QUESTION: We had such a beautiful summer that I started to ride my bike to work.
But now that fall is here, I am riding less and sometimes in the dark. Do I need a light if I only ride on bike paths away from traffic?
First, by law all vehicles must have lights at night. As a cyclist you are a vehicle, therefore you must have lights.
Second, the kids with dogs and skateboards on the Spirit Trail want to see you coming and going so it is only polite to have lights.
Oh, and by the way, what town are you living in that you can ride to work and avoid traffic - certainly not North Vancouver?
Third, are you insane? Lights are the cheapest and best safety improvement you can add to your bike.
Get the really bright random red flashers for the back and a bright clear flashing one for the front that can also stay on constantly (in case you want to see where you are going).
Take a look around at other cyclists. The ones who ride a lot have the best lights, and many use more than one.
Some mount both a clear headlight and red rear light on their helmet so when they look at a car or pedestrian they are shining a light right at them.
Good lights seem to be getting cheaper every year, but they still cost $50-$200.
If you really want to stand out, you can buy monkey lights that make super cool patterns as you ride - no one can claim they didn't see you coming then.
Ride safe and be seen!
The Pedal Pushers are Dan Campbell, Antje Wahl, Anita Leonhard and Heather Drugge, four North Shore residents who use their bikes for transportation. They can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.