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Old 12-11-05, 08:11 PM   #1
Citadel Rider
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Hi folks,

This ever happen to you?

I easy-ride 4-5 miles in the evenings for exercise through the local subdivisions in a city of 200,000. Regularly I encounter kids riding at dusk and after dark without lights, some doing the "cool-curb-jumping-thing" into the streets... and the parents standing 20 feet away on the sidewalk talking -- totally oblivious to the problem.

The kids notice my two front lights (one flashing) and the two red rear lights.

"WOW - cool lights mister."

So I stop and the kids crowd around for a closer look. (...the parents now taking notice -- a strange man-beast amount the little children is not a good thing).

The kids ask some questions, and I show them the lights' various low-medium-high-and flashing modes... I ask where their lights are -- it IS after dark and the law requires lights on bicycles you know.

"We don't need lights... we can see... there are street lights... we got reflectors... there's no law like that!"

"Didn't you just say my lights were cool," I ask, "Wouldn't you like to have cool lights like this on your bicycle?"

"Yeh, they're cool, but we don't have money to buy them."

"So get your parants to buy them for you," I say.

"Our parents won't buy cool stuff like that."

By this time one of the parants has wandered over and wants to know whats going on.

"See his cool lights... they even flash and everything..."

"Good evening, the kids wanted to see my bicycle safety lights," I say to the parent.

"Hello. Well the kids shouldn't be talking to strangers," says the parent.

"True," I say, "but if they want to know something about the bicycle safety lights, [HINT] which are required to ride bicycles at night, [HINT] then I think it's important they should know about them and see them in action." [HINT]

"Do you sell these lights?" asks the parent.

"No, just use them as required for safe cycling," I say.

"Well, thanks... come-along children time to go in the house now...

"AWWW MOMMM...."

Why is it parents have such a false sense of security by standing on the sidewalk while their kids "curb-jump" into the dark streets? DUH....

They refuse to buy a couple $25. "cool" flashing lights, increasing the safety of their children, but the parents will buy a $1,000. computer for them, or a TV and DVD player... or.....

Some parents need a bump on the head with a smurf-nurf baseball bat. Maybe a couple bumps....

Last edited by Citadel Rider; 12-11-05 at 08:23 PM.
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Old 12-11-05, 08:19 PM   #2
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Don't worry, their kids will die soon...
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Old 12-11-05, 09:03 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by slvoid
Don't worry, their kids will die soon...
and remove the "stupid" gene from the gene pool. Evolution at its best.
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Old 12-11-05, 10:33 PM   #4
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I love evolution. Sometimes/often I wish that it actually like that.
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Old 12-12-05, 09:55 AM   #5
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I don't know. As I younger kid I rode everywhere without decent lights (although one of my bikes had a generator system.) We could spend all night jumping into the street and never have a problem with cars. The only problem that could happen is if a car came with its lights totally off, but we'd still hear it coming. I'm not suggesting it is safe, only that one can be very aware of ones invisibility and stay off the road when cars are nearby. Lights are much more important if one rides more than a few hundred feet from the driveway. Recently I've ridden around my nighborhood with not lights, as soon as a car is anywhere nearby, you get up on the sidewalk and stop and wait till they pass.

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Old 12-12-05, 10:28 AM   #6
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Noisebeam, I see your side but most kids don't think that logically. If they can get away with riding close to home with no lights, why not venture out a little further? After all, they've got reflectors. Cars will see them even if they don't move for every car. At least, they think they will.

If I were the OP, I'd drop off a Performance (or pick your favorite cycling store) catalog with some pages of cheap lights earmarked. Maybe the parents will see that they can "affordably" make their kids bikes safer.
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Old 12-12-05, 10:49 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joejack951
Noisebeam, I see your side but most kids don't think that logically. If they can get away with riding close to home with no lights, why not venture out a little further? After all, they've got reflectors. Cars will see them even if they don't move for every car. At least, they think they will.

If I were the OP, I'd drop off a Performance (or pick your favorite cycling store) catalog with some pages of cheap lights earmarked. Maybe the parents will see that they can "affordably" make their kids bikes safer.
I agree. I just wanted to provide some balance to the 'don't worry, it will help get rid of bad genes' attitude. I'd bet these kids are at greater danger doing the exact same thing in daylight as they won't know as easily when a car is coming.
I also think cheap rear blinkies offer a false sense of security. I've come across a number of cyclists who I thought were rear lightless only to find when I was 20ft or so back that they do have a tiny rear blinkie. Of course they should have had a rear reflector too which would have been very bright from my front headlight.

Al
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Old 12-12-05, 11:09 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Citadel Rider

"AWWW MOMMM...."
Good job, CR.
Schools should promote bicycle safety and make sure all children know the traffic and safety laws regarding bicycles (and it should be done right.)
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Old 12-12-05, 03:30 PM   #9
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I think that the stores that sell them the bike should "recommend", without sounding like they just want a higher commission, that if they are going to be biking in the dark that they need lights... I've never biked in the dark, so I don't have any lights... I probably would have come up to you seeing the neat lights, but hopefully I would have not been riding my bike..
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Old 12-12-05, 06:59 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LittleBigMan
Good job, CR.
Schools should promote bicycle safety and make sure all children know the traffic and safety laws regarding bicycles (and it should be done right.)
They did, when I was growing up during the 1960's. Safe bicycle riding was a classroom topic that came up every year, in the March / April time frame. Nothing too extravagant, just two class hours or so, over a two week period. just some colorful posters in the hallways, no graded tests.

Did it work? I'd say it did. Now, why couldn't such a thing be done today?
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Old 12-12-05, 07:12 PM   #11
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We had bike safety in school into the early 80's. But I can tell you from working in a bike shop that many parents just don't get it. They'll spend a few bucks on a half decent bike, but balk at a decent lock.
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Old 12-12-05, 07:20 PM   #12
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Funny that she was more worried about her kids talking to strangers than riding in the streets at night without lighting.

Thank God sensational TV news is setting priorities straight.

Like people who are terrified of shark attacks but don't wear a seatbelt.
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Old 12-12-05, 09:21 PM   #13
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I've had neighbor kids quiz me about my blinky lights and my helmet mirror before. They seem to think my bike is pretty cool and have been generally curious about my safety equipment. I even let two of the neighbor girls take turns trying on my helmet and testing to see if the rearview mirror actually worked.

They may not ask their parents for LEDs or shiny blue helmets with stick-on mirrors, but at least they know that these things exist, what they are for, and that the bike shop two streets away sells lights and mirrors for under $20.
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Old 12-13-05, 05:41 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Citadel Rider
...the parents now taking notice -- a strange man-beast amount the little children is not a good thing)..
Amount the little children? I'd be concerned as well.

I posted elsewhere that a group of kids took notice of my approach with an HID/ blinkie combo and told me it looked sick. I took that as a good thing.
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Old 12-13-05, 06:46 AM   #15
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I've occasionally questioned parents as to where their kid's lights are. I aim for the casual enquiry that induces the "bad parent" reflex. Guilt can be a wonderful thing sometimes.
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Old 12-13-05, 07:14 AM   #16
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It's always interesting to me what kids consider cool. I was riding up to the rails to trails once when I passed a couple of kids. One was on a scooter and the other was on a small bicycle. As I passed on my Hybrid both said "Wow, cool bike!" To me the Trek is really nothing special, but they seemed to like it! On another front I used to get alot more attention, from kids, when riding my Suzuki dualsport bike than on the 160 mph Bandit 1200! Go figure!
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Old 12-13-05, 09:48 AM   #17
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I had kids say, "Woooooow! Look at that bike!", a few weeks ago when I was riding home at night. (Headlight, blinkies, etc. MUP.)
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Old 12-13-05, 09:54 AM   #18
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I was going down Sprague to work in the daytime, with the Flamethrower HID on for visibility, and a little boy and his mom were waiting for the bus. He smiled and yelled "that's a cool light!!" as I went by. I only had time to call out "thanks!" and wave, since I was going pretty fast.

OTOH, there were young men in a pickup truck threatening me if I didn't turn that $#%* light off. You can't win sometimes
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