This is obvious, right? For one it’s required by law, as aptly summarized by MassBike: You must have your headlight and taillight on if you are riding anytime from 1/2 hour after sunset until 1/2 hour before sunrise. But beyond that, it makes sense! If you are riding around the busy streets of Boston, already susceptible to the dangers of the roads, wouldn’t you want to be seen by the drivers of the 4,000+ lbs. vehicles you are traveling with?
Based on all of this I proudly wear my flashing rear light on my backpack, and have a nifty front light attached to my bike, but as the daylight lessens, I’ve noticed a disturbing trend within the cyclist community. Beyond a significant decrease of the number of cyclists I see (come on folks, it’s not cold out once you are moving, I swear!) many within my commuting group lack lights when riding after dark.
On my ride home last night I counted 13 cyclists without lights. Most of whom were wearing dark clothing! This includes two that had only a front light, but isn’t even counting the two that had rear lights poorly positioned so that they could barely be seen. Now considering that I only saw probably 20-25 cyclists max, this is a very high percentage of ‘invisible’ and law-breaking cyclists!
As the darkness creeps upon us, please please, not only for your own safety but so that I don’t have a heart attack when you sneak up upon me, get some lights! There are a range of lights available in the shop, from the blinding Nite Riders to the nifty Cateye Orbit lights which will attach to your wheels.
As MassBike says: You may have as many lights and reflectors on your bike as you wish. So, let there be light!