midnight commutes

Discussion in 'Australia and New Zealand' started by asterope, Oct 24, 2006.

  1. LotteBum

    LotteBum New Member

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    I used to ride from the city to Springfield Lakes and I never had any more problems at night than during the day.

    Get yourself some good lights and just ride. It's not scary.
     


  2. Friday

    Friday Guest

    asterope wrote:
    > TimC Wrote:
    >
    >>Imagine how I feel, working at a bloody telescope in the bush!
    >>
    >><snip>
    >>
    >>I always used to hate riding home from the public observatory a km
    >>from the edge of town -- because of the yetis in the bush.
    >>
    >>--
    >>TimC
    >>Adding features does not necessarily increase functionality -- it just
    >>makes the manuals thicker. --unknown

    >
    >
    > I think the blue LED thing is a goer here... some great ideas and tips
    > coming up in this thread.
    >
    > Always loved riding home in the wee hours of the morning... nobody out
    > but the owls, possums, and roadies training in the best part of the day
    > :D
    > I think i just need to get more lit up and get out of that industrial
    > zone mentality... or find myself a day job for the uni holidays :p
    > i think i might just get lit up and give it a burl next week :D
    >
    > Tim, please feel free to send any yetis you may come across that have
    > been left in the bush to me, i'll pay for postage :D hehehe
    >
    >


    Last Saturdays ride would have to be a record for creatures seen in one
    day for me.

    Saw (in order) a large racehorse goanna, which I stopped for before it
    ran off, some emus, some kangaroos, a two metre snake, various rabbits
    and kangaroos and lastly a rat-like thing that ran across the road,
    probably the last example of it's species in the world, (or maybe it was
    just a big black rat.)

    Not bad for a 45k MTB ride.


    Friday
     
  3. ghostgum

    ghostgum New Member

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    Note that white LEDs are actually blue LEDs with yellow phosphor. So you buy a white bike light, open it up and replace the LEDs. The only problem is that many modern lights are surface mount, making things a little tricky with a soldering iron.

    I was going to suggest to the Vic bicycle police that they do this, but then I discovered they already had blue flashing LED lights.
     
  4. Peter Miller

    Peter Miller Guest

    I also reccomend you try it.
    I have been commuting by bike for ten years now and the nature of my work
    means I start and finish at all hours of the day and night. I find the peak
    hours more stressful to ride in than the wee hours.

    I have a good headlight which I can see with, not just be seen, a rear
    reflector and a very bright red LED on the bike, and another on my helmet,
    which is the highest part of me and the first bit to be seen by someone
    following over a hill. I wear a fluro orange work shirt which has masses of
    reflective tape. My new front tyre also has a white reflective line around
    it. I carry a small LED torch for roadside punctures, and of course a spare
    tube and pump. I seem to get more punctures at night, maybe because glass on
    the road is not as obvious.

    As others have said Friday and Saturday nights can be interesting. When
    carload of charged up teens out cruising come up behind you are not sure
    what to expect. Have had objects thrown at me occasionly.
    Nothing has happened that made me want to stop though and it can be
    very satisfying riding along at night when you have the whole road to
    yourself.
    And you don't get hit by magpies in the dark.

    Peter Miller
    Newcastle
     
  5. Donga

    Donga Guest

    Duracell Bunny wrote:
    > asterope wrote:
    > > yesterday was my big plan to start my commute to work and back (18kms
    > > each way, at 4pm and 12am respectively) but ended up getting a severe
    > > case of the heebie-jeebies at around 3pm...
    > > back before my lazy days of the scooter, when i didnt have several 8am
    > > lectures, i would commute home at midnight or later with no worries or
    > > nasty feelings in my stomach... but then again, that was only 6kms to
    > > get home. the distance has now tripled and placed itself through some
    > > very truck-heavy traffic zones.
    > >
    > > id like to stop using the scooter to get out there so much... its
    > > wearing it out quicker, i feel much healthier when i use my bike to
    > > commute, and it doesnt take me all that much longer to get to work on a
    > > bike... but the thought of trucks and a few kms of poorly lit deserted
    > > roads at midnight just dont stir confidence if you know what i mean.
    > >
    > > am i being silly getting all nervous, and if so, whats the best way to
    > > get myself lit up like a big xmas tree, and any other savvy safety
    > > points to avoid encounters of the semi-trailer kind?
    > >
    > > Thanks muchly in advance
    > > Asterope (chickensh*t)
    > >
    > >

    > Hi Eileen,
    >
    > Apart from the lots of comments about good lighting, what has actually scared me
    > recently more than any motor vehicle was the teenage gangs you see after dark.
    > I've been chased on more than one occasion by kids on bikes with obvious evil
    > intent. So far I've been lucky that I've been much fitter than them, despite in
    > both recent cases me being on the heavy, well-laden hybrid I was easily able to
    > out-pace them. As soon as I made it onto a major, well lit road they gave up in
    > each case. But really scary for me, I can assure you. One of the incidents
    > happened in a relatively posh area too. Not far from where Monsterman lives, in
    > fact.
    >
    > So, take that into account when planning your route too :)
    >
    > Karen
    >
    > --
    > Karen Gallagher
    >
    > "Reverse the polarity and invert the particle flux!"
    > "You mean put the batteries in the other way?"
    > "...yes."
    > -Star Trek (any of them)


    Years ago in Adelaide (where else?) I rode past a public loo at night
    and some freak yelled out, "Hey, don't I know you?". Verbal kick in the
    nuts for that sickie.

    Donga
     
  6. Tex

    Tex Guest

    "asterope" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]

    > am i being silly getting all nervous, and if so, whats the best way to
    > get myself lit up like a big xmas tree, and any other savvy safety
    > points to avoid encounters of the semi-trailer kind?


    Cygolites, front and rear :)
     
  7. dave

    dave Guest

    TimC wrote:
    > On 2006-10-25, Friday (aka Bruce)
    > was almost, but not quite, entirely unlike tea:
    >> gplama wrote:
    >>> Friday Wrote:
    >>>
    >>>> Scary monsters don't exist except on TV and in your head.
    >>> errmm... what about monsterman!?!?? :D

    >> Well I have to admit when I do my kayak training at night I'm certain
    >> the Swamp Monster is following close behind me.
    >> It's amazing the tricks your mind plays on you when you're out late at
    >> night...in the dark....in the middle of nowhere... alone.........

    >
    > Imagine how I feel, working at a bloody telescope in the bush!
    >
    > We have fighting kangaroos, wombats, and other miscellaneous growling
    > creatures, in the dark 50m below the catwalk you are walking along at
    > midnight. You walk back to the lodge after a long tiresome night, and
    > a roo bounds across the path 50cm in front of you.
    >
    > I always used to hate riding home from the public observatory a km
    > from the edge of town -- because of the yetis in the bush.
    >

    Bunyips We have Bunyips. For crying out loud Tim.

    Dave
     
  8. LotteBum

    LotteBum New Member

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    Far out, I've never heard of anything like that happening. I wouldn't take off. I'd stop and confront the little fsckers. You'd be surprised just how little the balls of most grown Aussie men are, let alone their juvenile offspring. No big deal.

    Lotte
     
  9. LotteBum wrote:
    > Duracell Bunny Wrote:
    >> I've been chased on more than one occasion by kids on bikes with obvious
    >> evil intent. So far I've been lucky that I've been much fitter than
    >> them, despite in both recent cases me being on the heavy, well-laden
    >> hybrid I was easily able to out-pace them. As soon as I made it onto a
    >> major, well lit road they gave up in each case. But really scary for
    >> me, I can assure you. One of the incidents happened in a relatively
    >> posh area too. Not far from where Monsterman lives, in fact.
    >>
    >> So, take that into account when planning your route too :)

    > Far out, I've never heard of anything like that happening. I wouldn't
    > take off. I'd stop and confront the little fsckers. You'd be
    > surprised just how little the balls of most grown Aussie men are, let
    > alone their juvenile offspring. No big deal.
    >
    > Lotte
    >
    >

    Heh I'm not one for making these sick idiots worse - I avoid confrontation
    whenever I can, being essentially chicken :)

    I reckon if I can outpace them, I'm ahead on more than one count then

    Karen

    --
    Karen Gallagher

    "Reverse the polarity and invert the particle flux!"
    "You mean put the batteries in the other way?"
    "...yes."
    -Star Trek (any of them)
     
  10. Terryc

    Terryc Guest

    Duracell Bunny wrote:


    > Heh I'm not one for making these sick idiots worse - I avoid
    > confrontation whenever I can, being essentially chicken :)


    Are you sure they intended violence?
    Could be the usual bored teenager interested in something different, but
    you have to be relaxed about the attention.
    >
    > I reckon if I can outpace them, I'm ahead on more than one count then


    I don't stop first few times until it is clear that they are peaciful
    and it always safer not to let them in front (their bike handling can be
    attrocious).

    A loud "gidday/loverly night/going fishing/etc" or even "hi fred"[1] as
    you ride past can start to break the ice. If someone wants to converse,
    they'll chase. If they are local, they might say hi at the supermarket,
    etc in daylight.


    OTOH, most of my meetings were a decade or more past and the most common
    drug was maryjane and if that was the story, then they would be fairly
    relaxed.

    [1] Works well because if they are up to something, if they think you
    know someone in their groups, they'll pause. Those teachers pop up in
    all sorts of places you know {:). Choose name appropriate for suburb.
     
  11. Terryc wrote:
    > Duracell Bunny wrote:
    >
    >
    >> Heh I'm not one for making these sick idiots worse - I avoid
    >> confrontation whenever I can, being essentially chicken :)

    >
    > Are you sure they intended violence?
    > Could be the usual bored teenager interested in something different, but
    > you have to be relaxed about the attention.
    >>
    >> I reckon if I can outpace them, I'm ahead on more than one count then

    >
    > I don't stop first few times until it is clear that they are peaciful
    > and it always safer not to let them in front (their bike handling can be
    > attrocious).
    >
    > A loud "gidday/loverly night/going fishing/etc" or even "hi fred"[1] as
    > you ride past can start to break the ice. If someone wants to converse,
    > they'll chase. If they are local, they might say hi at the supermarket,
    > etc in daylight.
    >
    >
    > OTOH, most of my meetings were a decade or more past and the most common
    > drug was maryjane and if that was the story, then they would be fairly
    > relaxed.
    >
    > [1] Works well because if they are up to something, if they think you
    > know someone in their groups, they'll pause. Those teachers pop up in
    > all sorts of places you know {:). Choose name appropriate for suburb.
    >


    The last lot were lurking behind a row of trees. I was fortunate that before I
    approached a car overtook me & lit them up briefly. After I passed, they gave
    chase without any provocation on my part at all - I'd put money on their intent
    being less than beneficial to me. They pursued me some 1.5 kms, so I don't think
    I was being paranoid.

    --
    Karen

    "Reverse the polarity and invert the particle flux!"
    "You mean put the batteries in the other way?"
    "...yes."
    -Star Trek (any of them)
     
  12. LotteBum

    LotteBum New Member

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    Maybe their parents can't afford to let them race... and they just wanted to race you!

    LH
     
  13. In aus.bicycle on Thu, 26 Oct 2006 14:52:02 +1000
    Terryc <[email protected]> wrote:
    > Duracell Bunny wrote:
    >
    >
    >> Heh I'm not one for making these sick idiots worse - I avoid
    >> confrontation whenever I can, being essentially chicken :)

    >
    > Are you sure they intended violence?
    > Could be the usual bored teenager interested in something different, but
    > you have to be relaxed about the attention.


    On the bent I expect it. I get a lot of comments from the various
    peanut galleries, peds at stoplights, and so on.

    So if I saw a bunch of bods on bikes after me I'd presume they either
    wanted to talk about it, or were pissed off at how slow I am :)

    Zebee
     
  14. Tamyka Bell

    Tamyka Bell Guest

    I used to cycle home from St Lucia to Eight Mile Plains (do you even
    know where that is?) most evenings, even if I worked late. The
    difference was, if it was already dark, I'd take Vulture St and Latrobe
    St onto Logan Rd, whereas if it was daylight I'd skip that traffic and
    take the bikeway until Stones Corner. It wasn't the darkness that
    bothered me (my lights weren't great but I could safely travel around
    20km/h) but rather the fact that on the SE Fwy bikeway you're fenced in
    on both sides and there's virtually no one around... except maybe one
    of those dodgy mugger types... and no excape routes.
     
  15. Tamyka Bell

    Tamyka Bell Guest

    Paulie-AU wrote:
    >
    > I have never been concerned about not being seen on my bike at night.
    > With good quality flashers and a front light, if someone runs you over
    > they were going to do it in the daylight anyhow.
    >
    > Also I have found people tend to leave more room at night.
    >
    > In the Lytton road area I have a feeling the truckies might give you
    > more respect because they will figure you are in a similar industry to
    > them and you are riding because you have to......not because you enjoy
    > it. :D


    I'm with you.

    I've had fewer incidents at night, though I've tended to
    stick to better lit areas (where I can see, as I have
    flashers, not headlights). Plus no one seems to be
    deliberately trying to kill me.

    Tam
     
  16. Tamyka Bell

    Tamyka Bell Guest

    asterope wrote:
    >
    > TimC Wrote:
    > >
    > > Imagine how I feel, working at a bloody telescope in the bush!
    > >
    > > <snip>
    > >
    > > I always used to hate riding home from the public observatory a km
    > > from the edge of town -- because of the yetis in the bush.
    > >
    > > --
    > > TimC
    > > Adding features does not necessarily increase functionality -- it just
    > > makes the manuals thicker. --unknown

    >
    > I think the blue LED thing is a goer here... some great ideas and tips
    > coming up in this thread.

    <snip>

    Great idea, but not sure it's legal...

    Tam
     
  17. asterope

    asterope New Member

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    well, I did my first midnight commute from work last night... actually, it wasnt as bad as i thought it would be.

    there were hardly any cars on the road, and the ones that were gave me ample room. surpsrisingly no knobs/bogans on the road last night, which was pleasant, and i managed to get myself home in 35 minutes...
    the most exciting thing that happened was being chased down by the silly dog on the corner of waterworks/jubilee... actually, that was kinda scary, he got pretty close to my front wheel. Im going to go have a word to the owners as i have been and have seen many people being chased by that dog in the evening when walking home from the shops etc.

    quite a pleasant time to be out on the roads really :D
     
  18. MWP

    MWP Guest

    A shot from water pistol filled with lemon juice and water might be
    worth trying on that dog.

    asterope wrote:
    > well, I did my first midnight commute from work last night... actually,
    > it wasnt as bad as i thought it would be.
    >
    > there were hardly any cars on the road, and the ones that were gave me
    > ample room. surpsrisingly no knobs/bogans on the road last night, which
    > was pleasant, and i managed to get myself home in 35 minutes...
    > the most exciting thing that happened was being chased down by the
    > silly dog on the corner of waterworks/jubilee... actually, that was
    > kinda scary, he got pretty close to my front wheel. Im going to go have
    > a word to the owners as i have been and have seen many people being
    > chased by that dog in the evening when walking home from the shops
    > etc.
    >
    > quite a pleasant time to be out on the roads really :D
    >
    >
    > --
    > asterope
     
  19. EuanB

    EuanB New Member

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    Yeah, I've found that riding at night is great. One of the main components of visibility is contrast; there's plenty contrast provided by a flashing red light and a steady one, not to mention all the reflective stuff on the panniers. I reckon I'm more visible at night, not less.
     
  20. Donga

    Donga Guest

    MWP wrote:
    > A shot from water pistol filled with lemon juice and water might be
    > worth trying on that dog.
    >


    That might be nicer than cloudy ammonia, which would make sure of the
    job (tried, tested and guaranteed).

    Donga
     
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