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Thread: High beam stink

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    High beam stink

    Is it me or do people intentionally leave their high beams on for bicyclists? Its not that the can't see me, I have plenty of lights and flectors. It just bugs the heck out of me. I am not completely new to commuting but I now have a slightly longer commute that requires some back roads. I absolutly love my nite time rides home. Thanks for listening, I needed to vent!
    Andy

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    2-Cyl, 1/2 HP @ 90 RPM slvoid's Avatar
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    Nah, we're not important enough. They're just inconsiderate to everyone.

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    Prefers Cicero cooker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by iridetrek1200
    Is it me or do people intentionally leave their high beams on for bicyclists? Andy
    I've noticed it. I think they do it so they can see us better, because they think we're scary and unpredictable and they don't want to collide with us, and it never occurs to them that it might bother us. I always throw my mouth and eyes wide open and put my hand up in front of my face to give them the message in a B movie theatrical sort of way and often they click them down at that point.
    Robert

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    Senior Member Dchiefransom's Avatar
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    We're harder to see. Try finding a windshield on a modern vehicle that isn't tinted to some degree. There are very few clear windshields left. I've had a clear windshield replaced with a tinted one, and it made a BIG difference.

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    SERENITY NOW!!! jyossarian's Avatar
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    On back roads w/ no other traffic, most lead cars have their highbeams on to see better. It's not the cyclists they're looking for, it's the road, cops and deer.

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    I do. As a cyclist myself, when I'm in the car I'd rather annoy a cyclist or pedestrian a little than hit and kill them. They are harder to see, although you may be an exeception.

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    Rides again HiYoSilver's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by iridetrek1200
    Its not that the can't see me, I have plenty of lights
    Curious what is "plenty of lights"? How powerful are they? Are you high beamed from
    -- back?
    -- sides?
    -- front?

    What's the lighting situation when this happens?
    -- total dark, no other traffic but you and high beamer
    -- mostly dark, handful of traffic and high beamer
    -- broken dark, packs of traffic and high beamer
    -- moderate dark, steady line of traffic and high beamer
    Hi 'o Silver away

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    Chairman of the Bored catatonic's Avatar
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    I just throw my arm up over my face, as one would in a windstorm...if they are looking at me, they usually get the idea.
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    Mad bike riding scientist cyccommute's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by catatonic
    I just throw my arm up over my face, as one would in a windstorm...if they are looking at me, they usually get the idea.
    A 20W/12W handlebar light combined with a 20W helmet light gets their attention. Especially if you just tip your chin up a little and look right at them
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    RetroGrouchWrench Rural Roadie's Avatar
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    Many people think they only have to dim their lights for other cars and trucks, I had a big proablem with this when riding motorcycle, also bicycle, tractor, combine harvester. On a tractor or combine you have proably just left a dusty field after another 12 hour day and the windows are dusty inside and out plus driving with one wheel on the shoulder while tired it hard enough, do it when you can't see as well will get somebody hurt.

    Would considder a high beam for my bicycle if this gets to be a proablem again.

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    Quote Originally Posted by iridetrek1200
    Is it me or do people intentionally leave their high beams on for bicyclists? Its not that the can't see me, I have plenty of lights and flectors. It just bugs the heck out of me. I am not completely new to commuting but I now have a slightly longer commute that requires some back roads. I absolutly love my nite time rides home. Thanks for listening, I needed to vent!
    Andy
    What is more irritating is the cyclists who use bright lights on the trails, especially the obnoxious ones with helmet lights who shine them in your face as they pass. Don't those bright bike lights have a low power trail setting? In the suburbs the off road trails require us to pass each other more closely than oncomming cars pass us on the road so the intensity at your retina is much stronger than from a car.

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    Me? I'm just a lawnmower levensnevel's Avatar
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    Leaves the question:
    what is the most practical way to avoid being blinded by the light when the such a high beam motorist is heading towards you on a otherwise completely dark road ....
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    An HID headlight eliminated this problem for me.

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    Rides again HiYoSilver's Avatar
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    thus the main reason they were high beaming was

    1. to see what this dim light thingy coming at them is
    2. to see how far away this dim light thingy is

    Now you know what a deer felt like.
    Hi 'o Silver away

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    Add the tinted windshield with the sticky smoke film and you really have someone driving behind the wheel who can't see a thing!

    I get high beamed a lot, too. I'm just glad they realized SOMETHING is there. Maybe they won't hit me.
    Jharte
    Touring...therapy for the soul.

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    Mad bike riding scientist cyccommute's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HiYoSilver
    thus the main reason they were high beaming was

    1. to see what this dim light thingy coming at them is
    2. to see how far away this dim light thingy is

    Now you know what a deer felt like.
    That's why I've always carried much more lighting power than most people think is prudient. Cars see me coming and think I'm another car. They will wait at stop signs for a very long time because they are confused. Maybe 50 W of light (overvolted to make it even brighter) is a bit of overkill but I like the result. And the respect.
    Stuart Black
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    I agree with many here. Just because they can see a reflective bit or blinkie light doesn't really mean they know what it is or where it's going. This where light clothing really comes into play. I think we should all take a DRIVE out every once in a while just to get the other road users' perspective.
    Mike
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    Al noisebeam's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HiYoSilver
    Curious what is "plenty of lights"?
    The light master speaks

    Seriously, I consider myself a well lit night cyclist, but I read your recommended lighting post in another thread and now feel inadequate.

    I use a 16W halogen, the TD-1000, a few extra smaller lights on me, my helmet and lower parts of bike, some reflector tape, but still...

    My main weak area is my side profile, no reflective tires or rims, no spoke reflectors.

    Al

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    Al noisebeam's Avatar
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    I think those small LED blinkies (or small steady state) do a disservice to cyclists. They only fit a legal requirement and make the unknowing cyclist feel adequately lit, when they are far from it.

    They are only useful as supplemental lighting in my opinion.

    Al

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    Al noisebeam's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by levensnevel
    Leaves the question:
    what is the most practical way to avoid being blinded by the light when the such a high beam motorist is heading towards you on a otherwise completely dark road ....
    Watch the road in front of you, not the car.

  21. #21
    kipuka explorer bkrownd's Avatar
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    High beams are dangerously over-used, and especially with the ridiculously bright headlights people are installing in cars these days. People don't seem to understand that blinding oncoming drivers can cause them to swerve into your lane, or hit obstacles in the road. (Ugh, even worse on a cycle or worst of all for pedestrians.) Well, the truth is people generally just don't think of the effect of their actions on others.
    Last edited by bkrownd; 09-09-05 at 04:54 PM.
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    Mad bike riding scientist cyccommute's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by noisebeam
    The light master speaks

    Seriously, I consider myself a well lit night cyclist, but I read your recommended lighting post in another thread and now feel inadequate.

    I use a 16W halogen, the TD-1000, a few extra smaller lights on me, my helmet and lower parts of bike, some reflector tape, but still...

    My main weak area is my side profile, no reflective tires or rims, no spoke reflectors.

    Al
    I've never really found my side profile to be that much of a problem. I do wear one of the old Vistalite Cue lights on a band on my leg so I have a blinking light going up and down and i usually wear 4 other red lights facing backwards. One is on helmet, one on my camelbak, one on my truck bag and one on the rack.

    The nice thing about a helmet mounted headlamp is that I can turn my head towards any cross street and get the attention of cars. Since I'm always scanning the road, my helmet light is in nearly constant motion which gets drivers' attention. If they still are intent on pulling out in front of me, I will look them straight in the eye. 20W of light in a 5 degree beam full in the face stops 'em dead in their tracks! (Please note: I only do that when absolutely necessary! I do try to be courteous.)
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    Me? I'm just a lawnmower levensnevel's Avatar
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    @ noisebeam

    I tried to start a 'best practices' discussion.
    You're right, I use a similar technique only in combination with that fact that I always wear a cycling cap with the small lid (sorry don't know the correct US phrase for it) just above my eyes so I just have to look down a bit whenever a highbeaming motorist is coming towards me.
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    Been Around Awhile I-Like-To-Bike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by levensnevel
    You're right, I use a similar technique only in combination with that fact that I always wear a cycling cap with the small lid (sorry don't know the correct US phrase for it) just above my eyes so I just have to look down a bit whenever a highbeaming motorist is coming towards me.
    Baseball type cap with long brim works for me.

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