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Thread: Night Riding?

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    Night Riding?

    Well it wont be long till its getting dark and tough to get a good 30 mile ride in after work. Whats everyone else doing in the fall and early times of the year, i been thinking about one of those cateye head light setups, anyone else use one of those setups to keep riding.

    Oh and dont tell me to get a trainer, ibeen down that road and its the most mind numbing thing to set in place and pedal....i would rather have a hot poker shoved up my ***** then set there watching the wall or tv while im on my bike

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    The Site Administrator: Currently at home recovering from a couple of strokes,please contact my assistnt admins for forum issues Tom Stormcrowe's Avatar
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    I nightride! I love it. Make sure you get some ankle blinkies and reflective tape. You're actually safer nightriding if you are properly lit up than daytime riding.
    on light duty due to illness; please contact my assistants for forum issues. They are Siu Blue Wind, or CbadRider or the other 3 star folk. I am currently at home recovering from a couple of strokes. I am making good progress, happily.


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    Senior Member cyclezealot's Avatar
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    I like nightriding. Agreed, get ankle reflectizered bands . They can be seen further than blinkies. I also like reflecterized bands, so motorists see you at intersections, where they are supposed to wait. Possibly from the side profile , a motorist might not see your front beam. Actually, I sort of like night riding in the summer too, when it is too hot during the day.

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    Sophomoric Member Roody's Avatar
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    I ride almost every night and I really like it. I only use a little LED headlight and a blinky or two on the back. If you can ride safely during the day, you don't have to change much to ride at night. I do tend to ride more out toward the center of the street when it's dark, in order to increase my visibility to drivers coming out from side streets and driveways. I slow down a teeny bit on super-dark roads, but a lot of the time I can ride faster at night than in the daylight because there's usually less traffic, signals are often on blinking mode, and you can both see and hear cars sooner.


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    institutionalized PDXJeff's Avatar
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    Knight rider always had a red blinky in the front too.


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    Senior Member hr2510's Avatar
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    Since I'm a clyde riding to lose a few pounds and get in better shape, a few extra pounds of light gear on the bike won't really hurt and may help a little. I have a 6 pound 12volt 7AH sealed lead acid battery laying around so I'm going to use it to power a small (about the size of a spray can top) red zenon strobe light in the rear (for both day & night use) and a 20w landscape spotlight for a headlight. It should give me plenty of light to see by and 3+ hours of light between charges.
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    Perma-Clyde (51)'s Avatar
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    +1 on reflective stuff. I read somewhere that color-blind people cannot see blinkies very well, but CAN see reflective tape.
    http://www.trailerparkboys.org/forum...fault/beer.gif In wine there is wisdom, in beer there is freedom, in water there is bacteria. -Ben Franklin

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    I ride in the dark on my commute one way in the summer and both ways in the winter as it gets dark by the time I am heading home. Blinkers and reflectors are the way to go for the rear but up front you don't want to cheap out too much.
    I use a 1W LED up front for commuting in twilight hours but also have a 13W halogen flood for actually lighting the road when it gets dark. The halogen I have will last about 3-4 hours continuous use and the LED on high lasts about 15 hours. The LED lights tend to be pretty focused so you end up with a pretty narrow beam but the halogen has a good spread. With just the LED I don't like to ride at anything over 15 mph if it is really dark but with the halogen over 20 mph is fine.

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    Senior Member ken cummings's Avatar
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    Haunt the dumpsters behind your LBS and pick up some spoke reflectors. They work.

    HR2510 has the right approach. Cost-effective and lots of light.
    This space open

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    Non sibi sed patriae thestoutdog's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Stormcrowe View Post
    I nightride! I love it. Make sure you get some ankle blinkies and reflective tape. You're actually safer nightriding if you are properly lit up than daytime riding.
    Ankle blinkies? 'splain dis plz
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    Senior Member jaxgtr's Avatar
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    Probably 99% of all my riding is done at night. I love it more than the daylight, 1. few cars on the road and 2. way cooler in the summer. Invest in a good light setup as well as the reflective tape or blinkie lights. My shoes have lots of reflective material built in which helps. I ended up buying a Blackburn X3 system for my light and it is very nice. Help me see the road very well.
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    Senior Member Pinyon's Avatar
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    I do most of my riding during the early morning hours. I can take hot weather, but just find it difficult to put in a decent 2-3 hour ride when it is over 95 degrees F., which is pretty common here from June until mid-September. I also don't mind riding in the dark during the morning hours as much as I do during the afternoon/evening, because the traffic is not as bad, and the drivers are not as grumpy. Much less road rage in the mornings.

    My dark-riding strategy also involves lots of reflective tape. I commute to work each day, and always ride with a trunk-bag that is covered with reflective piping, has a red 3-led light blinky light, and a couple of exta reflective tape ankle bracelets dangling from the back (they sway, and "flash" to both the rear and to the side). In addition, I have cycling shoes with reflective sides and heels, really wide reflective tape ankle bracelets, reflective tape on the back of my helmet, and another 1-led red blinky light that I attach to my left leg. For the front, I have a headlight with 5 bright led bulbs that I point at the height of driver's faces instead of the road. I'm more afraid of being hit by a car, than I am of running over something that can hurt my bike and/or make me crash. I know that the driver sees me, when I can see the color of their eyes in through the car/SUV windshield. I've never crashed from hitting anything, but I have hit some stuff that has done stuff like bent my rear rim, gave me a flat tire, or felt like someone hit me in the butt with a hammer. It is better than getting hit by a car.

    When the snow and ice makes riding too chancy around here, I actually stop riding outside. I ride on my trainer, and cross train at the gym. I mosty do group spin classes, which are not as boring as stationary trainers, and allow me to keep my aerobic base fairly high during the off-season. I also do other aerobic classes, and use the cold-weather months to work more on core strength and flexibility. Switching around my routine also keeps me from burining out with biking. I don't want that to happen!

    Have fun out there!


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    Senior Member Nightcap's Avatar
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    Haven't done much night riding yet, but as summer winds down, I'm sure I will be soon. In addition to a headlight and wild blinky taillight, I picked up three "Firefly" lights from RoadID. They're designed to be worn with either reflective ankle bands, or may be clipped on to anything clip-able. I picked up a port and starboard light (red and green, respectively), as well as a blue light that I've attached to the back of my helmet. While this latter light may not be legal in all states (I believe California forbids any but police officers to use blinky blue lights), I found nothing in the Massachusetts code on it. Let's face it, a blinking blue light does grab a driver's attention!

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    Air
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    I love night riding. Peaceful, less cars...peaceful

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    Senior Member lil brown bat's Avatar
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    Some tips for riding in low-light conditions:

    - Headlight and rear blinky are a minimum, but remember that cars will also come at you from the side. That's why it's good to put reflective tape on your bike frame.

    - Get the "car's eye" view. If you haven't driven at night over the road where you do your riding, do so. See where the visibility challenges are, and think -- while you're behind the wheel -- what you as a cyclist can do to improve your visibility.

    - Consider road quality. My headlight is set to blink; if I did a lot of night riding on bad roads, I'd get a second one and leave it on steady, so I could see and dodge potholes and ramp turds.

    - If you're riding on Friday or Saturday nights (or any payday near the mill), remember that there are some folks who will be, ah...celebrating. Alcohol is Stupid Juice and it's also airborne -- if you get a car with a couple of people who are likkered up, they'll all act like idjits. On party night, avoid routes where the party people will be.

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    Code Warrior mwrobe1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by (51) View Post
    +1 on reflective stuff. I read somewhere that color-blind people cannot see blinkies very well, but CAN see reflective tape.
    Interesting...I sure didn't know that.

    I don't want to hijack the thread and ask a stupid question...but...can reflective tape be had at most hardware stores? (Ace/Lowes/Home Depot/etc)
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    The Site Administrator: Currently at home recovering from a couple of strokes,please contact my assistnt admins for forum issues Tom Stormcrowe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mwrobe1 View Post
    Interesting...I sure didn't know that.

    I don't want to hijack the thread and ask a stupid question...but...can reflective tape be had at most hardware stores? (Ace/Lowes/Home Depot/etc)
    Yes, it can!

    Another place is a Truck Stop if you have one near you, that two color stuff that they put on trailers you can see 2500 yards away when illuminated by a Bic Lighter at 5000 yards
    on light duty due to illness; please contact my assistants for forum issues. They are Siu Blue Wind, or CbadRider or the other 3 star folk. I am currently at home recovering from a couple of strokes. I am making good progress, happily.


    . “He who fights with monsters might take care lest he thereby become a monster. And if you gaze for long into an abyss, the abyss gazes also into you.”- Fredrick Nietzsche

    "We can judge the heart of a man by his treatment of animals." - Immanuel Kant

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    Senior Member john bono's Avatar
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    For the rear light, you need a combination of reflector blinkies. Seat bags, panniers etc all have reflective material on them, and you should wear a lime-green or reflectors on your helmet and/or body to make you visible from cars coming behind. For the headlight, you really shouldn't cheap out. The cheap LEDs like the blackburn quadrant, may make you visible from in front, but they won't give you the ability to see the road well enough to go any faster than about 7 mph. I have a twin halogen 10/20w light head with a 6v 4AH battery which gives me about two hours of light, bright enough for me to cruise at a speed up to 20mph.
    Ride a bike. It makes your legs stringy, and less tasty to our Kanamit friends.[SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]

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    Air
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    I use these on my wheels sometimes - work really well.

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    Rolling along fas2c's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Air View Post
    I use these on my wheels sometimes - work really well.
    My son has those on his bike but called Tire Flys. His are in the shape of boneheads as he calls them

    I have thought of buying those reflectors that firefighters use on their gear. Scotchlite is what it is called. I think you can buy it in rolls.

    I have 2 safety belts that are 2" wide, yellow and orange, that will glow like daylight is the slightest amount of light hit them, even moonlight will reflect. They weigh next to nothing and if worn across the shoulder give a large amount of body coverage.
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    My winter commute is in the dark, and it's just getting to be that time right now where I need all the lights and reflecties again in the morning.

    I have ankle bands and a reflective vest.
    There's reflective tape all over my helmet.
    I put more reflective tape on my bike.
    I have 2 PB Superflash rear lights, one in strobe, one solid red.
    I use an L&M Solo 13W light mounted on my fork, and I'm putting a helmet mounted light on for extra visibility.
    My tires have reflective sidewalls.
    My rack trunk and handlebar bags have reflective and glow-in-the-dark panels.
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    Senior Member lil brown bat's Avatar
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    I'll just add one more thing: people will disagree with me on this (probably violently), but IMO you can go overboard with lights and blinkies. Remember that drivers are used to seeing a limited type of lights on vehicles and interpreting them certain ways:

    - White light with nothing else = vehicle coming TOWARD you
    - Red light = vehicle AHEAD of you

    For a bike, I would make sure that all white lights are pointing ahead, all red lights are pointing behind, reflective stuff is on the sides, and not use any other colors.

  23. #23
    The Site Administrator: Currently at home recovering from a couple of strokes,please contact my assistnt admins for forum issues Tom Stormcrowe's Avatar
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    Why would I disagree with that? It's perfect according to the Standardized vehicle lighting codes.....
    on light duty due to illness; please contact my assistants for forum issues. They are Siu Blue Wind, or CbadRider or the other 3 star folk. I am currently at home recovering from a couple of strokes. I am making good progress, happily.


    . “He who fights with monsters might take care lest he thereby become a monster. And if you gaze for long into an abyss, the abyss gazes also into you.”- Fredrick Nietzsche

    "We can judge the heart of a man by his treatment of animals." - Immanuel Kant

  24. #24
    Senior Member Wogster's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lil brown bat View Post
    I'll just add one more thing: people will disagree with me on this (probably violently), but IMO you can go overboard with lights and blinkies. Remember that drivers are used to seeing a limited type of lights on vehicles and interpreting them certain ways:

    - White light with nothing else = vehicle coming TOWARD you
    - Red light = vehicle AHEAD of you

    For a bike, I would make sure that all white lights are pointing ahead, all red lights are pointing behind, reflective stuff is on the sides, and not use any other colors.
    There is an exception to this, in some parts of Canada and many parts of Europe, a flashing red light is illegal, which is why many European cars use Amber turn signal lamps. Unfortunately nobody makes or imports and amber bike light for flashing mode. Fortunately the law against flashing red blinkies at least here in Ontario is almost never enforced, and you could argue that it's the same as a car with red only lamps using their 4-ways. An amber light if you could find one, in flashing mode could be used either front or back, in addition to a steady white light in front, and steady red behind.

    One thing for lights, as high as possible to be seen, as low as possible to see with, most bikes could actually use 2 or 3 headlights, a single LED up high to be seen, and one or two fork mounted HID lamps down low on the forks to see with. The problem is then you have 18 batteries in probably 6 sizes to try and keep spares of. A central power supply would be nice, either with a hub mounted generator, or a rack mounted solar collector to charge the battery during the day.

  25. #25
    Senior Member hr2510's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wogsterca View Post
    An amber light if you could find one, in flashing mode could be used either front or back, in addition to a steady white light in front, and steady red behind.
    Like This? http://www.allelectronics.com/cgi-bi..._FLASHER_.html
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