South Pittsburgh Reporter - Serving South Pittsburgh Since 1939

BikePGH will be giving away bike lights in South Side on November 4

 

November 3, 2020



Daylight saving time ended at 2 a.m. on Sunday, Nov. 1 and with it follows the dreaded shorter days and longer nights. But the time change doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy commuting! Biking is a great way to get through the dark-before-six blues.

On Wednesday, Nov. 4, BikePGH will host it’s third pop-up Bike Light giveaway of the year along the new South Side neighborway. Since 2011, Bike Pittsburgh has been giving away hundreds of free bike lights annually with its Operation Illumination program.

The event will take place on Wednesday, Nov. 4 from 4-6 p.m., while supplies last, at the South Side neighborway at Ormsby Park and Playground. Operation Illumination will be operating outdoors, but they will require you to wear a mask as you approach their staff members and observe social distancing using the lineup markings provided.

To receive a free light, be sure to bring your unlit bike, as they cannot give anyone a pair of lights without a bike present. They do this to ensure they are distributing lights that can be put to use on bikes immediately.

Unlit cyclists will be flagged down and called over so we can install front and rear light sets on their bikes.

Cyclists who stop by will also receive BikePGH’s Biking 101 Guide (a graphic comic which tells you the basics of biking safely in the city of bridges) and the Pittsburgh Bike Map.

In the midst of the COVID-19 crisis, people are looking for safe and affordable ways to navigate the Pittsburgh region, work, carry out essential activities, and get some exercise (while safely social distancing). During the pandemic, ridership has increased around the world! In these trying times, resources have been scarce from bike shortages to local bike shops running out of gear.

Every year, BikePGH’s goal is to give away 200 hundred bike lights across the communities of Pittsburgh.

Riding without lights not only makes bicyclists near-invisible after dark – it’s also a ticket-able offense. PA state law requires front lights and rear reflectors to be visible after dusk and before dawn. Lightless biking is risky, and whether people are simply unaware or they cannot afford lights, we want to ensure that they are covered.

Tips for Riding in the Dark

Dress brightly: Wear reflective materials and/or bright-colored attire (high visibility helmet, jacket, shoes, and gloves are all items you can buy at your local bike shop). Reflective tape or stickers for your bicycle and gear are also a great investment.

Illuminate your ride: Use a white headlight and a rear reflector (or better yet, a red tail light) when riding in the dark. Try rechargeable batteries and keep your bike lights charged. Sick of dealing with batteries? A generator hub and light set may be a better option for you. PA state law states the reflector and lights must be visible for 500 feet. Grab a friend and photograph each others’ bikes from a distance to see how visible your really are.

Assume drivers don’t see you: Veer on the side of caution and don’t assume that a driver can see you, even when you have the right of way. Give traffic an extra look before crossing at intersections.

 

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