How I Improved My Cycling Visibility

I prefer to ride in the morning. It is the perfect uninterrupted time for me. If I plan to ride later in the day, it rarely happens. Life has a way of getting in the way. The only problem when riding outside in the morning is when the sun rises later in the day during the cold months. Later for me is around 7:30 AM. I typically finish my ride around 7:00 AM during the weekdays. I’m not a fan riding in the dark, but sometimes it is a necessary evil if I want to stay consistent with my training. I try to minimize my riding in the dark if my schedule permits. My journey of visibility led me wearing the right apparel and have the right lights on the bike.

Visible Cycling Apparel

Almost all of my jerseys are brightly colored. I would recommend a fluorescent yellow-green jersey. Here is an interesting fact. The human eye is most sensitive to the particular wavelength of light emitted from a fluorescent yellow-green jersey (~550 nanometers) during the day. If you don’t mind looking like a human highlighter, then wear that jersey with pride. If you don’t have a jersey that is bright enough during the day, then consider getting a bright vest to wear over your jersey. I have been tempted in the past by a good sale and purchased a black jersey. When wearing the black jersey outside, I always wear my visibility vest over the jersey. I have had great success with the Castelli Perfecto vest. Also, consider apparel that has a reflective quality. Anything to make you more reflective.

Bike Lights

When it comes to my cycling gear, I want everything to be easy and minimal. I purchased Garmin Varia lights since I already use Garmin gear.

At first, I was a little reluctant to purchase the lights because they are a bit pricey. After using the lights for several months, I’m glad a shelled out the extra cash. For my headlight, I decided to go with the *Varia™ UT800 Smart Headlight. It works like a charm and automatically adjusts to ambient light. If I’m out in the dark, it lights my way automatically by adjusting to high intensity. If it is not dark outside, then the light automatically reduces the intensity and blinks if it is sunny. This is just another layer of visibility to reduce the likelihood that I’m not roadkill in the future. The only negative of this light is that it blasts out 800 lumens for a maximum of 1.5 hours. I’m not planning on riding over an hour in the dark, so this negative didn’t push me away.

My rear light is the *Varia™ Rearview Radar. I love how this light connects to my *Edge 1030 bike computer and displays approaching vehicles. My *Edge 1030 computer displays a small circle getting closer to me and certain colors on the bike computer screen indicate a threat level. My rear light not only gives approaching vehicle visible heads up to but warns me when the vehicle is getting close.

It is worth it to do whatever you can to make yourself more visible. It is better to be safe than sorry. Be safe out there and enjoy the outdoors.