Night Rides on the Towpath Trail Safety Tips
- Read our 5 Tips: Getting Ready for a Night Ride on the Towpath Trail.
- Helmets must be worn by all riders.
- You must use a headlight on your bike or helmet.
- Use of a red rear light is recommended, to keep the people behind you aware of your presence (and to help lead their way in the darkness).
- Ride the Towpath during the day before you ride it at night. Become familiar with the path surface, the intersections, the deeply-wooded surroundings, and its twists and turns so you know what to expect after dark.
- Ride a familiar bike on a Night Ride. As much as we think it’s great that you love your new bike, we don’t advise that your first ride on it be a Night Ride. Get used to how your bike shifts and brakes during daylight before you ride it in pitch-black darkness.
- When in doubt, slow down and stay to the right. If bright headlights of oncoming riders “blind” you for a few seconds, stop pedaling and start gently braking until they pass. If you must come to a full stop, get off the path as quickly as you can since there are likely to be riders coming up behind you.
- When passing walkers, runners, or other riders, be sure the trail is clear of oncoming users coming from the opposite direction. If you can't see very far ahead because of a turn or other obstructions, wait until you can see. Pass on the left, and warn the people you are passing by ringing your bell, or calling out "Passing on your left!"
- Stay alert, no matter how interesting that conversation with your fellow Night Rider is. Others may suddenly brake, or the path may take a sharp turn, or that tree may jump out in front of you.
- Be prepared. Bring a cell phone, spare tube, pump or CO2 cartridge, and a few basic tools in case you have a flat tire or something else comes up. While Century Cycles staff will be on the ride, we may not be near or accessible if you should encounter a problem. Because of the widely varying speeds and differing nocturnal plans of each Night Rider, we do not sweep the trail at the ride’s conclusion.