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Old 07-24-14, 10:53 PM   #76
Roopull
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One might say that playing "devil's advocate" is pretty much the definition of trolling...
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Old 07-25-14, 02:20 PM   #77
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Originally Posted by JamieElenbaas View Post
Theory, theory, theory.

In the rainy dark Pacific Northwest winters, I commute with a 500 lumen light on my bars and another on my helmet. When a car on a side street starts to pull out, I guarantee you that a 500 lumen stinkeye from me stops them in their tracks, period.
As a city P&D driver operating a semi in an urban environment I can say from extensive experience that lighting does in fact make a cyclist much easier to see in less than ideal lighting conditions even for an attentive driver looking for them, and since Kirkland is part of my route I say thanks.

One thing to consider, excessive lighting can be just as bad as no lighting, it makes it very difficult to judge distance, speed, direction, and what else might be in close proximity. Forcing others to look away isn't an intelligent way to be "seen".
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Old 07-25-14, 03:45 PM   #78
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One might say that playing "devil's advocate" is pretty much the definition of trolling...
Not quite.

Somebody who's playing Devil's Advocate is exploring the issue more carefully. A troll is just looking to rile people up and generally isn't interested in the discussion beyond that.
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Old 07-25-14, 04:22 PM   #79
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ninjas dont use lights
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Old 07-25-14, 04:24 PM   #80
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One might say that playing "devil's advocate" is pretty much the definition of trolling...
and they have to go to lulschool
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Old 07-25-14, 05:41 PM   #81
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Not quite.

Somebody who's playing Devil's Advocate is exploring the issue more carefully. A troll is just looking to rile people up and generally isn't interested in the discussion beyond that.
Ah, well, as it was utilized in this thread, I'll have to stick with the trolling...


"PS: I'm surprised that playing bike light devils advocate has not generate more push back (apart from one troll and a bit of sniping)."

Considering he steered the conversation toward ninjas... umm... yeah.
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Old 07-26-14, 09:35 AM   #82
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Originally Posted by CrankyOne View Post
I'm not a fan of anecdotes, but there've been enough times when I've been driving that I've nearly hit a bicycle rider who wasn't using lights that I try to always use them and recommend that others do.

FWIW I can't stand super bright lights that aren't aimed correctly and dislike all blinky lights, both of which I think are dangerous. I'm a huge fan of reflective sidewall tires, yellow pedal reflectors, front white, and red rear reflectors. I no longer bother with a helmet as the research I've done tells me that they're not effective. I also don't wear any special clothing, reflective or otherwise.
did you happen to almost hit a tree, curb, parked car or mailbox? any other object w/o lights that wasnt a cyclist?

im my experience, the only object cars seems to hit that doesnt have lights, are cyclists, ANY other object is magically seen..
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Old 07-26-14, 09:37 AM   #83
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Those are still statistics.

Again, Europe has an infrastructure for cycling. With the infrastructure comes a longer history of cycling familiarity.

I feel comparing Europe cycling to US cycling is apples to grapes.
europe?

all of it? oh cmon... its only one country
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Old 07-26-14, 12:03 PM   #84
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did you happen to almost hit a tree, curb, parked car or mailbox? any other object w/o lights that wasnt a cyclist?

im my experience, the only object cars seems to hit that doesnt have lights, are cyclists, ANY other object is magically seen..
Be fair now, it is not that important for motorists to see unmoving objects that are not in the traffic lanes, nor likely to suddenly move in front of a motorist.

None of the unlit items mentioned above are moving in/across the traffic lanes; except cyclists.
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Old 07-26-14, 12:13 PM   #85
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Be fair now, it is not that important for motorists to see unmoving objects that are not in the traffic lanes, nor likely to suddenly move in front of a motorist.

None of the unlit items mentioned above are moving in/across the traffic lanes; except cyclists.
Yes it is, if you respond when the object is right in front of you, its too late.



then replace tree's by children, balls, dogs, cats, ducks, lost homeless people with pushcars, being aware of objects around you IS important
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Old 07-26-14, 12:31 PM   #86
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then replace tree's by children, balls, dogs, cats, ducks, lost homeless people with pushcars, being aware of objects around you IS important
And when unlit and not aware of moving traffic, as almost all are at night, get hit all the time by moving vehicles.

Of course it is important for motorists and cyclists to be aware of objects farther up the road that might move into their path; trees, curbs, parked cars or mailboxes are not any of those items. Cyclists are, and accordingly need appropriate lighting or reflectors to be seen by approaching traffic as the kind of objects in the road or likely to be crossing the street. Otherwise they are more likely to meet the fate of animals crossing the road at night.
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Old 07-26-14, 03:29 PM   #87
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And when unlit and not aware of moving traffic, as almost all are at night, get hit all the time by moving vehicles.

Of course it is important for motorists and cyclists to be aware of objects farther up the road that might move into their path; trees, curbs, parked cars or mailboxes are not any of those items. Cyclists are, and accordingly need appropriate lighting or reflectors to be seen by approaching traffic as the kind of objects in the road or likely to be crossing the street. Otherwise they are more likely to meet the fate of animals crossing the road at night.
in reality, they dont get hit as often as claimed (considering w/o light they "are invisible")

so if trees are not important, do you decide if something is a tree before or after deciding trees are not important, how does one differentiate between a small bush/tree behind a car or a person? are you willing to be wrong?

its a matter of perception; when every single object can endanger you, directly or indirectly, its mandatory to see them all, if youre only watching for lights, youre waiting for a victim...

objects on the side of the road are from a drivers view the same as cyclists on the curb, theyre simply closer and ON the road, its how the human eye works at night
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Old 07-26-14, 03:32 PM   #88
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I live in a city and commute only two miles to work every night. I use a cygolite metro in front and red blinky in back. We don't have dedicated bike lanes and half of my commute is through an industrial park that is well lit. I haven't read the article but I can't say how many times I've switched my light from steady to steady with a blink and people just swerve away from me. A lot of people tend to see my light better that way as soon as they're probably done texting after a long day of work.

I guess I can see where bike commuting is more popular that people are more apt to be on the lookout for cyclists. But where I live where most people do not bike to work, I'd sat it's essential.

Also I'm a truck driver, so when I drive up the yard, it really helps because our yard is not well lit.
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Old 07-26-14, 04:15 PM   #89
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Originally Posted by italktocats View Post
in reality, they dont get hit as often as claimed (considering w/o light they "are invisible")

so if trees are not important, do you decide if something is a tree before or after deciding trees are not important, how does one differentiate between a small bush/tree behind a car or a person? are you willing to be wrong?

its a matter of perception; when every single object can endanger you, directly or indirectly, its mandatory to see them all, if youre only watching for lights, youre waiting for a victim...

objects on the side of the road are from a drivers view the same as cyclists on the curb, theyre simply closer and ON the road, its how the human eye works at night
How fast does someone drive down a road at night if worried enough to assume that every unlit tree, fence, mailbox or other object alongside the road might not be inanimate and is a possible threat to jump out in the road at any moment? My guess would be that someone that paranoid would not feel safe driving faster than 15km/hr, if that fast, and with one foot resting on the brake pedal.

Of course the on topic issue is night time bicycle riders who choose to be indistinguishable from unlit inanimate objects as they propel themselves along side the highway or in it or across it, or think there is little to be gained by using lights at night. Some of those bicyclists might drive their motor vehicles on the highway at 15km/hr always aware that some unlit thing might come out in front of them from somewhere, they would out of touch dimwits if they actually think (m)any other drivers are driving/doing the same way.

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Old 07-26-14, 06:50 PM   #90
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did you happen to almost hit a tree, curb, parked car or mailbox? any other object w/o lights that wasnt a cyclist?

im my experience, the only object cars seems to hit that doesnt have lights, are cyclists, ANY other object is magically seen..
Absolutely, if said non-lit obstacle was sitting in the middle of the street . Thankfully, we keep these stuff out of the way for reasons you've tried to put forward ironically.

Expectations play a large part - if there was a highly visible chunk of metal debris on a busy street in the middle of the day, at some point someone - out of tens of thousands of vehicles - is going to hit it because they didn't expect it to be there. Likewise, a driver going down a somewhat quiet street in the middle of the night will be lulled into thinking it's empty, when suddenly, NINJA HAPPENS.

People walk into obstacles (poles, mailboxes, etc) on a sidewalk all the time - and this was BEFORE personal distractions like tablets and mobiles. They could be lost in thought or distracted by something (pretty girl, handsome guy, loud noises, etc). Driving may require more concentration, but not by much - just like cyclists who let their minds wander a bit while they ride, drivers do the same.

On an individual basis, I'd like to think most of us are safe enough when cycling or driving. Yet accidents will happen on a basis, because when there are hundreds of thousands of vehicles on the road tempting fate, someone is going to screw up.
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Old 07-26-14, 08:46 PM   #91
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How fast does someone drive down a road at night if worried enough to assume that every unlit tree, fence, mailbox or other object alongside the road might not be inanimate and is a possible threat to jump out in the road at any moment? My guess would be that someone that paranoid would not feel safe driving faster than 15km/hr, if that fast, and with one foot resting on the brake pedal.

Of course the on topic issue is night time bicycle riders who choose to be indistinguishable from unlit inanimate objects as they propel themselves along side the highway or in it or across it, or think there is little to be gained by using lights at night. Some of those bicyclists might drive their motor vehicles on the highway at 15km/hr always aware that some unlit thing might come out in front of them from somewhere, they would out of touch dimwits if they actually think (m)any other drivers are driving/doing the same way.
considering that my op focused on urban areas your comments are largely off topic. especially since i repeatedly stated that lights are useful for being seen and for seeing when in areas without street lighting.
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Old 07-26-14, 08:47 PM   #92
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europe?
all of it? oh cmon... its only one country

the correct term in 'merkin is 'yurp.
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Old 07-26-14, 08:54 PM   #93
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Likewise, a driver going down a somewhat quiet street in the middle of the night will be lulled into thinking it's empty, when suddenly, NINJA HAPPENS.
And the surprising thing is that what little evidence exists suggests that when *NINJA* happens the increased risk is small. I think it's worth discussing the risks of bike lights based on evidence rather than common sense. As cyclists we know very well that motorist "common" sense is sometimes just bias.
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Old 07-26-14, 11:31 PM   #94
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And the surprising thing is that what little evidence exists suggests that when *NINJA* happens the increased risk is small. I think it's worth discussing the risks of bike lights based on evidence rather than common sense. As cyclists we know very well that motorist "common" sense is sometimes just bias.
I thought common sense was defined as the sum of someone's biases.
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Old 07-27-14, 03:26 AM   #95
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I thought common sense was defined as the sum of someone's biases.
Pretty much. Unfortunately, people mostly accept evidence that supports their own biases

- Personal anecdotal evidence: people will claim it's only one person and thus not representative of anything

- Scientific studies: people can claim those are outdated or wrong if it opposes their ideology, or present another study that does.

Opinions are subjective, but then again, whether people choose to accept studies and experience as evidence is subjective as well.

So if half-decent bike lights are less than $10 and weigh less than a pound, why is there even a need to discourage them? Why spend more than 10 minutes debating them?

Because even after 5000 pages of this, you can be sure there will be no conclusion reached and very few minds changed.
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Old 07-27-14, 09:14 AM   #96
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considering that my op focused on urban areas your comments are largely off topic. especially since i repeatedly stated that lights are useful for being seen and for seeing when in areas without street lighting.
Note that my post was a reply/comment on a post by italktocats, not the OP, though it is applicable. Not all urban areas are lit up at night like Portland or Xmas, nor are cyclists commonly found cycling at night in many urban areas, especially unlit/poorly areas.

Given that the references cited in the OP do not support or even address the OP's premise that lights are not useful/necessary for being seen in urban areas, anything posted about usefulness of bicycle lighting is just as relevant and on topic as the OP.
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Old 07-27-14, 05:45 PM   #97
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Yet in Denmark, which certainly has a longstanding cycling culture and motorists who are well-trained to look for bikes, daytime running lights on bicycles in urban areas reduce car/bike accidents significantly. (19% reduction in reported accidents.)

See Safety effects of permanent running lights f... [Accid Anal Prev. 2013] - PubMed - NCBI Safety effects of permanent lights for bicycles: a controlled experiment

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Old 07-27-14, 07:06 PM   #98
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And the surprising thing is that what little evidence exists suggests that when *NINJA* happens the increased risk is small. I think it's worth discussing the risks of bike lights based on evidence rather than common sense. As cyclists we know very well that motorist "common" sense is sometimes just bias.
Where do you pull that from what links you've posted?

A majority of cyclists being hit at night being caused by things other than lack of lights says nothing about how riding without lights at night impacts the chances of being hit.
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Old 07-27-14, 08:48 PM   #99
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A majority of cyclists being hit at night being caused by things other than lack of lights says nothing about how riding without lights at night impacts the chances of being hit.
True, especially when the "other causes" listed by police as "the cause" do not necessarily exclude lack of lights as a contributing cause; i.e. if/when alcohol, speeding or reckless driving is determined to be "the cause," police reports may not bother looking for or recording any other contributing factors.
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Old 07-27-14, 09:06 PM   #100
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- If my lights work well, then I should never know how many cars did NOT hit me because I had lights.

- If you choose not to use lights and get hit, it's in your best interest to shift the blame to something else - eg. distracted driving. It's in the driver's best interest to pin it on your lack of lights.

- Even if it's not the absolute reason for hitting you, it can be a pretty strong mitigating factor, making it harder to sort out the mess. A judge would be far less sympathetic to a ninja than someone who took some effort to be visible.

Hence it's not about strict "what would my legal responsibility be?", but just being safer overall for pretty minimal effort.
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