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The darkness starts.

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Living Car Free Do you live car free or car light? Do you prefer to use alternative transportation (bicycles, walking, other human-powered or public transportation) for everyday activities whenever possible? Discuss your lifestyle here.

The darkness starts.

Old 11-02-14, 11:44 PM
  #1  
Roody
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The darkness starts.

Daylight savings time ended in America this weekend. Locally, sunset is at 5:30 PM and by 6:00 it is pitch dark. By the time of the Solstice, it will be dark by 5:00, when most people are getting out of work.

Does winter darkness make it more difficult for you to be carfree? What changes will you make due to the early sunsets and late sunrises? Do you like riding and walking in the dark?
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Old 11-03-14, 12:01 AM
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I am not wholly car free but I am for commuting purposes.

Sunset is now 16:50 (4:50 pm) here.

I get off work at 5:00 pm and by the time I change and get on the bike it is about 10 after five.

If I get my son I am not home until 6:15 pm.

It is dark for nearly all my ride. I will continue to encourage my wife that I am safe and visible, especially after I get our son.
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Old 11-03-14, 04:02 AM
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DST started Sunday 5 October.

Sunset is at 7:57 pm ... daylight fades completely about 8:30 pm. It's a beautiful thing. I love DST.
Sunrise and sunset times in Hobart
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Old 11-03-14, 04:50 AM
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Yes, the time change does affect my commute after work. I am now commuting in the dark. Sigh.

I don't "feel" as safe as when I ride in the daylight.
.
But on the bright side, when spring comes and the light comes back, I do a happy dance
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Old 11-03-14, 07:21 AM
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I'm a morning person. I was very pleased this morning to arrive at work after the sun was up for the first time in months! I could feel the warmth and witness the beauty. I don't like daylight savings time. I wish we were on standard time all year round. I "noon" should be when the sun is highest in the sky. Driving our personal cycles off of the cycles of the sun feels right to me. It's my natural cycle.

I don't like it getting dark early, but oh well. I prefer a sunrise to a sunset. The only real impact to my life is that I turn on the headlights when I'm going home now.
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Old 11-03-14, 09:33 AM
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This morning was very sunny, totally different than the past few weeks. I even left 30 minutes earlier because I had so much sun light to use.

I bring both front and back lights every day now, so I'll be riding in some darkness this evening. Hopefully at least a part of the ride will be in darkness.

This afternoon will have me riding straight into the setting sun for too long. I hate that, as the drivers coming up behind me cannot see either.

Last edited by TallTravel; 11-03-14 at 10:31 AM.
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Old 11-03-14, 03:41 PM
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It was getting dark on my ride home even before the switch, and was already dark for all of my morning ride. Now it's completely dark both ways. And rainy. I don't really like it as I'm a scenery junky, but I have a generator hub and run a pair of bright rear blinkies in addition to my generator powered head and tail lights. I can entertain myself by guessing the identities of the critters who's eyes I sometimes see watching me from the woods. I keep telling myself it must be better than running on a treadmill or spinning. Or driving, most of the time.

I'm trying to convince myself that rain isn't all that bad. I may as well face it, hating rain for the past 40 years I've lived in western Oregon hasn't done me any good!
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Old 11-03-14, 03:51 PM
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I get off at 21:00 and it's pitch black, but it's no problem as I love riding at night with my Son "Edelux" headlight, tail light and blinky.
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Old 11-03-14, 06:02 PM
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Majority of my commuting and errands between November-January is done in the dark. I leave my home at 6:00AM in the morning and get back home after 6:00PM. I am looking forward to late January and February when days start to get longer. I use lights when riding on the road, but whenever I ride along wooded MUPS lights get turned off and I prefer to be stealthy, I also wear dark coloured clothing.
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Old 11-03-14, 06:13 PM
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I'm heading home in a bit. It's pretty dark out there. I've been upgrading my lighting system over the past year; I'm happy with my lighting system and looking forward to the ride home
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Old 11-03-14, 06:15 PM
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I go to work when it is dark.

I ride home when it is dark.

It has been like this for over a month now.

It will be like this for at least four or five more months.

I am firm believer in lighting... lots and lots of lighting.

It does get better (easier to see things) once we get a little snow cover.
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Old 11-03-14, 07:09 PM
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Originally Posted by Roody View Post
Does winter darkness make it more difficult for you to be carfree? What changes will you make due to the early sunsets and late sunrises? Do you like riding and walking in the dark?
By the time I'm ready for the bus, it's already daylight so it doesn't effect me at all. I don't mind walking in the dark since the streets are full of people coming home. I don't live in a horrible neighborhood so walking is just fine.

Now if I had to ride in the dark, that might be a different story. I would have to ride in the "hood" or ride in rush hour city traffic. I used to do this in my 30's but it got old and I got old! LOL
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Old 11-03-14, 07:10 PM
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For those riding at night, my best suggestion is to buy the brightest light you can afford. I still remember the day my front wheel sunk in a asphalt dip in the road causing me to go over the handlebars. Ride safe.
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Old 11-03-14, 07:58 PM
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I dont mind riding in the dark. I also have dynamo lighting on my one bike which makes it easy. On the route I ride, the cars seem to give me more space when it is dark which is a nice change. I am visible but not running any crazy bright lights.
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Old 11-03-14, 08:44 PM
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I started bike commuting in May and bought a bright head light and a couple of blinkies for the rear. I've ridden several times at night but today was my first official commute in darkness. It wasn't much of a big deal, like mentioned above I felt other drivers were giving me more room than during daylight hours.

For me, getting comfortable riding in the dark and the rain are the two biggest obstacles to overcome for successful bike commuting. I still struggle with matching clothes with the temperature.
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Old 11-03-14, 09:35 PM
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Bring on the darkness! I'm pretty nocturnal (ok, extremely nocturnal) by nature, so I'm also used to being active after dark. Most of my evening commutes have been dark for the last month or so.

I take lighting pretty seriously, and I keep one good headlight ready to go - along with a backup. I also keep my back lit up pretty well - my current favorite is an LED reflective safety triangle that attaches to my messenger bag - along with random other red blinking objects. Sometimes I use spoke lights as well, but those are mainly for my own entertainment.

Riding at night has never really bothered me. I can see cars approaching from their lights, and I love being out under a cold, moonlight sky. I'm a bit wary about walking by myself at night, even though my area is fairly low-crime - so as a car-free type, the main difference this time of year is that I'm more likely to use my bike for trips otherwise within walking distance.
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Old 11-03-14, 10:48 PM
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Originally Posted by wolfchild View Post
I use lights when riding on the road, but whenever I ride along wooded MUPS lights get turned off and I prefer to be stealthy, I also wear dark coloured clothing.
Why the stealthiness? Have there been attacks along those MUPs?
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Old 11-04-14, 01:00 AM
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I love night riding, although a little less since I was attacked in an attempted bike-jacking a few years ago. That made me more careful about where I ride in the evening. I used to work 3-11:30 PM and did my homeward commute always in darkness. I now work 7PM-7AM, so both legs are light part of the year and dark part of the year. I have been doing a lot of my fun riding in the sunrise after work lately. That's a nice time to ride, except the traffic is heavy then, and I'm a little tired after finishing a 12 hour shift.

I'm not real gung-ho about lights. Cheap LED headlamps have been available for the last 10 years or so. They work great for riding where there are streetlights. I usually mount two red blinkies, one on the seat post and one on the left fork.
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Old 11-04-14, 12:41 PM
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I like riding at night. I don't feel I'm any less visible. With my lights I'm pretty darn visible. I feel that it'd be easier to "miss" a biker in the daytime if you're at a busy intersection or similar. Where at night they have a ton of reflectors and lights to warn you.

Before DST, I raced the sun to work, it was fun.
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Old 11-05-14, 07:10 PM
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Originally Posted by bikemig View Post
I'm heading home in a bit. It's pretty dark out there. I've been upgrading my lighting system over the past year; I'm happy with my lighting system and looking forward to the ride home
Originally Posted by stringsonbikes View Post
I dont mind riding in the dark. I also have dynamo lighting on my one bike which makes it easy. On the route I ride, the cars seem to give me more space when it is dark which is a nice change. I am visible but not running any crazy bright lights.
One thing I really like about this time of year is how suddenly cyclists start talking about their lighting system!!

Likw @Roody and @stringsonbikes I don't go for super bright lights. I prefer hub generated lighting. It isn't the brightest but is super convenient.
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Old 11-05-14, 07:44 PM
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Originally Posted by Ekdog View Post
Why the stealthiness? Have there been attacks along those MUPs?
No attacks along any MUPS which I use for commuting, but still that doesn't mean my city is immune from crime. It's just my nature and my style to be a little more stealthy them most people.
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Old 11-06-14, 01:32 AM
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Originally Posted by wolfchild View Post
No attacks along any MUPS which I use for commuting, but still that doesn't mean my city is immune from crime. It's just my nature and my style to be a little more stealthy them most people.
Stay true to your nature! I rode dark for a couple years before the bikeforums people convinced me to light it up. I never felt like I had any close calls in that time, but I now feel more comfortable with a modest lighting system.
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Old 11-13-14, 12:58 AM
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I'll admit I really hate riding to work in the dark, and riding home from work in the dark. Its less about the riding, and more about the feeling as though my day is 0 hours long. Sort of like that old and only sort of good movie Dark City, where everyone keeps remarking about "where did the day go, is it dark already?"

That said, I usetwo USB rechargeable headlights up front, and two tail lights, one blue, two red. Specifically because when all three tail lights are blinking, it makes people think of cops, which usually translates into more careful driving. The lights are bright, but not as bright as I'd like them to be. I'd like my headlights to have an old school Nightsun mode. Where they start stuff on fire if its closer than 10 feet.
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Old 11-15-14, 10:07 AM
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It's amazing how lights have gotten much brighter and less expensive over the years. Lights from China are with 3-4K in Lumins were over $200.00 dollars 5 years ago. Today, you can get the same bright lights for under $70.00 dollars.
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