Riding at night: a strategy for survival?

  • Thread starter ComandanteBanana
  • Start date



C

ComandanteBanana

Guest
Nothing new about it: The little furry mammals developed that strategy
to survive among the dinosaurs (which is why we are here)...

Anyway, now my next door neighbor wants to ride at midnight... And he
ain't one of those crazy bums on a Huffy. He even bought a vest with
blinking lights (DUI drivers and SUV drivers chatting on the cell
phone should be able to see him). And his bike cost him 2 grands
(important in this hierarchal jungle where you are what you drive), so
I guess he better find a use for it. The other day he told me he
didn't have the nerve anymore to ride in traffic (he ain't no chicken,
he's a veteran), which leads to this daring survival strategy.
Actually, I do the same with my canoe, where the motorboats put me at
the bottom of the food chain in the day time.

Well, our dinosaurs (SUVs and motorboats) make us get smarter and get
nocturnal. And I can only hope Darwin was right: "It is not the
strongest of the species that survive, nor the most intelligent, but
the one most responsive to change."

NOTE: I told my neighbor to knock on my door. Just in case I'm
sleepless...

WELCOME TO THE JUNGLE
http://webspawner.com/users/donquijote
 
R

rms

Guest
> Well, our dinosaurs (SUVs and motorboats) make us get smarter and get
> nocturnal.


Take heart: mammals emerged into the sunlight after a worldwide
catastrophe. That catastrophe is occurring right now: slow in man-years
but an eyeblink in geologic time.

In any case, pay close attention to nighttime lighting. Both distance
viewing and depth perception are greatly reduced with cheaper
headlamp/bikelights. $2-300 for a quality high-wattage bikelight system I
don't think would be out of line if you are serious about night-riding,
especially on a fast roadbike.

rms
 
On May 1, 2:19 pm, "rms" <[email protected]> wrote:
>
> In any case, pay close attention to nighttime lighting. Both distance
> viewing and depth perception are greatly reduced with cheaper
> headlamp/bikelights. $2-300 for a quality high-wattage bikelight system I
> don't think would be out of line if you are serious about night-riding,
> especially on a fast roadbike.


Or even a moderate-speed utility bike! Lighting systems costing $200
to $300 have always been the rage (or at least, for the past 75 years)
in places like northern Europe, where people ride bikes every day for
transportation.

No German housewife, for example, would ever think of going out after
sunset without a 20 pound rechargeable battery and a headlamp as
bright as an aircraft landing light. Ditto for the elderly ladies,
young children and businessmen I saw tootling around Ireland, Austria,
Italy and Britain.

And those people (who have used bikes every day, all their lives),
obviously don't know _nearly_ as much about this as the plump
Americans doing occasional "training rides" on delicate road racing
bikes! Americans know lights have to be much, much brighter than
that! TWO aircraft landing lights are not unreasonable! After all,
if it's bright enough for a 150 mph motorcycle, it's obviously not
quite bright enough for a 15 mph bicycle!

Is that how you meant to say it?

- Frank Krygowski
 
D

DennisTheBald

Guest
get yer light from the auto parts store.
$20 will buy you a pair of halogen running lights. I think 36W is
enough and it uses a much lighter battery than a 55W.
don't try to use a motorcycle battery, make sure it's a "deep cycle",
and that you've got the amps so that you only discharge it about 60%
on your normal day to day route
 
C

Chris Smith

Guest
ComandanteBanana wrote:
> Nothing new about it: The little furry mammals developed that strategy
> to survive among the dinosaurs (which is why we are here)...
>


Riding at Night is a most excellent pastime. I'm doing a 400km Audax
this very weekend that, judging by last years timing, will mean I'm
riding from dusk (Saturday) to dawn (Sunday).

When it's moony, and it's very late - I may ride a few short stretches
without lights (in the country).

I have good lights - good enough to allow me to ride downhill at daytime
speeds with full confidence. Of course, I may be asleep by then...

Chris
 
C

ComandanteBanana

Guest
On May 1, 3:45 pm, Jon Bendtsen <[email protected]> wrote:
> ComandanteBanana wrote:
> > Nothing new about it: The little furry mammals developed that strategy
> > to survive among the dinosaurs (which is why we are here)...

>
> > Anyway, now my next door neighbor wants to ride at midnight... And he
> > ain't one of those crazy bums on a Huffy. He even bought a vest with
> > blinking lights (DUI drivers and SUV drivers chatting on the cell

>
> He could get a dynamo hub and some lights. The best dynamo
> hub should be SON from Schmidt, but it's rather expensive.
> The front and rear light could be from Busch + Muller, but
> schmidt has a real nice LED light comming real soon now(tm).
>
> See:
> http://www.peterwhitecycles.com/schmidt.asp
> http://www.bumm.de/index-e.html
> http://www.nabendynamo.de/english/index.html
>
> JonB


All those lights are nice so you can see, but to be seen all you need
is that blinking vest. I guess.
 
J

Jens Müller

Guest
ComandanteBanana schrieb:

> Anyway, now my next door neighbor wants to ride at midnight... And he
> ain't one of those crazy bums on a Huffy. He even bought a vest with
> blinking lights


Args. Please don't use this blinking bullshits. It just distracts other
drivers and makes them focus on the blinking.
 
J

Jens Müller

Guest
ComandanteBanana schrieb:
> All those lights are nice so you can see, but to be seen all you need
> is that blinking vest. I guess.


Fortunately, that blinking ******** is illegal, at least here.
 
C

ComandanteBanana

Guest
On May 1, 5:24 pm, Jens Müller <[email protected]> wrote:
> ComandanteBanana schrieb:
>
> > Anyway, now my next door neighbor wants to ride at midnight... And he
> > ain't one of those crazy bums on a Huffy. He even bought a vest with
> > blinking lights

>
> Args. Please don't use this blinking bullshits. It just distracts other
> drivers and makes them focus on the blinking.


So how is it the blinking rear lights are OK? I don't think any solid
light will be strong enough to be seen by drivers who simply aren't
looking for bikes at that time... if they are paying any attention at
all.

I was told the same thing about having blinking lights on the canoe,
which I fixed.
 
C

ComandanteBanana

Guest
On May 1, 5:25 pm, Jens Müller <[email protected]> wrote:
> ComandanteBanana schrieb:
>
> > All those lights are nice so you can see, but to be seen all you need
> > is that blinking vest. I guess.

>
> Fortunately, that blinking ******** is illegal, at least here.


Where's that, Germany? What is required there?
 
T

Tadej Brezina

Guest
ComandanteBanana wrote:
> On May 1, 5:24 pm, Jens Müller <[email protected]> wrote:
>
>>ComandanteBanana schrieb:
>>
>>
>>>Anyway, now my next door neighbor wants to ride at midnight... And he
>>>ain't one of those crazy bums on a Huffy. He even bought a vest with
>>>blinking lights

>>
>>Args. Please don't use this blinking bullshits. It just distracts other
>>drivers and makes them focus on the blinking.

>
>
> So how is it the blinking rear lights are OK? I don't think any solid
> light will be strong enough to be seen by drivers who simply aren't
> looking for bikes at that time... if they are paying any attention at
> all.


If two solid lights are enough to mark every four-wheeled vehicle
smaller than a lorry or bus (assuming they have additional ones on the
upper corners of their backside-silhouette) why then is one not
sufficient to mark a two-wheeler?

Tadej
--
“It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary
depends upon his not understanding it.”
<Upton Sinclair in The Jungle>
 
P

Pat

Guest
On May 1, 5:49 pm, ComandanteBanana <[email protected]> wrote:
> On May 1, 5:24 pm, Jens Müller <[email protected]> wrote:
>
> > ComandanteBanana schrieb:

>
> > > Anyway, now my next door neighbor wants to ride at midnight... And he
> > > ain't one of those crazy bums on a Huffy. He even bought a vest with
> > > blinking lights

>
> > Args. Please don't use this blinking bullshits. It just distracts other
> > drivers and makes them focus on the blinking.

>
> So how is it the blinking rear lights are OK? I don't think any solid
> light will be strong enough to be seen by drivers who simply aren't
> looking for bikes at that time... if they are paying any attention at
> all.
>
> I was told the same thing about having blinking lights on the canoe,
> which I fixed.


3M makes some pretty spectacular reflective tape that you can use for
all sorts of situations. For example, I have a black helmet. I put a
strip of the black reflective tape (which reflects white) on the back
of the helmet. During the daytime you can't see it (it just looks
like a piece of electrical tape) but it is BRIGHT during the night.
Anything you can do to increase your visible profile is helpful.
 
J

Jens Müller

Guest
ComandanteBanana schrieb:
> On May 1, 5:25 pm, Jens Müller <[email protected]> wrote:
>> ComandanteBanana schrieb:
>>
>>> All those lights are nice so you can see, but to be seen all you need
>>> is that blinking vest. I guess.

>> Fortunately, that blinking ******** is illegal, at least here.

>
> Where's that, Germany? What is required there?


A normal, permanently shining light (red on the back, white on the front).
 
J

Jens Müller

Guest
ComandanteBanana schrieb:
> On May 1, 5:24 pm, Jens Müller <[email protected]> wrote:
>> ComandanteBanana schrieb:
>>
>>> Anyway, now my next door neighbor wants to ride at midnight... And he
>>> ain't one of those crazy bums on a Huffy. He even bought a vest with
>>> blinking lights

>> Args. Please don't use this blinking bullshits. It just distracts other
>> drivers and makes them focus on the blinking.

>
> So how is it the blinking rear lights are OK?


They aren't ok.
 
C

ComandanteBanana

Guest
On May 2, 1:36 pm, Jens Müller <[email protected]> wrote:
> ComandanteBanana schrieb:
>
> > On May 1, 5:24 pm, Jens Müller <[email protected]> wrote:
> >> ComandanteBanana schrieb:

>
> >>> Anyway, now my next door neighbor wants to ride at midnight... And he
> >>> ain't one of those crazy bums on a Huffy. He even bought a vest with
> >>> blinking lights
> >> Args. Please don't use this blinking bullshits. It just distracts other
> >> drivers and makes them focus on the blinking.

>
> > So how is it the blinking rear lights are OK?

>
> They aren't ok.


Wow, I read somewhere they are not OK in Germany, but why?
 
S

SMS

Guest
rms wrote:
>> Well, our dinosaurs (SUVs and motorboats) make us get smarter and get
>> nocturnal.

>
> Take heart: mammals emerged into the sunlight after a worldwide
> catastrophe. That catastrophe is occurring right now: slow in man-years
> but an eyeblink in geologic time.
>
> In any case, pay close attention to nighttime lighting. Both distance
> viewing and depth perception are greatly reduced with cheaper
> headlamp/bikelights. $2-300 for a quality high-wattage bikelight system I
> don't think would be out of line if you are serious about night-riding,
> especially on a fast roadbike.


I wouldn't base the quality on the price. You can spend $200-300 and end
up with low-power lights that aren't suitable for a lot of types of
night riding, and you can spend $60-100 and get something that works
very well.

The short version is a Cree 3W emitter flashlight and a high power LED
tail light that has some side pointing LEDs as well as rear pointing ones.

Just to nitpick, it's old-school to talk about "wattage."
 
D

DennisTheBald

Guest
On May 2, 12:47 pm, ComandanteBanana <[email protected]>
wrote:
> Hey guys, how about this little light for my Topeak rack?
>
> http://www.topeak.com/products/detail/205
>
> They also have this one...
>
> http://www.topeak.com/products/detail/204
>
> I'm reading in other forums though that some people ride with as many
> lights as possible.
>
> Isn't a basic strategy of survival to be seen, no matter what?


Roger, too much ain't enough... light it up with as much battery power
as yer willing to carry. But don't stop there, get a dyno hub and
light it up some more. You got to be really bright 'cause motorists
ain't.
 
J

Jym Dyer

Guest
>>> Args. Please don't use this blinking bullshits. It
>>> just distracts other drivers and makes them focus
>>> on the blinking.

>> So how is it the blinking rear lights are OK?

> They aren't ok.


=v= You've asserted this three times now. What's the basis?
Are there actual field studies indicating that blinking lights
are a hazard? Have they actually been correlated with greater
danger for cyclists?
<_Jym_>
 
?

_

Guest
On Fri, 02 May 2008 19:36:06 +0200, Jens Müller wrote:

> ComandanteBanana schrieb:
>> On May 1, 5:24 pm, Jens Müller <[email protected]> wrote:
>>> ComandanteBanana schrieb:
>>>
>>>> Anyway, now my next door neighbor wants to ride at midnight... And he
>>>> ain't one of those crazy bums on a Huffy. He even bought a vest with
>>>> blinking lights
>>> Args. Please don't use this blinking bullshits. It just distracts other
>>> drivers and makes them focus on the blinking.

>>
>> So how is it the blinking rear lights are OK?

>
> They aren't ok.


Why not?