Monday, January 3, 2011
Night Riding Visibility
In preparation for going to Hong Kong to adjudicate, I began going over the piano music I will be listening to while I'm there. I'll be doing this in the evenings over the next few weeks. My commute isn't very far, only a mile one way, but at least it gets me on the bike, and lets me stretch out a bit after being couped up inside so much lately. As I've mentioned in a previous post, I don't really like to ride at night. That does multiply the chances of having an encounter with a motor vehicle. However, there are things you can do to try and minimize those chances. When I got home earlier tonight, I thought I would take some pics again of what I might look like to a car driver out there on the road. The stuff on my head, arms, waist, and ankles is all reflective material. It is not lights. You can see how important it is to include reflective material along with any lights you use as part of your night riding gear. You can't have enough of it. It really helps you 'pop out' and be seen better. If you can get it on any moving parts of your body or bike the better. It shows other drivers that you are in fact a human being. Also, the higher up the better too. For instance, getting something visible on your helmet or head will show drivers that you are a human being as well. A road that is usually very fast and busy during the day, in the evening is less so. I rode a bit to the right, just off center in the lane keeping a comfortable distance from the curb. At the stoplights, I took the middle of the lane, and held it through the intersection. Tonight drivers gave me plenty of room as they passed. I was confident that I was being seen. If I didn't have that gear I wouldn't be as confident of that, and if fact wouldn't even be out there. Please don't ride at night without lights and reflective gear.