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Old 11-05-04, 09:10 AM   #1
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Show me - your nite footprint - 12, 10 and 6

One of my pet peeves is those idiots who ride at night with no lights.

Expecting to be caught in twilight,night soon I was testing my night footprint by both a standing person and by traffic.

The 3 angles I am interested in are:
12 o'clock-- straight on, as these drivers are apt to pull left in front of me if they don't ID me and honor my space
10 o'clock-- NW for the analog challenged, as these drivers are apt to blow thru a stop right in front of me
6 o'clock-- straight behind me, as they are apt to not notice me until too late.

I found:
6 is ok as whole road fills with red light
10 is very poor
12 is ok for light but extremely poor for driver recognition.


I would like to see the following, say 2inch x 2 inch images of how you look at night from these angles:

1. scenario 12best -- lights on, image of your bike at night from.4 houses away, coming right at camera
2. scenario 10best -- lights on, image of your bike at night from 1 house away, coming at 10 oclock to camera
3. scenario 6best -- lights on, image on your bike at night from 4 houses away, going away from camera
4. scenario 12worst -- no lights, just image of your bike at night from.4 houses away, coming right at camera
with car lights on from other side of street; i.e., how big is your reflective only footprint
5. scenario 10worst -- no lights, just image from your bike at night 1 house away, coming at 10 oclock to vehicle with lights on at stop sign
6. scenario 6worst-- no lights, image on your bike at night from 4 houses away, going away from camera with car lights shinning on bike, low beam, on same side of street.


The hope here is by sharing images we can all come up with creative ways to increase our night footprint and our safety. I am getting some more stuff to improve my footprint and will share images after they are added. Right now I am only comfortable with scenario 6best. The other 5 need work. I am going to try, I think it was alvoid's comment and put reflective tape on the wheel rims.

Again looking forward to seeing what you are doing to improve your nite footprint.

Huff
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Old 11-08-04, 08:46 PM   #2
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Sweet idea! I'll work on these when my camera works.
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Old 11-08-04, 09:34 PM   #3
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The reflective tape on rims is very good if you have deep rims. I have a peeve that they dont put reflectors on 'clipless' pedals, as I have noticed that the reflectors on the platform pedals are very visible.
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Old 11-08-04, 09:46 PM   #4
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Stealth reflectos did I overdo it?
I just did this today to see how my reflective tape job did. this is about 15' or so away.
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Old 11-08-04, 10:39 PM   #5
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The problem with photos is what will show varies greatly with aperture and exposure time. Still a good idea though.

I'll take pics but won't post them anytime soon...still using film. What I try to achive with my lighting is to look like a "normal" vehicule and to be seen from all sides. White headlight, amber side lights on front (on fork, set on solid), large red rear light on rack (flashing) and red side lights on rear (on seatpost, solid (wish I had the cateye TL LD1000 there)). All side lights are angled at 45° so they can be seen from the front/rear and side. I think it's very effective and it looks good. I also have all the basic reflectors plus whatever reflective material is on my clothing and panniers.
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Old 11-09-04, 08:51 AM   #6
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Where did you get the amber side lights?

It will be about 10 to 14 days before I can post my images. I just got the reflective tape and have to apply it. I also order two front safety lights and don't know when they will arrive. Finally I have a simple technical hurdle to solve. We have only taken photos with A, automatic setting. Now I have to go back to photo lessons and relearn how to take night photos with a digital camera.

It would be nice if when you post photos you also share whatever information whould be helpful to understanding the photos. Key would be:

1. rough distance from bike
2. speed of apeture, if you know it. Don't sweat if you don't, i.e. 1/125th, 1/60th, 1/8th etc.

Looking forward to seeing more photos. Yes the LD1000 is a great light, EXCEPT for the mounting mechanism. It is only designed to mount on a stem and is a real pain to mount on a rear rack. Finally figured out to use plastic ties, but they do tend to break.

Huff
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Old 11-09-04, 10:38 AM   #7
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Mounting mechanism... tell me about it. I think most lights are a pain to mount anywhere else than on the seatpost or handlebar.

I got the amber lights at MEC (there's a walk-in store here):
http://www.mec.ca/Products/product_d...=1100017434861

They are meant to be mounted on the bars but you can mount them on the fork if it's not too fat. The picture is not representative, it's really amber.
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Old 11-09-04, 10:42 AM   #8
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if you can strap or screw or bolt or zip tie a piece of 3/4" pvc pipe to the surface you can mount the light to that.
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Old 11-09-04, 11:07 AM   #9
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Thanks, I have bookmarked the LED site. If my coming safety lights don't work, I will get these.

I mounted the cateye like this:

-- ring laying on top of bike rack --
-- bike rack hortizontal top surface --------

Then I have 2 ties going thru the ring and into the holes in the bike rack. Two more ties, one on each side, go between the ring and light and thru the side of the rear rack.

I was trying to be arty, fartsy, and used the smallest ties so it would look nice. But those tended to break, so as they are breaking, I am replacing with next larger size and those 8" ties haven't broken yet.
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Old 11-11-04, 10:28 PM   #10
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These pics are ok. my new cateye does not look very bright. it is brighter in real life. First pic is the taillight without a flash and the second is the headlight without a flash. The third is the rear view with flash (man the taillight really vanishes) and the front with the flash. These pics are about 30 or so feet away and in a not super dark room.
The headlight is using a 12v 20 watt 12 degree bulb it is the low setting I can jack it up to 16v and it gets very bright indeed.
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Old 11-12-04, 09:14 AM   #11
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Steveknight,

Thank you!!! Great shots. I am anxious for my safety lights to arrive so I can deck ou my bike and share the photos.

Comments on photos:

1. good quality. I have to learn how you all make thumbnails that expand to full view.
2. Tailight, no flash-- The thumbnail view is probably close to what a driver "sees" when a few houses away and without lights hitting bike. Pretty invisible. Kind of sc ary the difference between what we expect our footprint to be and what it actually is. And this is without any other lights distracting and shifting focus away from the bike.
3. headlight, no flash-- you obviously have a decent light. Even in the thumbnail we can see both the light and it's road spot. Drivers should be able to recognize a moving object. They probably wonder what it is. Even in large pic it is underclear what is coming. A motorcycle with a super high light?
4. taillight, with flash-- Now we can see the effects of your work. Don't know what this thingy is, but it is sure unusual and could take up a lot of room, maybe I should slow down and watch out I don't hit this thing. I do really like the reflective tape on the rear bumbmer. It helps give definition and gives me a clue this is a bicycle.
5- headlight, with flash-- hey a circus is coming to town. What is this? Again no clear definition of what is coming my way, but on the other hand, the tape on the rear wheel is fantastic. I can put together the rear wheel and the light and gather it is a moving vehicle. Don't know what, but definitely catches attention.

Now tell me what I am seeing, it is not clear:

Front view
1. double safety lights on front forks, or photo echo?
2. What are the white lights at 2 o'clock and 3 o'clock?
3. what is the pink/red tilted vertical light at 1 o'clock?

Back view
1. why is there a bright red light on the left and not on right? red blinky?
2. what is the cluster of 5 white lights in the center?


Very interesting?

Who's next to share?
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Old 11-12-04, 12:33 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HiYoSilver
Now tell me what I am seeing, it is not clear:

Front view
1. double safety lights on front forks, or photo echo?
2. What are the white lights at 2 o'clock and 3 o'clock?
3. what is the pink/red tilted vertical light at 1 o'clock?

Back view
1. why is there a bright red light on the left and not on right? red blinky?
2. what is the cluster of 5 white lights in the center?

[/b]
The taillight is pretty bright to the eye. But the camera could not get a focus on it. All of the “lights” are reflective tape. I had the pink first (all I could find locally) then I added red to the bike body (to match the bike) and black (it is the white light) to all the black surfaces. So my reflective tape would not stand out much in daylight. The light on the left is the reflector that came with the bike.
My xenon flashers really make me stand out too. They are very bright but they flash so fast they are not great for location.
I find sometimes not being normal gets attention far better.
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Old 11-12-04, 02:11 PM   #13
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makes sense, thanks
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Old 11-12-04, 10:01 PM   #14
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I am starting to think that reflective tape can be more effective then some lights.
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Old 11-14-04, 11:25 AM   #15
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Heh, I still like my 19 - LED light. From about 12-15 degrees behind me (equivalent to a car 1/2 a mile behind me from almost any direction towards me), the glow's actually even more painful to look at at night.
The tiny spot to the left of it is a cateye rear blinker on solid.
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Old 12-12-04, 02:11 PM   #16
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.

Looking forward to seeing more photos. Yes the LD1000 is a great light, EXCEPT for the mounting mechanism. It is only designed to mount on a stem and is a real pain to mount on a rear rack. Finally figured out to use plastic ties, but they do tend to break.

Huff[/QUOTE]

The Cat Eye TL LD 1000 will mount on a regular two hole reflector bracket with a screw just like a reflector will.
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Old 12-12-04, 02:31 PM   #17
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a easy way to deal with this is use a piece of 3/4" pvc pipe and zip tie that to the rack and then attach the light to that.
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Old 12-13-04, 08:38 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by steveknight
a easy way to deal with this is use a piece of 3/4" pvc pipe and zip tie that to the rack and then attach the light to that.
Actually, I talked to Cateye and they said it is designed for a screw in the back on the the light and one bump of plastic is for an alignment. Haven't remounted it yet as I haven't found a right screw, but plan to over the Christmas break.

Thanks for the suggestion.
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Old 12-13-04, 09:15 AM   #19
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My bike is shown here, front and back, using Nite Rider equipment and a couple of rear-facing automobile reflectors. I don't have a 10:00 picture but my headlamp beam is pretty wide. I haven't had any problems of side-street drivers not seeing me.

http://www.humantransport.org/bicycl...ery/page5.html

I should add that photos are hard to use for comparisons between different cameras and different backgrounds because the camera settings and background lighting are often so different. It's often best to compare before/after shots turning the lamp on and off.
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Old 12-13-04, 09:42 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 2manybikes
.

The Cat Eye TL LD 1000 will mount on a regular two hole reflector bracket with a screw just like a reflector will.

I think there is an echo in here...echo in here......
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Old 12-13-04, 10:37 AM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sggoodri
My bike is shown here, front and back, using Nite Rider equipment and a couple of rear-facing automobile reflectors. I don't have a 10:00 picture but my headlamp beam is pretty wide. I haven't had any problems of side-street drivers not seeing me.

http://www.humantransport.org/bicycl...ery/page5.html

I should add that photos are hard to use for comparisons between different cameras and different backgrounds because the camera settings and background lighting are often so different. It's often best to compare before/after shots turning the lamp on and off.

First of all, thank you for posting your images. Because everyone will have different cameras and different photo capability, I tried to keep the requirements as low as possible. Most important is that bikers get someone else to take their night photo so they can see how much/little others can see of them on a bike. Definitely agree 100%, best is shots with active lighting and shots with only passible lighting. You never know when your battery will fail, and when it fails, not if if fails, the safe rider will know how much to adjust riding style to stay safe.


Angle of reflection-- you didn't say which nite rider system you are using, but it looks like they use a spot light. I couldn't find details on angles with Nite Rider lights. In your environment, it may not matter. But if cruising at 18 mph, some drivers could catch a blind spot.


1st URL: http://www.humantransport.org/bicycl...ery/page5.html
Great wakeup photos. Look how invisible you are. I may have to rethink a helmet light. The vertically stacked front lights really stand out. Althought I am expected a low rider chopper, rather than a bike.

For reflector description, it would be good to include the power of the low power LED setup so people with different power'ed lights can extrapolate their vision. For the reflector image, it is not immediately clear which is toy reflector and which is good reflector. Either circling and labeling A and B or separating into two parallel images would make it clear. I had thought from the other forum comments that auto reflectors were not too effective. This is a good illustion of how to use them. I would not have thought of using red and yellow, interesting concept.



2nd URL: http://www.ncbikeclub.org/documents/Night_Cycling.html

Great intro to night cycling!!

That said, I don't think Figure 1 is accurate. Motor vehicle lights seem correct. The bike angle of illumination seems way too wide. See for comparison, http://www.turbocatusa.com/config.html. Spot is 10 degrees, and flood is 20 degrees. That would be halved with light focused forward, so flood would only illuminate 10 degrees to right of rider.

Also, you need to indicate, a motor vehicle coming from the North would not see headlight at all. I am convinced bikers need safety amber maker lamps aligned with your dotted lines for those situations.

Good idea to emphasize it is not a good idea to use red lights on the front of the bike.

For special hazards, I would list them and add:
-- brown fragments of broken beer bottles
-- wet branches and twigs
-- oil slicks after first rain in two weeks.

Riding into the Sun is a superb point. Advice taken. I forgot about this, opps.


what's best tail light setting?- solid, rapid flash, slow flash, rolling lights?

First, it would be good to add rolling lights to your list of options. Secondly, I don't know what's best. I would welcome feedback.

Solid, advantages
-- easiest to guage distance
-- normal night light environment
-- does not distract from driving experience
Solid, disadvantages
-- does not command attention from other competing light sources

Rapid flash, advantages
-- commands attention
-- distance guaging is still good
Rapid flash, disadvantages
-- some lock on flash and go to source, i.e., under the influence drivers
-- very annoying, causes headaches in much of population
-- some will be p***d off and take retalitory action against offending source

Slow flash/pulse, advantages
-- still calls attention
-- negates most of antagonism response
-- increased battery life
Slow flash/pulse, disadvantages
-- hardest to guage distance correctly. Firefly analogy was good.

Rolling from side to side, advantages
-- calls attention to vehicle
-- not annoying
-- good distance guaging
-- good battery life
Rolling from side to side, disadvantages
-- calls attention, yet some drivers may not focus completely on driving but more on looking at strange thingy

What's best? I don't know and would like to hear.

Currently I use:
Rear-- solid and side to side
Front makers at 45 degree angle, side to side.


BTW, general tips was a great way to end the article. Another idea might be group night rides to raise awareness of bikers being out at night.
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Old 12-13-04, 01:45 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HiYoSilver
Great intro to night cycling!!

That said, I don't think Figure 1 is accurate. Motor vehicle lights seem correct. The bike angle of illumination seems way too wide. See for comparison, http://www.turbocatusa.com/config.html. Spot is 10 degrees, and flood is 20 degrees. That would be halved with light focused forward, so flood would only illuminate 10 degrees to right of rider.
My intention was to describe the angle of visibility of the cyclist to the drivers, not the angle of adequate roadway illumination. One needs far less power to be seen than to see the roadway. Most headlamps are quite visible across a very wide angle. Yes, there isn't as much power as the angle increases, but this is not as important, because (1) drivers on side streets will most likely first notice you earlier, when you are farther away, at a narrower headlamp angle, and (2) when you are close enough to them that the angle is wide, you are close enough that you don't need that much power.

That said, I do prefer my 15 W NiteRider to a low-power LED lamp or a narrow spot generator lamp. Mine gets noticed from the side, and is painful from directly in front.
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Old 12-13-04, 03:42 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sggoodri
That said, I do prefer my 15 W NiteRider to a low-power LED lamp or a narrow spot generator lamp. Mine gets noticed from the side, and is painful from directly in front.
I see, now what about the issue of: steady, fast flash, slow flash, rolling?

What are your thoughts there?
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Old 12-13-04, 03:45 PM   #24
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I know it has been forever. Perhaps the wrong time of year to try to do bike photos.

Here is the only shot I have so far. It is poor quality, and too close to twilight and camera is too close, but at least you have an idea of reflective footprint.
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Old 12-13-04, 04:22 PM   #25
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how much do you folks think you spend each year on batteries?
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