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Thread: Night Ride

  1. #1
    Senior Member dguest's Avatar
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    Night Ride

    Well, the wife and I went on an interesting but at time I think hazardous ride today. A local park has a large christmas light display. Tonight they closed the park to all vehicles except bicycles and had a so called family ride thru the christmas lights, The idea was great and I believe it could have been much better than it was. We got there at 6pm which was the starting time and it ran until 8pm. The route was 5 miles of rolling hills. The light displays were great the hazardous part was there was in the neighborhood of 300 bikes there and it was made of of people of all ages from 5 thru 70 , They did not requir lights on the bikes and several times on the ride there were both teens and adults just darting in and out of the traffic, more than half of them did not any lights or even reflectors on the bikes. We were lucky not to be involved in any of the multiple bike accidents we witnessed during this ride. Maybe its just my law enforcement background or in my opinion i feel they should have required some sort of lighting on the ride even if it was just rear blinkies. But hey mabe I am the one without common sence there.
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    Senior Member rodrigaj's Avatar
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    Aren't lights and reflectors required by law in NC after dusk?

    Seems like enforcement was the real issue. Write to the parks commissioner.

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    Senior Member Retro Grouch's Avatar
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    Read over Denver's thread about 50+ ride risk management.

    In St Louis they hve a Moonlight Ramble ride every summer that attracts thousands of riders. It's crazy. I'm thinking that a light requirement for that kind of ride is reasonable but how do you deal with the riders who show up without any lights?

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    Senior Member BikeArkansas's Avatar
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    Night rides are a regular part of my biking. Every Monday night we ride 25 to 30 miles after dark during the winter. I participate in a few other night rides from time to time. Most cyclists are well equipped with lights. Any time a member of our night group ride has a light quit, which can happen any time, we tuck that rider into the middle of the pack whether it is that cyclist's back or front light.
    From time to time we encounter a cyclist without lighting or a runner without reflective gear or lights. That encounter will ramp up the heart rate. That person simply cannot be seen until you are right on them.
    Now, to the Christmas lights ride. We participated in one in December. They asked us to turn off our front lights so it would not deter the lighting and besides, the road was well lit anyway.
    and was closed except for viewing the lights. The rear lights were left on for safety reasons. This worked well when combined to the fact that we were asking for very slow speeds. Fortunately, we did not have any younger people around us. I like younger people, but they are too quick and careless on a bicycle.
    So, in answer to this thread, reflectors and a back light should have been required. What to do with young people on a bicycle is another whole problem.
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    Senior Member Allegheny Jet's Avatar
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    Most of my career is in parks and recreation administration. If my department was providing an event like the one described we would have done the research needed to make the special event safe to all invited. Some departments/organizations will have done a similar event and the network of professional members could link me to someone to speak to or email for informational "dos and donts".

    I would think that rear blinker lights would be one of the first requirements along with helmets. The event would have posted rules, participant expectations, and a description of the purpose of the event. The rules would be handed to the participant when they rigristered for the event. Depending of the jurisdiction, there should be park rangers, or local police and departmental staff located within the viewing area to monitor the participants.

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    Senior Member dguest's Avatar
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    The rules stated helmet mandatory and lights recomended. There were 2 Sheriffs deputies there but they were controling the vehicle traffic at the parking lots. To Bike Arkansas post They asked us to turn off our front lights so it would not deter the lighting and besides, the road was well lit anyway. This park is wooded and there are no street lights. The display is set up on the golf course and wooded areas, so they did not help the visability on the roads. and like he also said the biggest problem was the teens and even a few in their pro gear outfits that appearantly thought it was a night version of the TDF. I do not have a problem with people in cycling gear, yes I wear my teams stuff but I had rear blinkie front head light and reflective bands around my ankles. I also had a Reflective bright orange top layer on. a lot of the teens were in black or other extremely dark colors. At one point I witnessed one of these individuals clip the front wheel of a young Late20's female causing her to go down face first. The individual disappeared and the only ddescription any of use could provide was a male in black jacket and black helmet on a Trek Mountain bike.
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    Let's do a Century jppe's Avatar
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    dguest-Was that in Tanglewood by chance?

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    Senior Member dguest's Avatar
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    Yes it was
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    rebmeM roineS JanMM's Avatar
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    Rather bad idea to tell folks to turn off their headlights.
    They've got a whole year to plan a safer event for the next ride. Hopefully, they'll get some helpful feedback.

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    Quote Originally Posted by dguest View Post
    ... a few in their pro gear outfits that appearantly thought it was a night version of the TDF. ...


    Asking the riders to turn off headlights in a dark area seems to be asking for a lawsuit. Your thoughts are just good common sense probably based in part on your law enforcement background.
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    Let's do a Century jppe's Avatar
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    My uncle was the Park Supt at Tanglewood for a few years. He was also the Asst Pro and Course Supt for a good while-he rebuilt the golf course for the '74 PGA Championship using R T Jones design and later moved across the river to Bermuda Run where he was Course Supt for years......I seem to recall some speed bumps on their roads as well-those could be a lot of fun on bikes without lights!!

  12. #12
    Senior Member dguest's Avatar
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    Yes there were more than a few speed bumps. Not sure if I causes some confusion by quoting bikearkansas in an earlier post but at our ride they did not recomend turning lights off but they did not require you to have lights.
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    Senior Member RepWI's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Retro Grouch View Post
    Read over Denver's thread about 50+ ride risk management.

    In St Louis they hve a Moonlight Ramble ride every summer that attracts thousands of riders. It's crazy. I'm thinking that a light requirement for that kind of ride is reasonable but how do you deal with the riders who show up without any lights?
    Have local bike shops, or, bike clubs set up bike light displays of some sort and sell them. Actually, many people would buy them if they thought of it, especially parents.

    To keep myself visible I ride with all lights on at all times of the day no matter what conditions. If anything, a car driver may see my blinky at 2:00PM and say, "Oh, there are bike riders about, I better keep an eye out."

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    Quote Originally Posted by dguest View Post
    The idea was great and I believe it could have been much better than it was... i feel they should have required some sort of lighting on the ride even if it was just rear blinkies. .
    Sounds like they should require lighting for this. Seems like would be a great opportunity for the local bike shops to offer lighting at a discount in advance of the ride; teach people how to ride safely in the winter; and get people to ride year-round.

    Some of these big group rides are scary to me.

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