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Old 12-29-10, 08:49 PM   #1
doctor j
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Night Rides Anyone?

In order to meet my self-imposed, annual mileage goal, I'm compelled to ride at night after work when we've lost Daylight Savings Time during uncivilized weather, also known as Winter.

First, a disclaimer. I am not employed by MagicShine or Cygolite. I don't own stock in either company or in the parent company of either company or the parent company of the parent company of either company. I have no relatives or friends who are employed by either company or multitudinous parent companies. I am not know nor have I ever been a member of the Communist Party, Democratic Party, Republican Party, or Tea Party. In fact, it's been a long time since I've even been to a party. That should cover it. Give me a break.

I bought a MagicShine light last year and it was a HUGE improvement over the LED flashlights (yes, plural) I had jury rigged on the bar. As an aside, I have had no problems with the MagicShine or the battery.

Then, Santa Clause gave me a Cygolite Expilion 250 this year, which I promptly mounted on my helmet. This turns out to be another HUGE improvement.

Most of the time I can run each of them on low power and have plenty of light. It's really nice to be able to aim the helmet light into the corner I'm about to navigate and aim it here and there to avoid obstacles.

Last night, I aimed it at a motorist who was doing a rolling stop at a stop sign to my right, and he quickly came to a full stop.

I ran the helmet light on medium power tonight, and initial results seem to indicate that I can trigger traffic lights (so equipped) to turn green if my aim is good. We'll need more research to confirm or deny.

As I was leaving my apartment tonight, a fellow hailed me down to let me know that he's seen me venture out for the last few nights and that I am well lit. I gratefully acknowledged. Interestingly enough, a minute or so later, I rode by another fellow who yelled out, "think you've got enough lights?" I waved, kept riding, and happily pondered these things in my heart.

In addition to the two main lights, I have a little CatEye blinky running up front, though the MS probably washes it out.

On the back of the bike, I run 3 Planet Bike SuperFlash lights in blink mode.

I wear a high-vis wind jacket and reflective strips around the ankles.

So far, so good. Cars approaching from the rear grant me wide berth. With the new light upfront, I can see really well and can be seen really well, and I have reserve power in each of the main lights as needed. I am Fredly and admit it.

If you are contemplating night rides, get plenty of lights and go for it.

If you ride at night, what do you have for lights and visibility?

Happy New Year BF 50+ folks!!!
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Old 12-29-10, 09:01 PM   #2
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Front: Vetta: Won It from Bike Journal
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IXON IQ:http://sheldonbrown.com/harris/light...le.html#lt1672

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Sette ST 316 which is brighter then the PBSF:http://s256.photobucket.com/albums/h...t=Sette316.jpg

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Old 12-29-10, 09:14 PM   #3
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I ride at night, too. I have the Magic Shine. Looking at getting an Ixon light so I can replace batteries for longer rides.
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Old 12-29-10, 09:18 PM   #4
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I just can't get into night riding. I guess I am lucky I don't need to simply to get in the miles but for a few weeks every year our group has twice a week night rides. I broke down and bought a Newt for the front and two flashing strobes for the back. Two frog lights for the helmet and a flashing frog light for the front fork. With all that it still sucks. I think I need a different bike for night riding, something like my MTB with big fat tires that don't complain when a dip in the road doesn't show up because of the way light passes over little dips in the road.

Still whenever a car comes up behind me at night my back crawls like an ice cube dropped down my shirt.
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Old 12-29-10, 11:44 PM   #5
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I love riding at night. I use a Minewt 2 on the bike and a P7 mounted to my helmet along with a rear blinker. We have a weekly group ride, once the daylight savings goes away, that draws anywhere from 4 to 10 riders. The same setup works for night time mtb rides which I just began to do this fall and winter.
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Old 12-30-10, 02:20 AM   #6
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Night rides are great but make certain you have a front light good enough for the conditions and 2 rear lamps just in case one fails. The helmet lamps are a good secondary lamp for in case your main one fails.

And lamps are not only for night. I do a few winter commutes back from work in winter light conditions. I set the front lamp to blink and it is surprising how many cars "Do not" pull out in front of you at junctions.
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Old 12-30-10, 02:36 AM   #7
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I love night rides. I commute in the dark during the winter, and the past couple of weeks I've been off work but busy and have been riding at night as often as during the day.

Front: dyno hub + Busch Muller cygolite LED headlight. Works great. Last season I was using a Dinotte 400L + a Dinotte 200L headlight. More than enough light.

Back: usually a Dinotte 200l tail light plus another blinky mounted lower. The Dinotte is agreat.
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Old 12-30-10, 05:05 AM   #8
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Night rides in the summer are fun. Riding in the dark in the winter is necessary. Two entirely different things for me. If I continue to commute 3 days a week, riding in the dark during the winter is inevitable. So, two blinking Planet Earth Blaze and one Cygolite Dual Cross up front, two Planet Earth Superflash on the back, and an illumiNITE Stretch Helmet Cover to be just a bit more conspicuous.
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Old 12-30-10, 06:05 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Robert Foster View Post
Still whenever a car comes up behind me at night my back crawls like an ice cube dropped down my shirt.
Actually with the correct taillight, you are much more likely to be seen in the dark than in the daylight. Try looking at scenery when you drive in the dark, you won't see much because it's all in the dark, and so that red strobe light you see way up ahead becomes the sole focus of your attention. But during the day there is so much to see that you might not notice the bicyclist till your on top of him.
By the way the correct taillight is the Dinotte, it can be seen from a great distance (day or night) and that is most important because cars coming at a fast speed need time to alter their course before they get to you. Three telephone poles is about the best distance for a taillight to be seen from, it gives the driver time to recognize and adjust at 40mph.
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Old 12-30-10, 07:34 AM   #10
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I am enjoying riding at night with my MagicShine headlight and tailight. I have started using them in daylight as well with the headlight in blinking mode.
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Old 12-30-10, 07:40 AM   #11
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Night trail riding only - really more like early AM trail riding. I would not use the following for road riding - however, I don't do road riding, so that is not a problem.

Utility Road Bike - Front - Two $10 internet ordered 53 LED lights that are amazingly bright. Rear - one red bright blinky, one $9.00 white 9 LED white light pointed to the rear on blink.






Mountain Bike - Front - Two Cateye OptiCubes (don't bother to buy Cateye), rear, old red blinkie.



These are all able to light the trail appropriately for my type of riding. My major concern is unlit trail runners and walkers.

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Old 12-30-10, 08:41 AM   #12
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I enjoy riding at night almost as much as daytime riding. On the bar I have a Dinotte Amber on flash and a Mi Newt head light, with a Dinotte 200 on my helmet. I have 2 Stella Light and Motion lamps but I don't use the much. (They are for sale). On the back I use a PBSF and a Dinotte red on flash + a red Spok blinkey on the back of my helmet. With this set up I rarely get buzzed and cars don't turn into me. That gives me three on the front and 3 on the back. I am thinking about putting some thing on my shoes for side lights. Overkill perhaps, but I want to see and be seen.

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Old 12-30-10, 06:19 PM   #13
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I've been night riding for some time. This year, I've done more night rides than daytime rides. A large part of the reason for this is due to my elderly parent situation, so I've had to "re-schedule" a lot of things. Anyway, all the advice here is good. A good quality headlight is absolutely essential, and a legal requirement. MA law requires that it be a white light, visible for 500 feet. Even the low-cost lights meet this requirement. With the really nice LED lights available today, there is just no defense for not using a headlight.

For those keeping score, I "upgraded" in September to a B & M Ixon IQ. Pricey, yes. But worth it. I have an "aversion" to battery bags. Can't really explain it, I just don't like them. The Ixon is self-contained. Best feature: It's regulated. It won't get progressively dimmer as the batteries run down. A top-mounted red/green LED keeps you advised on battery power.

Oddly enough, MA law does not demand a tail light. It does demand a red reflector, OR a red light.

Link for proof purposes, for those who need it.

Best policy: Use a LED blinkie, and reflectors of some type. I have two strips of 3M scotchlite on my rear fender. This is the stuff you see on tractor trailers. It works nicely. Another odd MA requirement: Cyclists must have either pedal reflectors, OR reflective leg bands. I like the bands. They go all the way around, and Motorists see the up-down motion of your legs. The best I've seen are from Jogalite. For a Blinkie, I'm running a Blackburn Mars 4. It easily clips to my under-seat bag.

For me, night riding is as good as it gets. The best is a warm summer night. You get the warm weather, and you don't have to deal with sun screen. And is it just me, or are some of the most attractive women out jogging, and riding, in the evening?
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Old 12-30-10, 07:21 PM   #14
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If I didn't ride at night, I'd never get home from work. On the winter side of the equinoxes, every ride home is after dark.

I agree with those who say that with the right lights, you can be seen more easily in the dark. I get a lot more space when passed and cars wait for me to go by after dark.

The Portland, my four-seasons all-conditions commuter, has a dynohub driving a Schmidt Edelux headlight and a B&M D'toplight taillight. It also has a pair of DiNotte 200L battery headlights. All those lights stay mounted on it 24/7/365. It also has a DiNotte 300R internal-battery taillight which is shares with the other bikes. In the foulest of weather, it also borrows Yellow Bike's MagicShine headlight.

Yellow Bike is my backup commuter in the three seasons, and in winter is my road tires commuter. It has a CatEye TL-1100 taillight and a MagicShine taillight that are permanently mounted. It shares its MagicShine headlight and DiNotte 200L headlight with the other bikes.

Blue Steel and the Litespeed both use Yellow Bike's headlights and the Portland's 300R taillight.

Kicking around as a spare, I also have a DiNotte 140R taillight.
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Old 12-30-10, 07:51 PM   #15
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Highly blessed with a business park about 5 mi. from home. From now until DST starts, there are group rides on Tues. / Thur. nites that include many riders who race the local crits, as well as more recreational participants. You can ride as easily or intensely as you wish.The road is extremely well lighted, limited access, the route is just about 2.1 miles around. We only need the rear "blinky", and I use the Planet Bike Super Flash as well. I consider these night rides as an important part of my yearly "prep" for the warm weather season!
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Old 12-30-10, 11:28 PM   #16
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Old 12-31-10, 11:07 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by doctor j View Post
In order to meet my self-imposed, annual mileage goal, I'm compelled to ride at night after work when we've lost Daylight Savings Time during uncivilized weather, also known as Winter.

First, a disclaimer. I am not employed by MagicShine or Cygolite. I don't own stock in either company or in the parent company of either company or the parent company of the parent company of either company. I have no relatives or friends who are employed by either company or multitudinous parent companies. I am not know nor have I ever been a member of the Communist Party, Democratic Party, Republican Party, or Tea Party. In fact, it's been a long time since I've even been to a party. That should cover it. Give me a break.

I bought a MagicShine light last year and it was a HUGE improvement over the LED flashlights (yes, plural) I had jury rigged on the bar. As an aside, I have had no problems with the MagicShine or the battery.

Then, Santa Clause gave me a Cygolite Expilion 250 this year, which I promptly mounted on my helmet. This turns out to be another HUGE improvement.

Most of the time I can run each of them on low power and have plenty of light. It's really nice to be able to aim the helmet light into the corner I'm about to navigate and aim it here and there to avoid obstacles.

Last night, I aimed it at a motorist who was doing a rolling stop at a stop sign to my right, and he quickly came to a full stop.

I ran the helmet light on medium power tonight, and initial results seem to indicate that I can trigger traffic lights (so equipped) to turn green if my aim is good. We'll need more research to confirm or deny.

As I was leaving my apartment tonight, a fellow hailed me down to let me know that he's seen me venture out for the last few nights and that I am well lit. I gratefully acknowledged. Interestingly enough, a minute or so later, I rode by another fellow who yelled out, "think you've got enough lights?" I waved, kept riding, and happily pondered these things in my heart.

In addition to the two main lights, I have a little CatEye blinky running up front, though the MS probably washes it out.

On the back of the bike, I run 3 Planet Bike SuperFlash lights in blink mode.

I wear a high-vis wind jacket and reflective strips around the ankles.

So far, so good. Cars approaching from the rear grant me wide berth. With the new light upfront, I can see really well and can be seen really well, and I have reserve power in each of the main lights as needed. I am Fredly and admit it.

If you are contemplating night rides, get plenty of lights and go for it.

If you ride at night, what do you have for lights and visibility?

Happy New Year BF 50+ folks!!!
I use the Magicshine also and love it. I have been on park trails after dark and had joggers curse me out for it being too bright. I try to tilt it down low when they approach. I have anywhere from 3-5 lights flashing from behind and the sides. I think I am considerably safer at night or early AM than on a cloudy gray day.

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Old 12-31-10, 08:12 PM   #18
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I leave for work at 4:50 am, so always ride in the dark in the morning, 172 rides to work this year. I'm still using my 2 1/2 year old Spiderfire cree light in front and a Superflash in back.
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Old 01-01-11, 05:35 AM   #19
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In many ways I prefer riding at night out of the tropical sun. I use a SON + Supernova triple E3 front and E3 rear. The E3 rear is mounted on a 3" reflector. This provides plenty of light to both see and be seen. I actually just leave the light on day or night just like with a motorcycle.
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Old 01-01-11, 06:15 AM   #20
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Road- no. Too many idiots on the roads.
MTB- yes. Dual NiteRider Pro 600.
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