Most of the cycling enthusiast like to bike in the evening, more or less because it’s cool in the evening when it compares to the daytime, less vehicle on the road and feels great has some exercise in the outdoor.
And getting reflex from the busy workday, summer evening cycling has become more popular with a good trend.
However, due to less light when biking, the unclear sightings causes the higher risk of summer riding in the evening.
This week, we’re going to talk about how to have easy & safe summer evening cycling.
1. Warm-up exercise
Before riding out in the evening, you’d better have warm-up exercise a little bit.
As I see it, the warm-up exercise will help you:
1) Gently prepare the body for your riding by gradually increasing the heart rate and circulation.
2) This will loosen the joints and increase blood flow to the muscles.
3) Stretching the muscles prepares them for physical activity and prevents injuries.
In my previous blog about 9 of the Most Common Cycling Injuries and How to Prevent Them, I pointed Muscle Fatigue, while exercising, your muscles feel weak, painful and tired.
Top10homeremedies offer below kind of warm up routine before exercising, simple and easy to learn. 3-10 minutes slowly warm up your muscles and joints.
Without the appropriate warm-up exercise, in another word, muscle cramps also commonly happen for some person who during the riding.
From Sports Medicine Information, they also mention that do some warm up before undertaking any strenuous exercises as a way to prevent muscle cramps.
Meanwhile, you also can stretch after exercise to prevent cramps after exertion and stretch the muscles which are prone to cramp before exercising to reduce the likelihood of developing cramp (hamstring, calf, quadriceps)
2. Cycling on the familiar route
Discover a new route in the evening? Well, it’s better not.
You can take an adventure, you can find great new places to ride, but for the evening riding, for me, I would prefect to choose the familiar road route which at least riding once.
Evening riding, we’re less sensitive on what happens on road, chose the familiar route, you will easy to find the obstacle with full attention and you will understand when you need to speed up and when to have to slow down.
3. Bike Lighting
Lightly is the top priority in the evening riding. A basic light helps to make you visible to others; especially motor vehicles can see you.
From front light, rear light to helmet-mounted light, that’s basic to protect yourself riding safely if you have all and “being seen” is just as important during the day as it is at night.
The angle of the light should be moderate, the distance is appropriate, and the light should not be too strong or too weak.
If you do not know how to set them up right, seeking for professional help from your nearest bike store and ask for maintaining your bike lighting to the best one.
A story from myself:
I derived my car back home in the evening years ago, in somewhere do not have much light, drive the car, I slow down my speed because I can feel that something moving more or less, but I do not know what’s that.
When I driving approach close in the dark, there’s a guy riding in the same direction without any lighting on his bike.
0 judgment from his behavior, maybe his biking lighting just broken, or maybe he is hurry for somewhere and forgot about bring lighting on the bike.
However, from the moment I experience, as a point of driver’s view, it’s dangerous when put myself into this rider shoes. Awareness is the key; you know what I am saying.
Cyclists simply do not have the mass or size of a car and are essentially invisible to motorists, so much so, riding in the summer evening, you need to protect yourself.
4.Reflectors: reflective jacket or reflect strip
I saw some cyclist wear nice reflect jacket like this, almost the whole jacket can reflect in the darkness when the car approaching.
Reflect 360 reflective jacket, that’s how to name it.
If you only cycling out in the evening for short distance and lazy to get your reflective jacket from wardrobe, it’s ok , be sure you can bring an simple reflector strips, put it on your wrist, attached to your leg or keep it in your bike tube.
Using one of these inexpensive LED strobes during the day is the simplest and maybe the most effective thing you can do to increase your visibility during the daylight areas, in Q & A from John Duggan .
5.Keep distance with cycling friends and pedestrian
At this point, keep distance with your cycling friends one by one, be sure you’re not rush out in front just in case others suddenly stop and also should take care of the slow rider in your team.
Evening riding speed also practices your cadence and keep pages. The faster the speed of you, the longer the braking distance should consider. 15% speed less than how you’re riding in the daytime.
Beside keep distance between your cycling friends, also should be careful toward pedestrian on the road.
Let’s read some data from NHTSA( National Highway Traffic Safety Administration), pedestrian fatalities, by the time of day and day of the week,2015.
A pedestrian defines as any person on foot, walking, running, jogging, hiking, sitting, or lying down who is involved in a motor vehicle traffic crash include the bike crash.
From the chat; you can see the higher rate happen in the evening of the week. Cycling in the evening more or less can effect to a pedestrian when they walking the street.
6.Keep distance from vehicle
Encounter the car slow down in the roadside, its better to keep watch for a while just in case that people open the car door suddenly or passengers off. If you’re car passengers, get off the car after watching back and be sure no moving vehicle or cyclist pass by. According to 5 most common causes of bike accidents from Missouri lawyers.
The “ door prize” is one of the most common causes.
How to avoid it: Bikers should ride farther to the left, even if this puts you more into the lane of car traffic. This makes bikers more visible to the cars driving behind them as well.
If possible, keep a lookout for drivers in parked cars to your right. If someone is seated in a driver’s seat, safely move to the left and then move back to the right after passing that car.
7. Follow the rule on the road
We all share the road, different traffic share the same road includes cyclist. Summer riding in the evening, would have less vehicle than the daytime, but you still should follow the rule on the road.
Follow the traffic lights; riding in the bicycle lands when it has, if not, try to ride in the roadside to away from driving car.
8.Helmet and evening riding glass
Bicycle helmet is always must be wear, there’s no doubt about it .
When it compare to the normal bicycle helmet, high technology help people improve life better and better.
Invented by two former Harvard students in 2013, “Lelmets” helmets have a central red brake light. The helmet comes with iOS app for both helmets and electronics.
Riding in the evening, it’s nice if you can have an evening riding glass, not only to get rid of lighting from coming driving car, but also can prevent small bugs flying into your eyes during riding in the summer time.
9.Stay focus on cycling
Unlike talking on the phone while operating a motor vehicle, talking on the phone while cycling is obnoxious .
For years, weather should talk on the phone while biking or not, which is debate topic.
For me, I’d better like to stay focus on summer riding in the evening. For safety reason for other walkers or for yourself, do not listen to music when biking, if there’s an incoming call, stop your bike in the roadside and answer the phone.
10.Learn to handle emergency
Did you experience any emergency on the road in your life?
Emergency happens when out of your expectation, cycling in the summer evening would have risk and potential hazer everywhere.
You’re riding on the road as a part of traffic, learn to handle emergency, that would offer you a peace of mind when it happen in the first time.
1) Take action right away: don’t need to suck there, as soon as something happen, accept it and take action right away.
It’s better not to make complain to your cycling friend, pedestrian or yourself. Accept the fact as fast as you can, can calm down to find the solutions.
2)Keep out of track: in case of the 2th injury , if not really serious , keep out of the traffic, move to the road side. This can avoid the coming traffic until it’s too late to do it.
3)If it’s your bike problems, find out you can possible fix by yourself, if you do not have repair tools. Check out with your friend in the cycling team.
4)If you get lost often, prepare a phone with GPS or at least can use Google map, this is particular prepare for riding out of the city.
5)Last but not least, learn to handle first aid emergency.
Seeking medial help in the evening usually take longer time, before you can get the help, be sure you still can do something, not suck in the emergency.
Lightweight bicycle first aid kit should able to handle on your bikes; you get it only when it’s necessary.
Prepare below 3 first aid categories in your bike medical kit no matter you will DIY or buy from market:
Category No. 1: Clean & Protection like Antiseptic Towelettes
Category No. 2 : Small scratches like bandages or plaster
Category No. 3: Medium cuts & bleeding: one or two piece of pressure bandages.
11.Water and snack
Get yourself enough water for summer evening riding. One bottle or two which should depends on your route distance and situation.
If you can possible get extract on the way, that would be great that get more water so that avoid dehydration after riding expedience.
Because it usually takes about half an hour for water to reach your muscles, before going out, you can drink a little bit .
Last , bring piece of snack for your happy riding in the summer evening.
Summary: How To Have Easy And Safe Summer Evening Cycling?
- Warm-up exercise
- Cycling on the familiar road
- Bike Lighting
- Reflectors: reflect jacket or reflect strip
- Keep distance with cycling friends and pedestrian
- Keep distance from vehicle
- Follow the rule on the road
- Helmet and evening riding glass
- Stay focus on cycling
- Learn to handle emergency
- Water and snack
Question : Do you like riding in the summer evening ? do you have any advices from your cycling experience ? Comment below ,love to hear from you .