1. PICK THE RIGHT BIKE LIGHTS
Before heading out the road for your evening ride, you are going to need some great lights. Not only do they provide ample lighting for the road ahead of you, but they also make your presence known to other cars and fellow riders along the way.
Make sure that all of your lights are working correctly and will continue to work for the duration of your intended ride. It’s also wise to carry a few backup lights in the event that any of your lights fail prematurely.
With advancements in LED technology, it’s easier than ever to find bright and durable bike lights that fit nearly any budget. For example, there are a few lights available that supply 4200 lumens. These lights are six times brighter than the average car headlight or tail light!
Whether you plan on using your ebike for night riding, in the morning, or during foggy weather, having a well-lit headlight, brake lights, and turn signals are must-haves for any ride.
2. USE REFLECTIVE GEAR
While bike lights are crucial for riding your electric bike at night, another critical piece of equipment is reflective gear and clothing. Not only does reflective gear help grab the attention of a nearby car, but it will also help you stand out to fellow riders.
The available options for reflective gear for bikes have grown considerably over the past few years, and there is no shortage of brands to choose from. Additionally, look into incorporating some reflective tape on your e-bike that might provide extra visibility.
3. DRESS PROPERLY
Depending on where you live, riding your e-bike during the day could be a vast difference from riding your bike at night, which means you may need to also consider what type of clothing you will wear. Not only will you need to consider wearing clothing that will help you stand out in the darkness, but you will also want to wear clothing that will keep you warm.
For starters, this means wearing reflective clothing to grab motorists' eyes, as previously mentioned. This could be something such as a fluorescent coat or using a helmet light, but can also extend to reflective pants or leggings, as well. The more reflective clothing you wear, the better chance you have at standing out and staying safe.
4. PLAN YOUR ROUTE
While riding at night probably is not the time to perform an extensive three-hour ride, we know that some people don’t have the option or availability in their schedule. Whether it's a structured training session or you just want to get in a few additional miles for the week, planning ahead and preparing a safe route to ride can also be a helpful aid while riding electric bikes at night.
Before going out on your ride, decide on a specific route that you will follow to give your ride slightly more structure and safety. Try sticking to bike lanes that you know are well-lit, well-paved, and not as busy to protect yourself from any unforeseen hazards.
Additionally, it’s worth considering which streets you will use and avoid riding on poorly surfaced bike paths at night, as some will likely have a lot of potholes that are difficult to see in low light conditions. If possible, save your long rides for the weekend or times where you know you have an adequate amount of time to ride.
5. RIDE WITH A PARTNER OR GROUP
Having a friend or group of friends to ride with at night not only makes the workout more enjoyable and more motivating, but it also ensures the safety of the group at all times. If you have friends that are fellow riders, consider asking one or all of them if they would like to join you.
Additionally, riding with a partner or group can also be useful in the event of an emergency. There’s safety in numbers, and in the event that something goes wrong or you experience mechanical problems, with a group, you know that you have other people to assist you.
Before stepping out for your ride, be sure that all of you have enough resources to fix any mechanical problems. It can sometimes be helpful to assign specific roles to each member to provide the safest ride possible. Lastly, make sure that at least one member of the group has their cell phone with them in case of an emergency.
6. RIDE DEFENSIVELY
This rule also applies to riding during the day but becomes even more important when riding at night. Riding bikes defensively is one of the best measures you can take to ensure the safest ride possible.
Cars may be harder to see at night, and they will have an even more difficult time spotting you. Take additional time at intersections to stop and look both ways for oncoming traffic. If you are on a narrow road and notice a vehicle coming up behind you, consider moving over slightly more than you typically would to allow the car to pass you safely.
Additionally, while riding with music is more fun than riding without, when riding at night, consider riding with no music or using a Bluetooth speaker as an alternative, so you remain alert at all times.
7. HAVE FUN
Above all, have fun. Riding at night might not be the safest idea for electric bike riders, but switching up your routine and doing a night ride can be a fun adventure on your bike. Not to mention, hearing a strange sound behind you might even lead you to ride your bike a little faster than you would during the day.
Riding at night is invigorating and can be much quieter than riding during the day as the daily rush of cars around you is on pause. As long as you stick to the safety measures listed above, we believe you can have just as good of a ride at night as you do during the day.