See and be seen on your cycleFri 30th March 2018
With increasing hours of daylight as the days go by, it’s more or less light now when travelling to and from work for most of us. It’s the time of year when we start to see more cyclists getting their bikes out of their sheds and garages and thinking about either commuting to work or going out in an evening/early morning for exercise or for fun. However, even though we changed the clocks on March 25th, levels of light are still little weather dependent and it is very easy to get caught out and find yourself cycling when visibility is poor. You hear so many stories of cyclists having been knocked off their bikes at night because the car driver said they didn’t see them, even when they have lights on their bikes.
Without entering into a debate though about car users vs cyclists, ultimately the roads are there to be shared by all and it is every road-users’ responsibility to look after one another. Of the two, however, cyclists are of course the most exposed and vulnerable and will almost always end up worse off if involved in a collision with a car. It is therefore in your best interests, as a cyclist, to do absolutely everything possible to try and avoid this.
Have you considered carrying a small emergency light in your pocket? You can buy ones with an elastic rubber strap that are small and USB rechargeable which will take seconds to attach to your bike when visibility becomes limited. Bright yellow clothing isn’t necessarily cool, but please make the rest of you as visible as possible for your own safety. Let’s face it, wearing black lycra (or lycra of any colour for that matter), is never going to win any fashion prizes, so there is absolutely no harm in jazzing up your bike or helmet etc with lots of lights and reflective strips. The more lights and reflective strips and/or clothing you wear the better! Try also to take time and anticipate cars’ movements in order to avoid danger, as you may be lit up like a Christmas tree, but a car driver may not always be looking in your direction.
Bike lights have come on in leaps and bounds in recent years and you can now buy super bright lights. You can get super-bright lights which allow you to see perfectly clearly at night because they are nearly as bright as a car headlight, which means that you are also clearly visible to others and can easily be seen from miles away in the distance. But please don’t put them in flashing mode - they are a real distraction to a car-driver - just use them in constant beam! You could put a second, less-bright light on your bike which does flash; it won’t blind a car-driver but will high-light your presence. That old saying ‘Wear something bright at night’ still holds true!
Wilsons Wheels has a great selection of lights, clothing and reflective materials which can help you be seen. Do pop in Monday to Saturday at 89 Grovehill Road, Beverley or call 01482 882881 - they love to talk about all things bike.