Denise Goldberg's blog

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Hidden on the road

It will never cease to surprise me when I see cyclists on the road - in the dark - with (almost) no visibility aids. I say almost because the rider I saw tonight did have a very small flashing red light facing to the back. That helped; I realized that someone was in the road. But a single bulb red flasher really isn't enough on a dark and somewhat narrow road. This cyclist was wearing dark clothing and had nothing reflective on his (or her) body. Yes I realized someone was there as I approached, but as I was passing I looked over to the side and saw absolutely nothing - just a big dark space.

I know it's possible - and easy - to make yourself visible on the road at night. I don't like to risk it myself, but I have seen cyclists commuting home on dark winter nights who have stood out from the darkness. What does it take? Reflective clothing, multiple lights facing backward, multiple lights facing forward - and I'd recommend lights on both the bike and the body.

Do you suppose that the rider I saw (by pure luck) was trying to hide in the darkness?