Ride the 40+ years that I have in So Cal and then tell me about "antisocial behavior" in my area. I also use a loud horn.
No, I don't suggest blinding anyone... I do suggest that shining a light in the direction of a closing motorist may get their attention.
Now, who is being dishonest? You have changed your tune a bit. At least the wording of your behaviour. Now it's "shining a light in the direction" and not your previous defense of pushing a hi-lumen spotlight in their faces as a precautionary measure.No, I don't suggest blinding anyone... I do suggest that shining a light in the direction of a closing motorist may get their attention.
Last edited by SmallFront; 12-03-13 at 05:39 PM.
There is ways to make very bright and effective bicycle lights that put out just as much light as car headlights that do not blind other traffic any more then car headlights do (on dim setting) this requires the same level of application engineering that go into car headlights (granted there are some annoyingly blinding car headlights that seem to lack this as well) unfortunately most commercial bicycle headlights do not take this into consideration. It is possible to build your own that do which is what I have had to resort too doing. My home-brew LED bike headlight assemblies work just like car headlights with "dim" and "bright" settings (actually multiple levels of dim and bright) where the dim setting throws soft non-blinding but fully visible and illuminating light and the "bright" setting throws a powerful blinding beam. Just like cars I have to dim my brights when there is other traffic approaching and sometimes we flash each other back and forth when one of us forgets to dim. All it takes is some common sense and a little electrical, electronic, and optical know-how apparently the companies selling bicycle headlights can't be bothered to do this. Might be just another part of the "But bikes don't belong on the roads especially at night!" cultural taboo. Why design bike headlights built for on road use with other traffic if you don't want bikes on the road with other traffic. Seems to be how it is being played.
Also someone mentioned how flashing bike lights don't allow other drivers to see exactly where you are. This is true as the human eye/brain does need a constant on steady light to "lock onto" and properly judge position, distance, and speed and it is very difficult to do this on a strobe type light. It is also true that a strobe type light does "get noticed" better then a constant on one especially if it is not that bright. My solution is to combine a constant powerful steady on tail light with a smaller less powerful blinky or better yet make the light gently (not annoyingly or harshly or too fast but noticeably) pulse in brightness but still stay constant on like an old magneto powered motorcycle headlight does. This can also be done with LED bike lights and is very effective but implementing it is a pain since there isn't very many off the shelf solutions.
I have been thinking about making a sort of hood for country road riding. The sort of hood that was popular on old Beetles. Not optimal by any stretch, but I would like a stronger front light, it has to be li-ion, and I want it to have an external battery, not one inbuilt. I like the Hope R1 - especially since I can get a really nice tail light to run off of the same battery, and I can have a huge battery pack for when that is needed (touring), and a smaller one for everyday commuting/utility use.
Regarding the "letting the terrorists win" line, that was meant to be tounge in cheek. Kind of like "Thanks Obama" when the vending machine is broken.
But seriously, who the hell doesn't like peanut butter? Loved the exchange on that one.
I am in and out of this forum as I am trying to wrap up may last fall semester of AE and am mad busy. But I popped in to check on this thread because as I was making a run to the grocery store (in the car, that I own), my headlights hit a reflective vest in the distance. "Hey, that's really bright!" I thought. And then the guy disappeared. As I approached the intersection, I could barely make his figure out in the dark. He didn't have any lights at all, so he was straight invisible when a light wasn't hitting him. Not that this is an argument against reflective wear, because his side visibility was pretty spot on. Maybe I should have caught up to him and offered him some cheap spare lights I have? If I see him again...
A car is a car and a bike is a bike. Both parties are responsible to take safety precautions. What I'm saying with this whole rant is that I'm tired of people passing judgement on other people who do not employ every single facet of some other individual's idea of safety when on the bike. To the point that maybe even new commuters would be turned off by it. It's kind of like the reason you don't want to go to your local bike shop because the roadie mechanic will just sneer at your commuter rig. (hint: we make fun of triathletes way more than overloaded commuters) It puts off a new rider when the shop guy hassles them for not going clipless when they first buy the bike. It's a similar attitude here and translates to more than just safety gear. (Start a thread asking about backpack suggestions in the commuter forum and see how long it takes for someone to say "You should get panniers instead!")I guess this is why I decided to post it in the "Advocacy" forum. I didn't expect this big of a reaction, but there you go.
Like Adrian said earlier, we should let people be free to make their own discoveries. I would take it a step further and say that we should share our experiences and what we like and why, without jumping down each other's throats for what we're NOT doing. That would be a much more constructive setting for new riders to come into the fold.
I got the Hi-vis jacket just for the winter time, since it's colder and it can rain here and there, not because I'm going to trust cars more
Once in a while I go on "naked" rides without a helmet or anything and it is a bit liberating. But if the day comes when something happens I don't want to be wondering "If i had ___ would it have not happened?"
Maybe this is like the paranoia with PC safety? Most of the time nothing will happen, but people still like to take all these safety measures.
Assume nothing; Question everything
And let me get this straight ... you're tired of people passing judgement, and yet two sentences later you pass judgement on triathletes???
A suggestion then, how about you start a constructive positive thread along those lines??I would take it a step further and say that we should share our experiences and what we like and why, without jumping down each other's throats for what we're NOT doing. That would be a much more constructive setting for new riders to come into the fold.
Cat 2 Track, Cat 3 Road.
"If you’re new enough [to racing] that you would ask such question, then i would hazard a guess that if you just made up a workout that sounded hard to do, and did it, you’d probably get faster." --the tiniest sprinter
EDIT: I generally make it a rule to not associate myself with my shop because I would rather the face of the business not be associated with a, currently, part time employee. So let it be known that I am a lowly hourly and my views and opinions do NOT represent the views and opinions of Bicycles Plus as a whole. They are a strong team of passionate cyclists who do what they love for a living and strive to succeed in customer service where most shops fail. The worst thing about finishing engineering school is that I won't get to work for them anymore.
Last edited by WalksOn2Wheels; 12-26-13 at 10:59 PM.
The light sabre is carefully disguised as a pump and is attached to the frame. That is a banana you see in my jersey pocket...
Last edited by JonnyHK; 12-27-13 at 07:24 PM.
Yes there is too much of a good thing possible
Recycle, Reclaim, Reuse and Repair
The 4 Rs to save the planet
Where I live now (Kamloops) I only wear hi-vis when it's dark out (along with lights front and rear) or in poor visibility. When I lived in North Vancouver, I wore hi-vis a lot more often and even got complimented on doing so. Yes, I do have a mirror and I use it. Yes, I wear a helmet (required by law, unfortunately). Does that mean I'm letting the "terrorists" win? No. I'm simply riding by what the conditions dictate.
I wear cycling specific clothing which is often bright and has reflect trim. I might consider a vest under the right (wrong?) circumstances.
Selecting my equipment is pragmatic decision making. Processes or routines added for a "feeling" of safety are merely superstition. A go-cam or favorable horoscope will not make my cross town ride through traffic any safer. Besides being a form of transportation.... bicycling is a sport. One of the early lessons of sports is setting aside or working through fear. We can't bubble wrap ourselves and still pedal. We have to accept that yes we are breakable.
Bicycle vs automobile accidents can make for serious ouchies for the cyclist. But the alternative isn't layers of superstitious practices and processes. The only real alternative is an acceptance of the obvious risks.
Riding with things like a mirror, helmet, high-vis, reflective bits, etc. make the ride less stressful for me (especially on all the 2-lane roads I ride), which in turn makes it more enjoyable.
I agree about the mirror being the most important out of all of those. I didn't use one when I started out, and I'm not very good at looking back over my shoulder and maintaining a straight line. I now have a mirror strapped to my helmet and wouldn't think of riding without it. The times I ride around the neighborhood without a helmet, it feels like part of my sense awareness is missing.
And I ride in dark conditions often when commuting, and IMHO high-vis and reflective stuff purely make sense by increasing the chances that cagers will see you.
2011 Felt Z85 105 | Ultegra | KMC | Selle Italia | Vuelta | Topeak
90's-ish KHS Alite 1000 MTB Road-going utility hauler
A cyclist is a cyclist's worst enemy.
Wearing a helmet for me is almost entirely devoid of diminishing returns issues. I currently own a $200 helmet because from what I can tell, it provides the best protection against brain injury available.
If there was a helmet that cost $1000 and gave 5% better protection, I'd buy it. If I have a significant brain injury, my professional life is over.
Work: the 8 hours that separates bike rides.
Note I am definitely not anti helmet, just pro logic.
Recycle, Reclaim, Reuse and Repair
The 4 Rs to save the planet