If you are an avid bicyclist like me, the return of warm weather means that the spring riding season is upon us. So, I’d like to take a moment to remind all of you to take some extra precautions when you ride, particularly if you ride early in the morning or into the evening hours.
First, the motorists you share the roads with are focused on other cars, but often fail to pay adequate attention to cyclists. So, regardless of the time or circumstances in which you ride, be concerned about your visibility. Do what you can to increase it.
Second, try to stay away from dark colors. This is particularly true if you ride at night, but a cyclist in dark clothing can be difficult to see in shadowed areas even during the day. And be sure to watch out for your children on this point, as they are often times amongst the worst offenders.
If you ride in the transitional hours of dusk and dawn, remember that these are the times of day when visibility is the trickiest. The low angle of the sun on the horizon creates odd shadow angles and other visibility problems which can hide you from view.
Also, if you ride a road bike with drop bars, there is also a relatively new light available which shines red to the rear and with standard lights to the front. Called “lumos”, these lights, made by the European cycling company Tacx, are a great addition to increase your visibility. Here is a YouTube video showing the product.
So, what can you do? Wear loud colors, wear reflective materials and buy reflective tape to put on your helmet and bike. Remember, the further away a motorist is from you when he or she notices you are there, the safer you will be.