Riding at night. For some, it’s an addiction. For others, it is a necessity! Anyone who has ever had the pleasure of riding a bicycle at night, whether it’s in a city or on a trail, you know this moment can be unforgettable, especially with the right equipment.
To so we can go biking at night, the risks tend to increase, starting with our signs. At the same time, during the night the traffic is smaller and is usually easier to meet friends for a ride. And who’s going to bike to work, often the back home is held in night conditions.
So, our main goal in this post is to give some tips and guidelines on how to make safer and more enjoyable your night ride.
According to a study conducted in the United States by Kenneth d. Cross and Gary Fisher (this, a Mountain biking legend!), the most common types of accidents at night are:
-the rider does not see any obstacle-the most common are holes, rocks, pedestrians and even other cyclists! -and collides against him;
-you are involved in an accident with a motor vehicle .
According to this same study, about 70% of the nightly occurrences between cars and bikes are head-on collisions or hit at crossroads, in a 90-degree angle. In only 21% of cases registered a cyclist being struck from the rear.
And, finally, they concluded that the simple use of the lighthouse on the bike night could prevent up to 80% of the cases recorded, since most of the accidents were linked to poor signaling the cyclist in the darkness.
Basically, there are three initiatives that can make cycling at night much safer, namely:
-1) signaling the cyclist
2-) signaling and illumination of the bike
3-defensive riding techniques)
Signaling The Cyclist
In terms of signaling the cyclist, it is important to say that these ducts may be taken up during the day, because the more we see “, the chances of accidents. In this sense, always try to use light clothes and flashy, if possible even with reflective bands.
So you can have an idea until, in one of the most elegant and pleasing evidence of world cycling, theAudax , is mandatory the use of a reflective vest. The good helmets available on the market usually come with reflective tapes, helping the signs.
There are also some electronic accessories of nocturnal signaling for the rider wear, such as clamps with flashing leds, or to headlamps are appropriate for the helmet (headlamps).
That is, there is a huge range of accessories for rider signs, ranging from simple reflective vest the clothes with integrated lighting. Everything will depend on your needs and your Pocket!
When it comes to bicycle signaling, the variety of accessories enlarges. The Brazilian Traffic code forces the bike to be fitted with reflectors at the front, the back and on the sides.
By default, and experience, the ideal is to use a flashing light (flashes fast) in red color in the back of the bike, and a white light flashing at the front, because the lights have your very restricted visibility. With these two accessories, your bike will be more visible to drivers, pedestrians and other cyclist, making your night drive stay more secure.
With respect to lighting the way, it is necessary to establish what type of path to go, because we have available from simple to complex battery lanterns with led lighting systems that count up with rechargeable batteries!
As a rule, a cyclist at a speed of 12 km/h would need a headlamp with halogen bulb of at least 3 watts of power (these values increase proportionately to the extent who increases our speed), because when it comes to riding the night on the town, our lighting competes with public lighting and other vehicles, hindering our visual perception. On a trail or road without movement, the need for lighting decreases enough because our vision adapts to the dark. And if it’s a full moon tonight so. ..
Always give preference to headlights with LED type lamps, whose price nowadays is much more into account, and the lighting is more efficient. The difficulty in obtaining such a system, the lighting by halogen lamps is also quite satisfactory, being more accessible. However, the technology comes changing too.Currently, many urban bikes comes with integrated headlamps based in the former dynamos (anyone who says they remember delivered the age!), in which the own energy of the rider to pedal energy feeds the system! No more “eco-friendly”, right?
Bicycle Driving Techniques During The Night
Piloting techniques, firstly, imagine where you’re invisible to cars! Therefore, do everything you normally do, but with attention to your surroundings.
If pedaling pretty at night, it is worth applying on the bike and backpack reflective tapes. The 3 m Scotchlite brand are considered great options. You can apply them on the pedals, the fork, the rear seat stay “(one frame tube around the chain) or other places visible on the bike.
Always look for transit in streets of minor movement of vehicles. Another tip is to use glasses with amber (yellow) lenses, anti-glare, which help inhibit difficulties with the reflection of light in the opposite direction.Remember also, especially in cycling, to take extra batteries for flashlights. Trust me: they always end up when we need it the most!
Always try to ride in a group, but never ostentatious way, that is, occupying fully the range of movement of cars. This tends to annoy drivers, and definitely don’t want to be part of a “urban warfare”, and Yes we have fun and live in peace!
In São Paulo there are night tours organized by various groups every day of the week, each with their own characteristics and habits. You know and/or participates in a group? If so, leave us comments. If not, know that we’re organizing our group terms soon, which will bring many new features in this practice so