More Idiocy. Night riding without lights.

Discussion in 'Your Bloody Soap Box' started by MotownBikeBoy, Nov 5, 2013.

  1. MotownBikeBoy

    MotownBikeBoy Active Member

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    Just got back from my first ride in a few weeks. Sunset now is about 5:30 PM, it is completely dark by 6:30 PM at the latest. Left the house about 7 - in 2 hours, I observed 4 separate cyclists riding with absolutely no lights at all. None was wearing particularly bright clothing either. Our street lighting here is intermittent, because residents have to sign up for and then pay for the lights street by street . Less than half of our residential streets are lit, and it is spotty on primary roads as well. I can't begin to fathom why you would ride at night without lighting. I have two of these on my bike for front illumination: http://www.philipsbikelight.com Plus a red tail light and spoke lights. I prefer not to die due to not being seen. Riding in complete darkness without lights - what could possibly go wrong?
     
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  2. Volnix

    Volnix Well-Known Member

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    He he he... [​IMG] Someone is starting to talk a bit pro-ish... [​IMG]

    Thats how it starts... You get a bike... you ride... you get some gear...

    You check the CMR's, Group rides, Training and team scenes...

    Then you start trying distances... times... segments...

    Before you know it you spend alot of time and money on the two wheeled demon and then...

    You see somebody riding without lights in the night!!!!!!!!! [​IMG] In the night!!!!!!!!! Not without the power meter on!!!!!! Without freakin lights!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! [​IMG]

    Btw I got some of these flat discharge curve batteries... They are great. The light is really equally bright throughout the discharge curve but when the red light comes on (the low battery indicator) it goes dead-flat in 10min... Usually not enough time to get back home... [​IMG]
     
  3. alienator

    alienator Well-Known Member

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    You'll get no arguments from me. I have had far more problems with other cyclists at night than I have with drivers. Twice I've nearly been hit by cyclists with no lights and no reflectives at night. I've even been confronted with cyclists with no lights and no reflectives that were riding the wrong way. For night riding I've got lights on top of my helmet (Ay Up lights), lights on my seat mast (Superlight rear light) and a rear light attached to a jersey pocket (or if I've got a backpack on, it's attached to the backpack), reflective bands around my ankles, and reflective tape on wheels and the bike frame and various locations to offer reflection from the side, rear, and front (The reflective tape is black and it blends well with my frame and wheels during the day). In Tucson lighting was dim when compared to the vast majority of cities. There are light laws there that limit the intensity of lights in order to prevent light pollution from reducing the performance of the 23 terrestrial optical telescopes (2 of the optical telescopes are arrays of telescopes, so if you include the telescopes in the arrays, the total is 37) in the mountains around Tucson. The relativeness darkness of the city and 'burbs is one of the first things people notice on their first visit to Tucson. With my light setup, thought, illumination was never a problem, even while descending mountain roads.
     
  4. MotownBikeBoy

    MotownBikeBoy Active Member

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    You talking about me? Oh, absolutely an aspirational goal. I never got to do anything like this as a kid or even a young man, I guess I'm making up for lost time. Yes, you know you have it bad when you go from 1 to 4 bikes in a year and spend a small fortune on gear. I guess I can use my standard line if anyone I know complains about how much I spend on cycling - "would you prefer I spent it on hookers and booze?" I paid $200 each for those lights at LBS. As much as I love the LBS, when I was looking online to post the link above, I found a place selling them for $90 each. So, I ordered a second pair to carry with me on longer night rides - if I go out in my long Sat AM treks where I leave at 3 AM, I will need up to 5 hours of light theses days. These lights run 6 hours on the lower setting, which is adequate for general riding conditions, but with a second set I would definitely be safe. A year ago on a Friday night I went too far and did run out of battery on both lights, had to do my final five miles around midnight with no headlights, it was pretty miserable. Never again.
     
  5. MotownBikeBoy

    MotownBikeBoy Active Member

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    That's neat about Tucson. Other cities should copy that - our light pollution here is enormous (yet the idiots are still hard to see). I have a lot of reflective gear, and a couple of flashing LED armbands. I figure the more visible the better. For riding in really cold conditions, I picked up an aircraft carrier deck crew style fluorescent yellow coat with the high reflective bands. Along these lines: http://www.fullsource.com/reflective-safety-jackets/cornerstone-447322/
     
  6. katherine25

    katherine25 Member

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    As a driver it makes me so angry when cyclists are not wearing any reflective gear. I have had to swerve a few times due to these idiots. When Im out on my bike I always make sure Im wearing my gear!
     
  7. MNyte

    MNyte New Member

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    Quite intriguing - I wonder where those fellow chaps will end up. My guess is below ground level.
     
  8. Froze

    Froze Well-Known Member

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    What's discusses me more than people riding without lights is that here in Fort Wayne Indiana the cops don't care! If the cops started ticketing these marvels of stupidity, then bikers will begin to respond by buying lights to avoid paying for tickets. Today there is no reason not to have lights, the prices are at an all time low, they can find even cheap $35 headlights that will put out 700 or so lumens (these are those E-Bay and Amazon cheapies that say they put out 2000 or so lumens but in reality they're closer to 600 to 800 which is still a lot of light for the money), and a $25 tail light that puts out 40 lumens. Slap on a cheap Home Depot reflective mesh vest with those lights and you're good to go.
     
  9. kuroba

    kuroba Member

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    This infuriates me too. During the winter my morning commute was all dark and several times I almost hit a cyclist comming in the opposite direction of the bike path. And THEY yelled at ME (wearing 2 pairs of light, front and back, mind you). You can get a cheap light for under $5, but I guess it's too much trouble (and lights are mandatory by law in my country, sheesh).
     
  10. Keyan

    Keyan Member

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    We have our own experience with these people who do not even care for their own safety. If you had been riding you should be aware of the basic safety when you hit the road especially at night. They may not care about their lives but what about other people?
     
  11. Novelangel

    Novelangel Member

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    Yup. I see them all the time, or better yet, I ALMOST see them in the dark with their non-reflective clothing, helmets, (if they're wearing any) and bike gear. Quite often they will be wearing dark clothing, riding a dark colored bike, and have dark hair besides. If I didn't see my headlights bouncing off their spokes or other chrome bike parts, I'd probably never know they were there and apparently that's exactly the way they want it or they wouldn't be out there after dark dressed like bike thieves.
     
  12. sharkantropo

    sharkantropo Member

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    That's a death wish. Most car drivers are wary but sometimes it gets so dark that you can't tell anything that is not lighted at all, It's only a matter of drive through the wrong lane and then CRASH!. The disaster happened. The only viable circumstances where u can drive without reflective gear, although I suggest against still, is across non trafficked roads or just simply wood road tracks or just anything without cars or motorbikes.
     
  13. AryaSnark

    AryaSnark New Member

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    That's so stupid, and riding like this on a street, where there's car traffic, should probably count as self-harm? I can't believe how reckless and unreasonable people can be sometimes.

    Hey, that's not bad actually. In my area, drivers are actually often less aware of other users of the road at night, because they don't expect any cyclists after sunset.
     
  14. Corzhens

    Corzhens Well-Known Member

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    I remember in the olden days when bikes have that headlight powered by the dynamo. When the bike is running fast, the light is strong and when the bike slows down, the light fades. It was fun to use because you get a feeling that you produce your own electricity.

    Having bicycle lights is a necessity now because of the crowded roads. Even at midnight, there are still vehicles on the road and when the traffic is light, the vehicles are speeding. At any rate, a bike with no light is exposed to the dangers on the road.
     
  15. oportosanto

    oportosanto Well-Known Member

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    Lights are the basic because if people cannot see us guess what, we can get hit by a car...
     
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