Riding Your Bike at Night – How to Stay Safe

Riding a bicycle at night is a lot more dangerous than riding during the day. Most bicycles are equipped for daylight riding, but need to be adapted for night time use. Apart from the fact that your ability to see is going to be diminished, a cyclist is very difficult for motorists and pedestrians to see. When traveling at night you are likely only going to able to see a few feet in front of you. Even with a good set of lights, seeing can be difficult. Passing cars will also have a harder time seeing you when you decide to ride at night. And when riding in the dark, you need to be aware of people and/or animals that could be sharing the road with you. Personal safety is vital and you need to be prepared for whatever might come your way.

It is highly advisable that children should never ride at dawn, at dusk or at night. Adults who chose to accept the greatly increased risk of riding at dawn, at dusk or at night need to take extra care both riding and choosing specialized equipment which helps reduce that risk.

Your bicycle should be equipped with rear and pedal reflectors. In addition, the bike should have side reflectors or reflective tire sidewalls. Bicycle reflectors are designed to pick up and reflect street lights and car lights in a way that may help you to be seen and recognized as a moving bicyclist. Check reflectors and their mounting brackets regularly to make sure that they are clean, straight, unbroken and securely mounted. Do not remove the front or rear reflectors or reflector brackets from your bicycle. They are an integral part of the bicycle’s safety system. Bear in mind that bike reflectors are not a substitute for required lights. If you’re planning to ride at night, you must also have a white light installed in front and in the rear.

If you choose to ride under conditions of poor visibility, check and be sure you comply with all local laws about night riding, and take the following strongly recommended additional precautions:

– Wear clothes that make you more visible. Wearing neon, fluorescent or other bright colors helps you be easily seen by motorists. Items such as a reflective vest, reflective arm and leg bands, reflective stripes on your helmet, flashing lights attached to your body and/or your bicycle all work well. In fact, any reflective device or light source that moves will help you get the attention of approaching motorists, pedestrians and other traffic.

– Purchase and install a battery or generator powered head and tail lights which meet all regulatory requirements and provide adequate visibility.

– Make sure your clothing or anything you may be carrying on the bicycle does not obstruct a reflector or light.

– Ride slowly. Stay alert at all times. Look out for hazardous surfaces or obstacles in your path, such as potholes, loose gravel, manhole covers, cracks, railroad tracks, or wet leaves.

– Avoid dark areas and areas of heavy or fast-moving traffic. If possible, ride on familiar routes. Streets with bright lighting are best.

– Avoid road hazards. Be alert. Ride defensively and expect the unexpected. If riding in traffic, be predictable. Ride so that drivers can see you and predict your movements. Always assume that a driver does not see you.

Your Bicycle Basics Guide

No matter what type of cycling you are into, there is the perfect bicycle somewhere out there just waiting for you.

If you like to ride for pleasure, then a vintage bike or hybrid bike will be the answer for you. Vintage bikes are built for comfort with nice thick seats and handle bars that allow you to ride upright. The mud guards allow you to ride through puddles without getting any water on your clothes. There is also a carrier rack for your luggage.

A hybrid bicycle is designed especially to fit your specifications. They can be made for comfort or rough terrain. You can get them with high or low handlebars and a lot of choices when it comes to attachments such as gears, different seats and carrier racks.

Tikit bikes are great if you use your bicycle for commuting purposes. Tikit bikes are bicycles that fold up and this makes them easy to store, as well as carry around. You could for instance ride to the train station, fold the bike and take it on the train with you, and on the other side just unfold the bike and carry on riding to your destination. Tikit bikes can be folded and unfolded in about ten seconds and they are very light weight and easy to handle.

A racing bike is the choice of cyclists who cycle to win. Racing bicycles normally have the characteristic curled under handle bars to enable the rider to ride well forward for more aerodynamics and speed. These bikes are normally high performance, light weight and built for speed.

If you are a cyclist who likes to do tricks, then the unicycle or flatland bike will suit you perfectly. Flatland bikes are very popular for doing tricks and entering competitions. The BMX is the best known flatland bike, but there are many other makes available.

The unicycle is also used for performing tricks on. These are the one wheeled bicycles that one normally sees the clowns riding at the circus. Lately, the unicycle is used for sporting activities. There are events and competitions hosted in many countries to showcase unicyclist tricks and although this is the hardest bike to master, it has become a very popular sport over the years.

If you like bicycles that are designed for comfort and speed, you will enjoy riding a recumbent bike. These are most popular as exercise bikes at the gym, but are available as road bikes. Recumbent bikes have a seat with a back rest that allow the cyclist to sit back in a reclined position while riding. Recumbent bikes can be two or three wheeled and are normally quite low on the ground. For this reason, it is not a good idea to ride them in peak hour traffic.

Whatever bicycle you choose, you are certain to find one to suit you.

Jump on Your Bicycle to Increase Your Fitness Level

The bicycle is a great way to increase your fitness. The great thing about riding a bicycle is the great places you can travel to simply by riding your bike. Motivation is key in any good workout regimen. Being able to go interesting places is a great way to keep yourself motivated. With the onset of mountain biking, the options for bike riders are wide open. You can buy one bike and utilize it for both street riding and off road simply by changing the tires. Many people who own mountain bikes have two sets of wheels with different tires on each one. This allows a quick switch in what terrain the bicycle can be used for.

Some people do not have the time to go out of their way to work out. This is why riding your bicycle for fitness is a great option. Riding your bicycle to work will give you a great workout without having to go out of your way. You have to go to work anyways, so why not get an exercise in while you are at it. All you have to do is leave a little early to get to work on time. This is better suited to those who have a shower available to them in their offices. If a shower is not available, you can take a leisurely ride to work and make the ride home a bit more intense. Obviously, this is not an option if you live too far away from your work. Something to keep in mind is most public transportation have bike racks to allow you more options.

Bicycling clubs are a great way to go on fun trips with other cyclists. By hanging out with people who are serious about cycling, you will find a great source of inspiration. Clubs go on trips all the time to really fun locations. Training for trips is hardly necessary as there are people from all levels of fitness involved on the trips. You may find just the motivation you need to not only get on the bike in the first place, but to stay on the bike for years to come.

Why Ride a Bicycle?

Why should you ride a bicycle? It’s a simple question with a not-so-simple answer.

I think the first and foremost reason is that riding a bike is enjoyable. Whether you ride for entertainment or exercise or to commute, the experience should be fun. If you’re not enjoying it, stop riding. Give it a chance and if it’s not for you, it’s not for you. Simple as that.

Riding a bike can be a very refreshing activity. It feels great to get outside and get the wind in your face. To me, trail riding is a fantastic place to clear my head. I get out on the trail and forget about everything going on in my life and just concentrate on the next obstacle ahead of me. I always feel rejuvenated after a good mountain bike ride. Road riding kind of has the opposite effect for me personally. A good road ride gives me a chance to get some good thinking done. Bottom line…riding a bicycle is therapeutic.

Riding a bike is also, probably more obviously, beneficial to your health. It is a great low impact exercise. The amount of stress put on your joints is very minimal. For those with bad knees, cycling gives the opportunity to get a great workout without putting much stress on the knees and ankles yet still strengthening them. I have been through three ankle surgeries and a large portion of my therapy was to ride a bicycle. You can get a cardiovascular and strength workout without having to worry about putting the pounding stress on your joints. I definitely could not have handled much of that during my therapy so cycling was a great alternative workout. Another benefit for me was that the pedaling provided a large range of motion so my ankle was being stretched every stroke. All of these combined helped me recover quickly. Today I spend much of my workout time on my bicycle. Now I’m trying to avoid future joint problems that other activities may bring on.

Riding is not just good for you. By riding your bike you’re doing your part in helping the environment. Here I’m talking about using your bicycle as a mode of transportation. Anytime you don’t use your car you’re helping. Riding your bike is a very effective way to get around. A bicycle is actually one of the most efficient modes of transportation when looking at input versus output. Commuting to work during rush hour can be easily avoided by riding a bicycle. You can laugh at all the people inching along as you fly by on your human-powered vehicle. And hey…you even got a little workout on the way. I think this reason may have the most effect, at least right now. With fuel being as expensive as it is, think of the money you’ll save by commuting on your bicycle. I’m not saying to ride everywhere you go. Of course there are going to be times when it just isn’t practical, but I guarantee you will notice the difference in your pocket if you honestly make the effort to ride when you can.

These reasons can really all be tied together. Speaking from a completely commuting standpoint, you will avoid rush hour traffic while saving money and getting exercise and doing your part to help the environment. You may even have a little fun. It’s a win-win-win-win-win situation. There really isn’t a downside. All this by riding your bicycle to work.

These are a few reasons to ride that hit a chord with me personally and I hope it will provide you some insight into why people ride bicycles and maybe even inspire you to get out and ride and come up with your own reasons.

As always…Ride On.