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  1. #1
    Banned. Mr. Beanz's Avatar
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    Do Ya Plan On Riding At Night? Well Do Ya Punk?

    Too many Clint movies!....Getting dark early now aint it? By the time I get home from work, catch my breath, prep the bike, I only gots about 30 minutes before it gets dark. Was warm tonight! Didn't feel much like cyling up so I threw on a In-N-Out burger tshirt and hit the road with my ankle flects and lites.

    Nice 20 miles up the foothills. You PUNKS plan on riding at night? I do! Always a thrill to pass a few extra people on bikejournal before the year is up. This is the time most people stay home and cuddle, so I ride.




  2. #2
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    Currently, I ride about 35 minutes in the dark; however, once Daylight Savings kicks in.. I will be spending a lot more time in the dark. My daily training rides are 26 miles, so a portion of it is in the dark.

    I am just amazed at how many cyclists do not carry a light or even have reflectors.

  3. #3
    Thread Killer evblazer's Avatar
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    Ah passing people on bikejournal when the weather turns dark/cold is such a fun sport. Much better then when march/april rolls around and I start dropping way down because everyone dusts off their bike from the long winter

    My local social group ride I used to ride with and well all the other rides are changing schedules to avoid the dark and avoid the cold so I'll be back to solo only riding until spring. For me with the exception of July/August my morning rides are almost completely dark. Pretty soon I'll be riding in the dark both ways. I just got my shimano generator hub setup so bring it on!

  4. #4
    Banned. Mr. Beanz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Symmetrix View Post
    I am just amazed at how many cyclists do not carry a light or even have reflectors.
    Yeah really! I want to be seen. The ankle ands are very visible with the movement of the pedals. Front lite is ok but the lil PlanetBike strobe is an attention getter to the cars waiting to cross my path. Red blinkie in back. No way would I ride without 'em!

  5. #5
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    I wear a contruction workers vest, and reflective leg bands.

    My helmet, and bike have about 5 feet of reflective tape on it. And, I have another 16 pcs that I'll be puting on this weekend.

    For the front, I have a cheapo Schwinn headlight that floods alright, and I also have one of the planet bike strobes like Mr. Beanz. Its awesome. Well, I think we are talking about the same light. My light is a 1W LED headlight that is very bright. easily 4-5 times better than my schwinn headlight.

    On the back, I have a blinker on my helmet, and a second one mounted on the back end of the rear rack.

    And mostly as a novelty, I have motion activated leds on my valve stems. They are blue, and have already inspired a "cool!" from a young teenager waiting a his bus stop.
    Last edited by SeizeTech; 10-28-08 at 10:44 PM.

  6. #6
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    Oh, and last week, I've added the single AAA LED mini-flashlight to my cold weather jackets.

  7. #7
    Senior Member DanteB's Avatar
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    I ride home from work every night at 11:30. I use a NiteRider Trinewt on the handlebars, a red strobe and 2 Knog steady red lights on the rear. I also wear yellow and white leg bands.
    Make mine a double!

  8. #8
    Bikezilla Mazama's Avatar
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    I've been riding at night for about 3 years now. Welcome to the club.
    14,000 miles and rolling...

  9. #9
    Triathlon in my future??? flip18436572's Avatar
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    I ride at 4:30 in the morning with a headlight and flashing LED on the back. I am not on busy streets, so it really isn't a safety problem for me. When I ride early mornings in the summer, I usually wait until the sun is up before I do my highway ride, but in town it is not a big thing. Remember I live in a 6,000 population town, so it isn't that big of a deal. Not too many people are awake when I am, and I can hear them coming up behind me and see them in my mirror.
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  10. #10
    Mad bike riding scientist cyccommute's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SeizeTech View Post
    I wear a contruction workers vest, and reflective leg bands.

    My helmet, and bike have about 5 feet of reflective tape on it. And, I have another 16 pcs that I'll be puting on this weekend.

    For the front, I have a cheapo Schwinn headlight that floods alright, and I also have one of the planet bike strobes like Mr. Beanz. Its awesome. Well, I think we are talking about the same light. My light is a 1W LED headlight that is very bright. easily 4-5 times better than my schwinn headlight.

    On the back, I have a blinker on my helmet, and a second one mounted on the back end of the rear rack.

    And mostly as a novelty, I have motion activated leds on my valve stems. They are blue, and have already inspired a "cool!" from a young teenager waiting a his bus stop.
    Not to pick on just you, SeizeTech, but you make the same mistake that many, many cyclists make when it comes to lighting. You rely too much on passive lighting, i.e. reflectors, and too much on lighting yourself to the rear. There is nothing wrong with having lots of light on the rear. I have 5 to 8 rear light sources myself. However, even at night, the probability of being hit from behind is pretty small. You are much more likely to be hit from a left turning vehicle who can't see your small front lights or from someone pulling out of a side street. Low level white lights get lost in the background light clutter that we humans spray all over.

    You need powerful front lights too. Your lights should scream "Hey, Butthead! I'm here don't run over me!" You can do that with LED, HID or halogen but make sure you know the limitations of each and how you have to deal with them. Additionally, think of how much more fun you can have with lights that allow you to operate at daylight speeds
    Stuart Black
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  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by cyccommute View Post
    Not to pick on just you, SeizeTech, but you make the same mistake that many, many cyclists make when it comes to lighting. You rely too much on passive lighting, i.e. reflectors, and too much on lighting yourself to the rear. There is nothing wrong with having lots of light on the rear. I have 5 to 8 rear light sources myself. However, even at night, the probability of being hit from behind is pretty small. You are much more likely to be hit from a left turning vehicle who can't see your small front lights or from someone pulling out of a side street. Low level white lights get lost in the background light clutter that we humans spray all over.

    You need powerful front lights too. Your lights should scream "Hey, Butthead! I'm here don't run over me!" You can do that with LED, HID or halogen but make sure you know the limitations of each and how you have to deal with them. Additionally, think of how much more fun you can have with lights that allow you to operate at daylight speeds

    No offense taken. I can apreciate your concern.

    The 1W LED headlight that I bought looks like one of the best from MEC, I like it so much, I think I'll buy a second, one.

    And rather than choosing between a helmet mounted light vs a bike mount, I'd like to both.There ought to be a small helmet mount system that places 1 or 2 LED on the side of the helmet, plus a bright headlight on the front. That way I'd have some light when I'm not looking at the driver, but if I want to get his attention I can look straight at him.

    Personally, I'm not afraid to dump over $100 dollars into lighting if need be, so please keep the advice flowing. Thanks! Tyler

  12. #12
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    http://ecom1.planetbike.com/3044.html

    btw, here's the headlight that I bought. It has 2 brightness levels, plus a strobe mode. I only paid $20 at MEC.

  13. #13
    Tilting with windmills txvintage's Avatar
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    Usually, the helicopter spot light that I can't get away from keeps me quite well illuminated....

  14. #14
    Senior Member theetruscan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Beanz View Post
    Yeah really! I want to be seen. The ankle ands are very visible with the movement of the pedals. Front lite is ok but the lil PlanetBike strobe is an attention getter to the cars waiting to cross my path. Red blinkie in back. No way would I ride without 'em!
    I'm rarely a proponent of upgrades before **** fails completely, but the new planet bike strobe this year is so much better than the old one, I need to get it for my commute. They added LEDs at 45 and 90 degrees to the side so that I'm way easier for cars to see when they're not directly behind me.

  15. #15
    Senior Member RedC's Avatar
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    I've added enouth blinkies and flashlights that I feel pretty good about my lights but most of night riding is rural (I live near a state park) and I have some concerns about the the wildlife. Everything from deer to wild hogs (not to mention bobcats, panthers and bears) are emboldened by the night and I'm not sure about coming up on some that stuff in the dark.
    Red, like the color my hair used to be.

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  16. #16
    Senior Member atcfoody's Avatar
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    I have two lights up front, one on constant so I can see the road, one flashing to attract attention. In the back, I only have one light, but it's Trek's fazer 10, 10 flashing LED's , two of which point forward. I plan on putting a small flasher on the back of my helmet soon. I also have a few reflectors, including the sidewall of my tires (I love my Marathon Plus tires, very smooth), and a lime green PI jacket that has the reflective piping on it. I'm not a small guy, but I want to stick out a lot; I haven't had daylight on the ride in for almost 2 months, and it will probably be dark for the ride home soon as well.

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  17. #17
    Senior Member CACycling's Avatar
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    A mile of my morning commute is on a 6 lane road with lots of traffic moving at 50+ MPH and a bike lane so full of crap I am forced to stay out near the traffic lane. Nothing like a semi whipping by you at 55 a couple of feet off your shoulder. And the addition of fairly thick fog this past Monday morning upped the excitement a few notches. As my entire route has decent street lighting, I am really only interested in lighting to make myself seen. I have a blinking white LED in front and blinking red LED in back.

  18. #18
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    Nope. I don't plan on riding at night. Not at all. I also don't plan to ride if there's anything damp falling from the cloud cover above.
    -------

    Some sort of pithy irrelevant one-liner should go here.

  19. #19
    Gears? CliftonGK1's Avatar
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    Neon lime winter jersey with Illuminite panels
    Reflective sash
    Reflective tape on helmet, fenders, mudflaps and bike frame
    2x PBSF blinkies
    Helmet mounted Petzl Tikka
    Rack mounted Supernova E3 hub-driven light

    My morning commute is about 45 minutes, and I only get 3 months out of the year when I don't need my lights to see.
    My evening commute is where I add my extra miles for the day, and if it's late or raining I need the lights. Since I'm running on hub power I never turn off my headlight, even in the middle of a sunny afternoon. I'll be adding the Supernova wired tail-light soon, so I'll have that running all the time also.

  20. #20
    Mad bike riding scientist cyccommute's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SeizeTech View Post
    No offense taken. I can apreciate your concern.

    The 1W LED headlight that I bought looks like one of the best from MEC, I like it so much, I think I'll buy a second, one.

    And rather than choosing between a helmet mounted light vs a bike mount, I'd like to both.There ought to be a small helmet mount system that places 1 or 2 LED on the side of the helmet, plus a bright headlight on the front. That way I'd have some light when I'm not looking at the driver, but if I want to get his attention I can look straight at him.

    Personally, I'm not afraid to dump over $100 dollars into lighting if need be, so please keep the advice flowing. Thanks! Tyler
    It's pretty easy to build something that goes far beyond inexpensive LED in light output (not in weight however). Look here for my solution (about 20 years of development)
    Stuart Black
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    Twisting Down the Alley. Misadventures in tornado alley.
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  21. #21
    Uber Goober StephenH's Avatar
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    I got a Niterider last year, gives me plenty of light for my evening ride around the neighborhood.
    "be careful this rando stuff is addictive and dan's the 'pusher'."

  22. #22
    Senior Member cod.peace's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JoelS View Post
    Nope. I don't plan on riding at night. Not at all. I also don't plan to ride if there's anything damp falling from the cloud cover above.
    LOL, I just took my 1st rain ride yesterday to test out the fenders I mounted. It was fun except for the rain drops somehow going around my glasses and nailing my eyeballs. I need to pick up some over-eyeglasses safety glasses from Home Depot as a rain shield, I think. Maybe I can Rain-X 'em - for $3 a pair, who cares if I ruin a pair in the experiment?
    old steel Specialized Hardrock

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by cyccommute View Post
    It's pretty easy to build something that goes far beyond inexpensive LED in light output (not in weight however). Look here for my solution (about 20 years of development)
    thank you for bringing your project to my attention. I'm inspired to do something just like it. My bike is an ebike so I have access to 24V 24Ahr of power.

  24. #24
    Senior Member Wogster's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cyccommute View Post
    It's pretty easy to build something that goes far beyond inexpensive LED in light output (not in weight however). Look here for my solution (about 20 years of development)
    Probably the best setup is to use railway format, two of your lamps, mounted reasonably low on the fork, use some plexiglass to make them so the bulbs can't break, then a flashing LED mounted up on the bars, The low mounted fork lights are to see with, the bar mounted flasher is to be seen.

  25. #25
    Support JDRF b_young's Avatar
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    I like riding at night more than in the day. People see me more. 5 lights on back, 2 up front (1 steady the other flash mode). So sure, I will continue.
    "Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, but today is a gift that is why it is called the present." - Kung Fu Panda

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