In the past, there has not been a lot of discussion or policing regarding vests and lights. That is now changing. Your RBA would far rather create routes and run rides than go over this, but it is necessary.
You must use lights and reflective gear after sunset. Carrying them is mandatory on any ride over 200k or if noted. Fast riders are not exempt, mechanicals and other delays can happen to anyone.
Your safety is the most important part of the ride. Your visibility in the following cases can save your life:
1. You are pulled over on the side of the road changing a tire and your lights are not visible
2. You are riding in the middle of a road with a limited shoulder
3. Your lights have gone dim or out due to batteries or failure
IF YOU DO NOT HAVE PROPER REFLECTIVE GEAR AND PROPERLY MOUNTED LIGHTS AFTER SUNSET, YOU WILL BE DISQUALIFIED!
What is an acceptable vest?
We are following RUSA guidelines here. The guidelines are for your safety. Feel free to exceed them.
• 30 square inches of reflectivity on your back side (the size of 2 3x5 cards)
• 27 square inches of reflectivity on your front side (a bit less than 2 3x5 cards)
Example acceptable vest:
Your standard cycling vest DOES NOT WORK. Little pipes are called “fashion” reflectivity, they do not substitute for the real thing.
You can buy a nice one on the RUSA site for $10! You can also buy enough reflective tape there to make your own.
Also recommended if you hate vests is the Dill Pickle Solas Reflective Sash at http://www.dillpicklegear.com
VESTS WEAR OUT QUICKLY! Your reflectivity MUST be working to be acceptable. You spent thousands on your bike; spend $10 on protecting IT and YOU.
More info Check Article 10 of the Rules for Riders on the RUSA website.
You must meet Wisconsin State Law AND RUSA regulations for lights:
• White Front Headlight visible 500ft away
• STEADY red or amber rear light with reflector (can be internal to the light) – if you want flashing lights, have 2 with 1 non-flashing
• YOUR LIGHTS MUST BE AFFIXED TO YOUR BIKE! If you want a helmet great idea as long as you have BOTH.
A front light affixed to your helmet is NOT ACCEPTABLE! Why? Because if you are looking to either side, say at an intersection to check traffic, your light DISAPPEARS to everything directly in front of you. It only takes a second or two for a driver to miss seeing you in this critical situation.
Another word about lights, your rear light is facing other riders. Be courteous to them. Angle them straight backwards and if you have a rear light visible from orbit, tone it down if you are in a group.