy to put around our wrists and ankles.
You can get safety reflectors ($4) and reflective slap wraps ($8) from www.activekidsclub.com.