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Old 10-08-13, 11:33 PM   #1
JoeyBike
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First time this season I got yelled at due to my lights...I think.

I was called on to work late today causing me to ride home after dark first time since last Winter. I was running a 300 lumen Denotte tail light (pointed at the ground about 10 feet behind me on slow flashing - about one flash per second) and an old NightRider Newt, also about 300 lumen (pointed at the ground ten feet ahead of me) on a fairly obnoxious flashing mode. I don't usually run the flash mode after dusk but was traversing a fairly gnarly intersection and stretch of road nearby and I didn't feel like being cut off by crossing traffic running stop signs.

A car passed me, then merged into the bike lane ahead of me with his right blinker on. No problem so far. So I merge left into the auto traffic lane to go around him as he slows for his turn. As I passed he stopped mid turn and called me an A**hole as I went past on the driver's side. Other than my Blinding Light Show I have no clue. I even waited for a green light at the previous intersection.

Hey...I am being seen. He didn't run over me. Guess that's a small victory.
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Old 10-09-13, 04:46 AM   #2
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Maybe his brother was a geek you'd hunted, and he'd never been the same since!
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Old 10-09-13, 04:53 AM   #3
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The tail lights and especially the headlights of a car exceed 300 lumens. I doubt the blinky light could be the issue... perhaps you are just an a$$hole?
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Old 10-09-13, 05:01 AM   #4
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You were on a bicycle, that's all it takes for some people.
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Old 10-09-13, 05:28 AM   #5
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Hey...I am being seen. He didn't run over me. Guess that's a small victory.
That's the way I try to take it.
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Old 10-09-13, 06:36 AM   #6
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You were on a bicycle, that's all it takes for some people.
This.

In the drivers mind, you probably had "no right" to pass him on the left and should have cowered behind his car while he slowly made his turn. My guess would be he was trying to inconvenience you by forcing you to slow behind him while he turned, and when you decided to go around him instead, he got annoyed.

Of course, i'm just speculating based on my personal experiences with bullys behind the wheel. Another common tactic from "assertive" drivers is to overtake you approaching a red light and then move so far over to the right that you are forced to wait at the light behind their car, sucking in those lovely axhaust fumes.

Water off a ducks back as far as I'm concerned. They're the ones having a bad time, I ride for fun so I try not to fall into the trap of cars vs. bikes when I'm out cruising or commuting.
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Old 10-09-13, 06:42 AM   #7
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You know that it had nothing to do about your lights.

I run mine Level, to get the greatest distance forward and behind.

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Old 10-09-13, 07:33 AM   #8
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You'll never know. Personally, I hate strobes, so perhaps that's what it was.
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Old 10-09-13, 08:35 AM   #9
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If the strobe hit his rear view mirror, he may have interpreted it as you flashing your lights at him, the way angry cagers do.
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Old 10-09-13, 09:12 AM   #10
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If the strobe hit his rear view mirror, he may have interpreted it as you flashing your lights at him, the way angry cagers do.
Nice try, but... no. I mean... would you make that mistake? Of course not. The guy might be aggressive and boorish but he is likely not a cretin. Why would you imagine that he is stupid just because he is behaving badly? This is the crucial mistake so many Americans make. They immediately whack off 30 IQ points from anyone who annoys or angers them and then proceed into any interaction with their defenses downgraded to match their perception of potential threat. To their peril.

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Old 10-09-13, 09:19 AM   #11
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You know that it had nothing to do about your lights.

I run mine Level, to get the greatest distance forward and behind.

Actually those lights are several degrees down from level, just saying. As for why you would want them level, that's another entire line of questioning entirely. You have to know that it isn't really necessary to p.o. every other road user you encounter in order to be safe, right. Aim the beam so it hits the ground ~20ft. in front of you, that's what I have heard from way too many authorities to completely disregard the advice as nonsense.

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Old 10-09-13, 09:38 AM   #12
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300 lumens is not so bright. get one of those 1000 lumen XML lights from china, and then perhaps it will be due to the light.
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Old 10-09-13, 12:43 PM   #13
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My guess would be he was trying to inconvenience you by forcing you to slow behind him while he turned
If that was his intent, it's kind of funny since merging into the bike lane before a right turn is actually the safest thing to do (assuming the driver merges and doesn't just move into the bike lane blind).
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Old 10-09-13, 04:06 PM   #14
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"As I passed he stopped mid turn and called me an A**hole as I went past on the driver's side."

I would be wondering, "How did he know?"
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Old 10-09-13, 07:27 PM   #15
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"As I passed he stopped mid turn and called me an A**hole as I went past on the driver's side."

I would be wondering, "How did he know?"

I would have responded with a hearty "Thanks!!!".
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Old 10-09-13, 10:33 PM   #16
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In the drivers mind, you probably had "no right" to pass him on the left and should have cowered behind his car while he slowly made his turn. My guess would be he was trying to inconvenience you by forcing you to slow behind him while he turned, and when you decided to go around him instead, he got annoyed.
Glad you posted this. I thought a similar thing. The bike lane on this road is fairly new and caused a reduction in auto travel lanes from two lanes each way to one auto lane plus the bike lane (striped) each way. Lots of motorists and residents were angry about the reduced travel lanes even though they were so narrow as to be of little use for passing, especially buses and trucks. Now every motorist has to line up with slower vehicles and patiently await their turn up ahead. So my gut feeling was the foul-mouth was trying to give me a dose of "slow down" medicine in the bike lane. Speed limit is 35, I was humming along at low 20s mph. When he slowed in the bike lane (to purposely annoy me) I never even broke stride - just merged left into the auto travel lane after a glance in my mirror and accelerated up to around 25 mph and passed him.

I have received negative feedback from my lights in the past. A pedestrian once yelled "F*** yo light!" and cyclists going the opposite way have informed me that the front light is rude. I usually cover it with my hand when cyclists approach UNLESS they are salmoning. Then I let them eat light.

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...perhaps you are just an a$$hole?
Yes, but as others have mentioned...how did he know?
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Old 10-09-13, 11:23 PM   #17
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That driver was rudely jarred back into actively paying attention to the road thanks to your blinky rear light, which compelled him to put down his gold-tone iphone and stop reading that life-or-death horoscope text message that just came in.

So you've deprived him of his state of distracted autopilot bliss that compelled him to take a verbal jab at you.

Next time, you should be mindful not to disturb those driving while in a zombie state of mind. His rude reaction to you is proof that zombies don't like to be disturbed from their stupor. That would also explain why he wanted to cut you off to get you to feel the same way as his disturbed state of being.

Next time, have a heart for these wandering zombies, or start riding like one so they may leave you alone... At least, until one of them absentmindedly runs over you.

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Old 10-10-13, 09:50 AM   #18
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I doubt it was the lights. Mine are brighter than yours (not that that really means that much...) and I get many many more compliments about them. When people complain, it's usually because I'm there in the first place.
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Old 10-10-13, 01:19 PM   #19
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I ride along the beach during summer on a bicycle/walk path. Unless I pointed the light uselessly down towards the ground, just a few feet in front of me, I'd get people making remarks about how it was blinding them. I totally agree. Every light that I own throws a glare up high. Having a car with factory installed HID headlights, and knowing that it has a very distinct cut off beam that prevents glare, I used some tape and covered the top half of a few of my lights. Immediately I noticed that the glare was substantially reduced just by standing at a distance and doing an A & B comparison. And now, when I'm out riding, I can point the light far, get great usable distance, and have absolutely no one complaining as I pass them. Someone in the lighting industry needs to address this. For now, cheap hockey tape does the trick for me.

EDIT: Just found out that there's a German standard for this in the way of something called StVZO compliant lights.

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Old 10-10-13, 05:54 PM   #20
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I was in the traffic lane at dusk awhile back, and had my MiNewt 250 blinking. A ~10 year old boy poked his head out of the car in front of me and yelled "Turn you f***ing light off!".
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Old 10-10-13, 08:08 PM   #21
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I was in the traffic lane at dusk awhile back, and had my MiNewt 250 blinking. A ~10 year old boy poked his head out of the car in front of me and yelled "Turn you f***ing light off!".
I hope you slapped him upside the head as you passed.
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Old 10-10-13, 08:29 PM   #22
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I'm not a big fan of flashing lights. I can understand that some people's brains might be wired such as to not be annoyed by this, like some people can listen to fingernails on a chalkboard and not get the chills. Even if it doesn't freak you out, though, you still would not scratch chalkboards unless you are a jerk.

Rear blinkies are somewhat okay if they are relatively dull red lights, and I agree that is important that you are noticed from behind, but it needs to be a slow flash. Strobes are for raves, which are fine when you are inebriated with all sorts of chemicals. Not when you are sober.

I am sure the OP is not meaning to be a jerk, but that doesn't mean that others don't perceive him as such for going around with an obnoxious light show in public.
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Old 10-10-13, 09:47 PM   #23
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Tis better to be a live ******* than a dead one. I always keep both my taillight and headlight blinking.
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Old 10-10-13, 10:40 PM   #24
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Tis better to be a live ******* than a dead one. I always keep both my taillight and headlight blinking.
This.

Incidents like this always remind me what a co-worker once told me. "If you're pissed off by me, that's your problem."
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Old 10-11-13, 03:58 AM   #25
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...Of course, I'm just speculating based on my personal experiences with bullys behind the wheel. Another common tactic from "assertive" drivers is to overtake you approaching a red light and then move so far over to the right that you are forced to wait at the light behind their car, sucking in those lovely axhaust fumes.

Water off a ducks back as far as I'm concerned.
When drivers do that to me, I simply go around their left side. This likely annoys them, but who cares, as they had no problem pinching off the ride shoulder of the road or bike lane to block me. Not unlike you, I also don’t let it ruin the joy of my ride.
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