With daylight savings well and truly behind us, you may find yourself in the dark when it comes to winter cycling. We’ve put together a few tips on how to stay safe and seen during the colder months.
When riding outside of sunlight hours, remember that it is required by law to use front (white/yellow) and rear (red) lights on your bike. As soon as the street lights come on, turn your bike lights on (although, we think it’s safer to have them on at all times).
Lights need to be in steady or flashing modes visible from at least 200m. A red reflector on the rear is required at all times. Keep in mind that some lights can be very bright, so aim your lights at the road in front of you, not into the eyes of fellow riders or traffic!
With so many light sets available out there, we’ve pulled together some tips to make your choice a little easier:
- It is often cheaper to buy lights in a set (front and rear together);
- For regular, short trips (like commuting) USB recharging lights are more convenient than keeping a stock of batteries on hand;
- If you ride on bike paths or poorly lit streets, you’ll need a more powerful light to provide proper illumination with a focused beam;
- If you commute every day, all year- round and are sick of charging your lights ask about setting your bike up with a dynamo wheel setup. Dynamo hubs create electricity when they spin to power front and rear lights. Setups start at $500;
- Learn how to switch between the low, high and flashing modes and when to use them to conserve battery life and maximise safety; and
- Don’t forget to take your lights with you when you park your bike!
In addition to lights, it’s a great idea to invest in some hi-vis gear. Things like hi-vis bag covers, jackets or accessories with reflective accents like gloves, arm warmers and leg warmers are a great way to increase your visibility in low-light conditions while keeping the elements at bay. Additionally, wind-proof items are a great way to avoid most of the cold, even if it’s just a thin layer over your normal riding kit which can pack down nice and small after you’ve warmed up a bit.
With a little bit of preparation, you can stay warm and safe while riding through the winter months. Come see us at Goldsbrough Lane, Docklands, Geelong or visit our online store and we’ll get you sorted with the right gear.