Riding off into the sunset?

Make sure your bike is lit properly!

Electric co-op mascot Willie Wiredhand has souped up his bike with lights …  maybe a tad too much. But he says he doesn’t want to go “gentle into the good night” without making sure motorists can see him.

May not only is Electrical Safety Month, it’s also National Bike Month. When you’re out cycling on rural roads and suburban streets, don’t let the sun go down on you unless you’re sure you can see the road and others can see you. Here are tips from national outdoor specialty retailer REI, the nation’s largest consumer co-op, and others on equipping your bike with lights:

  • A well-lit bike is equipped with front, side and rear lighting to ensure your visibility to motorists and pedestrians.
  • For commuting or riding after dark — especially on trail rides that are far from ambient light sources — your front light needs to be a high-output lighting system so you see well ahead of you.
  • Front, side and rear safety lights help motorists see you in dim light conditions. The brightest ones also improve your visibility in the daytime. However, they’re not bright enough to help you see where you’re going for most night riding. The main differences between lights for visibility and high-output lights for vision are in mounting options, the number of LEDs and type of batteries.
  • As a general rule, higher price equals higher light output.
  • Make sure your light has a durable housing sealed with weatherproof gaskets to shine in any kind of weather.
  • Finally, no matter when or where you ride, always wear a properly fitted bicycle helmet to protect all that wiring up there in your head. You never know when you might take a spill. Even in your own driveway, a fall to the pavement could cause a serious head injury or even death.