Commuting in the dark of night.

Lovacott

Well-Known Member
I leave for work at 5.45 am and my commute takes an hour.

Over the last month, the earlier miles of my ride have been getting increasingly dark and on Monday this week, I left for work in the pitch black of night and in about another month, my whole morning commute will be in the dark.

The last time I commuted in the dark was when I lived in London where (to be honest) there is no such thing as a dark night.

But where I live now, there are no street lights in the country lanes and there are no houses with porch lights left on. It's just plain dark.

I want to keep up my commute through winter and I have no issue with cold and wet and ice and snow.

But it does worry me that I won't be able to see where I am going and that others won't be able to see me.

I've been obsessing about lights and visibility for the last month or so and I have pretty much sussed out my plan for the dark months ahead.

But I am still shitting bricks at the prospect.

Anyone else experiencing the same anxieties?
 
But it does worry me that I won't be able to see where I am going and that others won't be able to see me.
I'm not sure if this is too obvious but... get some decent lights?

Modern LED lights are great and more than adequate to you needs, either rechargeable or with a dynamo hub front wheel.

Pre covid, I did a similar commute to you using battery LEDs, every day all through winter, no problem. I use an exposure strada, which is damn expensive, but still going strong after probably 10 years or so. If you stay a thread asking for light recommendations, I'm sure you'll get inundated.

I also have a helmet light for extra visibility, which has both front and rear. And I like reflective jackets.

Luck!
 

StuAff

Silencing his legs regularly
Location
Portsmouth
As someone who has done an awful lot of night riding, including commutes (I've ridden a few of the post-2015 one, 20 miles each way…) +1 for all of @roubaixtuesday 's points. Decent lights will ensure you can see and be seen. Those who moan you're hard to see would no matter what- a colleague told me I was hard to see because my jacket was black. So, only the reflectives on said jacket, reflective ankle bands, the red rear reflector on the bike, reflective panel on the pannier and the potent rear light to see me by then…
 
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Stop worrying and get sorted with decent lights now so that you can start using them in the mornings for a short time until the sun rises. Gradually you'll use them for longer and by the time the clocks change you should be a bit more confident. Also make sure you know where the potholes and bad road edges are.
 
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Lovacott

Lovacott

Well-Known Member
I'm not sure if this is too obvious but... get some decent lights?
I've got lights coming out of my ears at the moment. I've got two sets of rechargeable LED's on the front and back and I've installed a Dynamo and light set today as add ons/fail safes.

But to be honest, hurtling downhill along a pitch black country lane still seems like a scary prospect.
 
I've got lights coming out of my ears at the moment. I've got two sets of rechargeable LED's on the front and back and I've installed a Dynamo and light set today as add ons/fail safes.

But to be honest, hurtling downhill along a pitch black country lane still seems like a scary prospect.
Haha!

In that case you'll be just fine. My lighting sounds inadequate compared to yours, but it's easily good for a 30mph descent on familiar roads.

Just take it easy to start with. Let us know how you get on.
 
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Lovacott

Lovacott

Well-Known Member
a colleague told me I was hard to see because my jacket was black. So, only the reflectives on said jacket, reflective ankle bands, the red rear reflector on the bike, reflective panel on the pannier and the potent rear light to see me by then…
When I am driving a car (as most cyclists do) I find that hi viz clothing makes the cyclist much more visible than any LED tail light.

Also, hi viz clothing won't run out of batteries or suffer an electrical failure.
 
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Lovacott

Lovacott

Well-Known Member
Haha!

In that case you'll be just fine. My lighting sounds inadequate compared to yours, but it's easily good for a 30mph descent on familiar roads.
Just take it easy to start with. Let us know how you get on.
I'm looking forward to the experience and shitting my pants at the same time. One of the side effects of being alive I suppose.
 

MontyVeda

a short-tempered ill-controlled small-minded troll
I've got lights coming out of my ears at the moment. I've got two sets of rechargeable LED's on the front and back and I've installed a Dynamo and light set today as add ons/fail safes.

But to be honest, hurtling downhill along a pitch black country lane still seems like a scary prospect.
Take it more slowly then :okay:
 

cyberknight

As long as I breathe, I attack.
I use a cree solarstorm light up front for unlit country lanes along with a normal back up bike light, on the back i have a big rear light on the seatpost and a small flasher on each pannier bag.I leave for work on days at the same time and have been riding for years all year around
 
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Lovacott

Lovacott

Well-Known Member
You'll be fine with that lot. Why not do a test run?
Because I leave at 5.45 am, I've had tasters of a dark run over the last couple of weeks. That's why I've gone all out mental on lights in the last week.

The one plus I have noticed is that it's very easy to see if a car is coming up from either behind you or towards you from the other side of a blind bend.

Maybe the pros outweigh the cons?
 

All uphill

I didn't recognise you but I knew your bike
Location
Somerset
I don't commute, but I do use some roads very frequently. I have recently reported 12 potholes on these roads through the council website, not expecting much.

To my amazement all 12 have been filled within days.

If potholes are a concern on your commute it could be worth trying this.
 
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