Having already written about the steps riders can take to increase visibility, I’d like to focus on the importance of riding with daytime lights. This is a practice I have only recently began using. I can attest to the fact that it’s one we should all take a part in. My first ride with retina searing lights blinking during daylight hours was met by motorists giving me an incredible amount of room.
I’ve touched upon it before. There are numerous vendors to choose from. You can spend hours researching which light is best for what application. I personally have had good luck with NiteRider products. I’ve paid for every light I’ve used from them, so don’t think this is any kind of sponsored content. They just happen to be a local company here in San Diego. Anytime I’ve called them with a question, they have been kind and courteous over the phone.
NiteRider offer plenty of combo systems. I was lucky to find an end of the year blowout on a discontinued item. For less than the price of a set of new tires, I was able to purchase the Lumina Micro 550 (now 650 thus the killer deal) and Sabre 80 combo. While I am clearly partial to this one brand, many vendors offer high quality, similarly priced and spec’d products.
Small package big light
Part of the reason I choose the lights I did is I’m a bit of a selective weight-weeny. I don’t weigh everything I ride with, but I didn’t want a bulky lighting system weighing me down any more than necessary. Fortunately, modern lights are not only insanely bright, but incredibly light weight. The front light only weighs 130g (less than 5oz) and the rear only 28g (one ounce!). The front light tucks under my stem, and I don’t notice it at all. The rear goes around my seat post, and like the front is effectively invisible to me. I am however lit up like the sky on the Fourth of July.
It’s an unfortunate reality that most cyclists are invisible when on the road. We have options to make us stand out though. Modern lighting technology is a great way to bring attention to yourself when you are on the road. Considering the lighting package I went with weighs less than half a bottle of water, there is no reason not to ride with lights at all times. It’s nice to know you are seen. And even the most distracted driver will have a hard time ignoring a bright light flashing from the side of the road. Stay safe out there, and as always, keep the rubber side down!