Operation Illumination Bike Light Giveaway on July 29

Bright idea! Join us on Wednesday, July 29th for our Operation Illumination bike light giveaway

Since 2011, Bike Pittsburgh has been giving away hundreds of free bike lights annually with its Operation Illumination program. On Wednesday, July 29 Bike Pittsburgh will host the first Operation Illumination Bike Light giveaway of the year.

In the midst of the COVID-19 crisis, people are looking for safe and affordable ways to navigate the Pittsburgh region, work, carry out essential activities, and get some exercise (while safely social distancing). During the pandemic, ridership has increased around the world! In these trying times, resources have been scarce from bike shortages to local bike shops running out of gear.

BikePGH cares about riders’ safety and education, and this is one of the most direct ways that we can interact with our community to provide that assistance. Every year, BikePGH’s goal is to give away 200 hundred bike lights across the communities of Pittsburgh. This year we will be kicking off our Operation Illumination pop-up event series in Homewood!

Join BikePGH in giving back to the cycling community and make a contribution to the Operation Illumination program today. ($30 is the cost of one set of lights for an unlit rider.)

Event Details:

  • Date: Wednesday, July 29, 2020  
  • Time: 6:00 PM – 8:30 PM (while supplies last)
  • Location: At the corner of Homewood Ave and Hamilton Ave in Homewood

Disclaimer: Operation Illumination will be operating outdoors, but we will require you to wear a mask as you approach our staff members and observe social distancing using the lineup markings provided. 

To receive your free lights, please be sure to bring your UNLIT BIKE, as we cannot give you a pair of lights without a bike present. We do this to ensure that we are distributing lights that can be put to use on bikes immediately.

Need a bike? BikePGH has partnered with Bike Match to connect people who have an extra bicycle with people who need one. Whether you have a bike or need a bike, we are here to help. Join the #BikeMatch program, or spread the word to help us get as many donors and recipients matched as possible! Click here to learn more.

What to expect?

BIKE LIGHTS!  The Operation Illumination pop-up will be located at the corner of Homewood Ave and Hamilton Ave in Homewood. BikePGH staff and volunteers will provide bike lights until time or supplies run out (whichever comes first). Unlit cyclists will be flagged down and called over so we can install front and rear light sets on their bikes.

Cyclists who stop by will also receive BikePGH’s Biking 101 Guide (a graphic comic which tells you the basics of biking safely in the city of bridges) and the Pittsburgh Bike Map.

Watch our 60-second video for more tips on How to Ride at Night!

Did you know?

Riding without lights not only makes bicyclists near-invisible after dark – it’s also a ticket-able offense. PA state law requires front lights and rear reflectors to be visible after dusk and before dawn. Lightless biking is risky, and whether people are simply unaware or they cannot afford lights, we want to ensure that they are covered.

Tips for Riding in the Dark

  • Dress brightly: Wear reflective materials and/or bright-colored attire (high visibility helmet, jacket, shoes, and gloves are all items you can buy at your local bike shop). Reflective tape or stickers for your bicycle and gear are also a great investment.
  • Illuminate your ride: Use a white headlight and a rear reflector (or better yet, a red tail light) when riding in the dark. Try rechargeable batteries and keep your bike lights charged. Sick of dealing with batteries? A generator hub and light set may be a better option for you. PA state law states that the reflector and lights must be visible for 500 feet. Grab a friend and photograph each others’ bikes from a distance to see how visible your really are.
  • Assume drivers don’t see you: Veer on the side of caution and don’t assume that a driver can see you, even when you have the right of way. Give traffic an extra look before crossing at intersections.

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