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Old 11-01-09, 07:50 AM   #1
Papa Tom
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Night Riders on Syosset-Woodbury Rd (Long Island, NY)

The other night, I was driving on this mildly busy road after darkness had fallen when I came upon three cyclists headed toward me with some really bright headlights...sufficient for the lighting conditions at that time. From the patterns of the lights, I could see that these guys were swerving all over the road, as non-organized groups often do.

Out of curiosity, as I passed, I checked my rear view mirror to see how well they were lit from behind. As I suspected, although these cyclists had invested good money in headlights that could blind oncoming drivers, they were using the usual little red blinkies on the back of their bikes. And these weren't even good ones, because had I not known to look for them, I probably would not have known they were there.

The overall effect was that these three riders, who were obnoxiously visible to oncoming cars were virtually INvisible to the vehicles approaching them from behind, on the same side of the road. It was clearly a dangerous situation as I noticed two cars slamming on their brakes at the last second.

I was compelled to turn around, catch up, and warn them that they could not be seen; however, by the time I reached a point where it was safe to make U-turn, they were gone.

If you're going to ride at night, think about lighting up on BOTH sides of the bike, OK? I hope these guys made it home to their families all right.
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Old 11-01-09, 07:11 PM   #2
DSchlichting
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+1
It's amazing how, over the years, people talk;/ask about lighting, and it's always headlights. People don't get it that the real risk is the one passing within 2 feet from behind, hence the need for near blinding lights off the rear . . .
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Old 11-01-09, 07:32 PM   #3
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Were you somewhere between the Greenbelt Trail and a Starbucks ?.

Wouldn't surprise me if the were mt. bikers on a nite ride on the Greenbelt doing a detour to/from a local coffee shop, thus they would be lit with great helmet and handlebar lights, but no R blinkies.

Just dumb to be on the road that way.

SB
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Old 11-01-09, 07:39 PM   #4
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By the way, my apology for using the words "obnoxiously visible." I couldn't come up with the right adjective when I needed it. Their headlights looked like 10 or 12-watt Nite Riders or something comparable. They really made these cyclists visible to the point where cars headed toward them were stepping on their brakes because they thought there might be some kind of UFO on the road. That's probably the way it should be...only - as DSchlichting said - on the OTHER side of the bike!
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