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Front LED Blinker!

Old 10-30-18, 08:47 PM
  #1  
themp
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Front LED Blinker!

Lately the riders on the Greenway around my town have started to use very high intensity LED blinkers on the front of their bicycles. And it seems to always be riders over 50. Today a group of five older riders came around the corner with all five flashing like crazy. I think this is over kill on a Greenway. I understand on roads, but this is not needed on the Greenway in my opinion. Or get a blinker that can be reduced in brightness. I have had cataract surgery and LED lights are my bane now. So, just posting to vent and maybe get some folks to turn them off when riding on the Greenway.
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Old 10-30-18, 09:59 PM
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What’s the Greenway?
Searched greenway , still ???

Am way over 50

Last edited by bogydave; 10-30-18 at 10:03 PM.
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Old 10-30-18, 10:25 PM
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in Germany blinking bike lights are verboten.
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Old 10-30-18, 10:28 PM
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and...

battery run times for blinking lights is longer, than steady on ones..
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Old 10-31-18, 05:23 AM
  #5  
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Originally Posted by bogydave View Post

What’s the Greenway?
Greenway=trail through forested areas.

OP: I used the blinking light during the daylight hours. Nighttime I normally go with a steady front but blinking rear.
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Old 10-31-18, 05:48 AM
  #6  
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Agreed, and almost all lights have the option to switch. I always use the blinking mode on the roads where there is light, with my flashlight rig angled down, but on any path I'd have a regular light. A short while ago I rode around Bong Recreation Area (Wisconsin) at night, and a blinking light would have made it seem like a crazy horror movie. Just substitute deer and raccoons for Jason and Freddy.

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Old 10-31-18, 06:35 AM
  #7  
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Your age observation is flawed because you sampled on a Tuesday, when greenways and MUPs have a much higher proportion of retired folk. On weekends, all generations are prone to run these nasty blinking front lights. I have to shield my eyes at times, both because of the intensity and also because I don't like the strobe effect.

I can't fathom what purpose they serve. Must be some blogger or the like who has promoted such things.
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Old 10-31-18, 07:27 AM
  #8  
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I started a thread on this a few months ago, and I absolutely agree that bright strobes are hazardous on a path. The whole point of strobing lights on a street is to make you more noticeable in the driver's peripheral vision, not to make it easier to locate you from straight on.I have seen some of these strobes on MUPs from at least a half mile away in broad daylight, and then found myself completely dazzled when they close the distance to the point I couldn't actually tell you where they were on the path. Even more significantly, they obscure other oncoming traffic from my perspective as it is absolutely impossible for the human eye to adjust to a bright strobe--your pupils cannot react fast enough.
The worst case of this I've seen was a man riding with one of those strobes on a shady path, and I really could not see anything around him but his light. As we closed, I realized to my horror that there was a small child riding with him on his own bike, and I didn't even see the kid until I was within about 15 feet. Normally, I would have yelled at the guy to turn off the strobe, but I needed to concentrate on making sure the kid didn't swerve into my lane (as kids that age often do). My practice on paths is to always slow wayyyyy down when I see an oncoming small child even if the kid is way over on the other side of the path, but I had not done so in this instance because I had no idea the kid was there.

I've never found bright lights during daylight to cause me problems unless they're strobing. Even a slow blink rate isn't a problem, but strobing is very disorienting--it's used for that deliberately in tactical situations. Pointing it at someone who is going to be passing within a few feet of you is a very, very bad idea.

Side note--two or more asynchronized strobe lights makes the disorientation even worse. I've noticed a lot of these are on both bikes of over-equipped couples. Also, if I can see it from a half mile, it's going to be absurdly bright when we close (point of maximum danger). Google the inverse square law if you don't understand why.

Please call people out whenever you encounter this--the most common reaction I hear is "I had no idea, no one's ever complained."
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Old 10-31-18, 08:23 AM
  #9  
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These blinding strobes are getting beyond a joke - I swear they're brighter than my camera's flash!

Which at current rate... getting real tempted to mount camera flash on my front... to be triggered in response to overly blinding flashing light approaching.
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Old 10-31-18, 08:55 AM
  #10  
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I also use a flashing front light in daylight hours when I'm afraid of distracted drivers. That should be all the time but I actually rarely have it on flash. It doesn't bother me to the extent that it does others when cyclists use a flashing front light though on a bike trail it seems kind of dumb. I also see them on my bike trail between towns which is my daily commute.
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Old 10-31-18, 10:08 AM
  #11  
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Originally Posted by themp View Post
Lately the riders on the Greenway around my town have started to use very high intensity LED blinkers on the front of their bicycles. And it seems to always be riders over 50. Today a group of five older riders came around the corner with all five flashing like crazy. I think this is over kill on a Greenway. I understand on roads, but this is not needed on the Greenway in my opinion. Or get a blinker that can be reduced in brightness. I have had cataract surgery and LED lights are my bane now. So, just posting to vent and maybe get some folks to turn them off when riding on the Greenway.
If you mean the Greenway trail in the Twin Cities I agree with with you as it very annoying. I think next time I see someone with the strobe flashing I going to turn around and tell them to keep in always on mode.
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Old 10-31-18, 10:25 AM
  #12  
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Maybe try mentioning politely that their light is blinding you. I think most people once aware, will try to do something about it. Maybe it just needs to be aimed lower.
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Old 10-31-18, 10:28 AM
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I just put a blinkie LED on the front of my bike. Good thing I've never seen another cyclist while out riding. I'd hate to blind someone.
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Old 10-31-18, 10:37 AM
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You're crazy if you ride on streets with cars without a 'be seen' blinker light.

You're obnoxious if you're riding on bike trails with one.
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Old 10-31-18, 02:03 PM
  #15  
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Originally Posted by Ogsarg View Post
Maybe try mentioning politely that their light is blinding you. I think most people once aware, will try to do something about it. Maybe it just needs to be aimed lower.

Passing in opposite directions doesn't lend itself to an extended "polite" conversation. "Turn off the blinker" is about as much as I can get out without turning around and chasing them.

Most do turn them off, but one guy started calling me a whiner. His was literally the brightest light I had ever seen, and I saw it from a half mile away at high noon on a clear day. By the time we closed, it was completely blinding. The nicest thing I yelled at him after he called me a whiner was "moron".
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Old 10-31-18, 02:23 PM
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I see quite a few strobes on the bike trail. I think it is more dangerous than riding without a light in broad daylight on a trail!

It's something that can trigger a migraine in some people. It's blinds the snot out of some people and actually makes some people look away to avoid the light. UNSAFE!
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Old 10-31-18, 02:37 PM
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Originally Posted by mcours2006 View Post
Greenway=trail through forested areas.

OP: I used the blinking light during the daylight hours. Nighttime I normally go with a steady front but blinking rear.
Tks

I'm guilty on MUPs now & then,
when I come from a road to a usable Mup,
I don’t stop & turn off lights.
But MUPs here are road side with intersections
(Daylight rides)

Last edited by bogydave; 10-31-18 at 02:42 PM.
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Old 10-31-18, 03:24 PM
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Out here we have some underpasses on the bike trails - it can get plenty dark down there and after being in blinding sunlight, I appreciate a light on an approaching cyclist's bike.
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Old 10-31-18, 03:39 PM
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if you saw the bike from .5 mile away the light is doing its job. I have started using front and rear lights any time I am on the road after reading an article called "the ABC's of being seen." front and rear lights can increase your ability to be seen by motorists by 80% according to the Clemson University study. after reading this post I will dim or turn off front light whilst on trails or "greenways", but will always use on the road in conjunction with biometrics (bright colors on no linear moving parts of body) and contrasting colored jerseys. All of which increase you visibility considerably.
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Old 10-31-18, 03:43 PM
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Originally Posted by themp View Post
And it seems to always be riders over 50.
We use motors to power our high wattage blinkies.

Are older rider cheating with electric motors or am I losing wattage?


-Tim-
54

Last edited by TimothyH; 10-31-18 at 03:47 PM.
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Old 10-31-18, 03:43 PM
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What am I missing? I've never heard of anyone on a bicycle having a head-on collision with a car. Why do you need a front light at all....unless you're riding at night and need help to see?
And if you're riding n the correct side of the street, cars are coming up behind you. I guess you could make a case for being seen at busy intersections, but is that the reason??
I've been riding for over forty years, this is a serious question.
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Old 10-31-18, 03:51 PM
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Originally Posted by smoore View Post
What am I missing? I've never heard of anyone on a bicycle having a head-on collision with a car. Why do you need a front light at all....unless you're riding at night and need help to see?
And if you're riding n the correct side of the street, cars are coming up behind you. I guess you could make a case for being seen at busy intersections, but is that the reason??
I've been riding for over forty years, this is a serious question.

Yes, I ride at night and need to see the road ahead of me, debris etc. I also like to be seen when approaching intersections at night.

During the day, I use a headlight also to be seen approaching intersections. AND so that local authorities have no reason to hassle me.

I have no issue with anyone using lights at anytime on the bike, it's more the useless blinding strobes on the bike trail as addressed in the OP.

I can hit speeds of 30 MPH for 1 to 3 miles at a time on my local night rides so I want to see!


Last edited by GuessWhoCycling; 10-31-18 at 03:56 PM.
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Old 10-31-18, 04:04 PM
  #23  
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Originally Posted by smoore View Post
What am I missing?
Left turns from cars traveling in the opposite direction, right-on-red.
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Old 10-31-18, 04:07 PM
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I agree that super bright blinking lights pointing straight ahead make a problem. I don't know a solution to this. People don't like strangers telling them that they're doing something wrong.
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Old 10-31-18, 09:47 PM
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Originally Posted by noglider View Post
I agree that super bright blinking lights pointing straight ahead make a problem. I don't know a solution to this. People don't like strangers telling them that they're doing something wrong.
Some people actually listen and correct the problem, some react like total jerks, but I think saying something is necessary for the message to get out there.
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