Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Bike Safe, Bike Visible!

Probably preaching to the choir here but still, a little reminder that when you are out biking around at this time of year, visibility is very often limited for motorists and other cyclists. If it is dark and rainy, it is very hard for a motorist to see a pedestrian or cyclist on the road- unless... that is unless you are wearing bright colors with reflective striping, and have at least one bright, properly mounted and aimed white light on the front of your bike and at least one properly mounted and aimed red rear light. The newest and brightest LED lights are very bright and eye-catching, but even they need to be aimed toward the eye of an approaching driver. LED's are bright, but still very directional, meaning they throw a narrow focused beam, meaning that if the light is not aimed properly, much of it's effectiveness is lost. This is especially important for older LED lights which are much dimmer, and are practically useless unless aimed directly toward the eye of an oncoming driver. Clipping a light to your messenger bag doesn't do the trick. Your light needs to be mounted so that it projects its beam nearly parallel to the ground, and as close as possible to straight forward or back from your bike. As always, ride predictably and respect other road users, and I wish you a long life of safe cycling!