Ride Bright this July with Operation Illumination!

See us in Homewood on July 24th for FREE Bike Lights and Helmets

Since 2011, Bike Pittsburgh has given away hundreds of free bike lights and bike helmets annually with our Operation Illumination program. We’re gearing up for our July OpenStreetsPGH with a free bike light giveaway on Wednesday, July 24th from 5-7 pm at the corner of N. Homewood and Hamilton Avenues.

BikePGH cares about riders’ safety and education, and this is one of the most direct ways to provide that assistance. Last year we gave out over five hundred free bike lights and over two hundred helmets at events across Pittsburgh. We’re on track to give out even more in ’24. What’s more, from this year on, every Operation Illumination light set will be USB rechargeable- No more disposable batteries!!!


Check out this video to see it all in action and hear the real stories of Pittsburghers who have received lights from us. Thank you to Danielle Dawn (Early Dawn Productions) for capturing these great moments and putting this awesome video together!

Get Your Wheels Ready for Open Streets!

Also at the July 24th event our friends at Free Ride Bicycle Collective will also be on hand to provide free safety checks and small repairs so that your family’s bikes are ready for our last Open Streets of the year on Saturday, July 27th!

Eyes on the street!

New for 2024! Learn how to use the dashcam.bike app’s One-Top 311 Reporting to advocate for safer bicycling infrastructure. A limited number of footage-stabilizing phone mounts will be available for new users!

Did you know?

Riding without lights not only makes bicyclists near-invisible after dark – it’s also a ticketable 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.

Help light the way for others

Pittsburghers are looking for safe, affordable, and sustainable ways to navigate the region, work, carry out essential activities, and get some exercise. We don’t want cost to be a barrier between people and essential safety equipment for biking!

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

We’re able to provide free bike lights and helmets to the community thanks to the support we receive from BikePGH members and donors. Join us!

Event Details:

  • Date: Wednesday, July 24th, 2024
  • Time: 5:00 PM – 7:00 PM (while supplies last)
  • Location: We will be setting up in the lot at the corner of N. Homewood and Hamilton Avenues.
  • To receive your free lights, please bring your UNLIT BIKE, as we prefer to give you a pair of lights with a bike present. We do this to ensure that we are distributing lights that can be put to use on bikes immediately.

PS: If you already own lights please don’t request a set. This event is intended for people who cannot afford lights. If you cannot make it to an event but still need a set of lights, contact education@bikepgh.org

What to expect?

BIKE LIGHTS!  BikePGH staff and volunteers will provide free bike lights and helmets 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 that tells you the basics of biking safely in the city of bridges) and the Pittsburgh Bike Map.

Tips for Riding in the Dark

  • 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.
  • 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 idea!

Upcoming Operation Illumination Dates & Locations:

  • July: Wednesday, July 24th, 5-7 pm at the Corner of Homewood and Hamilton Avenues
  • September: Bike to Campus Week Wednesday, September 18th, 5-7 pm at Schenley Plaza
  • November: TBA

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