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Vernal Equinox: Thermonuclear Threat on the Horizon

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Vernal Equinox: Thermonuclear Threat on the Horizon

Old 03-19-24, 03:24 AM
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Vernal Equinox: Thermonuclear Threat on the Horizon

My shadow is lining up with my direction of travel.



Though it can happen at any time of year in the right direction, for those of us with E/W grid roads, the sun is rising and setting directly in more eyes than usual.

I remind myself with this, and now is a good time to refresh:

Your shadow points at danger. When you're looking into the sun, where's your shadow?
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Old 03-19-24, 08:00 AM
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That's not good. You won't be able to see those sneaking up directly behind you either! <grin>

At other times when the sun is at my back I find shadows useful to tell me where others are that are close behind.
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Old 03-20-24, 11:25 PM
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I"'e never understood the "your shadow points to the danger" idea. In this photo, the shadow is in front, meaning the sun is behind both you and any driver behind you. Unless the driver is blinded by his mirror (unlikely), this is a good scenario. It's when you cast a long shadow behind you, which you obviously wouldn't know, that you're in danger.

That said, low sun at prime commuting times is a real issue, and I prefer to remind myself that if the sun is blinding me, it's blinding the driver behind me too.
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Old 03-21-24, 06:38 AM
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Originally Posted by FBinNY
I"'e never understood the "your shadow points to the danger" idea. In this photo, the shadow is in front, meaning the sun is behind both you and any driver behind you. Unless the driver is blinded by his mirror (unlikely), this is a good scenario. It's when you cast a long shadow behind you, which you obviously wouldn't know, that you're in danger.

That said, low sun at prime commuting times is a real issue, and I prefer to remind myself that if the sun is blinding me, it's blinding the driver behind me too.
Yeah, I'm struggling. The whole concept started with an event where a motorist looking into the sun pulled out in front of "DFW Point to Point".. that's how the shadow came in..

The problem is there are two threat directions, from front and behind. Need something short and snappy.. maybe in the "Red sky in morning.....sailor's delight" vein.

Looking for a better way to say this.
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Old 03-29-24, 02:27 PM
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Saying danger in any direction carries the implication, intentional or not, that the other directions are safe and can be ignored, which is wrong, potentially fatally wrong.
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Old 03-29-24, 02:49 PM
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Originally Posted by Pratt
Saying danger in any direction carries the implication, intentional or not, that the other directions are safe and can be ignored, which is wrong, potentially fatally wrong.
Agreed, however there's nothing wrong with identifying various specific hazards.

In this case, it's purely about low sun, and that happens daily year round, though the time and direction changes with the calendar.

FWIW it's taken me a long time to understand the specific reference to the vernal equinox because, coming from the Northeast, I don't expect roads to orient to any compass point over others.

Trivia question for NewYorkers.
Name a street that orients east/west in Manhattan.
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Old 03-29-24, 03:52 PM
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Crosstown streets make a Stonehenge, on certain days.
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Old 04-02-24, 05:26 AM
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Originally Posted by FBinNY

Trivia question for NewYorkers. Name a street that orients east/west in Manhattan.
I’m not qualified to reply, but I would be careful eastbound at just before sundown in Tribeca a few days after the vernal equinox.



Originally Posted by FBinNY
…In this case, it's purely about low sun, and that happens daily year round, though the time and direction changes with the calendar…
That’s the point. I need a way to say it concisely. E/W oriented roads are common out here in the windswept plains which is why I remind myself around the equinox, but it is the shadow ahead that is my trigger to proceed with caution and can happen any time of the year.


This motorist when debriefed reported that the approaching cyclist was not visible.

Just to add more fat to the fire, there is the constant angle, decreasing range threat when you are hidden by the A-pillar of a motorist who might, I dunno, fail to come to a full stop before entering a road where a cyclist has the right of way. I don’t know how to say that concisely either.

Last edited by flangehead; 04-02-24 at 01:25 PM.
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Old 04-02-24, 06:20 AM
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Originally Posted by flangehead
.....
Just to add more fat to the fire, there is the constant angle, decreasing range threat when you are hidden by the A-pillar of a motorist who might, I dunno, fail to come to a full stop before entering a road where a cyclist has the right of way. I don’t know how to say that concisely either.
The A pillar problem is well known and documented in auto design circles. In fact, engineers have a solution in process. The idea is to make thr pillar "invisible" with a combination of camera and screen which would show what's otherwise hidden.

Because of the speeds involved cyclists don't tend to stay hidden long. However a crossing pedestrian can "hide" there for most of left turn. As an urban driver, I'm responsible for knowing and factoring the blind spot.

As for warning cyclists, I go by the old trucker's rule ----- If you can't see the driver's face, he can't see you.
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Old 04-02-24, 07:38 AM
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Originally Posted by FBinNY
--- If you can't see the driver's face, he can't see you.
I like that. It has wider applicability than just the A-pillar problem which is not going away in my (short remaining) lifetime.
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Old 04-02-24, 12:57 PM
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Originally Posted by Iride01
That's not good. You won't be able to see those sneaking up directly behind you either! <grin>

At other times when the sun is at my back I find shadows useful to tell me where others are that are close behind.
a flaw that has led to the demise of many guys who relied on their "Take A Look"
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Old 04-02-24, 01:21 PM
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Bridge street (formerly Brug Straat) is the street in Manhattan that's east/west, one way, for two blocks.
Other than as an answer to a trivia question, the street is unremarkable.

If your long shadow points directly in front of you,
people coming TOWARD you will have difficulty seeing you.
You are in INCREASED danger of a pull out or a left cross in the US
during such a time.

If you can see a driver's face, they STILL might not see you.
They might not be looking at you or they might be looking through you.
(But we made eye contact is of little comfort after a crash.)

Finally, Manhattatanhedge 2024 takes place at sunset on May 30 and July 11 this year.

-mr. bill
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Old 04-02-24, 01:27 PM
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Originally Posted by jack pot
a flaw that has led to the demise of many guys who relied on their "Take A Look"
Why is it a flaw to be aware my surrounding?

I didn't say that is the only way or the only thing I do to identify persons behind me.
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Old 04-02-24, 01:35 PM
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Originally Posted by mr_bill
......

If you can see a driver's face, they STILL might not see you.
They might not be looking at you or they might be looking through you.
(But we made eye contact is of little comfort after a crash.)
A nice example of the fallacy of the converse.

My statement covered a condition where a driver cannot see you.

As you say, knowing that he isn't prevented from seeing you, in no way implies that he does. (or that he cares)
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