This is the time of year when riding in the evening is very pleasant, but it starts getting darker earlier and earlier. Just now I saw three cyclists riding in the dark without lights. This is very dangerous! Reflectors are not good enough to protect you. Please get lights!
As it happens, when I was thinking about this post, I rode past CMU and saw one or two cyclists stopped by the police for not having lights. So the police are out there, giving out tickets for not having lights. A ticket costs more than an adequate set of lights.
You can get good lights at any bike store. You can easily mount them on your bike or adapt the attachments to mount them on your helmet. They’ll be completely visible up there.
You don’t need to spend much at all if you’re doing city riding. You’re mostly concerned about being seen, not seeing. The streetlights are enough to tell where you’re going. Even a couple of small battery-operated lights are fine.
I just checked; under $10 on Amazon. C’mon.
I urge cyclists to get lights that take AA or AAA cells, rather than the 2032-size button cells. The latter grow dim with use, then must be replaced, while AA & AAA lights can employ rechargeable cells. While this requires a greater up-front cost, swapping in a fresh set for the depleted ones to go right back on the charger ultimately saves money.
I have not willingly bought an alkaline cell for anything in four or five years.
Anyone looking to buy a present for someone, I recommend a pack of rechargeables with the charger, as a starter set. Usually about $20.
You don’t need to spend much at all if you’re doing city riding. You’re mostly concerned about being seen, not seeing. The streetlights are enough to tell where you’re going.
Mostly true, but depending on your riding it does matter. There’s enough debris and potholes that you do want good lighting. I aim my light down, maybe about 3-4 bike lengths ahead; it helps. Also, flashing headlights mostly come across as annoying; if you feel you need them, I would suggest something helmet-mounted and more diffuse.
When I commuted to Oakland in the dark at 6am I always felt safer with a blinky front and tail light. I felt it caught the eye of the driver better than a solid light. But I have no scientific evidence. But I figured that something that changed like a blinky was better. I also had another set of lights mounted on my helmet so I was super light man. The headlight on my helmet was a solid white light, but both taillights blinked.
At one point I had a back taillight that projected red laser lines next to the bike on the pavement. And I had reflective stickers all over the bike and wheels.