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Commuting Bicycle commuting is easier than you think, before you know it, you'll be hooked. Learn the tips, hints, equipment, safety requirements for safely riding your bike to work.

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Old 12-03-07, 03:19 PM   #1
Elyone
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Twilight - more dangerous than night?

Is riding in twilight (it happens around 4-5ish now) more dangerous than dark?

Because I think blinkies and stuff are less noticeable in twilight.
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Old 12-03-07, 03:22 PM   #2
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I believe it is.

Also, it's the start of the commute rush and there are more distracted drivers on the road.
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Old 12-03-07, 03:30 PM   #3
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Magic hour, 30 minutes after sun down, and 30 minuted before sun up. Definately the hardest time to see in my opinion.
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Old 12-03-07, 03:39 PM   #4
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I think so.

Aside from the reduced visibility are the drivers who think that just because there is a very tiny bit of light and they don't need any additional to see, they don't need to put their lights on. During these dim hours I see ~10% of drivers with lights fully off.

I want to be able to see 50mph approaching drivers before merging left. Without headlights they can not be seen very far back.

Al
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Old 12-03-07, 04:03 PM   #5
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I would rather ride at 3 a.m. than 5 p.m.

The latest ride I had was from about 1-4 a.m. There were barely any other vehicles on the road, and my lights seemed so much more visible in almost total darkness for the few that were around. It's way better than rush hour.
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Old 12-03-07, 05:07 PM   #6
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I agree. Twilight is the worst. Really dark is the most peaceful time to ride. My experience with lights on my bike gives me the idea that it's easier to see me in the complete darkness than at twilight.

Maybe it does have something to do with the distracted drivers at rush hour, so I can't rule that out either.

So, I got one of those class II reflective vests. It gives me peace of mind to know that I'm doing what I can to be seen.

Given my position on helmets, it may be that I'm just some sort of paranoid safety freak. I just don't want to get hit. It looks like it hurts.

My next "safety measure" is to only ride the bike under "ideal" conditions.

Then, the next step is to give up riding the bike completely.

Then I'll drive a car.

Then I'll buy a big, fat SUV. I'll put all kinds of reflective hi-vis stuff all over it. I'll wear a helmet while I drive it. I'll be really "safe." Hope I don't drive into a bike commuter while I'm talking on my cell phone, lighting my cigarette, spilling my coffee and trying to beat the mob of other cars to the next stoplight at TWILIGHT.
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Old 12-03-07, 05:20 PM   #7
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Yes, it's less safe, if for no other reason than the lower angle of the sun.
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Old 12-03-07, 05:29 PM   #8
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No doubt about it, especially if you live to the west of work, like I do, so you're riding into the sun and are therefore harder to see. I think it's safer at night than during the day. More fun too.
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Old 12-03-07, 05:44 PM   #9
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Yes, low sun is a problem adding greatly to visibility issues. I've always thought of twilight as when the sun is not up yet or after it's gone down.
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Old 12-03-07, 07:57 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pete Fagerlin View Post
Some actual facts:
Where was this conducted, what time frame, etc? Looks like a good study.
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Old 12-03-07, 08:25 PM   #11
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Here is a chart of traffic volume by hour for one street/corridor for Scottsdale-Tempe
http://www.bikeforums.net/attachment...6&d=1176405083
3-6pm has higher volume than any other time period.
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Old 12-03-07, 08:37 PM   #12
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Yep...dawn and dusk conditions are the most dangerous times. It's been shown/studied for car colors that certain colors fade into/become part of the background (like silver and grey)..even for a car, you may become invisible. Just go to http://www.colormatters.com/ or do a search. Even roadside workers wear multi-fluorescent colored vests/jackets with wide reflective strips because one or the other color is seen better depending on the light conditions. Side visibility would be the biggest problem for cyclists in low light conditions..assuming you are using f/r blinkies. Reflectors and/or reflective tape work, but many take them off for cosmetic or weight saving reasons. On my S.O.'s bike, I added semi-truck 4"x2" amber/orange reflectors to the sides of the foldout grocery (and back of the basket as recommended by the CHP inspection station) and front baskets and bought larger front and rear reflectors...easier to see her from the side now and it didn't cost that much. I'm planning to add one of these, http://www.ledsafetylights.com/safety_lites.asp?catid=2 , to the rear rack of my commuter bike (supposed to be good for 24 hours on blinkie mode, less on steady mode...uses 4 AA's)
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Old 12-03-07, 08:48 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Philatio View Post
Where was this conducted, what time frame, etc? Looks like a good study.
"Good study" if you measure safety/risk only by counting the total of accidents per hour, regardless of how many cyclists are actually riding during the time period. Using that misguided criteria, according to the chart, "unknown" time must be the safest, from injury followed by the midnight hours.
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Old 12-03-07, 08:54 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by I-Like-To-Bike View Post
"Good study" if you measure safety/risk only by counting the total of accidents per hour, regardless of how many cyclists are actually riding during the time period. Using that misguided criteria, according to the chart, "unknown" time must be the safest, from injury followed by the midnight hours.
Which is partly why I posted the volume data for an oft used commuting street in a specific city, which probably correlates with volume trends by hour for other streets in different cities. It's probably a safe assumption (with some variance for added weekend and SERIOUS weekday recreational cyclists) that bicycle volumes somewhat follow total vehicle volume.

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