Lighting Up Arlington County
It's no secret that Fall is starting to surrender itself to Winter. Not only have temperatures dropped, but thanks to good ol' Daylight Savings Time, the sun is setting earlier and earlier which means if you ride your bike after 5pm, you're gonna have to do it in the dark. But don't worry, we've got your back!
This past week, flocks of dedicated volunteers joined BikeArlington in giving away free bike lights to bikers, walkers, joggers, strollers, dogs and more (I even threw a couple lights into the passenger seat of a taxi cab when he pulled over to tell us that he rides his bike at night)! These lights are meant to help you be seen by other road and trail users (white lights to light up the front and red lights to light up the rear - so yeah, we've got your back) and they also serve as a reminder to equip yourself with a brighter light to light your path.
Hundreds of people were caught by surprise when their normal bike ride home was no longer lit by the last glimmers of daylight - instead they were plunged into a black hole of darkness. Ok, so maybe it wasn't that dark, but the point is that these people were unprepared with nothing to light their way or themselves! This can be dangerous because other people using the trails or the road won't see you until they're too close to react if anything were to happen. That's why it's super important to set yourself up with lights or reflective gear if you know you'll be out riding at night.
Speaking of reflective gear, the fun didn't stop at lights - we also gave away free reflective pant straps and BikeArlington branded reflective vests (warning: these vests will not go over well with the fashion police). If you're willing to shell out some bucks for reflective gear, lostvalues has a pretty cool reflective helmet cover, and a trendy reflective chain (or belt). If you really wanna spend some money, check out Verspertinenyc for some alternative reflective clothing.
We've given out about 500 sets of lights, keeping Arlington safe and bright, and there's more where that came from! So if you missed us, we'll be out there braving the cold one last time at the W&OD trail and Columbia Pike on November 15th, from 4:30pm to 6:30pm. Stop by and say hi, and most of all, thank our wonderful volunteers for helping us light up Arlington County!
For more photos of the event, check out our Facebook page!
Zanna is the Events & Outreach Coordinator for BikeArlington. She doesn't mind doing it in the dark (riding her bike that is) because she always has lights when she does it.
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- Tom B.
- November 10, 2012, 10:17 AM
When will you be out there again? You say you will be, but not when.
- November 10, 2012, 12:33 PM
But WHEN? You don't say when or what time you'll be giving out the final batch of items???
- November 10, 2012, 12:38 PM
When will you be at W&OD/Columbia Pike?
- Amanda Willett
- November 10, 2012, 12:59 PM
I was one of the many beneficiaries of your LightingUpArlington evening. I commute from 16th Street Heights in D.C. to work in Arlington every day. On my ride home, I saw all the flashing lights on the corner and decided to see what was happening.
I was so excited to find a group of what felt like Santa's elves on the corner handing out a cyclist's dream gifts. Thank you so, so much! As I rode away with my new lights and reflective gear, I felt like I had just had the best Christmas ever.
- November 12, 2012, 11:00 AM
Did I miss your final give away at W&OD and Columbia Pike? If not what is the date. Thanks.
- Tim, BikeArlington
- November 13, 2012, 9:30 AM
All--the next light give away will be this Thursday evening (11/15) at the intersection of the W&OD and Columbia Pike from 4:30 to 6:30.
These lights are decent for making you visible along the trails, but if you plan to ride regularly in the dark or on streets with heavy traffic, please consider purchasing more powerful lights from a local bike shop.