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Old 11-29-16, 03:43 PM   #51
American Euchre
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There's certainly no harm in running daytime lights.

But most people are lazy and won't do anything that they're not absolutely required to do. Take seatbelts for example.

It takes effort to buy bike lights. To attach them. To remember to recharge the batteries. To remember to turn them on. It's just a little extra effort and most people don't want to invest that little bit of extra time and energy beyond what's absolutely necessary.

On top of that, 90% of bike accessories strike me as cheesy and esthetically unpleasing.

I have 4 taillights.
One is attached to the seat post purely as a backup.
I have a helmet taillight which is always on at night, and sometimes on in the day.
A third is attached to the rack, and the batteries are close to done.
A fourth is a $1 special from china bay. It works ok. Its attached to the rack bag, flopping around and tilted at various odd angles as the light bounces around during a ride.

None of it looks especially nice, but the helmet tail light works reasonably well enough on it's own. But it's nice to have the rest as a backup. Plus, I'm too lazy to change the batteries on the rack light until the batteries are down to zero.
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Old 11-29-16, 03:57 PM   #52
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To a car @50mph, a cyclist traveling at 15mph is a stable object! Seriously. Not that I understand why it matters, there is no way for a cyclist to interact safely with >30 mph motor traffic except from the relative safety of a bike lane, striped off shoulder, or FRAP posture. In all three of those scenarios it is not the worst thing if a driver does not accurately judge relative speed, because neither of you are on collision paths. I will admit that I go out at night without a blinky many times for one reason or another, but come back alive, mainly because I am aware in those situations that no one can see me, (well they can, but..) so I make myself as safe as I can by scrupulously avoiding exposure situations. Drivers avoid bike lanes even if they don't see any bikes in them. It is a defacto fog line as far as they are concerned. This works day or night to keep an unlit cyclist safer than one that is IN the vehicle lane albeit with a flasher going. One is assumed, the other is completely unexpected. Be predictable, and you don't have to wear hi-viz AND use quality blinkers, either should be just fine. $5 might be a little extreme, but $9.99 should get someone a decent taillight, $14.99 will get you the (be seen) Ascent Commuter Headlight/Taillight combo pack. All you need. The taillight is especially nifty because it clips into the seatpost clamp with a sideways motion. Vertical hits from ruts or debris don't knock it loose.

I can see your point about riding at night without a blinkie but around here, you'd get a ticket. Lost of traffic and lots of cops out. So I use one for that and safety.

I do however follow the same principle, stay out of harms way and don't put yourself in danger. I do ride backstreets where traffic is 35 and plenty of stop signs to control traffic speeds and wide lanes. I do see other cyclists on the main roads, 1/8 mile away with traffic at 50 and no shoulder. I can never figure that one out.

Not to mention I travel north and south which keeps me out of the "blinded by sunset" traffic.

I do have a usb charging rear light. Very nice, like always having a fresh set of batteries, only $25 and well worth it.
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Old 11-29-16, 04:51 PM   #53
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Why do you not stop at, "blinking lights are annoying to me", and go out of your way to project an incorrect assertion that "people who use blinkers must not care about annoying other people". I don't know about Germany, in America, blinking taillights (and headlights) are too ubiquitous to be annoying anymore. They are simply an is. If you read automotive discussion forums you will discover that what upsets cagers is not the blinkies, its the cyclists who do NOT use blinkies! That the lights can also be steady and not blink is well below the radar of the average driver, unless they also own a bicycle. Like you, probably. Stop projecting. It could save your life one day. Maybe not, but... I have to observe... the DOT keeps a lot of motorists alive, who would otherwise be long dead because they have ingrained, incorrect notions of things like headlight usage, seat-belt usage, tire wear/size/manufacture... people are stupid... the masses of people are stupid, and lack even the most basic concepts of physics or physiology. Even if you think headlights are unnecessary, or should be limited to 500 lumens, the DOT steps in and mandates standards that are then enforced by State jurisdictions. Cyclists are exempt from a lot of oversight. They are on their own to act out whatever infantile or incorrect assumptions they acquire. The injury and fatality metrics speak for themselves.
I suppose we'll have to agree to disagree. I don't believe that I'm the only American who thinks blinking bike lights are annoying, and I don't believe that using blinking bike lights improves rider safety. I also don't believe that our government is very good at assessing risk so your DOT argument is completely lost on me.
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Old 11-29-16, 07:49 PM   #54
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I suppose we'll have to agree to disagree. I don't believe that I'm the only American who thinks blinking bike lights are annoying, and I don't believe that using blinking bike lights improves rider safety. I also don't believe that our government is very good at assessing risk so your DOT argument is completely lost on me.
There is another reason why blinking/strobe lights are annoying. Some people with epilepsy, who have seizures as a result of blinking/strobe lights. While I have epilepsy, I don't have seizures from blinking/strobe lights.

I replaced my Niterider MiNewt 600(600 lumens; came out in 2013 no longer made) even though it still works. With the Niderider Lumina 750(750 lumens) Boost. Apart from the obvious difference lumens. Niterider slowed down the speed of the strobe setting. Because of the strobe function causing seizures in people with epilepsy, who are vulnerable to flashing lights.

When I am on my bike I use the strobe. It doesn't cause me to have seizures.
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Old 11-29-16, 08:40 PM   #55
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There is another reason why blinking/strobe lights are annoying. Some people with epilepsy, who have seizures as a result of blinking/strobe lights. While I have epilepsy, I don't have seizures from blinking/strobe lights.
That trope has been debunked time and again but it just won't die. Given the bolded above, why did you even bring it up?? Did you know that in most states a seizure means a two year revocation of your driving privileges. Its a BIG DEAL. If blinkies were causing seizures in even 0.01% of susceptible drivers they would be banned outright and manufacturers would be paying damages retroactively.
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Old 11-29-16, 09:23 PM   #56
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Quick release takes 10 seconds for two lights. I run good lights. The 2 watt cygolite rear is good for 300 ft. The front 3 lights vary from 350, 500 and 750 lumens. good for 3-400 feet. For me, in mixed conditions, the bikes I see first when I'm driving my car have blinky lights. Do you disable the daytime running lights on your car? Do the motorcycle flicker headlights catch your eye during the daytime? If the benefit is not getting run over by that 1 out of 50 cars not paying attention, seems, for me, a great benefit. YRMV.

The OP asked about $5 lights, not good lights, which I fully qualified may make a difference. I have a light on the back of my helmet. I turn it on at night, dusk, in the rain, etc., but I don't think it does one bit of good in the day, and it is every bit as bright as the cheap set of "be seen" $10 urban lights I keep in the closest thing I have to a city commuter. I specifically said that a set of nice lights may make a difference, but I don't personally own a set of nice lights, because I don't generally ride at night. I own a set of adequate lights, and a couple sets of generator lights, for those off times.

And I don't have daytime running lights on my car (one of my few complaints about Ford), but again thinking that the luminosity of a bike light is anything approaching a car is silly. I've owned motorcycles as well, I know how well those lights (again, brighter than most bike lights) don't work on many drivers.

But, this is all your or my opinions. Do you mostly ride with hi-viz orange or yellow clothing, as I do? DO you carefully pick your routes on public roads to avoid traffic, as I do? I'd be willing to bet there are a few precautions I feel appropriate that you dismiss.

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Old 11-29-16, 11:23 PM   #57
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That trope has been debunked time and again but it just won't die. Given the bolded above, why did you even bring it up?? Did you know that in most states a seizure means a two year revocation of your driving privileges. Its a BIG DEAL. If blinkies were causing seizures in even 0.01% of susceptible drivers they would be banned outright and manufacturers would be paying damages retroactively.
I brought up. In that, I both agree, and disagree with the use of strobe lights. The serve a function in emergency situations(better than the old-style spinning lights that were commonly used in fire/police/ambulance vehicles). But they also have the potential for causing a seizure.

I should not have included blinkies(taillights). But flashing lights in general, can cause a seizure for those with photo-sensitive seizures.

Photosensitivity and Seizures | Epilepsy Foundation

Bright, Flashing, or Flourescent Lights | Epilepsy Foundation

While you are right about a person being banned from driving for two years in most states. The above links refer to those who are passengers in a vehicle, not the driver.

The two-year ban would be a moot point with this kind of epilepsy. Because, Unless a driver's epilepsy changes, a driver would automatically lose their license, not getting it back, or never being able to get one in the first place.
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Old 11-30-16, 12:35 AM   #58
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So run steady lights. Do you disable the daytime running lights on your car? My goal is to be be the most annoying, brightest, flashing, strobing, glowing, reflective thing on the road. I want to eliminate from the idiot car drivers' lexicon " I didn't see them" and to hold them accountable for road deaths. Plus I'm thinking of getting a battery operated disco ball for my rear rack from the local party center. Sweet! I'll post pics when done, cheers.
I'll assume that the disco ball thing is sarcasm, but that your disdain for idiot motorists is a true reflection of your world-view. Actually, the majority of road users are fairly competent. Beyond a token amount of visibility enhancement there really is no need to become "annoying". It is my opinion that civil interaction has been eroding for years and recent events have touched off a spike in random violence. Only around 25% of hit and runs are ever solved. It would be quite ironic, I think, for a cyclist to invest money and time to become annoying to drivers as an aid to safety, and instead become the tragic victim of a deliberate vehicle strike by one of the growing number of people with extremely low thresholds of annoyance.

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Old 11-30-16, 05:50 AM   #59
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Only around 25% of hit and runs are ever solved. It would be quite ironic, I think, for a cyclist to invest money and time to become annoying to drivers, as an aid to safety and instead become the tragic victim of a deliberate vehicle strike by one of the growing number of people with extremely low thresholds of annoyance.
Since you know how many hit and runs are solved, maybe you can tell us what percentage of vehicle strikes are deliberate while you're at it.
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Old 11-30-16, 10:00 AM   #60
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Since you know how many hit and runs are solved, maybe you can tell us what percentage of vehicle strikes are deliberate while you're at it.
Surely a minuscule (but not nonexistent) amount. And? What? Does not negate the irony potential if one occurred.
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Old 11-30-16, 10:49 AM   #61
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Mainly because of this thread, I paid very close attention yesterday and this morning, on the effect my lights had on drivers, and other cyclists, and vice versa. There is a T intersection that has a bike lane at the top of the T. I usually thread my way through any two cars stopped at the light and turn left into the bike lane. My flamethrower MagicShine is swinging right past the driver in the car on my right. Unavoidable, and lasts less than a second. No reaction. One of the streets I ride is a designated bike-way, and I am heading east against the main flow of millenials heading in to town to start their workdays. 90% of headlights are flashing, pulsing, or strobing, or all of the preceding at once! The rest are steady, as is mine, and a tiny fraction (really tiny, like two, in dozens) are running ninja.

Bicycle headlights (taillights too) can be up high on helmets, lower on bars, or even lower on fork crowns, or fork legs. Do you know how many automobiles cannot be imported into the U.S. because their headlights are too high (or too low) for DOT regulations? Bicycles are about the most unregulated human conveyances that exist. That should change. Or not, but I reject the assertion of some of you that a bicycle is a legal road vehicle at all! I love bikes, I love biking, but a legal road-going vehicle I ain't. Which is fine by me. Just don't attempt to tax or otherwise profit from my use of the road. And definitely, keep your cool when I blast that red. But I digress...

I have no blinkers on the rear on this bike but I have armbands that flash. Again, 90% or more of the taillights I see are flashing in every way possible, from a mild one or two flashes per second, to all manner of bizarro patterns. I did not see even one pedestrian or shotgun passenger exhibiting signs of incipient or active seizure.

To say that lights or hi-viz do not increase visibility cannot be allowed to be a "let's agree to disagree". One could argue that even without the enhanced visibility ones chances of survival in traffic are quite decent. But, let's not kid ourselves, with a light on your bike, you are more visible to cars, bikes and pedestrians than otherwise. There can be, and should not be any argument about that. In the dusk and dark all you can see of an approaching cyclist is their headlight, if they have one! People put flashing collars on their dogs, and flashers on their children or their children's back-packs and they themselves go out at night with nothing brighter than a navy blue tracksuit. Who is going to feed the dog when you get the Mother of All DNF's?

In broad daylight I do not use any lights. I do not feel it is necessary. I add hours of runtime to my battery pack each week by NOT using it when the sun is shining. To say nothing of the untold hours of additional battery pack life over its expected lifetime! Same goes for my flashers. They use C2032 batteries, and they aren't cheap (the batteries), nor do they last especially long. Preserving their limited life for the nighttime hours is a worthwhile trade-off as far as I am concerned. The proof in the pudding, I think, is the fact that I am writing this after decades of commutes in NYC, MI and OR respectively.
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Old 11-30-16, 12:21 PM   #62
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The stigma is, those who do use bike lights are not 'cool', not 'chique'. Those that don't use lights, as has been said in this thread. Say that lights don't guarantee 100% visibility. That is true to an extent.
A couple days ago I was finishing up a ride. I had my tail light on strobe so no problem there. I also had my headlight on strobe. I nearly had a head-on collision with a driver who claimed they couldn't see me. Maybe I should have had my headlight on a steady setting at the time, and/or maybe the driver was drunk and/or, maybe the driver really needed to clean their windshield, and/or maybe they needed their vision checked.
It is the endless battle between (seemingly)having enough bright lighting, and having too much. We want to be seen, without having to look like a rolling Christmas tree to do it.
if the driver said he couldn't see you with your headlight on strobe, he is completely incompetent. on my daily commute home thru a small town, now in the dark, i turn my headlight to strobe mode exactly to be sure i'm seen; steady state will only blend in and not make me stand out. strobe mode is impossible to miss, unless of course, one is totally incompetent (including being oblivious ...). to those who suggest that it is distracting, then no better reason to have it on as i'm achieving my intention. keep that strobe on, i say !
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Old 11-30-16, 12:39 PM   #63
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I'll assume that the disco ball thing is sarcasm, but that your disdain for idiot motorists is a true reflection of your world-view. Actually, the majority of road users are fairly competent. Beyond a token amount of visibility enhancement there really is no need to become "annoying". It is my opinion that civil interaction has been eroding for years and recent events have touched off a spike in random violence. Only around 25% of hit and runs are ever solved. It would be quite ironic, I think, for a cyclist to invest money and time to become annoying to drivers as an aid to safety, and instead become the tragic victim of a deliberate vehicle strike by one of the growing number of people with extremely low thresholds of annoyance.
so, please tell me i'm getting you wrong here... are you seriously suggesting that the hit-and-runs are more likely to occur as a result of "annoyance" due to the use of "visibility enhancements" ? please.....
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Old 11-30-16, 12:53 PM   #64
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so, please tell me i'm getting you wrong here... are you seriously suggesting that the hit-and-runs are more likely to occur as a result of "annoyance" due to the use of "visibility enhancements" ? please.....
Of course not. Visibility enhancements are encouraged. All bets are off, however, if the number of rear flashers exceeds two, and the potential for aggression goes up dramatically if sequins and/or Disco Balls are involved. Do you see the difference?
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Old 11-30-16, 12:54 PM   #65
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so, please tell me i'm getting you wrong here... are you seriously suggesting that the hit-and-runs are more likely to occur as a result of "annoyance" due to the use of "visibility enhancements" ? please.....
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In Mass...

In addition to the above, you can have any number of additional lights, you can go with a major holiday theme, a landing strip theme, or even a disco theme - the law is completely silent about all those additional lights.
I think he's suggesting that there is a strong anti-Disco sentiment on the road.


-mr. bill
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Old 11-30-16, 01:09 PM   #66
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Of course not. Visibility enhancements are encouraged. All bets are off, however, if the number of rear flashers exceeds two, and the potential for aggression goes up dramatically if sequins and/or Disco Balls are involved. Do you see the difference?
cute ! i will say, though, that in addition to my 2 flashing red blinkies on the back (one on the helmet, one on the rack), i wear a Tracer360 visibility vest. impossible for any driver to say he didn't see me.....
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Old 11-30-16, 01:12 PM   #67
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....It is my opinion that civil interaction has been eroding for years and recent events have touched off a spike in random violence. Only around 25% of hit and runs are ever solved. It would be quite ironic, I think, for a cyclist to invest money and time to become annoying to drivers as an aid to safety, and instead become the tragic victim of a deliberate vehicle strike by one of the growing number of people with extremely low thresholds of annoyance.
Trying to stay realistic, the number of intentional attacks remains very small, despite any so-called annoyance factor, or supposed hatred of bicyclists.

Just about all hit an runs started as accidents - unintentional crashes - with the running because of unwillingness to deal with the consequences. Many if not most involve a specific reason for running, such as no or suspended license, alcohol, no insurance, etc.

FWIW the number of car/bicycle fatalities mirrors ridership trends more than anything else. So far, cell phones and texting haven't led to a dramatic uptick, and more use of brighter lighting hasn't led to a drop. So, unless you want to believe that these magically cancel each other out, it's reasonable to assume that the various changes are at the fringes.

I expect that the biggest changes await us as automated crash avoidance systems begin to be seen on an increasing portion of the cars on the road.

Meanwhile, bicycling on our public roads remains relatively safe, though riding smart is always a good idea.
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Old 11-30-16, 01:18 PM   #68
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Been running a 12 volt system, day and night. Rear "Tractor" reflector is now accented with LED strips. Gotta "box-in" the rear wheel with Coroplast™ Panniers BEFORE you can add the SMV (Slow Moving Vehicle Sign):
LED Bicycle Headlights by AviationMetalSmith, on Flickr
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Old 11-30-16, 02:46 PM   #69
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To say that lights or hi-viz do not increase visibility cannot be allowed to be a "let's agree to disagree"
Nobody on this thread has claimed that lights or hi-vis do not increase visibility.

What I said is that I don't believe that lights during the daytime or blinking lights ever do anything to improve rider safety. There's no evidence one way or the other on either of those points so we have no choice but to agree to disagree.
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Old 11-30-16, 03:23 PM   #70
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I'll assume that the disco ball thing is sarcasm, but that your disdain for idiot motorists is a true reflection of your world-view. Actually, the majority of road users are fairly competent. Beyond a token amount of visibility enhancement there really is no need to become "annoying". It is my opinion that civil interaction has been eroding for years and recent events have touched off a spike in random violence. Only around 25% of hit and runs are ever solved. It would be quite ironic, I think, for a cyclist to invest money and time to become annoying to drivers as an aid to safety, and instead become the tragic victim of a deliberate vehicle strike by one of the growing number of people with extremely low thresholds of annoyance.
No sarcasm, will post pics later on install. Competent? Ever been to Boston, MA? Where we vie for the top 5 spot of worst drivers year after year. Been rear ended 4 times in my car here. 4. Annoying? I just want them to put down the phones and see me. That is all.
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Old 11-30-16, 03:24 PM   #71
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Nobody on this thread has claimed that lights or hi-vis do not increase visibility.

What I said is that I don't believe that lights during the daytime or blinking lights ever do anything to improve rider safety. There's no evidence one way or the other on either of those points so we have no choice but to agree to disagree.
The evidence is here, you chose not to see.
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Old 11-30-16, 04:51 PM   #72
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What I said is that I don't believe that lights during the daytime or blinking lights ever do anything to improve rider safety.
I've had drivers pull up next to me at lights and thank me for my lights as well as hi-vis clothing, they really noticed me unlike many who use no light, dark bikes and dark clothing. At least 'they' noticed me more easily.
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Old 11-30-16, 05:26 PM   #73
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I ride in the city every day and can tell everyone that where I live, riding with lights burning during the day makes drivers stop, use more caution, let me pass and/or give me right-of-way more often than not running day lights. The days that I leave without a light, I might be invisible that day or sometimes drivers just don't care to see me but they do behave differently. The bright strobing light definitely makes them take pause.

Is this statistically sound data? No, but in the last few months the few times a motorist has pulled out in front of me, cut me off, or similar was when I was not burning my front and rear lights. That's statistically accurate enough for me though!

Last edited by drlogik; 11-30-16 at 06:37 PM.
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Old 11-30-16, 08:18 PM   #74
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Originally Posted by adablduya View Post
if the driver said he couldn't see you with your headlight on strobe, he is completely incompetent. on my daily commute home thru a small town, now in the dark, i turn my headlight to strobe mode exactly to be sure i'm seen; steady state will only blend in and not make me stand out. strobe mode is impossible to miss, unless of course, one is totally incompetent (including being oblivious ...). to those who suggest that it is distracting, then no better reason to have it on as i'm achieving my intention. keep that strobe on, i say !
The driver was a female, but they aren't any better. Yes she was incompetent. Your reason for having your headlight on strobe, is exactly why, I had my light on strobe. I had previously kept it on a steady setting.

Last edited by Chris0516; 11-30-16 at 11:27 PM.
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Old 11-30-16, 10:48 PM   #75
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FWIW, driving home tonite, there was a bike riding the wrong way against traffic with lights. First thing that identified it as a bike to me? The reflectors on the pedals. Didn't even notice the light until I figured out what it was.

Lights are no guarantee of identification or avoidance of a bike, even at night, and people see things differently.

Last edited by jefnvk; 11-30-16 at 10:55 PM.
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