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  1. #1
    Senior Member no motor?'s Avatar
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    Giving lights to ninjas

    I'm just poking around looking for ideas/information here, and am wondering what kind of experiences people might have had with passing out lights to the ninjas to make them more visible out there. One of the groups I'm involved with is looking for more ways to benefit the community, and this is something that's got me thinking. There are a lot of ninjas around here, and most all of them are the "invisible riders" in more ways than one. The ideal solution would be one that's both respectful and beneficial to all involved, anyone got anything they'd want to share?

  2. #2
    Small Gal On a Small Bike vestarita's Avatar
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    I think this is a wonderful idea. Maybe you could try to involve city officials and bring it to their attention that some people who ride bikes can't afford the lights, so they could start a program where lights are given to cyclists free or at a discounted rate. I wonder if some of the big companies like Planet Bike would mind selling the lights at cost for use in such a program. One caveat is the cyclists would have to go get the lights themselves, which may be difficult for some. Also, there will be people that take advantage of programs like this to get cheap lights which they could then sell at a markup.

    Maybe you could have designated "light givers" across the city that could keep a small stash and hand out lights as they see a need.

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    Your group could seek community funding to buy the lights at cost from places like Planet Bike and REI. You might also distribute free or low cost safe cycling pamphlets. You could seek volunteers to distribute lights and pamphlets at places where ninja cyclists congregate or work. Look for the bikes and try to get there when the cyclists come or go.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Pig_Chaser's Avatar
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    There was a thread not to long ago about offering free lights. In post #27 i relate my experience in giving one away. Here's a follow up to it, i've seen him on the road since, now with a front light and a better rear blinkie than the one i gave to him.

  5. #5
    Scan Me DallasSoxFan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Recycle View Post
    Your group could seek community funding to buy the lights at cost from places like Planet Bike and REI. You might also distribute free or low cost safe cycling pamphlets. You could seek volunteers to distribute lights and pamphlets at places where ninja cyclists congregate or work. Look for the bikes and try to get there when the cyclists come or go.
    Do you really think a place like Planet Bike or REI are going to do better than $2.17 per unit in quantity for a cheapie like:

    http://www.dealextreme.com/details.dx/sku.3651

    I guess maybe if you really smooth talked them into the advertising impact....

  6. #6
    Senior Member StrangeWill's Avatar
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    tl;dr
    WTF 6 pages?

  7. #7
    Senior Member no motor?'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pig_Chaser View Post
    There was a thread not to long ago about offering free lights. In post #27 i relate my experience in giving one away. Here's a follow up to it, i've seen him on the road since, now with a front light and a better rear blinkie than the one i gave to him.
    That's kind of the effect I'd like to create if we doe this. Do you think giving out a blinky would be better than a front light? Most of the ninjas I see are going the wrong way too, and the front light would make them safer when they ride the wrong way in the dark. But they'd be able to see the benefit of that, and the benefit of the blinky might be lost on people who are only expecting problems to be in front of them.

  8. #8
    Senior Member no motor?'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Recycle View Post
    Your group could seek community funding to buy the lights at cost from places like Planet Bike and REI. You might also distribute free or low cost safe cycling pamphlets. You could seek volunteers to distribute lights and pamphlets at places where ninja cyclists congregate or work. Look for the bikes and try to get there when the cyclists come or go.
    I got money to buy 100 helmets we passed out a bike rodeo this spring, and also got 2,000 walking/bicycling tour booklets printed this year - I'm pretty confident we can get some lights if I can show how they'd help. I'm looking for examples of people who've passed lights out to Ninjas to help prove it's a good idea. And the volunteers would probably the same group of us who're at the other volunteer stuff I do.

  9. #9
    Senior Member no motor?'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by vestarita View Post
    I think this is a wonderful idea. Maybe you could try to involve city officials and bring it to their attention that some people who ride bikes can't afford the lights, so they could start a program where lights are given to cyclists free or at a discounted rate. I wonder if some of the big companies like Planet Bike would mind selling the lights at cost for use in such a program. One caveat is the cyclists would have to go get the lights themselves, which may be difficult for some. Also, there will be people that take advantage of programs like this to get cheap lights which they could then sell at a markup.

    Maybe you could have designated "light givers" across the city that could keep a small stash and hand out lights as they see a need.
    Passing the lights out seems like it would be the hard part here.

  10. #10
    PatronSaintOfDiscBrakes dynaryder's Avatar
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    I've been giving out these for over a year now:
    http://glowproducts.com/batteryopera...esafetylights/

    Cheap and easy to carry. My experience has been about 50/50. Some folks are like,wow thanks I really need this. Others have no interest in them. I once asked a young lady ninja if she'd like a light and her reply was,"you saw me,didn't you?". I don't get pushy,as grampa used to say,they're big and ugly enough to make up their own minds.

    BTW,I would like to find a better source or better product than these. They use button cells which aren't as cheap and common as AA/AAA's,so when the batts die I figure the owner prolly just tosses them. Also,the quality seems to be dropping. Out of the last batch of 30 I bought,8 wouldn't work(batts were fine). Got a couple of the dead ones to light,but didn't trust them for bike lights,so I gave them to a friend to use on his kid's robot costume.

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  11. #11
    Senior Member striegel's Avatar
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    Some riders might want to stay ninjas. Not me, but they may have their own reasons, like the below:

    "I just assume I'm not invisible. I assume I'm wearing fluorescent clothes, and there's a million-dollar bounty going to the first driver who manages to hit me. And I ride on that assumption."

    —Neal Stephenson, Zodiac
    If something doesn't ache, I could be trying harder.

  12. #12
    Dogs like me. Ajenkins's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by StrangeWill View Post
    tl;dr
    WTF 6 pages?
    Spending a little too much time on the interwebs, are we?

  13. #13
    Senior Member StrangeWill's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ajenkins View Post
    Spending a little too much time on the interwebs, are we?
    Or not willing to spend enough?

  14. #14
    Senior Member wahoonc's Avatar
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    Never given out lights. But I have offered and handed out plenty of reflective safety vests. I would say it is a 50/50 proposition. Several of the people I gave them to still use them, but at least that many more don't. If you could do it in conjunction with local police or some other community group it would an excellent idea. Also I don't know if your area is like ours, but bilingual brochures might not be a bad idea.

    Aaron
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  15. #15
    Senior Member no motor?'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wahoonc View Post
    Never given out lights. But I have offered and handed out plenty of reflective safety vests. I would say it is a 50/50 proposition. Several of the people I gave them to still use them, but at least that many more don't. If you could do it in conjunction with local police or some other community group it would an excellent idea. Also I don't know if your area is like ours, but bilingual brochures might not be a bad idea.

    Aaron
    The vests sound like a better idea, and should offer 360 degree visibility. The Secretary of State's office listed some bicycle safety brochures in Spanish, we should be able to get some from them if Illinois keeps from going bankrupt by then. Thanks for the tips.

  16. #16
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    no motor
    Check your private BF messages. Looks like we're working on the same project in the same area.

  17. #17
    Bicycle Repair Man !!! Sixty Fiver's Avatar
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    I usually get a good number of free lights at different events (MEC donates a lot of turtle lights) and I carry these around and give them to ninja riders, small children, and ninja peds.


    The commuter's society here is looking to hold a few sessions where we will station ourselves on busy commuter routes and hand out free lights to everyone regardless of how they are travelling.

  18. #18
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    My hometown police in CA gave away free lights (they probably still do, as well as baby seats for cars). They found this a valuable program for preventing accidents, and also for making connections with a segment of the community where that's a challenge.

    One thing they found was that it was better to open the package and install the new lights on the bike, with fresh batteries, etc. This lets them show proper use of the lights, and give a lesson on bike safety. But it also discourages people from just taking the lights home and selling them.

    In some cases the connections made with these cyclists turned out to be valuable in reducing crime, as the cyclists were now friendly with the police, and would report illegal activity that they saw along their way.
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