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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 10-06-10, 03:59 PM   #1
jharte
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Have you ever let someone else ride your bike?

This morning I had to drive to work. This time it was worth it. I passed a cyclist that had a nice little red blinker on the back and a smallish white blinker on the front. This was around 5am.

I did see him but it made me wonder. Am I being seen? Have I done enough? I saw this guy but I got pretty close before I saw him AND I was wide awake. What about the people who are still groggy in the morning?

I have a PBSF on my helmet and an older Vista (yellow) blinker on the rear rack. Also a 6W halogen on the front and lots of reflective tape. I feel like a Christmas tree but I really don't know what OTHER people see.

So...tonight's project is to have my younger son ride my bike so I can see what other people see. I think that will let me know for sure if I'm being seen the way I think I'm being seen.

Ever done that?

Jerry H
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Old 10-06-10, 04:09 PM   #2
CACycling
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I've gotten enough comments from coworkers about the visibility of my lights that I'm not too concerend.
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Old 10-06-10, 04:24 PM   #3
fietsbob 
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No, let a friend give my recently bought bike around the parking lot..

But turned down a stranger in a strange country , who wanted to try my fully loaded touring bike..

[visions of the whole kit being immediately stolen popped in my mind immediately]

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Old 10-06-10, 04:29 PM   #4
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I've let a few people cruise around on mine, but they're cyclists too and I was watching them since they were just test-riding. I don't think I'd want to let someone else ride it far.. just doesn't seem right, but if it were the right person, I might.

semi-related story:
My friend had borrowed a mountain bike from his boss/friend for me to ride since I don't have a mtn bike, a carbon Specialized S-Works...nice bike. I rode it with him on some trails a few times. Once we switched for a bit because he wanted to try it out. Some passing mtb guys saw us and said something like "Hey, you can't swap bikes, that's like swapping wives!"
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Old 10-06-10, 04:47 PM   #5
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I've gotten enough comments from coworkers about the visibility of my lights that I'm not too concerend.
+1 My boss said I look like a Christmas tree. DiNotte 400R taillight. They'll see you for miles on a clear night.
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Old 10-06-10, 04:53 PM   #6
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Good idea for you to see for yourself.

As for me, my wife said I was lit up like a xmas tree. I'm satisfied.
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Old 10-06-10, 04:57 PM   #7
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You should take a picture and let us judge your visibility.
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Old 10-06-10, 04:58 PM   #8
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Dang. I just asked my son if he would take my bike out for a spin tonight so I could see what it looked like in the dark. He told me 'I haven't ridden a bike in 10 years'. All of a sudden it doesn't sound like such a great idea! Lol. Maybe I'll just lean it up against a tree and drive by it.

Jerry H
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Old 10-06-10, 05:00 PM   #9
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You should take a picture and let us judge your visibility.
I actually thought about that but I was afraid the flash from the camera would give a false (different) view. I might just try that, too.

Jerry H
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Old 10-06-10, 05:05 PM   #10
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If I know them and have trust in their riding skills and they can fit... sure.
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Old 10-06-10, 05:06 PM   #11
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Ever done that?
No ... but the other night, I was going down a hill in the right lane, and a truck passed me slowly in the left lane. As we slowed down approaching a red light, the guy yelled "Hey! Your light is out." I yelled thanks, then pulled off the road, checked, and saw my light was on and working perfectly well.

I've been meaning to pass another cyclist at night, tell them the story, zip ahead, then fall back and ask them how visible I am. But it hasn't happened yet.
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Old 10-06-10, 05:12 PM   #12
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I actually have often wondered myself if I am as visible as I think I am. I have taken pics of my bike at night---I think I have even posted some of them here on BF. Perceptions are different on film and the real world.
I don't know anyone that I would trust with my bike--so I guess I'll never know. One can only hope.
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Old 10-06-10, 05:21 PM   #13
colleen c
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Dang. I just asked my son if he would take my bike out for a spin tonight so I could see what it looked like in the dark. He told me 'I haven't ridden a bike in 10 years'. All of a sudden it doesn't sound like such a great idea! Lol. Maybe I'll just lean it up against a tree and drive by it.

Jerry H
Do you have a video camera or phone that takes video? You can set it on top of your dashboard of your car and ride past ypir car on your bike. Then later you can check out the video to see what your lights look like.
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Old 10-06-10, 05:41 PM   #14
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More space for reflective tape space on you, than the bike..
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Old 10-06-10, 05:41 PM   #15
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Dang. I just asked my son if he would take my bike out for a spin tonight so I could see what it looked like in the dark. He told me 'I haven't ridden a bike in 10 years'. All of a sudden it doesn't sound like such a great idea! Lol. Maybe I'll just lean it up against a tree and drive by it.

Jerry H
That son needs to be sent to his room to think about what he hasn't done. ....... haven't ridden a bike in 10 years? Shame for all!
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Old 10-06-10, 06:43 PM   #16
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I actually have often wondered myself if I am as visible as I think I am. I have taken pics of my bike at night---I think I have even posted some of them here on BF. Perceptions are different on film and the real world.
I don't know anyone that I would trust with my bike--so I guess I'll never know. One can only hope.
PBSF on the back of my rack, PB Spok lights on my helmet, 1/2w flasher and 3w Q4 CREE up front. One of my co-workers came up behind me on the expressway one morning and said he could see me clearly from a quarter mile away. With that light set-up he says I looked like a very slow moving motorcycle on the shoulder until he got closer.
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Old 10-06-10, 07:12 PM   #17
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Well I got a couple of snapshots of the bike tonight. I still think the flash is going to give a slightly skewed view. Anyway, this is what I came up with. I didn't have my headlight or tail lights on.

Kojak, ain't it the truth! I'm going on my 32 year of commuting and touring. Still can't seem to get the boys interested. Even with all of the pictures and stories I bring home!

Jerry H
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File Type: jpg NightBike2..jpg (99.4 KB, 10 views)
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Old 10-06-10, 07:18 PM   #18
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That's not really what I thought you were asking - letting someone ride your bike in like a friend who asks/wants to borrow your favorite bike to use, etc...

To answer your question - No
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Old 10-06-10, 07:51 PM   #19
jharte
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Sorry BA Commuter for the vague title. That type of question is easy for me to answer. I wouldn't have any problems letting any friend ride my bike. It's old, has tens of thousands of miles on it, is heavy as a tank, and probably wouldn't fit anyone but me anyway.

As for the experiment tonight, all finished. I was surprised at how non-reflective my reflective tape is for car headlights (see amazing reflective tape in pics above!) I was barely able to see the reflective sidewalls on my Continentals until I got really close. I did, however, like the look of my old Union 6W halogen. I also liked the PBSF on my helmet and the contrasting old Vista yellow blinker on my rear rack. I think I might opt for one more rear blinker and for sure some type of blinking light for the front.

What an eye opener. Way different than I expected.

Jerry H
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