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

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

Old 09-19-14, 07:54 AM
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Originally Posted by Paul Barnard
I am active on boating an motorcycling forums. The bicycle threads that pop up on those forums bring out a lot of annoyed motorists! Those threads get lively.
I actually found Texans in big trucks much easier to deal with than people in Maine, Florida and New York. But, again, I don't have any hard data. I found that people in Texas really could control their dualies quite well compared to SUVs in the New England or caddy's in Florida.
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Old 09-19-14, 08:00 AM
  #127  
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Originally Posted by acidfast7
If I want to ride safely, I emulate the German, Dutch, Danish infrastructure system. The technologies/rules have been evolving for roughly 100 years. The reason that strobes aren't allowed is that it's very hard to measure distance (otherwise motorcycles would use them as they share just about every issue that a densely populated road network). It's not about being noticed, unless you're in the sticks, it's about interacting with traffic flow.
Germany has a completely different cycling infrastructure and attitude twords cycling in general, they can disallow strobes because strobes arn't necessary there. I'm not advocating 1000 lumen flashing strobe lights, but the drivers here require more drastic measures to get their attention. As great as that all sounds for Germany, it's not applicable here and not fair to judge cyclists by standards from other countries.
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Old 09-19-14, 08:02 AM
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Originally Posted by Grey.
Germany has a completely different cycling infrastructure and attitude twords cycling in general, they can disallow strobes because strobes arn't necessary there. I'm not advocating 1000 lumen flashing strobe lights, but the drivers here require more drastic measures to get their attention. As great as that all sounds for Germany, it's not applicable here and not fair to judge cyclists by standards from other countries.
Why don't motorcycles have them then? (If you're going to play the "be-noticed" card?)
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Old 09-19-14, 08:05 AM
  #129  
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Originally Posted by Paul Barnard
Let me expound upon the quoted coment. It appears you have taken it out of the context in which I intended it to be taken. There are motorists who are annoyed at the mere presence of bicycles operating on roadways. There are motorists who are annoyed by my "Lance Armstrong" shorts. There are a multitude of petty reasons for motorists to be annoyed by bicycles on the road. For that reason, I make a distinction between and annoyance and something that is unsafe. If I let the annoyance of motorists dictate my actions, I'd never ride on the road. I will not create an unsafe condition for other motorists. If I use flashing lights, I use low intensity flashing lights where they are legal.
The problem I saw in your previous was that you went further than that.
It was generally a very good post and I would have had no problem with it if you had ended that there will always some people that will be annoyed regardless of what you do and you were not prepared to compromise anyones safety including your own just to avoid annoying some people .

What you said was "I don't care if other road users become annoyed with my light array as long as it doesn't create a safety hazard for them." This inferred to me, that you don't care about annoying people and so long as your lighting doesn't create an unsafe condition, you have no intent to change it or even consider ways it could be equally safe while being less annoying to other people.
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Old 09-19-14, 08:07 AM
  #130  
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Originally Posted by energyandair

What you said was "I don't care if other road users become annoyed with my light array as long as it doesn't create a safety hazard for them." This inferred to me, that you don't care about annoying people and so long as your lighting doesn't create an unsafe condition, you have no intent to change it or even consider ways it could be equally safe while being less annoying to other people.
+1
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Old 09-19-14, 08:09 AM
  #131  
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Originally Posted by acidfast7
Why don't motorcycles have them then? (If you're going to play the "be-noticed" card?)
Motorcycles can keep up with traffic and drivers expect to see motorcycles on the road. It's a different mindset entirely. When motorists see a cyclist on the road, they see someone who "dosen't belong" or they simply don't see them at all. Drivers here have a very callous attitude twords cyclists that I have experienced on many occasions, and sometimes more effort is needed to make sure they notice us.

Me, I just try to stay off the road and stay on the bike network as much as possible, but a lot of people don't have that luxury.
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Old 09-19-14, 08:16 AM
  #132  
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Originally Posted by Paul Barnard
One poster mentioned that buoys have flashing lights to help them stand out from the background lights. It can indeed be helpful to have them flashing. It must be noted though that they have a comparatively low luminous intensity. I spent 20 years running boats professionally. I know there is value to low intensity lights flashing to make them stand out from the background.
+1 I don't think I have advocated running super bright lights....once it gets dark for my ride home, I do have a Knog Blinder 4 that I will keep on a steady beam and a smaller Knog Frog I will put to blink (it is much less luminous, and between the two I think they will do the trick). Note that these are my tail lights. My front lights, I am still thinking about. I am less concerned with them though since most of my commute is on roads where I won't have direct oncoming traffic. I wouldn't want my main front to flash the front at night, but thinking about getting some white Knog Frogs for my fork that I might put on a slower repeating flash, since they won't be so bright.
Combine that with super bright clothes with reflectors and I think I have found a good balance between visibility and annoyance.
Thoughts?
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Old 09-19-14, 08:17 AM
  #133  
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Originally Posted by Paul Barnard
One poster mentioned that buoys have flashing lights to help them stand out from the background lights. It can indeed be helpful to have them flashing. It must be noted though that they have a comparatively low luminous intensity. I spent 20 years running boats professionally. I know there is value to low intensity lights flashing to make them stand out from the background.
This isn't quite accurate. Aids to navigation have flashing lights to distinguish them from vessels, which have fixed lights. Also, aids to navigation can be distinguished from one another with different colors (red, green and white) and by varying the flashing period. Fixed lights on vessels are much easier to track.

The same applies to bikes, in that a steady headlight is much easier to track and judge distance than a strobe. A strobe will get your attention, but at night, I think they are much worse than a steady light.
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Old 09-19-14, 08:17 AM
  #134  
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FIFY: "There are jerks out there, for sure. Try to let their jerkitude roll off your back."

>dont be an online jerk, whining and posting about it for 6 pages , here, < "It's the best thing you can do."


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Old 09-19-14, 08:32 AM
  #135  
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Originally Posted by alan s
The same applies to bikes, in that a steady headlight is much easier to track and judge distance than a strobe. A strobe will get your attention, but at night, I think they are much worse than a steady light.
I agree. IMHO, ability to judge distance trumps noticeability.
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Old 09-19-14, 08:33 AM
  #136  
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Originally Posted by alan s
This isn't quite accurate. Aids to navigation have flashing lights to distinguish them from vessels, which have fixed lights. Also, aids to navigation can be distinguished from one another with different colors (red, green and white) and by varying the flashing period. Fixed lights on vessels are much easier to track.

The same applies to bikes, in that a steady headlight is much easier to track and judge distance than a strobe. A strobe will get your attention, but at night, I think they are much worse than a steady light.
I am aware of the whole of the purpose of aids to navigation and their respective color and charactersistic, but I was speaking only to the point of the poster in that in practical application flashing helps distinguish them from background lights. Entering a busy port, with all of the lights of the city in the background, if the lights didn't flash, they'd be nearly impossible to discern from background lights. If you can't distinguish them from background lights, you certainly can't determine their distance.

You are right that a steady light will be easier to track and judge distance, but only if it is distinguishable from other lights. There are some really good bicycle lights available these days. There are plenty of lights however, that aren't bright enough to stand out. In those cases, if they were flashing, it'd help them stand out without them being a safety hazard to other road users.
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Old 09-19-14, 08:37 AM
  #137  
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Originally Posted by Paul Barnard
I am aware of the whole of the purpose of aids to navigation and their respective color and charactersistic, but I was speaking only to the point of the poster in that in practical application flashing helps distinguish them from background lights. Entering a busy port, with all of the lights of the city in the background, if the lights didn't flash, they'd be nearly impossible to discern from background lights. If you can't distinguish them from background lights, you certainly can't determine their distance.

You are right that a steady light will be easier to track and judge distance, but only if it is distinguishable from other lights. There are some really good bicycle lights available these days. There are plenty of lights however, that aren't bright enough to stand out. In those cases, if they were flashing, it'd help them stand out without them being a safety hazard to other road users.
I disagree here.

In close perpendicular proximity as a bicycle is approaching (at a 90deg angle to, on the same side of the street) a car waiting to pull into traffic ... a blinky is horrible compared to a solid beam. The driver will notice both but can't judge distance of the approaching cycle as well.
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Old 09-19-14, 08:45 AM
  #138  
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This morning I stopped on the highway, out in the middle of nowhere (good and dark), and leaned my bicycle up against a signpost so I could walk ahead and turn and look at it. I was looking at my Nightrider Lumina 700 on continuous low beam, which is tilted down to shine 6 to 8 feet on the road ahead. I was surprised at how hard it was on my eyes from that perspective (though no motorist is going to be coming directly at me). As a result of that observation, I now have the light tilted even more, so it is just over the front tire.

Most of my commute is on MT200, a 2 lane highway with vehicles traveling 60mph and faster. In the morning these days it is dark, especially lately with all the smoke we have from the fires in Idaho, Oregon and California that obscure any moon or star light. I have to be able to see the junk on the shoulder -- shredded tires, wood dropped from logging trucks, etc. I can't use a dim headlight.

This weekend I will dig out my old Planet Bike light and install it to use when I need a low-light blinkie.

These are my concessions. The world will just have to try to get by with them.
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Old 09-19-14, 08:51 AM
  #139  
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Originally Posted by acidfast7
I agree. IMHO, ability to judge distance trumps noticeability.
"I didn't notice him until I was 20 feet away - too late to stop. Yes, I'm sure it was 20 ft!"

If drivers could judge cyclists distance and speed on a sunny day, I might be concerned about a strobe impairing this ability. Many drivers seem to lack this ability when it comes to cyclists.
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Old 09-19-14, 08:53 AM
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Originally Posted by scroca
This morning I stopped on the highway, out in the middle of nowhere (good and dark), and leaned my bicycle up against a signpost so I could walk ahead and turn and look at it. I was looking at my Nightrider Lumina 700 on continuous low beam, which is tilted down to shine 6 to 8 feet on the road ahead. I was surprised at how hard it was on my eyes from that perspective (though no motorist is going to be coming directly at me). As a result of that observation, I now have the light tilted even more, so it is just over the front tire.

Most of my commute is on MT200, a 2 lane highway with vehicles traveling 60mph and faster. In the morning these days it is dark, especially lately with all the smoke we have from the fires in Idaho, Oregon and California that obscure any moon or star light. I have to be able to see the junk on the shoulder -- shredded tires, wood dropped from logging trucks, etc. I can't use a dim headlight.

This weekend I will dig out my old Planet Bike light and install it to use when I need a low-light blinkie.

These are my concessions. The world will just have to try to get by with them.
Why not just get a light with a proper cutoff and avoid those issues?



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Old 09-19-14, 08:55 AM
  #141  
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Originally Posted by loky1179
"I didn't notice him until I was 20 feet away - too late to stop. Yes, I'm sure it was 20 ft!"

If drivers could judge cyclists distance and speed on a sunny day, I might be concerned about a strobe impairing this ability. Many drivers seem to lack this ability when it comes to cyclists.
Anecdotal.

Why make a poor situation worse (i.e. just let some more air of that under-inflated tire?)
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Old 09-19-14, 08:55 AM
  #142  
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Originally Posted by scroca
I was looking at my Nightrider Lumina 700 on continuous low beam, which is tilted down to shine 6 to 8 feet on the road ahead. I was surprised at how hard it was on my eyes from that perspective (though no motorist is going to be coming directly at me). As a result of that observation, I now have the light tilted even more, so it is just over the front tire.
I run two Lumina 700s, one on the bars and the other on the helmet. They are extremely bright lights, and on crowded MUPs, I aim them down at the ground in just front of me, and turn my head to the side to avoid blinding oncoming riders. When I get out of town a bit and there is little oncoming bike traffic, they are both aimed higher. I like seeing things way before they become an issue, such as branches.
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Old 09-19-14, 09:01 AM
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Originally Posted by acidfast7
I disagree here.

In close perpendicular proximity as a bicycle is approaching (at a 90deg angle to, on the same side of the street) a car waiting to pull into traffic ... a blinky is horrible compared to a solid beam. The driver will notice both but can't judge distance of the approaching cycle as well.
I get what you are saying, but I think I need to once again expound upon my previous post to better qualify it. If that steady bike light was of lesser intensity than typical motor vehicle lights, AND there was a good bit of motor vehicle traffic in the area, then the risk of that light not being seen at all COULD be greater than the risk of a motorist misjudging the distance. While not a guarantee, my belief is that a motorist who is having a hard time judging the distance of something they DO see, will wait more often than they will proceed. So much of this is situational, that we could go back and forth indefinitely. I am straddling the fence on this one. I believe there are times flashing lights are better and there are steady lights are better. That may be why many lights have both functions.
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Old 09-19-14, 09:02 AM
  #144  
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Originally Posted by TwoWheelWonder

That said I do think that most states have laws against flashing lights at night. Not sure if they tend to give bicycles an exception or not.
Minnesota changed the law last year to explicitly allow flashing front lights on bicycles. It was a good change in my opinion - the law is just catching up to the reality of what is actually happening on the road. The best safety feature of the flashing LEDs is that it pretty much identifies the source as a bicycle, at a glance and from far away. A steady light does not do that.

I run a flashing front light ALL the time in the daytime, and at night if I'm riding in traffic or stopped at intersections. At night on the MUP or in low traffic areas, I'll run the lights on steady.

Last winter as I was coming home, there were some pedestrians crossing up ahead of me - I had my lights on steady. When they had crossed and I was passing by, I heard one of them exclaim "That's not a car - that's a bike"!
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Old 09-19-14, 09:03 AM
  #145  
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Originally Posted by scroca
This morning I stopped on the highway, out in the middle of nowhere (good and dark), and leaned my bicycle up against a signpost so I could walk ahead and turn and look at it. I was looking at my Nightrider Lumina 700 on continuous low beam, which is tilted down to shine 6 to 8 feet on the road ahead. I was surprised at how hard it was on my eyes from that perspective (though no motorist is going to be coming directly at me). As a result of that observation, I now have the light tilted even more, so it is just over the front tire.

Most of my commute is on MT200, a 2 lane highway with vehicles traveling 60mph and faster. In the morning these days it is dark, especially lately with all the smoke we have from the fires in Idaho, Oregon and California that obscure any moon or star light. I have to be able to see the junk on the shoulder -- shredded tires, wood dropped from logging trucks, etc. I can't use a dim headlight.

This weekend I will dig out my old Planet Bike light and install it to use when I need a low-light blinkie.

These are my concessions. The world will just have to try to get by with them.
Awesome! Irrespective of how contentious threads may become, those of us who are willing can almost always take away something of value.
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Old 09-19-14, 09:04 AM
  #146  
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Originally Posted by Paul Barnard
I get what you are saying, but I think I need to once again expound upon my previous post to better qualify it. If that steady bike light was of lesser intensity than typical motor vehicle lights, AND there was a good bit of motor vehicle traffic in the area, then the risk of that light not being seen at all COULD be greater than the risk of a motorist misjudging the distance. While not a guarantee, my belief is that a motorist who is having a hard time judging the distance of something they DO see, will wait more often than they will proceed. So much of this is situational, that we could go back and forth indefinitely. I am straddling the fence on this one. I believe there are times flashing lights are better and there are steady lights are better. That may be why many lights have both functions.
If you can't dazzle them with brilliance, baffle them with flashing lights.
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Old 09-19-14, 09:07 AM
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Originally Posted by alan s
If you can't dazzle them with brilliance, baffle them with flashing lights.
I think that given this situation the different lights approaching at different speeds is much more useful than a blinky. The human brain will process three lights (at a minimum), two from the car and one from the bike, much more easily.
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Old 09-19-14, 09:07 AM
  #148  
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Originally Posted by acidfast7
Anecdotal.

Why make a poor situation worse (i.e. just let some more air of that under-inflated tire?)
Not even anecdotal - just imaginary. My point is simply that my first priority is to be seen. If the driver doesn't see me, they can't judge distance, apply brakes, change lanes, etc.
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Old 09-19-14, 09:07 AM
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Originally Posted by katzenfinch
If you scroll to the bottom of the BQ story you’ll find a link: Visual Expert Human Factors: Is The Moth Effect Real? . Near the bottom of that linked page is a list of references.
The bottom line of that list of references is Maybe there is and Maybe there is not any Real Moth Effect in play, blinking lights may not have any more negative effect (if any) on drivers' actions than any other visible object on the side of the road, and the risk of being struck as a result of blinking lights is mostly hype conjured from speculation.
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Old 09-19-14, 09:09 AM
  #150  
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Originally Posted by loky1179
Not even anecdotal - just imaginary. My point is simply that my first priority is to be seen. If the driver doesn't see me, they can't judge distance, apply brakes, change lanes, etc.
So, your contribution is an imaginary situation? Interesting ...
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