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Less harassment at night. Why?

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Less harassment at night. Why?

Old 12-22-18, 08:06 PM
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brianinc-ville
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Less harassment at night. Why?

I've been using a bike for my daily commute, and most of my transportation, for twenty years now. In that time, I've been yelled and honked at countless times, and even had a few things thrown at me.

But it just occurred to me the other day that this has never happened to me after dark. In the summer, my 5:30 ride home from work is often a peak time for angry people venting at me. But in the winter that same 5:30 commute, in the dark, is always just fine.

There's some interesting human psychology here. What's your explanation? And have you experienced the same thing?

[And yes, I ride the same way, generally taking the lane, day and night. So I'm pretty sure I'm not responsible for the difference.]
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Old 12-22-18, 08:13 PM
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Because, in the winter people realise that the edge of the road is actually the most Un-safe place to be... ???
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Old 12-22-18, 08:25 PM
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I have noticed the type of driver changes day/night around here distinctly. Perhaps due to the high concentration of retirement communities, but the night-blinded-drives-with-blinders-on seem to be much less at night. That and the power of visibility lights goes up so much more. That said, the agressiveness of night drivers also goes up somewhat in that they are generally younger/faster. Given a choice, definitely feel safer at night hands down.
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Old 12-22-18, 09:05 PM
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Gotta say, about the only cyclists I've ever thought about yelling at from my car are the dark clothing no lights night riders. I don't do it because it is pointless and likely to startle them into trouble, but it's an insane thing to do.
When I'm driving at night I am very appreciative of bike lights.
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Old 12-22-18, 10:04 PM
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Because out of sight, out of mind.
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Old 12-22-18, 11:11 PM
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Ever since I started running bright headlights and tail lights DAY and NIGHT, I noticed a drastic reduction in those encounters with cars. I assumed that motorists felt that I was trying to be safe and somehow deactivated their angst toward me. Perhaps I am more like a peer than an alien with visible lights like a motorcycle or a car. But honestly, I have no clue. I also feel much safer and better seen after dark - from motorists. Criminals crouched behind parked cars waiting for prey to happen by, less safe. Some neighborhoods I go full Ninja when no auto traffic is around. Don't want the bad guys having all kinds of time to set up an ambush.
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Old 12-22-18, 11:52 PM
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Less harassment at night. Why?

Yes I have noticed this too, and I believe it's due to the same reason I receive less harassment in poor weather. Drivers figure I must be on the bike for essential transportation... not playing in "their" street just for kicks and recreation, like the summer racer groups do. Plus, in the winter there are simply a lot less bikes, so drivers likely find it much more tolerable.

Like Joey, I too "feel much safer and better seen after dark - from motorists" with my lights and reflectors. But unlike him I have little fear of human criminals on my night rides. It's wildlife that concerns me. In the darkness it would be easy for an animal to pop out into my path with no notice, even though I have a powerful head light. It does cause me to limit my speed at some points.
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Old 12-23-18, 01:50 AM
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I cannot corroborate this assertion. I ride a little more than half my hours after dark. Lit up like a Christmas tree, with CygloLite Hothot Pro 150 tail flasher, side blinking (CatEye Bottle Blinky light) and an L&M TAZ1200 headlight, I'm plenty visible. And because it's mostly just me out there I get harassed by a random jerk (or car full of adolescents) at least weekly.

I'm an easy target for the wise-crack teens or redneck truck people trying to startle me or have a little fun at my expense. By daylight I'm one of many cyclists and we fade into the background. At night I'm this flashing target with a kick-me sign around my neck (it seems). That's when the abuse really manifests.

On the other hand, there seems to be less of it when it is too cold outside to ride around with windows down, and there seem to be fewer of these people out mid-school-year when winter schedules and cold temperatures keep people home more in the evenings.

I have encountered deer a few times at night but my headlight illuminates them far enough in advance. I've worried a few times about slow climbs on mountain roads making me a good target for a mountain lion... But that's just one of those creepy feelings that can come over a person, irrationally I hope.
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Old 12-23-18, 01:23 PM
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Originally Posted by AlmostTrick View Post
Yes I have noticed this too, and I believe it's due to the same reason I receive less harassment in poor weather. Drivers figure I must be on the bike for essential transportation... not playing in "their" street just for kicks and recreation, like the summer racer groups do. Plus, in the winter there are simply a lot less bikes, so drivers likely find it much more tolerable.


Like Joey, I too "feel much safer and better seen after dark - from motorists" with my lights and reflectors. But unlike him I have little fear of human criminals on my night rides. It's wildlife that concerns me. In the darkness it would be easy for an animal to pop out into my path with no notice, even though I have a powerful head light. It does cause me to limit my speed at some points.
Your fault for living in the pinny woods. In the city we have only the human animal to be concerned with. In any event, your " more safer feeling" is an illusion since statistically you are more likely to be in an accident at night.

As for the animals, that problem is easily solve once your realize they don't pop out on you, rather, it is the opposite that puts you in their habitat and path of travel. Forget about more lights and use sounds as you invade instead.
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Old 12-23-18, 01:39 PM
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Originally Posted by KraneXL View Post
In any event, your " more safer feeling" is an illusion since statistically you are more likely to be in an accident at night.
Which set of "statistics" are you cherry picking from, and which set of variables are you NOT ignoring to arrive at your illusion?
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Old 12-23-18, 01:58 PM
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I hadn't noticed, but I think you are right.
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Old 12-23-18, 02:35 PM
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you're asking cyclists to explain abusive vehicle driver psychology. that's like asking a bird to explain a cat brain. sometimes my cats eat the chip monks. sometimes they just play with them. far be it from me to explain that
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Old 12-23-18, 03:01 PM
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Originally Posted by AlmostTrick View Post
Yes I have noticed this too, and I believe it's due to the same reason I receive less harassment in poor weather. Drivers figure I must be on the bike for essential transportation... not playing in "their" street just for kicks and recreation, like the summer racer groups do. Plus, in the winter there are simply a lot less bikes, so drivers likely find it much more tolerable.

.
This seems likely to me.
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Old 12-23-18, 03:27 PM
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Originally Posted by I-Like-To-Bike View Post
Which set of "statistics" are you cherry picking from, and which set of variables are you NOT ignoring to arrive at your illusion?
Are you asking because you want me to help you learn or because you have information to the contrary?

I can start with my own observations -- "been there, done that." So my own many years of night riding experience is enough to convince me.

Avoid biking at night

Biking at night is much more dangerous than riding during the day. If you must ride after dark, make sure your bike has reflectors and a bright light on both the front and rear. ... Young children should not ride at night.

CBS News

Last edited by KraneXL; 12-23-18 at 03:42 PM. Reason: Avoid biking at night
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Old 12-23-18, 03:39 PM
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At night they assume youíre a miscreant and donít want to get on your bad side
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Old 12-23-18, 03:50 PM
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[QUOTE=KraneXL;20716525]

...Avoid biking at night...

...Biking at night is much more dangerous than riding during the day..../QUOTE]

A number of people on this thread have already determined this, under their circumstances, to be untrue. In their experience. Including me. And it is not something that can be asserted with a blanket statement. No doubt there are plenty of locations that might be more dangerous after dark and others that are not so.
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Old 12-23-18, 04:12 PM
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[QUOTE=JoeyBike;20716535]
Originally Posted by KraneXL View Post

...Avoid biking at night...

...Biking at night is much more dangerous than riding during the day..../QUOTE]

A number of people on this thread have already determined this, under their circumstances, to be untrue. In their experience. Including me. And it is not something that can be asserted with a blanket statement. No doubt there are plenty of locations that might be more dangerous after dark and others that are not so.
You're arguing that water can run up hill. This is not just blatantly wrong, its irrational. Save your debate energy for something that makes sense.
Originally Posted by Darth Lefty View Post
At night they assume you’re a miscreant and don’t want to get on your bad side
Well the cockroaches come out at night. However, there are many of us that work and have legitimate businesses to be out at night.
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Old 12-23-18, 06:13 PM
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Originally Posted by KraneXL View Post
Are you asking because you want me to help you learn or because you have information to the contrary?

I can start with my own observations -- "been there, done that." So my own many years of night riding experience is enough to convince me.

Avoid biking at night

Biking at night is much more dangerous than riding during the day. If you must ride after dark, make sure your bike has reflectors and a bright light on both the front and rear. ... Young children should not ride at night.

CBS News
You aren't going to help anybody with your notion of "statistics."
I believe you are the individual who needs help in learning that your "observations" and reference to CBS "advice" are not evidence of anything, let alone that "statistically you are more likely to be in an accident at night" nor is it any kind of evidence of the relative risk of night riding vis-ŗ-vis day light riding.

You posted statistics support your claim, what statistics?
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Old 12-23-18, 08:46 PM
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I can't recall the study at the moment but there was a post a while back that basically said a vast majority of bicycle-car collisions occur after sun down. But I know the issue here is harassment and not collision. So while it may 'feel' safer it's actually not.
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Old 12-23-18, 09:10 PM
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Originally Posted by KraneXL View Post
You're arguing that water can run up hill. This is not just blatantly wrong, its irrational. Save your debate energy for something that makes sense.
Have you read this thread? The OP started with an assertion and a question. People responded to his question. Several have stated that they get harassed less after dark. Why would I believe your OPINION regarding the actual EXPERIENCE of cyclists you have never met or ridden a bicycle in their community. Those cyclists perceptions are truth and your argument that they are mistaken is a fantasy.

In fact, in my 45 years of riding bikes in my city almost daily, or nightly, I have NEVER, not even once, been harassed after dark by a motorist that I can recall. I have been harassed dozens of times by day. Apparently, at least in New Orleans, water runs uphill.
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Old 12-23-18, 09:13 PM
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Another thing I believe helps me to remain safer at night (besides being more visible to motorists than I am in day light) is being able to "see" them in situations I never could in the the day. Around blind corners, curves, hills and such, being able to see their headlamp beams long before I see the vehicle helps me plan and take actions and positions to avoid risk.
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Old 12-23-18, 09:24 PM
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Originally Posted by AlmostTrick View Post
Another thing I believe helps me to remain safer at night (besides being more visible to motorists than I am in day light) is being able to "see" them in situations I never could in the the day. Around blind corners, curves, hills and such, being able to see their headlamp beams long before I see the vehicle helps me plan and take actions and positions to avoid risk.
To add to your observations, by day there are 360* of distractions for motorists. By night, their view is more focused on what their headlights are illuminating. This means there is more of a chance they will be looking through the windscreen at the road ahead. And if you are well lit, your contrast to the surroundings is much higher than by day. In fact, it would be almost impossible for a motorist to miss seeing you. Also, cars backing out of their driveways do not back out in front of me because my light looks like a motorcycle that they can see "around a corner" as you stated.

The human brain has to process a lot more information when peripheral vision is picking up every object that appears to be moving due to the motion of the car. The whole world looks in motion by day. But by night, unless you have cars all around you, the world outside of your headlight beams are dark and don't exist to your brain. It only has to process what is directly up front - a much easier job.

Last edited by JoeyBike; 12-23-18 at 09:30 PM.
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Old 12-23-18, 09:40 PM
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Originally Posted by KraneXL View Post
As for the animals, that problem is easily solve once your realize they don't pop out on you, rather, it is the opposite that puts you in their habitat and path of travel. Forget about more lights and use sounds as you invade instead.
I am an animal too. That point aside... I agree on the sound. There are a few areas of my typical route I see deer a lot. I ring my bell a few times before hand just in case and when I crest the hill I usually see the back ends running away. Works night and day.

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Old 12-23-18, 10:20 PM
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Originally Posted by mcours2006 View Post
I can't recall the study at the moment but there was a post a while back that basically said a vast majority of bicycle-car collisions occur after sun down. But I know the issue here is harassment and not collision. So while it may 'feel' safer it's actually not.
A study that you can't recall at the moment and a post by somebody that said something about bicycle-car collisions? Well I guess that settles the issue, eh? Almost as definitive as KraneXL's illusionary statistics.
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Old 12-23-18, 10:21 PM
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Originally Posted by mcours2006 View Post
I can't recall the study at the moment but there was a post a while back that basically said a vast majority of bicycle-car collisions occur after sun down. But I know the issue here is harassment and not collision. So while it may 'feel' safer it's actually not.
A study that you can't recall at the moment and a post by somebody that said something about bicycle-car collisions? Well I guess that settles the issue, eh? Almost as definitive as KraneXL's illusionary statistics about night time bicycle safety.
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