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Skating throughout the city at night, some useful Do's & Don'ts

Skating in the dark with Luminous wheels

If you're a night owl like me, you may have thought about skating at night before. And even if you're not, you probably will have thought about it at least once. The joy of being the only one on the silent city streets, possibly with some amazing music in the background (I have at least 3 different playlists depending on the vibe (or feeling, for those who don't understand young adults anymore) of the evening.
And since I've noticed that I'm far from the only one who likes doing this, I decided to make a useful list of what you might want to keep in mind if you want to be prepared for at least most of the common unpleasantries one might experience. Of course I hope you won't end up in those situations in the first place, but sometimes it's better to be prepared in the first place.

DO take your ID and phone with you

For those of you who are wondering why I even included this one: Let's just say that I have been to more police stations and hospitals where I had to check in using my ID for a friend than I'd like to admit. While yes, most of them had their phone with them to call someone (long live gen z I guess, connected anywhere anytime), this is not the same as having your ID with you. If you need to register because of an unfortunate accident (or any other situation, long story, maybe for another time), you need to be able to prove you're you. Sounds stupid, I know, but if you absolutely need one of these two, it's going to be your ID.
Then why take your phone as well, you might ask. Well, for those of you who don't listen to music and truly want to be offline when skating, imagine you're on your own and you break something while falling. Happens to the best of us, but that's why it's convenient to have your phone with you, even if it's on do not disturb (which I really recommend, it gives so much freedom).

DON'T use noise cancellation

"But why can't I listen to my music without background noise while skating?" That's a simple question with an even simpler answer. Because it's dangerous and it lowers your awareness of your surroundings. I don't care whether your noise cancellation happens passively or actively, it's dangerous to you. Yes, I did say I love listening to music while skating myself in the intro, but I don't use my high quality passive noise cancelling headphones when I go out at night. I use simple wireless earbuds without any features that allow me to hear what's happening around me while listening to music. It's definitely a trade-off, but in exchange for a lower quality of sound and more background noise, I gain the ability to still be more or less completely aware of possible audio cues around me. Which, every now and then, proves to be useful.

DO take lights with you

I'll let you in on a little secret not many people know: In some, if not most countries, we fall under the same category as people riding a bike. For people in Belgium, that only counts when you move faster than 5km/h, otherwise you're a pedestrian. For other countries I don't know the exact legislation, so you might want to check it yourself. But this means that if you're skating at night, you legally need a set of lights to make yourself visible. Not that anyone actually knows this, but just be sure that you either have the lights or are prepared to act as dumb as a college student cycling through a one-way street in the wrong direction acts when they're confronted about it.

DON'T think you're the only one on the road.

Alright, this one is obvious. Or at least should be... Who am I kidding, I've been jumpscared (startled, again, for those who are less up to date with how younger folks talk) by cyclists who had the exact same thought I had more often than I can count. So, while yes, a lot of people could be already sleeping, there is a considerable amount of people who might just think they are the only ones on the road. Don't be one of them.

DO inspect your wheels and frame before you head out

I'm sure there's nothing wrong with your skates. We're always sure there's nothing wrong with our skates. That's the problem. Just be sure to give them a quick check before anything happens and you're good to go.

DON'T forget the most important thing

Have fun out there! That's the reason you keep doing it, right? :p

I'll catch you in a later post!

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