Photo credit: Easycycling.com
Can you spot the cyclist? We are struggling.
The person in the photo above has donned the easiest (and worst) Halloween costume known to cyclists: the Bike Ninja. These shadowy individuals are nearly invisible to others on the road and downright dangerous… to themselves.
In 2013, 39% of bicycle fatalities occurred between 6pm and midnight, a block of hours when riders grow less visible to other road users. It’s now mid-October, and the Fall weather is in full swing. That means that daylight hours are waning, and area riders will find themselves in more situations where they have to pedal in twilight or nighttime conditions.
Properly equipping your bike with lights for nighttime riding is a matter of law as well as your personal safety. When riding after sunset, Pennsylvania state law requires riders to use, at minimum, a front light that emits a white beam. However, while not strictly required, a rear red light is nearly essential for maintaining visibility on the road. White and/or red blinking lights further announce your presence to drivers and pedestrians — look for ones with an irregular blinking pattern.
We think ninjas are cool, but we’d much rather that you stay safe and well-lit on your bike.
For more safe riding tips, take our three-hour on-the-bike Confident City Cycling course. The final class of this season is this Saturday, October 17th in Downtown. SIGN UP.
Sign up for Bike Pittsburgh’s newsletter, The Messenger, to get the latest news on events, bike and pedestrian infrastructure, and fun, delivered straight to your inbox. Twice monthly emails, no spam.