is it me?

Discussion in 'Commuting and Road Safety' started by greentyres, Nov 18, 2004.

  1. greentyres

    greentyres New Member

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    Or is it really fucking dangerous commuting when its dark early. Im in the UK and its going dark around 16.30. I leave work at 17.00 and its an absolute nightmare. Ive got good lights and reflective kit,but the amount of people who have pulled out on me in cars in the last week is a joke especially if its raining. Its not difficult for drivers to check carefully before manouvere, maybe we need a nationwide "awareness" advert on the TV or make everyone ride to work for a week that would probably be most effective.
    Im a confident and experienced rider but im starting to feel very vulnerable.

    Who thinks a TV advert trying to promote both driver awareness of cyclists and cyclists wearing the right kit and having good lights would be a good idea?
     
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  2. eric_the_red

    eric_the_red New Member

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    When it comes to lights, the more the better, I've found a white flashing LED light on front helps, in addition to the other lights.

    And as for the TV idea it sounds lile a good idea, but probably a waste of time and money. Most car drivers don't think bicycles should be on the road anyway.
     
  3. jcafcw

    jcafcw New Member

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    On this topic how do with deal with car lights. I ride a section with no street lighting and I can be seen well enough but the on-coming cars can dazzle me. Does anyone have any tips on this?
     
  4. chavela

    chavela New Member

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    I ride both ways in the dark in winter. I find the time I leave makes a huge difference. I stay late--until 6 pm--and by the time I hit the most congested part of my commute, the traffic has let up considerably. When I combine rain, dark, and peak traffic, that about puts me over the limit of what I am willing to risk. I can throw my bike on the bus if all three factors are in the "red" zone.

    And I have two lights front and back. Not sure if it really matters, but it makes me feel better. And i have to remind myself to slow down!
     
  5. Bikerbill98

    Bikerbill98 New Member

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    Three things to consider: Drivers aren't looking for bikers, they're in a hurry and when they do see you, for some you're in the way.

    I was hit recently when a driver pulled across my path in an intersection while it was still light out. He claimed he didn't see me. Pretty hard to miss a 6'2", 230 lb. guy with reflective clothing on that takes up as much room as a small car. He also said he had just got out of work and was in a hurry to get home. Other then a car sitting at a stop sign waiting to turn, I was the only other vehicle within 500 yards. It took thirty years of riding to get hit by a 22 yr. old in a hurry.

    I still ride in traffic, but when I can I take less traveled roads to avoid problems.
     
  6. manilacyclist

    manilacyclist New Member

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    boy have i got a story to tell...

    i just got a new pair of shimano r150's on sale and used look 247s.

    i work nights here in the philippines so i left 600pm...dark!

    i fell 5 times! thrice in the middle of the road with a bus behind me. yikes!

    my mistake actually. i'm not used to the cleat type shoe pedal system. i usually wear low profile merrel shoes (like the ones used for rock climbing) and its easier to react with these kind of shoes.

    a jeepney, a van, a motorcycle and other crazies would ride DANGEROUSLY close to me and i'd really rather fall on the pavement that be hit by these guys.

    i've got a bruised left arm, a grazed right elbow, both knees very badly de-skinned. and the best of all this is that i still gotta change clothes and work!

    oh well. im letting my knees heal first before i get back on the saddle. its pretty hard to pedal with these kind of knees.

    you guys in the UK US are really lucky coz you can voice out your concerns to the media. here in the philippines...you've a got a better chance winning the lottery that wait for changes to be made to protect cyclists and make the streets safer.

    ride safe guys.
     
  7. fatbottomedgirl

    fatbottomedgirl New Member

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    front light, rear blinker , cheap flashing lights on the tube valves, hokeyspokes - I look like the disneyland light parade, but whatever works!:D


    And i get dazzled a little bit too- just my observation but isn't that the reason we're supposed to ride with the traffic ( other than it makes us easier to see because we're coming from the direction that driviers just might look in once in a while- when they put their coffee down .The only time i ride against traffic is when its too dangerous to cross the street to get into the correct lane.
     
  8. motorhommer

    motorhommer New Member

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    Its you, wear yellow vest, flashing lights front and back and take care and you should be ok. Been at this for 9 years now and touch wood no issues.
    But I do wear the uncool yellow vest - I believe now the yellow and orange one is even more effective. For Winter try www.glowgloves.com

    I cycle pretty defensively also - I found out that I cannot outgun buses etc.
     
  9. franklin pierce

    franklin pierce New Member

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    Not to take the side of the drivers, but as an issue of it being for your own safety, most cars are about the same width with nearly the same distance between the headlights, thus it's reasonably easy to make a snap judgement about distance and speed at night. Bicycles and motorcycles suffer from the same condition, that being usually only one light, and even if more, set much closer, thus making you appear both very far away and also not approaching so quickly. A careful driver knows this and will spot the dif'rence, an average driver will damn-well near kill you.

    An astute cyclist (both motor and not) should be able to compensate for this. One tactic is to create a large amount of appearant sideways motion of the light, which makes it easier for a non-alert driver to catch on to the fact that you are not actually far away and moving slowly. Generally I do this by moving to the outward portion of the lane, or by swerving wildly whilst cursing at the top of my lungs. In any case, I'm still alive, YMMV.
     
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