With the clocks going back on the morning of 28th October and shorter days approaching it’s time to start thinking about staying safe when cycling in the dark.
Here’s a list of the minimum equipment required for riding a bike at night to stay within the law. (Source bikeradar.com)
- A front lamp showing a white light, positioned up to 150cm from the ground and facing forwards. If capable of emitting only a flashing light, it must emit at least four candela (a unit of light intensity, comfortably exceeded by modern lights)
- A rear lamp showing a red light, positioned between 35cm and 150cm from the ground, facing rearwards. If capable of emitting only a flashing light, it must emit at least four candela
- Rear reflector, coloured red, positioned between 25cm and 90cm from the ground, facing rearwards
- Pedal reflectors, coloured amber, positioned so that one is plainly visible to the front and another to the rear of each pedal
Tips for cycling in the dark
- Consider putting your rear light where it can always be seen, like attaching a permanent LED light to your pannier rack.
- Wear brightly coloured reflective clothing/accessories
- Consider changing your route to a better lit route. Bear in mind some routes may have fallen branches and wet leaves on them. Try out any new routes in daylight to build up your confidence.
- Avoid cycling in the gutter to prevent debris causing a puncture.
- Book a Dr Bike session to make sure your bike is in good condition and greatly reduce your chances of breaking down while out in the dark.
- Go slower than you would in daytime and keep your eyes open for unexpected obstacles, bumps in the road and movement by others on the road or path.