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View Poll Results: So, which best describes when you use your lights on an MUP?
Always, even on bright sunny days because you can't get too careful. 4 7.27%
In low-light conditions such as rain or twilight, as well as when it's dark. 35 63.64%
Only when it's dark enough that I need the light to see. 16 29.09%
Never. 0 0%
Obligatory other. 0 0%
Voters: 55. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 02-04-06, 11:16 AM   #1
Daily Commute
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I generally only turn my front light on when I need to see. I figure that if I can see the path ahead of me, other cyclists can see me. Since my HID front light makes me stick out on a dark path, even if you're approaching from the rear, I don't use the blinkie. But I've seen other people complaining inthese forums about cyclists not using lights often enough on MUP.

So, which best describes when you use your lights on an MUP? And why?

Last edited by Daily Commute; 02-04-06 at 12:39 PM.
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Old 02-04-06, 12:51 PM   #2
mtn_mojo
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I turn mine on just a little after sunset, basically around the same time I'd turn on headlights if I were driving. Same goes with rain. If I feel that I wish other people would have lights on for visibility, that's when mine come on...so hopefully Mr. Jeans and Workboots will see me before I see him coming around that bend. My homemade light is PLENTY bright. Friends I ride home with sometimes switch their lights off on less populates segments of our local MUP to let their puny batteries rest. I gotta post some pictures of this setup.
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Old 02-04-06, 01:01 PM   #3
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Only when it's dark enough that I need the light to see. The front blinkie & "be seen" LED helmet light is always on.

T.J.
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Old 02-04-06, 01:04 PM   #4
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I confess, I use my light whenever it is dark enough so a light would make any difference (basically the same rules as for cars) and I do it to show off. I have a 20-watt halogen spotlight from the hardware store, in a PVC drain pipe housing, powered by a five amp-hour battery. It is bright. When testing it, I had to aim it downward more than I wanted to because I was afraid it would be blinding to an on-coming car.
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Old 02-04-06, 02:22 PM   #5
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If it's getting dark. I'll have my white blinkie on, of course, and probably my 10W front as well. When I really need to see, on comes the 20W.
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Old 02-04-06, 03:26 PM   #6
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I turn on my main headlight and my taillight on about dusk and leave them on all the time. At dusk I am usually on the road heading towards the path.
I have an 8 hour run time so it's OK to leave the headlight on, and better for the HID bulb to not go on and off. It's also cheaper, and much easier to be seen than using and replacing batteries in my auxiliary headlight, and white blinker. The path I ride goes across roads at many places, a couple of the corners are pretty blind. I want to be seen a long way away, I also want to see the skunks, small animals, and kids on bikes going the wrong way with no reflectors and black clothes, at 20 mph ! I have seen plenty of them ! There is one spot where the kids throw beer bottles and glass. I need the light on to see the glass and everything small when I'm riding my lightweight tires on my racing bike.
If I'm staying on the path for 10 miles or so I will turn my taillight down from 10 LED's to just one LED at a time to save batteries. I leave one led on just in case I go onto the road or cross the road near a car.
I really don't need a taillight on the path, but I may cross or decide to go out onto a road, and the last six blocks are always on the road. The last part of most rides is only about 10 miles on a path. I can do that more than 100 times before I wear out any taillight batteries. Why shut it off for a couple of miles and then back on again?
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Old 02-04-06, 04:00 PM   #7
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When I get near someone coming towards me on a MUP I hold one hand over the lights and let just enough light thru to barely see by. Then I tell them as I pass "Just using my dimmer switch." Coming from behind they get plenty of warning that something is coming. I have been mistaken for a police patrol.
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Old 02-04-06, 07:44 PM   #8
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My pet peeve is people on the MUP without lights. Joggers and walkers are ok. You can't expect them to have lights. Plus usually you can light up the little reflective parts of their shoes ok and see them.

It's those cyclists without lights on the MUP that get to me. Sometimes the only way to know if some un-lighted cyclist is coming is you get this vibe that the void ahead is somehow blacker than normal. Otherwise you have to pass others and just hope and pray nobody is coming.

So yeah, I wear my light as soon as I feel I need it. It helps me see and it lights up reflective material on others.

Disclaimer: I do sometimes opt for the MUP over the street on those occasions when my light fails and my back-up light fails too and then I become the black void I hate so much.
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Old 02-04-06, 10:44 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sbhikes
Disclaimer: I do sometimes opt for the MUP over the street on those occasions when my light fails and my back-up light fails too and then I become the black void I hate so much.
You need better lights!

BTW, I agree about people riding in the pitch-black void unlit. Spooks me every time.
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Old 02-05-06, 12:44 PM   #10
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Sunny Day - (high res)yellow jersey

rain -3LED lights, 1x front and 2x back, and side lights

snow/low light -3LED lights 2x back, 15W NiteRider, and side lights

fog -3LED lights 2x back, 15W NiteRider or 13W HID NiteRider, 1 or 2 NiteRider Taillights and side lights

Night -3LED lights 2x back, 15W NiteRider, 13W HID NiteRider, 2x NiteRider Taillights, sides lights

Back-up lights -5LED Back, Helmet light, 1Wat front light
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Old 02-06-06, 11:30 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by geeklpc1985
Sunny Day - (high res)yellow jersey

rain -3LED lights, 1x front and 2x back, and side lights

snow/low light -3LED lights 2x back, 15W NiteRider, and side lights

fog -3LED lights 2x back, 15W NiteRider or 13W HID NiteRider, 1 or 2 NiteRider Taillights and side lights

Night -3LED lights 2x back, 15W NiteRider, 13W HID NiteRider, 2x NiteRider Taillights, sides lights

Back-up lights -5LED Back, Helmet light, 1Wat front light
Anyone ever mistake you for an aircraft on approach?

(I run 15w NR in blink mode, cygolite HID, planet bike 3 LED blinkie, NR taillight, 2x 5LED red blinkie in back, plus pedal reflectors, reflective ankle straps, wheel reflectors and front/rear reflectors.)
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Old 02-06-06, 11:55 AM   #12
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Minimum - 8LED rear blinky, 3LED front blinky, both 6w cygolite helmet
Prefered - 8LED rear blinky, single 6w helmet, 20w Phillips 8degree spot (lightbrain controller, 14x NIMh AA)
Maximum - 8LED rear blinky, both helmet, 20w spot, 35w Phillips 24 degree flood (6000mah+ LI-ion - to be purchased)

Helmet light as backup and to stare down motorists. Lightbrain will let me switch and dim spot and flood lights. Until I get the Li-ion I'll only get ~60 min on the 20w spot.
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Old 02-06-06, 12:37 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DogBoy
Anyone ever mistake you for an aircraft on approach?

(I run 15w NR in blink mode, cygolite HID, planet bike 3 LED blinkie, NR taillight, 2x 5LED red blinkie in back, plus pedal reflectors, reflective ankle straps, wheel reflectors and front/rear reflectors.)
No, not yet. Most of the time drivers think I am a police car and pull over for me. I get "dam, I thought you were a cop" all the time.

Last edited by geeklpc1985; 02-06-06 at 12:38 PM. Reason: Spelling
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Old 02-06-06, 03:06 PM   #14
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What is the disadvantage of having a rear blinkie on MUP?

Al
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Old 02-06-06, 07:58 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by noisebeam
What is the disadvantage of having a rear blinkie on MUP?
Just not running the battery, and I don't really see the upside given the relatively slow MUP speeds and the brightness of my headlight.
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Old 02-07-06, 05:48 AM   #16
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Even though the mup I ride on is lit about every 50 ft, during twilight I always turn on my blinkie and HL whenever I am on it. Not so much to see as to protect myself against the big bottomed suburban lawyer wives that would use that as an excuse to make some money off of me.
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Old 02-07-06, 07:10 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by librarian
Even though the mup I ride on is lit about every 50 ft, during twilight I always turn on my blinkie and HL whenever I am on it. Not so much to see as to protect myself against the big bottomed suburban lawyer wives that would use that as an excuse to make some money off of me.
Yeah, but those "big bottomed suburban lawyer wives" would have to catch up to me to be able to cause an accident that they could blame on me not having a rear blinkie. And that ain't gonna happen.
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Old 02-07-06, 07:14 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Daily Commute
Just not running the battery, and I don't really see the upside given the relatively slow MUP speeds and the brightness of my headlight.
I see the price to pay for batteries (especially if you can use rechargable) to be worth even a very slight if often no advantage. But that is just me.
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Old 02-07-06, 07:20 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by noisebeam
I see the price to pay for batteries (especially if you can use rechargable) to be worth even a very slight if often no advantage. But that is just me.
I just see no advantage to keeping the rear blinkie on. So weighing no advantage to it being on v. very slight advantage to turning it off, I turn it off. Maybe I'll leave it on, now.

My MUP only intersects with a road once, and that's a pedestrian cross walk, so I don't have to worry about cars.
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Old 02-07-06, 07:23 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Daily Commute
I just see no advantage to keeping the rear blinkie on. So weighing no advantage to it being on v. very slight advantage to turning it off, I turn it off. Maybe I'll leave it on, now.

My MUP only intersects with a road once, and that's a pedestrian cross walk, so I don't have to worry about cars.
Oh, I understand. I guess I was thinking of advantages like the 'unknown situation you don't think about' and for role modeling good light usage at night.
Al
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Old 02-08-06, 08:03 AM   #21
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I have two front lights and a rear amber strobe.

when on the MUP I only use my front lights to see if its dark. If Im aproaching another rider, jogger skater ... (I can see them or there light) Ill switch from my 20w lamp to my 10 watt. the strobe never gets tuned on when on MUP.

I just need to see.

"John"
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Old 02-08-06, 08:54 AM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Daily Commute
I just see no advantage to keeping the rear blinkie on. So weighing no advantage to it being on v. very slight advantage to turning it off, I turn it off. Maybe I'll leave it on, now.

My MUP only intersects with a road once, and that's a pedestrian cross walk, so I don't have to worry about cars.
If I had less frequent road crossings and never saw police or park vehicles on the path after dark I would shut my tail light off too.
There are about 23 road crossings in a 12 mile stretch on my path so it's just as easy to keep it on. Plus I'm usually finishing a century, if I get tired I am afraid I might forget to turn it back on again when I finish the last few blocks on the road.
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