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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 10-20-04, 09:18 AM   #1
DogBoy
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WHOA! Where did the sun go?

I have been on leave for a few weeks and have not needed to commute to work. Now I'm ready to hop on the bike again, but when I leave for work it is now dark out. I have all the reflectors req by law, a front white LED and a rear blinky but I'm still worried about getting schmucked by someone not expecting a bike to be on the road at 6:00 am in the fall while its dark out. What other precautions should I take?

I'm thinking reflective tape on my jacket and wheels (between the spokes) and maybe an additional light-set for my helmet. Anything else I should do? Any suggestions for a light with lots of time on the battery? I don't want to go through batteries every 3 days. (30 min use per day)
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Old 10-20-04, 09:28 AM   #2
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my gf gave me a reflector strap that goes around my ankle. i think it really attracts attention because it's going up and down with my leg while at the same time reflecting the cars lights. i love it and use it even during the day (just a habit). if you can find something like that, i would suggest getting it.
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Old 10-20-04, 05:44 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DogBoy
I have been on leave for a few weeks and have not needed to commute to work. Now I'm ready to hop on the bike again, but when I leave for work it is now dark out. I have all the reflectors req by law, a front white LED and a rear blinky but I'm still worried about getting schmucked by someone not expecting a bike to be on the road at 6:00 am in the fall while its dark out. What other precautions should I take?

I'm thinking reflective tape on my jacket and wheels (between the spokes) and maybe an additional light-set for my helmet. Anything else I should do? Any suggestions for a light with lots of time on the battery? I don't want to go through batteries every 3 days. (30 min use per day)
Do you have a rechargable light? If you can get those lights with the rechargable batteries, you won't have to worry about replacing the batteries all the time.

A few extra blinky LED lights to stick on your back wouldn't hurt either, along with reflective tape. And you may want to consider getting a mirror so you can periodically check behind you just in case.

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Old 10-20-04, 09:16 PM   #4
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Where did the sun go?? It's down here in Australia .... lots of lovely daylight to ride in after work!
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Old 10-20-04, 09:21 PM   #5
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I was just asking the same question... going down earlier and earlier me thinks...
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Old 10-20-04, 09:48 PM   #6
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I can't wait for daylight savings. I hate it when we lose that hour- I can't seem to ever get into a sleeping pattern until November, then I lose it in April!

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Old 10-20-04, 10:28 PM   #7
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Damn kids. Why do they get to have the daylight when they get up to go to school? What about us cyclists that like to ride after work? What did those kids ever do to earn it?
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Old 10-20-04, 11:00 PM   #8
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The precautions I took cost a $100 total. Cygo Metro dual beam 12 watt light ($48); Cateye Xenon amber front flasher ($8); Cateye 600 5LED taillight ($18); handlebar end lights ($20); and 1 1/2 wide reflective leg bands ($5) for a total of $99...plus tax! This lighting set up makes me extremily visible, and I can see the road extremily well.
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Old 10-21-04, 05:42 AM   #9
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I stuck reflective tape all over my back pack and helmet... got a rechargable headlight... cateye 6 led tail light (which I set to blink)... and a cheap solid LED light that I have on my left handle bar facing the rear (so that, in theory, cars will pass a bit further away)


and honestly, I feel safer riding at night than I do during the day... night or day, drivers aren't really looking out for bikers... but people are always looking out for bright flashing glowy things
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Old 10-21-04, 06:14 AM   #10
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A really good idea I read recently is finding a way to let drivers know how wide your rig is. If you carry rear panniers consider a small piece of reflective tape or a reflector on each outside edge in the back. If no panniers, reflective ankle straps or reflective arm bands may help. This may give you a little extra room when cars pass.
I agree with digs. I'm a moving Christmas tree. I feel pretty safe at night. Good riding!
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Old 10-21-04, 08:10 PM   #11
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Koffee
I know how you feel, I'm tired all summer until we get that hour of sleep back in November!

There is tons of information on the web about bicycle lighting, rechargable batteries and being visible. check out this site for more than you ever wanted to know about bicycle lighting:
http://nordicgroup.us/s78/
Do a google search on homemade bicycle lights and you will find lots of good info.
Be safe.
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Old 10-21-04, 08:33 PM   #12
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What other precautions should you take? Try to find a route with less car traffic.
Tom
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