#7: I cannot stress enough the value of lights!

Lights

Today I forgot to put my front light on and because of that, it nearly cost me a lot of money and pain, as I was only just able to avoid an accident.

You will hear commentators say in sport it’s the 1% that makes the difference and with lights on your bike, I absolutely agree.  One little thing could be the difference between life and death.

If a driver can just get a quick glimpse of a flash it may cause them to brake instead of accelerate, and that may be the difference between a good ride and an ambulance ride.

It was daytime and I was travelling in traffic between the slow cars and the parked cars, not going very fast when all of a sudden, a car turned in front of me to dive into an empty car spot.  I hit the brakes hard, locked up the tyres and just managed to avoid a side swipe.  The car behind blasted his horn – why? – because of me or to alert the car, I don’t know.

It was then that I evaluated what happened as I continued my ride, and realised my light was turned off.

The Dark Path

I have always ridden with lights because I thought it necessary. Soon after I started riding I found that the best time for me to ride during the week was after work, so when daylight savings stopped I went and bought some cheapish lights (pic: top left) for safety reasons, so that other cars could see me.

But as I got serious and started riding before the sun came up, I bought a second better set of lights that had a powerful front light so I could see and avoid potholes in the road.  The ones I chose were the Light Motion Urban 500 (pic: top centre and right).  I am really happy with them!

So if you want to know what to buy, in my opinion,

  • If you are going to ride at night in poorly lit places, buy powerful
  • If you just need something for day time, you dont need the expense
  • I suggest a flashing front light for day riding
  • The rear, use flashing red if possible
  • If you commute, two rear lights are good: on bike and helpmet or bag
  • If you commute at night, two bright white front lights are best: one bright, one flashing

In my real and final opinion, if you are on the roads, lights are a must, always! It’s only 200 grams.

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