Biking at night: For safety, go beyond what law requires

Biking at night: For safety, go beyond what law requires

EUGENE, Ore. - Brian Eames commutes to work on a bike every day.

"Every now and then I'll come to an intersection with a car about the same time and I just want to make sure they see me," Eames said.

Bike commuters are forced to travel in the dark during the fall and winter seasons. A darker commute can make it dangerous for cyclists when riding home.

Eames decided to purchase a small light to make his bike more visible to drivers. Eames said he feels that one light is sufficient for riding at night.

"I take a minimalist approach obviously," Eames said. "I'm not as concerned about it because I feel strongly in my ability to react to things ahead of time."

In Oregon, bicyclists are required by law to use a front-facing white light and a rear red reflector.

"In my opinion, that's just not good enough," said Courtney Moore of Eugene's Arriving by Bike store.

Moore said in addition to the required lights, she feels it is important to have lights on the side of your bike as well.

"A lot of people have a front light and a rear light, but they kind of forget about cars coming at them from the side," Moore said. "You can use spoke lights for a side light. When the wheel goes around you get a striped effect."

The right clothing in the dark can also make a difference.

"Green or yellow jackets are great during the day and at night you have that reflective striping," Moore said.

Moore also recommends wearing a helmet covered in a high visibility color, leg striping, and bright colored gloves.

"I have a friend who says there's no bad weather, there's only bad gear," Moore said. "So get the right gear and you're good to go."

Failure to have the proper gear when riding a bike at night could result in a $75 fine.