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"Turn your ********** light off!"

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"Turn your ********** light off!"

Old 09-21-14, 11:04 AM
  #226  
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Originally Posted by kickstart
There is no guarantee everyone will see us no matter how bright and obnoxious our lights are, and most importantly, we have no way to be sure who sees us and who doesn't.
Appropriate lighting and contrasting colors help communicate our presence to others who are being reasonably attentive, but it won't compensate for a lack of skill, confidence, attention, or judgment.
I absolutely agree that there is no guarantee. It is a matter of increasing the odds of being seen that I am after. And if possible, I'd like to do that without being obnoxious.
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Old 09-21-14, 11:47 AM
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Originally Posted by Medic Zero
If you aren't trolling, that is unnecessary overkill that is painful to everyone except you.
I'd bet virtually everyone you encountered would have complained if given the opportunity or asked.

My light usage has evolved over the past four years quite a bit. At first, when I first got back into commuting (after a several year hiatus) I never encountered another cyclist that had too bright of a light, so when we'd have these threads here I'd be agreeing with the people that said "the brighter the better", and "aim them right at the drivers", because the brightest lights that most people could afford weren't too bright. In the past few years though, there has been a massive proliferation of not only very expensive bright lights, but also inexpensive bright lights and it seems like a very high percentage of cyclists are riding around with light that go beyond rude and painful to other cyclists and pedestrians, but also dangerous to everyone because they are blinding drivers (as well as everyone else).

Do everyone a favor and have a medium powered blinking light.

I can almost understand all the road rage car drivers have when I too am constantly blinded by people who had to spend the most money on the most lumens and are rolling down even the MUP with one or more high powered lights on flashing.

.
I'm running a Serfas 250 light on the front. It has multiple settings, but the flash option is set at 250. It is too bright to be anything other than annoying. The only time I could conceivably use it would be in early evening, but even then I'd have it pointed about 5 feet in front of my tire.

If you feel like you have to have a blinky, make it a low-powered one. The light will be noticeable, but not annoying. Leave the bright lights to illuminate unlit roads and paths at night.
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Old 09-21-14, 11:57 AM
  #228  
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Originally Posted by scroca
So I told her that I have it flashing so nobody will run me over. That made her mad, I suppose because I wasn't going to do as she instructed. She told me, "Turn the #@!*& strobe off or you'll get run over on purpose." This as she drove off.

I think she crossed the line there into or very close to criminal with her threat and intimidation.
Payback's a beaut, when you can get the license plate and description in such situations. Credible criminal, "terroristic" threats aren't being taken very lightly, these days. Many DA's simply aren't putting up with it.


I wouldn't change a thing. She's off her meds and won't last long if she takes it further, in the future. You, you'll continue to be seen. I do the same thing: flashing, for good reason. And folks to notice it. Haven't been run over yet, and I figure being seen's a big part of that.
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Old 09-21-14, 06:55 PM
  #229  
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Originally Posted by Clyde1820
I wouldn't change a thing. She's off her meds and won't last long if she takes it further, in the future. You, you'll continue to be seen. I do the same thing: flashing, for good reason. And folks to notice it. Haven't been run over yet, and I figure being seen's a big part of that.
The OP, like most people, simply want to be as safe as they can without having an unnecessarily negative impact on others.

Originally Posted by scroca
It is a matter of increasing the odds of being seen that I am after. And if possible, I'd like to do that without being obnoxious.
Today I purchased a Cateye Jido to supplement the old Sturmey Archer LED upgraded dyno lights on my Robin Hood that I currently commute on. The MTB porteur commuter I'm building will have modern Bush & Muller dyno lights. I will take a few extra minutes to make sure they are aimed to provide sufficient lighting without disruptive glare.

I think its my responsibility to consider the needs of my fellow road users as most try to do the right thing too.
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Old 09-21-14, 08:17 PM
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Ever notice how the only place this ever gets talked about is on a bicycle forum? You don't read about it being a problem in the newspaper and no non cyclist even knows what this would be all about. Might want to think about that for a bit. Maybe (almost certainly) this isn't a problem.

J.
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Old 09-21-14, 09:07 PM
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Originally Posted by sdwphoto
So if anything that flashes is a threat to someone on the road now, I guess we'll have to outlaw turn signals,police and ambulance lights,flashing lights on road construction,the red warning lights at rail crossings,and my god think how many folks are going to have seizures because the local T&A bar has a flashing sign on it's roof.(I know I do everytime I pass it,but at my age I have a excuse)
I somehow don't think useing a flashing light or a strobe on a bike, is going to endanger anyone ,piss them off maybe but as the OP says "it's there to get attention"
Not everything that flashes is a threat. Those that are usually fall into one of two types. One is those that cover a large part of the field of vision, e.g. someone thoughtlessly installs a ceiling fan under an existing ceiling light. The shadow of the blades would just be annoying to most but would be a real threat to some. The other is an intense light source, a very bright light coming from a small source or a bright light coming from a very small source, like the sun through the trees or a bright bike headlight. Other flashing lights, like turn signals, construction barriers, etc. that do not cover a wide area or are in extreme contrast to the surroundings are not much of a threat.

Not all epileptics on the road are drivers. Many who can't get a licence or know they shouldn't drive are cyclists or pedestrians. There may be as many epileptics as cyclists on the road. Even for those who don't drive, a seizure is a serious and for some a life threatening event. Anecdotally, I have known about a dozen epileptics in my lifetime, probably more that I didn't know were, but only one that I know of died during a seizure. I suppose we would be safer if we stayed home or wore dark glasses while others drive us around but most of us can't afford that. Cyclists would be safer if we only rode where there are no cars but many would find that too restricting. Cyclists or epileptics, we know that we are taking risks to be on the road. We just want to reduce the risk where possible. We would like to lead as normal a life as possible.

I hope we can find a mutually acceptable even if for both imperfect solution to our conflicting tactics to achieve that end as we did when our tactics to help paraplegics with curb cuts at intersections conflicted with the need of the blind to know when they were leaving the sidewalk and entering the street. I'm not suggesting that the danger to epileptics on the street is equivalent to that of cyclists but neither is it anywhere near zero.

Last edited by dwbstr; 09-22-14 at 08:01 AM. Reason: to add on
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Old 09-21-14, 09:18 PM
  #232  
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Originally Posted by JohnJ80
Ever notice how the only place this ever gets talked about is on a bicycle forum? You don't read about it being a problem in the newspaper and no non cyclist even knows what this would be all about. Might want to think about that for a bit. Maybe (almost certainly) this isn't a problem.

J.
So you've never seen a cyclist with an obnoxiously bright light? A motorcycle running obnoxiously bright high beams? The glare of HID projector bulbs retrofitted in reflector headlights on cars and trucks?

I know for sure its also a hot topic on motorcycle forums, some states do in fact crack down on illegal lighting, and if I recall correctly, the SPD does some bicycle light enforcement on the Burk-Gillman trail.
Not being aware of something doesn't mean its not a real issue.
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Old 09-21-14, 09:25 PM
  #233  
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Originally Posted by lanahk
I'm running a Serfas 250 light on the front. It has multiple settings, but the flash option is set at 250. It is too bright to be anything other than annoying.
I flash by day and go steady by night GENERALLY. If I am cutting through Friday night high school football traffic near a stadium I have to pass I switch on the flashing mode to freeze all of the pedestrians in their tracks AND keep the cars at bay too until I clear out of the area.

BTW...it is illegal where I live to EVER run a flashing front or rear light unless you are a cop.
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Old 09-21-14, 09:40 PM
  #234  
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Originally Posted by JoeyBike
it is illegal where I live to EVER run a flashing front or rear light unless you are a cop.
In Washington a red flashing LED is allowed on the rear, but no flashers are allowed on the front. It seems the only time its enforced for the front is in extreme cases of thoughtless usage.
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Old 09-21-14, 10:38 PM
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Originally Posted by JohnJ80
Ever notice how the only place this ever gets talked about is on a bicycle forum? You don't read about it being a problem in the newspaper and no non cyclist even knows what this would be all about. Might want to think about that for a bit. Maybe (almost certainly) this isn't a problem.
All I've actually noticed is that a bike forum is the only place where I find people claiming that there's no possible way their blinking, flashing, and strobing light could never ever be to bright or distracting to drivers. Every real life conversation, people think there's definitely a point where it becomes a problem.
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Old 09-21-14, 10:57 PM
  #236  
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I've an old CatEye I run as a mild forward flash (didn't know it was illegal in Wa..a lot of motorcycles use flashing headlights) but when I glanced at my L 650 in full burst mode it made me think of Michael Caine in the Ipcress File.
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Old 09-22-14, 04:58 AM
  #237  
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I run a blinking front light, serfas thunderbolt, because it makes me more noticeable, especially during the day. I will continue to do so until I have a protected bike lane on every street in the city with bike stop lights. Until then car drivers can deal with it.
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Old 09-22-14, 05:23 AM
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I worry at times esp. during the wee hours (was riding to work @ 4 AM Saturday) that my blinky lights might act as a "lure" to buzzed, drunk, or otherwise impaired drivers. That they'd be drawn to it.

Generally I stick to side roads and go flat out at these times.
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Old 09-22-14, 06:25 AM
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Originally Posted by PaulRivers
All I've actually noticed is that a bike forum is the only place where I find people claiming that there's no possible way their blinking, flashing, and strobing light could never ever be to bright or distracting to drivers. Every real life conversation, people think there's definitely a point where it becomes a problem.
Pardon me. It was front page news in today's paper. There is a protest planned for the state capital to put new legislation on the books banning bright bike lights. And it's the lead story on the network news. It's all our city council is talking about and the dim lights vs bright lights crowd practically came to blows - they had to call in the sheriff.

No, Paul - the only people who even care about this are in this forum. No body else cares. Ride the lights that you want to.

J.
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Old 09-22-14, 07:16 AM
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Originally Posted by JoeyBike
I flash by day and go steady by night GENERALLY.
Wait, are you still talking about lights here?
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Old 09-22-14, 08:07 AM
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Originally Posted by the sci guy
I run a blinking front light, serfas thunderbolt, because it makes me more noticeable, especially during the day. I will continue to do so until I have a protected bike lane on every street in the city with bike stop lights. Until then car drivers can deal with it.
Well said.
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Old 09-22-14, 08:13 AM
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" And the meekly lit shall get there A$$es run over or off the road" When I am driving in my car, the bikes with blinking lights get my attention. We should now discuss the benefits of bright helmet lights...... At the end of the day, do I get home safe? yup. Overly bright. nope.
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Old 09-22-14, 08:29 AM
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Originally Posted by JohnJ80
Pardon me. It was front page news in today's paper. There is a protest planned for the state capital to put new legislation on the books banning bright bike lights. And it's the lead story on the network news. It's all our city council is talking about and the dim lights vs bright lights crowd practically came to blows - they had to call in the sheriff.

No, Paul - the only people who even care about this are in this forum. No body else cares. Ride the lights that you want to.

J.
Rather than banning bright lights, they should ban BAD lights - that is, pretty much all lights sold in the US these days. Bike lights should conform to the same rules as automobile headlights, with a full cutoff beam. Then it wouldn't matter much how bright they are.
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Old 09-22-14, 08:32 AM
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Originally Posted by ItsJustMe
Rather than banning bright lights, they should ban BAD lights - that is, pretty much all lights sold in the US these days. Bike lights should conform to the same rules as automobile headlights, with a full cutoff beam. Then it wouldn't matter much how bright they are.
Before this thread, I didn't realize they made bicycle lights with a cutoff beam. Now I wonder why they aren't all made that way.
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Old 09-22-14, 08:42 AM
  #245  
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Originally Posted by JohnJ80
Pardon me. It was front page news in today's paper. There is a protest planned for the state capital to put new legislation on the books banning bright bike lights. And it's the lead story on the network news. It's all our city council is talking about and the dim lights vs bright lights crowd practically came to blows - they had to call in the sheriff.

No, Paul - the only people who even care about this are in this forum. No body else cares. Ride the lights that you want to.

J.
Can you provide links? This would be interesting to look at - TIA
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Old 09-22-14, 09:27 AM
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Originally Posted by scroca
Before this thread, I didn't realize they made bicycle lights with a cutoff beam. Now I wonder why they aren't all made that way.
Even with a cutoff, the light will just be aimed higher, unless the light police are on patrol.
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Old 09-22-14, 09:55 AM
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I'm having a hard time understanding why some seem to take pride in taking out their frustration over their lack of skill or confidence on others, especially when its so easy to achieve their legitimate safety goals in a non disruptive way with a minimum of effort.
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Old 09-22-14, 10:55 AM
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Originally Posted by ItsJustMe
Rather than banning bright lights, they should ban BAD lights - that is, pretty much all lights sold in the US these days. Bike lights should conform to the same rules as automobile headlights, with a full cutoff beam. Then it wouldn't matter much how bright they are.
and as the rule is with car's headlights, bike headlights should not be mounted high enough to shine in most car's wing mirrors or back windows, though that is mostly only offensive when filtering.
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Old 09-22-14, 11:10 AM
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Originally Posted by kickstart
I'm having a hard time understanding why some seem to take pride in taking out their frustration over their lack of skill or confidence on others, especially when its so easy to achieve their legitimate safety goals in a non disruptive way with a minimum of effort.
I think too many people think there is a tradeoff between safety and non-annoyance. Obviously, you and I and a few others disagree with this.
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Old 09-22-14, 11:36 AM
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Originally Posted by ItsJustMe
Rather than banning bright lights, they should ban BAD lights - that is, pretty much all lights sold in the US these days. Bike lights should conform to the same rules as automobile headlights, with a full cutoff beam. Then it wouldn't matter much how bright they are.
That's a great idea, but they haven't done very well when it comes to regulating vehicle noise. I don't see how they'd come up with some enforceable law for lights when they haven't been able to do that for exhaust systems.
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