I took the bike out for a couple of rides today, first to Waverly to meet R. and O. for some scheming and then home again, a quick stop for lunch and a pep talk with N. I didn’t have plans to go out again, necessarily, but I wanted to do a little night riding to test out my brand new light-up reflective LED safety vest. I waited for the sun to go down–just a little after 5pm, a pox on you, wintertime!–and got myself all suited up for cold temps and strapped on the vest. And then I turned the lights on. I was all lit up like a Christmas tree, and I felt like the Safety Monitor as I pedaled west and north. Cars gave me a wide berth, dogwalkers looked on admiringly, and the folks waiting at the bus stops waved and clapped. Ok, maybe not quite that, but it felt good to know no one would miss me as we shared the roads, and though I can’t control what cars do, I can control whether or not I make myself visible to them, hoping, of course, that their drivers are looking. I had my appointment, had my dinner, and then I lit myself up again for the ride home. I found myself wishing the streets were even darker so I could marvel at what a scene I was making, but alas, the moon was bright and the street lights were turned on. I took my phone out at the red light to take a picture of that moon, but that’s the sort of thing you have to be out there to see–no photo can get that just-past-full moon glowing amidst the slight haze of night clouds. I noticed a dog being walked across the street, wearing a light around its neck. I was contemplating it–did the light hang too low? was it bright enough to make a difference?–because suddenly I’m the Safety Police, and then I noticed I knew the dog’s walker. Hi, L.! We chatted, caught up, she told me I was highly visible although she couldn’t tell who I was, and told her how happy I was to see her dog wearing a light. And then it was back on the bike for a quick ride home, happy to have myself all set up for riding through the winter. Safety is sexy, yes it is.