Contest: Night Riding & Running Best Practices

Autumn 2018: An advisory sign in Seattle's Sam Smith Park

The dark season is upon us: day length is currently decreasing by about 3 minutes per day. The shortest day of 2018 happens on Dec 21, which for long-time residents of the Pacific Northwest is the day we all rejoice because the days start to get longer.

It’s also the time of year for discussions and debates about the best ways to be visible to motorists.

Back in the early days of the Velocity blog (which I produced 2007-2018 in the Seattle Post Intelligencer), I held an annual “Most Visible Cyclist” contest. Folks submitted some great solutions that are still relevant a decade later.

Since then, however, infrastructure, technologies, lighting options, and best practices have changed.

If you are a nighttime cyclist, runner, or walker, what are your recommendations for the best ways to be visible to automobile drivers? Ideas could include:

–Specific products or types of products
–The best position for lights or other products on your body or bike
–Whether you are a cyclist, runner, or walker, what are some behaviors that ensure you get noticed?
–What behaviors and practices should be avoided? About new 1,100 residents per week move to Seattle area every week. What should Seattle area newbies know about cycling/running/walking here at night?
–Do you know any facts about cycling, running, or walking at night that might help inform folks to be safer?


Post or email a description of what you consider to be a current best practice for riding or running at night, and the reasons the best practice is great.

If you like a particular product, let us know which ones and why.

Provide pictures of the best practice or product in action. As an option to posting the picture, you can provide a link to the picture, or email it.

Three options for entering the contest:
1. Post in the comments section below. You do need to create an account on Northwest in Motion to make comments: Scroll to the bottom of the post and hit the “login” link. Follow the steps. if you don’t want to create an account you can:
2. Post your best practice and supporting pictures on our Facebook page. If you don’t want to do Facebook, you can:
3. Email your best practice and supporting pictures or evidence.

Winners will be selected based on the “newness” and practicality of the recommendation.

Entries can be submitted until midnight Friday Nov 9.


Depending on the number and quality of entries, there will be one or more winner(s) of some sweet swag generously provided by Uncharted Roads Gear.

Winner(s) will get a light set from Uncharted Roads Gear.
Winner(s) will get a light set from Uncharted Roads Gear.

Uncharted Roads Gear produces cycling accessories that are practical and durable. Their accessories are easy to use on a wide range of bicycles, and have no extra pieces that can go missing or break. Their products are rock solid and made from the highest quality materials.

Uncharted Roads Gear lights are rugged and built to last.
Uncharted Roads Gear lights are rugged and built to last.

Put reflective tape strips on the front and back facing surfaces of your bike’s crankset arms. Nothing says bicycle like the repetitive flash of moving cranks. (And you never need a recharge!)

Reflective clothing and rechargeable lights! In my experience, neon or bright clothing makes zero difference when it comes to being seen and you need either a light or something that reflects the car’s headlights back at the driver. 3M products work very well so if I’m running I wear a reflective “harness” and if I’m riding I attach a reflective triangle to my messenger bag. And why add to a landfill? I only use rechargeable lights on my commuter bicycle and headlamp.


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