Now that daylight savings time has officially ended, darkness is starting to fall at 5pm. Gone are the days when you can ride until 8pm without lights.
The main point of having blinky lights is so that you can be seen. When riding in urban areas, there are usually street lights that keep the roads visibly lit. But street lights are not enough to keep you, the cyclist, visible to vehicles and other traffic. Case in point:
None of these riders have lights on, and they are also all wearing dark colored clothing. If you are driving in a car, it would be nearly impossible to see them. The next time you are in a car at night, I encourage you to watch out for riders without lights. They are very difficult to spot.
When riding at night sometimes you just assume that you can be seen, since you can easily see cars with their bright headlights and tail lights. Whereas car lights are used to light up the road, blinky lights such as the SuperFlash or Knog, are used primarily to keep you visible, as they aren’t strong enough to illuminate a dark path.
Above is a picture of a bike pile around a well lit lamp post. Notice how the one light that is on sticks out like a sore thumb. That’s how you want to be at night. It doesn’t hurt to have multiple lights and brightly colored clothing either. Sometimes it is good to be a shining star.
Don’t even think for a second that you will be invincible because you have lights on and a neon colored beanie. As careful as you are during the day, you should be that much more careful at night.