Since an electric bike is even more efficient than a traditional bike, you should be able to ride it anywhere you like and at whatever time of the day, right? Yes, that’s a given. However, let’s not forget that these machines are not accident-proof, and anything can happen at any time if you aren’t careful.
Riding an electric bike at night is more risky, but not impossible. It’s harder to spot obstacles or be seen by others, so you have to be extra careful. You can be safer by wearing reflective clothing, using lights, planning your route ahead of time, and riding more cautiously.
These safety measures can be anything from wearing the right outfit to having the right accessories with you or on your electric bike. How about we take a look at everything you need to know to ride safely at night?
How to Ride a Bike Safely at Night
We admit that it might be dangerous, but you don’t have to be scared of riding your electric bike at night. So long as you have the necessary gear and you take the right steps, you might even find out that riding at night is a pleasurable experience. We’ve put together all the things you need for your night ride, so let’s go!
What Accessories Make Riding an E-Bike at Night Safer?
These accessories are as important as the e-bike itself, and you have to ensure that you have most – if not all – of them before you step out at night.
Wear Reflective Clothing
At night, your outfit matters. Wearing something dark or inconspicuous is a disaster waiting to happen. You don’t want to blend with the darkness, do you?
Even if you’re wearing something shady, you need to have something on you to let people see you on the road. That’s why it’s important to wear reflective gear to inform other road users of your presence.
Some of the reflective gear you can try out are HiVisible Reflective Bands for Arm and Leg (on Amazon), Illumiseen LED Reflective Belt (on Amazon), and TOURUN Reflective Vest (on Amazon). There’s no shortage of reflective items that you can place on yourself to reveal yourself to other night road users.
In the same vein, you can also get a reflective tape like the STARREY Reflective Tape (on Amazon) for your electric bike. That way, your bike will be visible to people.
Use the Right Light
This is perhaps the most important accessory you need when riding at night. When things go dark, it’s time to turn the lights on. So, your brake light, headlight, taillight, and every kind of light are must-haves.
Having your lights on at night will help you see the road clearly and also let car drivers, bikers, and even pedestrians know that you are on the road too.
Still, you have to be careful when selecting your road lights. You might be tempted to think that the brighter, the better, but don’t think that way. Contrary to what you believe, extremely bright lights can be very dangerous for you, especially if you’re riding in the city.
For one, your blinding light might make it difficult for oncoming traffic to see clearly, and that may put you at risk. Cars around you might not also be able to see your brake light if your taillight is too bright. That means you have to get head and tail lights that are not too bright and not too low either.
Use Reflective Helmets
Reflective helmets can also be one way to guarantee your safety at night. They will also inform riders around you of your presence. Some reflective helmets you should try out are MOKFIRE Adult Bike Helmet (on Amazon) and Smart4U SH50U Smart Bike Helmet (on Amazon).
How Should You Ride an E-Bike at Night?
Now, it’s important to have all these necessary accessories, but it’s even more essential to have the right attitude for night cycling. The right accessories with the wrong behavior might still cause you a lot of trouble, so you have to be very careful.
Here are some tips on how you should ride an e-bike at night:
Check Your Bike
Before you jump on your bike for your night trip, confirm that all parts of the machine are working well. Check the brakes, the head and taillights, the tires, and every other element that needs checking.
Ensuring that every component of your e-bike is functioning properly is one way to prevent any mishap from happening when you’re riding at night.
Plan Your Route
It’s unsafe to get on the road at night without knowing where exactly you’ll pass through to arrive at your location. Here are some steps you can take:
- Ride through streets that have low traffic and are well lit;
- Stick to a route that you’re already familiar with. It will give you a sense of safety and make you more comfortable while riding
- If you are trying out a path for the first time, consult Google Maps to understand how the road looks before setting out.
Obey the Rules of the Road
One grave mistake that anyone can make when cycling at night is disobeying the rules and regulations of the road. You might do this during the day and get lucky, but it’s very dangerous to break those rules at night.
Don’t ride against the traffic because you believe cars will see you better. This is illegal and may confuse the driver. Obey the traffic lights and other stop signs, even when there’s no one around. Pay attention to intersections and busy crossings, and drive carefully.
Focus While Riding
Even with your headlights, there are still some road obstacles you may not be able to see until it’s almost too late.
These obstacles can be rocks or bumps, small animals, wet and slippery roads, etc. The only way you can avoid them is by staying focused on the road so that you can spot them quickly and prevent them.
How can you stay focused while riding? Avoid talking on the phone or listening to music while cycling. Look straight ahead and glance sideways only when you have to – like checking that the road is clear before moving.
You can also wear night driving glasses to protect your eyes from blinding lights that might distract you. You should ride only when you’re alert and not when you’re tired or feeling drowsy.
No matter how experienced you are, you shouldn’t go too fast when riding at night. This might result in a crash.
Drive slowly and steadily, so you can react better when surprises happen on the road, like when a driver or pedestrian suddenly shows up out of nowhere. It’s easier to brake and avoid a crash when you’re moving at a slow pace than moving at a fast one.
Ride with a Friend
If you want to ride your e-bike at night, it’s usually better to go with at least someone else – cycling in a group is even better. Not only will it make for a fun experience, but you also get to have people look out for you when you’re riding.
Also, the more bikes there are on the road, the easier it will be for other road users to be aware of your presence and try to slow down for you. This will definitely guarantee your safety.
Riding at night might be risky, but if you let fear get a grip on you, all your worries might come to pass. The best way you can stay safe while riding at night is to remain confident. This is why you have to be sure of your riding abilities before you step out at night.
If you aren’t sure that you’re good enough to cycle at night, you can practice by riding on empty roads until you’re confident enough to take on more occupied routes.
Is Riding an E-Bike at Night Allowed?
No law states that you can’t ride your bike at night. An electric bike is as much a means of transportation as any other vehicle on the road. So, you can cycle at night just as you can drive your car.
However, it’s more dangerous to commute at night, even much more than when you’re driving a car. This is because bikes, electric and traditional, don’t have the protective covering that a car does.
On a cycle, you are exposed to different things that might go wrong. This makes it necessary for you to take special care to do what needs to be done to ensure your safety.
Still, as dangerous as it may be, many have successfully ridden at night without anything going wrong. In fact, these people would tell you that cycling at night is an entirely different adventure that you should try out.
Since we’ve discussed the different things you need to do and have to ride safely at night, let’s also share some of the reasons why night riding is an enjoyable activity:
- Less Traffic: If you ride well during the day, you’ll know how often you have to deal with traffic and annoying commuters. At night, you have the entire road to yourself. Even when there are other road users at night, they usually aren’t as many as the people you’ll encounter during the day. Since there’s less traffic on the road at that time, you can always follow the route that’s almost always busy during the day.
- A good way to relax and end the day: Imagine how nice it would feel to have some time to yourself after a busy day, with the wind in your air and the breeze on your skin. You also get to meditate and enjoy the wonders of nighttime.
- A better way to exercise: Most times, we’re too busy to incorporate exercise into our routine, and this is where night riding becomes important. Cycling at night is a way to ensure that you hit your fitness goals in no time.
Riding at night can be a fun experience, as long as you have your safety kit and you follow all the necessary safety tips.