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I Was talking with a friend of mine.........

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I Was talking with a friend of mine.........

Old 12-15-20, 06:32 PM
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UCantTouchThis
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I Was talking with a friend of mine.........

Sounds like it could be a song, right?! :-P

Really a'ight! I was talking with a friend of mine, about traffic in SoCal. We ride together at times during night hours. Sometimes start in the day and end in the dark. Lately, starting in the dark and ending in the dark.

He mentioned he will only ride at night with a group claiming that drivers seemed to be much more aggressive at night. So in a group, out on the road, he feels safe in the dark.

I am the opposite. I feel that drivers and traffic are more aggressive at night, when I ride in a group. My thoughts are the drivers are far more irritated when cyclists go out of the HUGE bike land and shoulders taking the lane for no reason. Many times in a group, the other cyclists will blow the stops, the lights and often impeded traffic. We have been on wide enough streets that cars can pass safely but there is always one or two riders that take the lane doing 16 in a 40 mile zone for no reason.

When I ride at night alone, I stay in the lane, make my stops, and act as if I am traffic other than taking the lane at 1/4 speed of a car. Most rides, there is a show of courtesy and consideration shown by the drivers around me. Probably did 50 night rides over the last 5 months and only once did I get some fool that was in a hurry to beat me to the corner. Of course slowing half a step on my pedals negated any risk of danger.

So I say riding in a group, I find drivers are more aggressive and discourteous. Riding solo I find they are very courteous and considerate.

FTR, we are riding in cycling friendly towns. Not going to ride down the middle of a street in a ghetto. I'm talking major roads that are bike friendly, major roads with nice bike lanes and wide shoulders.

What are your thoughts? More aggressive drivers when you are in a group, or solo ???
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Old 12-15-20, 07:07 PM
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But is it that he feels drivers are less aggressive when he is in a group, or he simply feels safer from aggressive drivers because of the numbers of the group-- figures drivers will be less likely to start something than they would with someone alone, or he will have protection if they do?
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Old 12-15-20, 09:51 PM
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Originally Posted by Kat12 View Post
But is it that he feels drivers are less aggressive when he is in a group, or he simply feels safer from aggressive drivers because of the numbers of the group-- figures drivers will be less likely to start something than they would with someone alone, or he will have protection if they do?
He says he feels that the drivers see a larger number of cyclists and are less likely to start something. Not so much that he is protected by other cyclists. Not a timid type guy so I don't think a driver alone would intimidate him. He feels that drivers would tend to see a solo cyclist and be more inclined to intentionally hassle the sole cyclist.
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Old 12-15-20, 10:08 PM
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Most areas I ride in are upper middle-class. I ride solo and do not ride at night but will start pre-dawn. Most of my negative encounters are drivers wanting to intentionally squeeze me with close passes. I will pull into a cross-street to let drivers pass me to avoid issues.

My biggest concern are drivers that are stoned out of their minds on THC or smoking Meth while driving. I can smell both several times on my usual 40 to 80 mile rides.
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Old 12-15-20, 10:22 PM
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You can see what drivers do, but you can't see why they do it or what they're thinking. Those are blanks that you fill in with your own story.

I've done lots of rando miles at night, and lots of commuting miles in morning and evening darkness. I don't feel I get harassed by a higher percentage of drivers at night vs. day. There's a ton more traffic during the day, thus a lot more driver interactions. In the dark outside the city, I think I'm way more visible at night than any other time I'm on the road. The dangerous time, to me, is when the sun is low on the horizon in front of me. That's time to get off the road.
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Old 12-15-20, 11:12 PM
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I too prefer night riding to dusk or when the sun is low on the horizon. I feel generally safe at night except for drug and alcohol impaired users, which I presume are more frequent at night. I wonder if exhaustion from long days at work doesn't also making be hit more likely.
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Old 12-15-20, 11:20 PM
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Originally Posted by CAT7RDR View Post
Most areas I ride in are upper middle-class. I ride solo and do not ride at night but will start pre-dawn. Most of my negative encounters are drivers wanting to intentionally squeeze me with close passes. I will pull into a cross-street to let drivers pass me to avoid issues.

My biggest concern are drivers that are stoned out of their minds on THC or smoking Meth while driving. I can smell both several times on my usual 40 to 80 mile rides.
I do the same at intersections if it is even close to a squeeze. I will veer toward the crosswalk (but not into it) to allow the cars a safe passing cushion to protect myself.

I do feel safe out there all lit up but as well, I fear the impaired drivers and getting hit from behind. If anything ever happens to me riding on the road, that will be it. I control everything else.
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Old 12-15-20, 11:24 PM
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Originally Posted by downtube42 View Post
I think I'm way more visible at night than any other time I'm on the road. The dangerous time, to me, is when the sun is low on the horizon in front of me. That's time to get off the road.
+1 I feel safe at night lit up! But I hate riding west when the sun is setting. I'd rather ride north and south if I ride during those hours.

Sadly I see several cyclists heading west at sunset wearing black and/or dark colors. If I have to ride west at that time, I will for sure have 2 red blinkies and wear bright colors.
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Old 12-15-20, 11:27 PM
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Originally Posted by btppberk View Post
I too prefer night riding to dusk or when the sun is low on the horizon. I feel generally safe at night except for drug and alcohol impaired users, which I presume are more frequent at night. I wonder if exhaustion from long days at work doesn't also making be hit more likely.
Agreed! The driver anxious to get home after work, and exhausted as you say, scares me too. Impaired and the anxious, 2 biggest threats I expect would cause a hit from behind accident.
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Old 12-15-20, 11:44 PM
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Originally Posted by btppberk View Post
I too prefer night riding to dusk or when the sun is low on the horizon. I feel generally safe at night except for drug and alcohol impaired users, which I presume are more frequent at night. I wonder if exhaustion from long days at work doesn't also making be hit more likely.
a dangerous presumption these days considering unemployment, the shutdown and stay at home pandemic order currently in place.

pre-2020...i found that you had the streets to yourself after 2:30am. these days, it's more like 11pm. so few cars. that benefit needs to be carefully weighed vs
your lighting setup + your intimate street condition (bumps, hummocks, potholes, etc) knowledge of rides you'll be riding.
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Old 12-16-20, 08:09 AM
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....said a woman had hurt his pride....
Seriously I've seen people with no clue at all hours. My main peeve is the large number of cars (& trucks) with front windows tinted so dark that you can't see the driver. When coming to a cross street there is no way to tell if they are even looking in your direction. Back in the day if we tried it on our cars we'd get a fix it ticket within days!
West
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Old 12-16-20, 08:13 AM
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Originally Posted by UCantTouchThis View Post
He says he feels that the drivers see a larger number of cyclists and are less likely to start something. Not so much that he is protected by other cyclists. Not a timid type guy so I don't think a driver alone would intimidate him. He feels that drivers would tend to see a solo cyclist and be more inclined to intentionally hassle the sole cyclist.
Yes, that's what I meant.
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Old 12-16-20, 09:44 AM
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Maybe it's just a personal thing, but I never ride at night. I can't speak to the point of a group ride is safer than solo, but I can definitely confirm that virtually every one of my close encounters has been during rush hour. Someone is always trying to squeeze into traffic or run a red light. I have also had people that were in heavy rush hour traffic pull over to the curb without checking to see if anyone is in the bike lane.
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Old 12-16-20, 10:23 AM
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Originally Posted by 2seven0 View Post
....said a woman had hurt his pride....
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Old 12-18-20, 11:16 AM
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OP you have a lot of faith in people. All you have to do is look to your left and right when you drive and see how many people have their phone in their hand. It's bad enough during the day....but at night forget it.
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Old 12-18-20, 04:41 PM
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Originally Posted by jadocs View Post
OP you have a lot of faith in people. All you have to do is look to your left and right when you drive and see how many people have their phone in their hand. It's bad enough during the day....but at night forget it.
Well, in my opinion, I think cyclists are more eye catching with the flashing red lights. I feel much safer at night as I am going to catch a texting drivers eye with the red blinkie strobes vs wearing grey, blue, brown, or black riding during the day mixing in with the background.

Do you ride at night and how often?
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Old 12-21-20, 08:50 AM
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Originally Posted by UCantTouchThis View Post
Well, in my opinion, I think cyclists are more eye catching with the flashing red lights. I feel much safer at night as I am going to catch a texting drivers eye with the red blinkie strobes vs wearing grey, blue, brown, or black riding during the day mixing in with the background.

Do you ride at night and how often?
You would think that is the case, and it might be with *some* drivers....but it also means it's not with *all*. There was a guy killed right off my street (that I comfortably ride almost everyday) two years ago in the evening (running proper lights). He was T-boned when a truck California rolled a stop sign off a side street. Distracted driving (and dumb people in general) is a thing, and when you throw night into the mix, it doesn't make it better IMO.

To answer your question, yes I have done evening ride or two in a group...a large group. If you were to ask me which would be safer, I would side with your friend. It's easier to see a group with flashing lights vs. an individual. This is all just my perspective on the subject matter.
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Old 12-21-20, 09:32 AM
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I always use front and rear blinkers, high vis kit and helmet and I tailor my routes to avoid high risk situations. I was side-swiped once and that made me a believer in constantly monitoring my surroundings and noise from behind me. I expect stupidity and careless drivers. I do not ride at night because I am on my own and no rescue is coming my way.

I will likely try GMR sometime in the future in a group, at night, on a full moon and clear, just for the experience and pics.

30+ years ago I would ride SART at night in a small group but this no longer appeals to me due to robberies and murders on SART.
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Old 12-21-20, 10:45 AM
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Originally Posted by jadocs View Post
You would think that is the case, and it might be with *some* drivers....but it also means it's not with *all*. There was a guy killed right off my street (that I comfortably ride almost everyday) two years ago in the evening (running proper lights). He was T-boned when a truck California rolled a stop sign off a side street. Distracted driving (and dumb people in general) is a thing, and when you throw night into the mix, it doesn't make it better IMO.

To answer your question, yes I have done evening ride or two in a group...a large group. If you were to ask me which would be safer, I would side with your friend. It's easier to see a group with flashing lights vs. an individual. This is all just my perspective on the subject matter.

Ah yes, the T bone! Honestly, if I were to get T boned, I would blame myself. As Cat7rdr, I monitor my surroundings like a hawk. I use side reflectors to be seen from the side as well. Watching all intersections, drive ways, shopping center driveways, I believe one can avoid the T bone. I use a helmet light and when approaching an intersection, I wave my helmet light a bit so the traffic approaching from the opposite side is aware there is a bicycle approaching. Also, cars approaching from the side at intersections, I give a quick wave with my helmet light and even point it into their window for a quick second to alert them, not to blind them. I have had a couple cars slow way down almost stomping the brake seeming to be startled that I was there.

Believe me, I do everything I can to protect myself. IMO, too many cyclists think too much of the 'IT IS MY RIGHT" thing and make themselves vulnerable to accidents. I myself would rather back off my pedals, let cars beat me to the intersection, let them roll through a red light keeping myself at a distance, and not worry so much about losing a tenth on my average speed. I am in no hurry to be DEAD RIGHT on a bicycle.

I respect your opinion but myself, I don't think it is as dangerous as some make it out to be if one takes every precaution. I have ridden with groups at night and I can say, I can see why people get hurt. Too many fools out there running lights and stops at night trying to stay with the front of the group, beat a buddy, but I refuse to be one of them. I'd rather stay alive than beat a friend on a fake race.
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Old 12-21-20, 10:59 AM
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Originally Posted by CAT7RDR View Post
I expect stupidity and careless drivers.

I will likely try GMR sometime in the future in a group, at night, on a full moon and clear, just for the experience and pics.
I treat every driver like they are stupid. Not that they are but I do not put it passed anyone to roll through a red light from the side. I expect anyone that passes me is going to turn right at the next intersection. I have too many friends that have several encounters with cars trying to beat them to the corner. Strange, I ride on the road more than they do and even at night and I have had one car race me to the corner as I was about 20 yards from his turn. Hey, if I hear a car speed up at an intersection, I am slowing down. They can have it!

GMR at night is cool! I have done it a couple of times solo to the shack. Then a couple times with a buddy and a couple of times in a large group. Once at the 4 mile point, the ridge (?), one can actually turn off the headlights and see with the moonlight. On the group ride, many did as it is easy to see. Maybe 1 or 2 cars at most at night. Going up alone is eerie. In the first 3 mile section, tree covered makes me think a lion is going to jump on my back hearing all kinds of noises.

Also, the descent in a group is a bit scary. Lights behind you seem to go one way on the switchbacks but your shadow goes the opposite. Strange light tricks and effects. Takes a few turns to realize what is going on. I almost stopped the first time thinking I was going over the edge. Strange feeling!
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Old 12-22-20, 09:14 AM
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Originally Posted by UCantTouchThis View Post
Ah yes, the T bone! Honestly, if I were to get T boned, I would blame myself. As Cat7rdr, I monitor my surroundings like a hawk.
Trust me, an accident can happen day or night and have nothing to do with being situationally aware.
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Old 12-22-20, 12:23 PM
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Originally Posted by TakingMyTime View Post
Trust me, an accident can happen day or night and have nothing to do with being situationally aware.

True! But my thing is that I do what I can to prevent accidents. As taught in driving school, 99% of accidents are avoidable. So when I am on the freeway, I use my signals to alert others that I am changing lanes. That way, even if I don't see them, they see me and have a chance to react avoiding an accident, even if it is my fault.

But the dope that is swerving between cars at 100 MPH changing the song on their ipod, is far more likely to be involved in accidents, several probably.

Nothing it 100% avoidable but I don't put my self in situations of risk knowingly. As they say, ride predictable but even then, stuff happens. I just lower the risks, day and night!

Again, my worst enemy would be somebody hitting me from behind in the bike lane. That I can not avoid.

Let me add this as someone mentioned it above. Though I do ride often at night, I do ride local strategically planned courses. I ride familiar roads with bike lanes and plenty of space. I find the roads with less traffic that will take me in the same direction. Many times I get a chance to scope out the local roads for construction and hazardous obstacles as the roads are usually in my line of daily travel. Not to mention, there are plenty safer backroads out here that are great alternatives to the main highways and avenues of travel.

A 25 mile night ride are on roads I trust. For example, there is no way I am riding my bike on Brea Cyn Rd at night. Crazy fast traffic and not much shoulder. I would only do this road if I had to on a century, and that would be in daylight hours.

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Old 12-23-20, 03:46 PM
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Goes to show noting is foolproof! I had a friend who was out for RUN today, broad daylight. Lady at an intersection hit him. He's okay saying she was slow rolling through and intersection and didn't see him crossing. :-O

BTW, I've seen some runners out at night running in bike lanes that should be wearing at least a small light. Some dressed in dark clothes hard to see.
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