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Old 09-08-01, 06:32 PM   #1
cyclezealot
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Wife not home / Gotta cycle tonight.

No one home. Miles this month is awful. Movies on TV Bad. How often do you all ride at night. Do you feel as safe? I have a whole jacket that is reflective. Does that help.? Do you ride at night if you have to to get your miles up. Do you travel up hills as fast at night.? One cyclist at my bike club says he thinks he is seen better at night? Really ? What do you think about night riding?
So do you ride much at night? How much.?
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Old 09-08-01, 06:55 PM   #2
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I'm cycling home after work tonight. I'll have a helmet light blinkie, a blinkie on both seatstays, and one on the back of my rack pack.

I also have some relfective tape on the bike and my helmet as well as a reflective triangle symbol on the rack pack.

It seems to me, and friends have noticed the same thing, that drivers give me more room at night than they do in the daylight.

I think it's possibly that even before they know it's a bike, that they aren't sure what it is, and they are more cautious.

I also have a bright white blinkie on the front, and a small battery operated halogen headlamp.
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Old 09-08-01, 06:56 PM   #3
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I ride at night almost everyday. I work mostly 12 - 8 shifts and by 8pm it's dark out. I don't really feel like it's that much more dangerous as long as I'm well lit up. I have reflectors , a red laserlight blinker on the back of my pack and a cateye light up front. I think that's alot more than I usually see on bike people ride at night.

My only concern is the chance of running over/into junk or a dead animal in the bike lane that I cant see during one portion of the ride home. There's a fast down hill section of the ride and with cars coming up hill, the headlights pretty much blind me and I have to look down and very close to the front of my bike to make out the bike lane in the glare of oncoming traffic. Anything in the lane ahead of me I'm unavoidably gonna hit.

I'd say go for it. Just be lit up good. Also you feel like your moving ALOT faster when hauling butt downhill in the dark! Woohooooooo!!

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Old 09-08-01, 07:03 PM   #4
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Cyclezealot,

During the winter, it seems I ride in darkness a lot.

I drew similar conclusions to your cyclist friend, that cycling in darkness can render me more visible to motorists than in the daytime, if I am properly outfitted.

The only drawback is that, while I am seen better, my own visibility is greatly reduced concerning road hazards.
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Old 09-08-01, 08:50 PM   #5
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So everyone seems to say they ride home commuting. So does anyone feel so confident of night riding they voluntarily go out on a recreational ride. This cyclist that I originally referred to almost prefers night riding !.
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Old 09-08-01, 09:28 PM   #6
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When I get home at night, I crash (not literally, though) .
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Old 09-09-01, 08:28 AM   #7
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I enjoy riding at night and like the others I believe that properly equipped I am more visible at night than in the day. Riding at night has advantages. In the summer it is cooler to ride at night. Traffic is often much lighter and the drivers are not in as much of a hurry. If I'm just going out for a joyride I'll often leave at around 7:00pm and be coming home in the dark. If I left at 5:00pm I'd be sharing the road with motorists in a rush to get home and the ride would be less enjoyable. On the other hand many of the cars out at night, especially a weekday night, are young drivers out cruising around and they may find a cyclist a good source of amusement. Oh yeah, In the winter we don't have much choice. We have to ride in the dark.
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Old 09-09-01, 10:01 AM   #8
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Oh yeah, forgot to add. Friday and Saturday nights are when I try to avoid being in the bike lanes at all at night. More traffic than usual on those nights and crazier drivers. I'm possibly irrationally worried bout drivers who've had 1 or 10 too many. On these nights people are out partying and I just feel safer up on the sidewalk or on a bike path ( which BTW, I'm using less an less frequently.) Am I starting to sound like a road cyclist?
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Old 09-09-01, 05:36 PM   #9
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I also like riding at night. Some of my university lectures finish pretty late (on Tuesdays I'm not out of here until around 10pm). It's almost as good as riding early in the morning.
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Old 09-15-01, 02:08 PM   #10
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I often have meetings and or child care duties in the evening and therefore must ride very early in the mornings.

I have found (as have others) that car drivers usually give me a wider birth in the dark mornings. I don't know if it's because they don't immediately know what I am or if it takes more attention or effort to avoid me in the dark.

I ride with a weak headlight and several blinkies. I think it more important to be seen from the rear than the front as I ride with the traffic flow.

As JonT said..my only dislike with riding in the dark (very, very dark Farm to Market roads) is not being able to clearly see what is in front of me. I have to go slower and am a little nervous about hitting holes in the road, trash etc. I have just ordered a water bottle battery type headlight called "Dual View" in hopes of fixing this problem. Has anybody ever used one of these?
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Old 09-15-01, 04:23 PM   #11
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I actually find visibility easier on darkened country roads with no streetlights around to distort things. In fact, when there's a full moon, I often turn my headlight off completely and just let the moon provide the light for me. You can't do that in the city of course.
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Old 09-17-01, 04:40 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally posted by cyclezealot
So everyone seems to say they ride home commuting. So does anyone feel so confident of night riding they voluntarily go out on a recreational ride. This cyclist that I originally referred to almost prefers night riding !.
All my night riding is recreational. I usually go when the rest of the house is veggin in front of the TV (can't stand it) and I'm going stir crazy. Even with the front and rear lights and reflective things I still don't feel very safe. I'm not sure why I feel so unsafe I haven't had any particularly harrowing experiences on the road I just can't seem to shake off that uneasy feeling around vehicular traffic. I think it basically is a lack of trust. I usually end up going to the local high school and riding laps on their paved track just to get off the road. Pretty boring but there is less traffic.
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Old 09-17-01, 05:11 AM   #13
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Around my neighborhood traffic seems to be lighter at night. I don't mind riding at night as long as i got my lights and reflective gear.

This time of year it is great to go riding at night. The air is crisp and not to cool yet.
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