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Lights?

Old 09-03-12, 09:41 PM
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treadtread
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Lights?

Went to Santa Cruz today by car - taking my son to the boardwalk. Passed a lot of cyclists on Highway 1 when I was driving from Half Moon Bay to Santa Cruz, and only 4 of them were using lights. It was really foggy too, coming and going.

Just wondering - how many folks here use lights regularly on long rides?
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Old 09-03-12, 10:25 PM
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Lanceoldstrong
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Put me down as for lights. I am a member of the Double Century tribe. We are big light users since almost all doubles take you either from the hours of darkness, or later in the day, back into them. I can rock out a Davis Double in May from dawn to dusk without lights but any double earlier in the spring, late in the year or very mountainous (those mountains will slow you down) means good lights are in order.

Also I am a big believer in a "see me better" light for after work rides that end around 7PM this time of year. Assume that motorists are tired, hungry, in a bad mood from traffic, and in a hurry to get home. Just normal people in their cars on a work night. A "see me better" light on my bars when the sun is low and shadows are long gets the attention of a distracted driver. Plus I use a red blinkie in the rear at these times too for all the same reasons.
Anything to help them "see me better"
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Old 09-04-12, 10:40 AM
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danec99
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My bike always has "be seen" lights on it. Planet BIke red blinky in back and an Axiom white up front. It is always better to be seen.
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Old 09-04-12, 12:51 PM
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treadtread
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Agreed. My bike has an extremely basic tail light, but I only ride in bright daylight, so far at least. 9 am commute to office, 5:30 pm back. But I will buy better lights as weather changes - have just avoided buying so far because I want to make sure I buy good stuff (and that is expensive!). Was just a bit appalled to see so many cyclists without lights in foggy weather. I was extra careful going around them, but then I'm on their side already. Not everyone on that road likes cyclists.
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Old 09-04-12, 01:20 PM
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I have a cheap Kmart light on my bike... almost running into a skunk yesterday morning has convinced me to buy some brighter lights that can help me see what's ahead of me more better.
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Old 09-05-12, 01:16 PM
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UmneyDurak
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Maybe they were just unprepared. Weather change quite a bit when you get to the coast.
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Old 09-05-12, 02:33 PM
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every ride, every mile, regardless of conditions.
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Old 09-05-12, 03:40 PM
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treadtread
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Originally Posted by rumrunn6 View Post
every ride, every mile, regardless of conditions.
Even during daytime, bright sunlight? I haven't been doing that - do lights really help in such conditions? If yes, I need to start doing that!
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Old 09-05-12, 03:49 PM
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Night always, transitional/foul weather usually lit, traffic lit. If I am not coming to an intersection anytime soon and I can see fine, headlight is off but tail is still on. The place where it helps in daylight is if you pass through shadows in tree/building areas it can brighten the contrast effect. Cars have been lit in daytime automatically for a while now for the same reasons.
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Old 09-05-12, 05:15 PM
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Originally Posted by treadtread View Post
Even during daytime, bright sunlight? I haven't been doing that - do lights really help in such conditions? If yes, I need to start doing that!
When your riding in a mix of shaded wooded areas and sunlight, car drivers coming from bright sun and into dark woods needs a few seconds for their eyes to adjust, in that time there's some guy riding a bike no lights of any kind. Very dangerous! I always carry at least a blinky day and night.
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Old 09-05-12, 07:23 PM
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I absolutely agree on headlights especially when mountain riding or anytime you are in a chiaroscuro lighting situation. I actually consider headlights more important than taillights becuase I fear someone turning left in front of me more than being hit from behind. If I need to conserve battery life, I will turn off the light on extended climbs. Based on my experience driving Central Expressway, I believe lights are very useful in gaining driver's attention under all lighting situations.
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Old 09-06-12, 07:13 AM
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Thanks all. I guess I'll look into daytime lights as well. 90% of my ride is on an MUP, only 10% street (with no trees overhanging the road). Still, better safe than sorry I guess.
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Old 09-07-12, 09:01 PM
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Blackburn Mars 3.0, broad day light - that wink is visible well before the outline of a cyclist is discernable, many miles away.

On all time, agreed; solid in darkness, blinky in daylight.

Hundreds of lumens up front for darkness, on low in daylight in town and neighborhods.
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Old 09-07-12, 09:28 PM
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Mainframeguy
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Always carry lights, one set days (helmet mounted) and three sets after dark.
Advantage of this strategy is that I am never "caught out" without lights by changed conditions or circumstance and (after dark) there is a double failsafe against any failures.

PLUS lately I am carrying a thrift shop set, which has added bonus that whenever I see anyne riding after dark wihtout lights I can shout out; "Hey, need lights? I can give you some!" Yet to have anyone take me up on this, but would be cool if they ever did (and maybe just save their life)!
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Old 09-08-12, 10:56 AM
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I bike commute, often in the dark, late at night. I've upgraded my lights twice so I don't out-ride them. I currently have a MagicShine. Low features, cheaply made, inexpensive and bright as all get out.

Planet Bike Super Flash in the back.

This summer i rode with friends in Portland. They strapped on rear blinkies for a mid-day ride. I wondered why, until we started rolling through teh trees and shadows. Bright daylight to almost dark. If I lived there I'd rock one in the daylight too.
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Old 09-11-12, 08:59 AM
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I don't like lights, I turn them off whenever it's safe to do so, particularly late at night if there is moonlight. My fellow riders out there with Magicshines, turn those effing things down; you're like a 747 on final approach yo.

However...I agree that a blinky on the front can save you from getting left hooked and one on the back can make all the difference for a motorist, especially if they are going from sunlight into shade.

Props for dropping "chiaroscuro".
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