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Saw three cyclists on my way home tonight...none of them had lights

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Saw three cyclists on my way home tonight...none of them had lights

Old 11-06-07, 07:52 PM
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Saw three cyclists on my way home tonight...none of them had lights

All of them were on mountain bikes-one guy was crossing a 4 lane road (not at an intersection either) on a full suspension bike he was riding on the sidewalk until he decided to cross. Do these people just not care about being seen by cars? This was around dusk BTW so lights were definitely needed. I had my Dinotte headlight on blink and my Planet Bike Super Flash on the rear. I could see my headlight reflecting off every street sign 40-50 yards before I got to it.

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Old 11-06-07, 07:58 PM
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Nyp.
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Old 11-06-07, 08:00 PM
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Hey, I also ride in San Diego... at night on some occasions. I have noticed that not too many people have lights on where I commute. Most extreme case was a person going down a fairly steep hill full speed on his/her mountain bike with no lights through an intersection. And if they do have lights, it's usually just a blinky on the back (though the law requires at least reflectors and an actual headlight in the front).

I may be cheap, but I at least slapped on my mini maglite onto my bicycle for the rare cases I actually do go out at night.

I guess it's just that cool to be a ninja bicycle rider. (actually, it may because of daylight savings, but if it was fairly late, it's probably safe to call them stupid.)
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Old 11-06-07, 08:01 PM
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Originally Posted by lil brown bat View Post
Nyp.
Your post confuses me...

New York Post?
New York Philharmonic?
Nanyang Polytechnic?
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Old 11-06-07, 08:06 PM
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Originally Posted by option.iv View Post
Hey, I also ride in San Diego... at night on some occasions. I have noticed that not too many people have lights on where I commute. Most extreme case was a person going down a fairly steep hill full speed on his/her mountain bike with no lights through an intersection. And if they do have lights, it's usually just a blinky on the back (though the law requires at least reflectors and an actual headlight in the front).

I may be cheap, but I at least slapped on my mini maglite onto my bicycle for the rare cases I actually do go out at night.

I guess it's just that cool to be a ninja bicycle rider. (actually, it may because of daylight savings, but if it was fairly late, it's probably safe to call them stupid.)
Well, it's 6:03PM right now and it is pitch black outside. It was almost completely dark when I got home at 5:30 and my commute only took about 40 minutes. I don't keep lights or reflectors on my bike during summer months because I don't ride after dark but I do commute through the winter here and that means riding home in the dark so I like to know that cars can see me.

Oh yeah, there's that whole it's the law thing too.
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Old 11-06-07, 08:16 PM
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as long as no one tells them it's not safe, they will continue to be people on bikes.
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Old 11-06-07, 08:19 PM
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Originally Posted by SDRider View Post
Your post confuses me...

New York Post?
New York Philharmonic?
Nanyang Polytechnic?

NYP as in "not your problem", I guess. I also encounter other cyclists who are poorly lighted, and if one of them were to run into me, that would make it my problem.
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Old 11-06-07, 08:22 PM
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Originally Posted by AEO View Post
as long as no one tells them it's not safe, they will continue to be people on bikes.
I don't like to beat people over the head like some safety nazi. I prefer to lead by example.

Those three cyclists definitely saw me riding my sweet road bike with my backpack so maybe they'll be inspired to go out and buy some lights...and a road bike.
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Old 11-06-07, 08:25 PM
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Originally Posted by velopilot View Post
NYP as in "not your problem", I guess. I also encounter other cyclists who are poorly lighted, and if one of them were to run into me, that would make it my problem.
Exactly. On my ride home, the most dangerous part was not the cars flying by, but a cyclist without lights in dark clothes riding toward me in the shadow of trees. Normally, I'm all for playing chicken, but for some reason I didn't this time and it turned out to be an older woman. I would've felt bad.
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Old 11-06-07, 08:26 PM
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Originally Posted by AEO View Post
as long as no one tells them it's not safe, they will continue to be people on bikes.
Shouldn't it be obvious to most reasonably intelligent folks? If it isn't, won't it be soon enough? It's not my business to tell others on the road how to use it.
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Old 11-06-07, 08:40 PM
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Originally Posted by velopilot View Post
NYP as in "not your problem", I guess. I also encounter other cyclists who are poorly lighted, and if one of them were to run into me, that would make it my problem.
Well, one of them happened to be crossing the street and he stopped in the median because he saw me and saw that he was riding toward the same space I was in.

I know it's not my problem. I just thought it strange that, out of the relatively few people I saw on bikes tonight, none of them had lights.

I also find it strange that none of them felt the need to make themselves seen while riding on the streets. Don't they market some of the most powerful lights for cyclists toward people who ride mountain bikes? I guess these guys must have been posers.
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Old 11-06-07, 09:50 PM
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What's worse than riding a bike at night with no lights or reflectors...
Riding a bike at night with no lights or reflectors on the wrong side of the street.
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Old 11-06-07, 10:13 PM
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I had the opposite happen last night (first post DST ride). At the start of my ride I come up to a limited vision T where I turn left onto the MUP. I take it very slow but try to stay clipped in. As I came up to the T, lighting up the area with my overvolted high wattage DIY lights, another bright light shone in from the right. It was great to know where an approaching cyclist was!
I also had the regular lot of ninja cyclists - the only light being reflected from my headlights.
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Old 11-06-07, 10:49 PM
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I don't bother telling anyone that they're doing something wrong unless they're going to cause problems for me, like going the wrong way. I just don't care, like the police here.
Thing is either most people don't know that they're supposed to or required by law to have lights from dusk to dawn.
Think of how dumb the average person is, then know the fact that half the world's population is dumber than that. Then know the average schmuck on a bike doesn't know it's considered a vehicle and is supposed to obey (most) traffic laws.
Smart people already have lights. The people you see who don't are either too lazy, don't know or don't care.
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Old 11-07-07, 07:39 AM
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See a lot of that in the city. They're ignorant. And most of the time I refer to them not as bicyclists but as people riding a bike. Those are the people who are most likely riding a stolen bike, something they picked up just as a ride from point A to point B or it may even be their little sisters bike. They ride where ever - on the right side, the wrong side - switch back and forth between lanes and sidewalk - jut into traffic between cars, etc. And here they mostly wear a winter parka and some old boots - lots of time there's only one pedal on the bike too .... so lights? Never had them, never will.
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Old 11-07-07, 08:21 AM
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Originally Posted by Tude View Post
See a lot of that in the city. They're ignorant. And most of the time I refer to them not as bicyclists but as people riding a bike. Those are the people who are most likely riding a stolen bike, something they picked up just as a ride from point A to point B or it may even be their little sisters bike. They ride where ever - on the right side, the wrong side - switch back and forth between lanes and sidewalk - jut into traffic between cars, etc. And here they mostly wear a winter parka and some old boots - lots of time there's only one pedal on the bike too .... so lights? Never had them, never will.
Well, they all had helmets on so they at least gave some thought to their safety. The guy on the full suspension bike was also dressed in cycling clothes and had a camel back or a back pack on (I couldn't really tell which...because it was dark).
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Old 11-07-07, 09:06 AM
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Originally Posted by SDRider View Post
All of them were on mountain bikes-one guy was crossing a 4 lane road (not at an intersection either) on a full suspension bike he was riding on the sidewalk until he decided to cross. Do these people just not care about being seen by cars? This was around dusk BTW so lights were definitely needed. I had my Dinotte headlight on blink and my Planet Bike blinkie on the rear. I could see my headlight reflecting off every street sign 40-50 yards before I got to it.
This is a problem created by the CPSC, Consumer Product Safety Commission. First problem is the fact that bicycles are considered to be toys in the USA and are regulated as such. The CPSC determined that reflectors must be installed on bicycles but instillation of lights would promote riding of bicycles at night, this is considered unsafe especially when installed on a "toy". Mandating reflectors gave consumers the idea that riding at night without lights was ok as reflectors came with the bicycle. The CPSC is heavily influenced by manufactures as well. Manufactures building bicycles for the X-Mart retail market did not want to increase the cost of they're toy bicycles by having lights mandated. In reality this situation with bicycles in the USA not being regulated by DOT, Department of transportation is a blessing. If bicycles were regulated by DOT we would need to have bicycles fitted with DOT approved lighting so no DIY or non-DOT approved headlights, taillights, or blinkies could be used. The costs of approved lighting for your bicycle would become very expensive as can be seen in countries like Germany and the UK.
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Old 11-07-07, 09:17 AM
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Originally Posted by AEO View Post
I don't bother telling anyone that they're doing something wrong unless they're going to cause problems for me, like going the wrong way. I just don't care, like the police here.
Thing is either most people don't know that they're supposed to or required by law to have lights from dusk to dawn.
Think of how dumb the average person is, then know the fact that half the world's population is dumber than that. Then know the average schmuck on a bike doesn't know it's considered a vehicle and is supposed to obey (most) traffic laws.
Smart people already have lights. The people you see who don't are either too lazy, don't know or don't care.
Originally Posted by Tude View Post
See a lot of that in the city. They're ignorant. And most of the time I refer to them not as bicyclists but as people riding a bike. Those are the people who are most likely riding a stolen bike, something they picked up just as a ride from point A to point B or it may even be their little sisters bike. They ride where ever - on the right side, the wrong side - switch back and forth between lanes and sidewalk - jut into traffic between cars, etc. And here they mostly wear a winter parka and some old boots - lots of time there's only one pedal on the bike too .... so lights? Never had them, never will.

My, how brightly your light shines! You can see everything about all those other cyclists/lowlifes even from way up there on your high horse, eh?
"Smart people" like you are the ones to tell other cyclists right from wrong? No thanks.
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Old 11-07-07, 09:24 AM
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If they were all on MTBs then it's possible that they just don't enthuse about bikes, and figure the default reflectors are enough. They may or may not learn better. Eh.
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Old 11-07-07, 09:37 AM
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Hmmm...
I saw 4 cyclists this morning and all were lit up like Christmas trees.
2 MTB, 1 roadie, and a folder. One dude on a MTB put me to shame with my one rear blinkie, he had three.
However, 1 mtb and the folder were riding on the sidewalk but that matters not IMHO.
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Old 11-07-07, 09:56 AM
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Bunch of reasons I can think of that so many cyclists don't use lights, applicable to varying amounts depending on the person:
  • Cyclist considers lights dorky.
  • Cyclist does not consider their bike a real vehicle, and only vehicles need lights.
  • "I don't need lights 'cause I've got reflectors." (Thanks, n4zou.)
  • Road cyclists don't want the extra weight. (Thanks, john bono.)
  • Cyclist didn't plan on being out after dark.
  • Cyclist isn't out ofter dark much and is surprised by how early it gets dark this time of year.
  • Cyclist isn't out ofter dark much and has decided the risk is not worth the trouble and expense because they they don't do this "regularly". (Which can become a slippery slope as they are out more and more often but still don't think of it as "regular".)
  • Cyclist doesn't feel the risk is worth the trouble and expense because they try to stay out of the way of cars. (Not thinking through the intersection issue.)
  • Cyclist doesn't realize how invisible they really are!
  • It is human nature to think it can't happen to you, and to rationalize/minimize the risk in your mind for anything you don't want to go to the trouble and expense to do.
  • Cyclists' rechargeable headlight battery has gone dead. (Me last night! )
Which reminds me, I gotta go get it off the bike and start charging it for tonight!

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Old 11-07-07, 10:40 AM
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Originally Posted by JohnBrooking View Post
Bunch of reasons I can think of that so many cyclists don't use lights, applicable to varying amounts depending on the person:
  • Cyclist considers lights dorky.
  • Cyclist does not consider their bike a real vehicle, and only vehicles need lights.
  • "I don't need lights 'cause I've got reflectors." (Thanks, n4zou.)
  • Cyclist didn't plan on being out after dark.
  • Cyclist isn't out ofter dark much and is surprised by how early it gets dark this time of year.
  • Cyclist isn't out ofter dark much and has decided the risk is not worth the trouble and expense because they they don't do this "regularly". (Which can become a slippery slope as they are out more and more often but still don't think of it as "regular".)
  • Cyclist doesn't feel the risk is worth the trouble and expense because they try to stay out of the way of cars. (Not thinking through the intersection issue.)
  • Cyclist doesn't realize how invisible they really are!
  • It is human nature to think it can't happen to you, and to rationalize/minimize the risk in your mind for anything you don't want to go to the trouble and expense to do.
  • Cyclists' rechargeable headlight battery has gone dead. (Me last night! )
Which reminds me, I gotta go get it off the bike and start charging it for tonight!
My Dinotte takes AA batteries (I use rechargeables as they provide more juice and power the light for a longer period of time) and I usually carry a set Duracells as spares for just such an emergency. My Planet Bike Super Flash also takes AA batteries so I'm covered there too...unless they both die at the same time.
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Old 11-07-07, 10:49 AM
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Next time you see them again yell "Immagracion Policia, quero candela?", I'm sure that will get them their attention. I have seen too many "undocumented workers" ride without lights at night here in Atlanta.


Originally Posted by SDRider View Post
All of them were on mountain bikes-one guy was crossing a 4 lane road (not at an intersection either) on a full suspension bike he was riding on the sidewalk until he decided to cross. Do these people just not care about being seen by cars? This was around dusk BTW so lights were definitely needed. I had my Dinotte headlight on blink and my Planet Bike Super Flash on the rear. I could see my headlight reflecting off every street sign 40-50 yards before I got to it.

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Old 11-07-07, 10:53 AM
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From what I've seen of the riders around here, I'm probably the best lit bike by a wide margin. I think a lot of the roadies tend to become weight weenies when it comes to lighting for some reason. Their rear blinkies are adequate for the task, but their front lights, IMHO, are fairly pathetic. At this time of year, I'm not really interested in speed records, just riding safely at the only time available to me to ride, and I want a light that will absolutely not affect my ability to right at whatever speed I deem appropriate.
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Old 11-07-07, 10:59 AM
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Originally Posted by I-Like-To-Bike View Post
My, how brightly your light shines! You can see everything about all those other cyclists/lowlifes even from way up there on your high horse, eh?
"Smart people" like you are the ones to tell other cyclists right from wrong? No thanks.
eh? what high horse? Personally, I dislike snobbery and snobby people.
See, if you want to be seen at night, be smart, get some lights. If you want to be ninja, go ninja and lose all sorts of ways to be seen. Some people get stuck out at night, but you know, think ahead a bit and attach some reflectors or reflective tape on the bike, it's not that hard.

I don't bother telling them they're doing something wrong unless they are hazardous to my well being. Wouldn't you yell at someone for committing a mistake that gave you a scare? I just don't care and mind my own business otherwise.

People who run out of batteries during the ride... I guess either get at least 2 head lights or carry some spare batteries.
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Last edited by AEO; 11-07-07 at 11:04 AM.
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