I have just come back from a quick trip to the supermarket to pick up some essential supplies - now that Christmas is over. I used the car and thought I'd share something I have just seen - which is sadly all to common.
I was travelling along a section of road that is quite narrow, has high hedges either side and sporadic street lighting. In the distance I could just and I do mean just make out what looked like at first to be a jogger running at the side of the road. I thought to myself that their outfit which consist of no fluorescent strips, or similar was unwise as they could not be easily seen.
As I came closer, to my amazement I saw that it was not a jogger but a cyclist! They had no lights at all, no hi-vis and no reflectors - not even ones on the pedals!! Added to this was the fact that they were wearing dark clothing - possibly all black - with hood up and even a pair of dark coloured gloves. The effect of all of this was to render them almost invisible!
The car closest to them must not have seen the cyclist at all until the last moment but he had to slam the brakes on. I suspect the cyclist manoeuvred out further on to the road to avoid a parked car and the driver closest just didn't see.
Thankfully, no injuries etc.., but when I passed the cyclist and looked in my rear view mirror, they were gone...swallowed by the night.
There really is no excuse for this. When I recached the supermarket I quickly went around getting what I wanted and saw a pair of LED lights (front and rear) for £4.99. Surely that would be within anyones budget.
As I said at the start of this blog post, it seems to be an ever growing problem. It is illegal here in the UK to ride a bicycle at night without lights but there seems little effort to enforce it. I only hope that whoever that rider was, they think about getting some lights!