Now that we’ve fallen back to standard time, it gets dark early in New York — sunset tonight was at 4:52 p.m. and of course it gets even earlier between now and winter solstice.
Because we like to bike around Brooklyn, that means we’re riding in the dark a lot these days.
I cringe every time I see a fellow biker with no lights. Not only is having a white front light and a red rear light the law, it’s just good common sense to make yourself visible to drivers, pedestrians and other bikers. You wouldn’t drive your car at night without turning on your lights, would you?
Meanwhile I get frequent compliments and comments because I am lit up like a Christmas tree when I ride.
Adding all these lights to my New York bike was inspired by Ritchie and Mindy Jordan in New Orleans, organizers of a weekly cruiser ride and hosts of a series of parties to help NOLA bikers funkify their wheels. People add Mardi Gras beads, sequins, tassels, toys, pipe cleaners, anything that speaks to their imagination and desire to make a one-of-a-kind bike.
Ritchie and Mindy’s bikes are rolling works of art. We bought bikes in 2011 that they’ve housed for us since, loaning them out when we aren’t in town and requiring anyone who uses them to add one more piece of bling. Often when we arrive in New Orleans and pick up our bikes, they have even more lights than the last time we saw them, like these battery-powered Christmas lights on the handlebars and the glowing butterfly wings.