Today, at sunrise, I rolled for 10 miles on my inline skates in several neighborhoods in Hayward and Castro Valley that surround Hayward’s Japanese Gardens. Those neighborhoods offer the best street surfaces for skating (relatively flat, with smooth pavement) within a 10 minute radius of my home.

With the end of summer approaching, the days are getting shorter. Six weeks ago I could skate in daylight at 6 AM. Today, it was completely dark at 6 AM. I enjoy skating during the early morning hours when most people are asleep and there’s almost no automobile traffic on the streets, but visibility is often poor at sunrise.

This week I strapped a headlight on to my skating helmet. I had to use a couple of zip ties to anchor the light’s strap securely to my helmet. That wasn’t an elegant solution, but it was effective. Now I can begin skating in the dark before sunrise and see all of the various hazards on the road ahead of me. The headlight on my helmet makes it easier for automobile drivers to see me, too.

For even greater safety and visibility, I suppose I should consider fixing a tail light to the back of my helmet too.