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Old 12-14-2007, 01:56 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Bike riding at night - pointers.

So, tonight I was heading home I noticed a cyclist ahead of me in the dark. This guy was going down the street in the opposing lane of traffic, with no lights on a black bike (riding ninja-style as I like to call it) and blowing through a stop sign at full speed. In short, he was doing EVERYTHING wrong.

Statistically speaking, riding a bike at night is the most dangerous riding you're ever likely to do. Only about 3% of bike trips occur at night, but night riding accounts for up to 95% of bike-car crashes.
So with that in mind here's a few pointers for any of you who might need to venture out under your own power at night.

1.) BE VISIBLE!!!! (be predictable!)
2.) Minimum of one rear blinking red light, preferably two.
3.) Minimum of one white/yellow front-facing light, preferably a second blinking one.
4.) Minimum of the usual CPSC reflectors. (yellow reflectors on the pedals, red reflector in the rear, white reflectors on the front and both wheels.) Extra reflective-goodness is always a plus.

Anyway, I don't know how many of you have ventured out after dark, but when and if you do, be extra vigilant. Act as if they can't see you.

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Old 12-14-2007, 10:52 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Good tips. I lost my front blinkie last week on a bumpy snow-covered bike path (And I didn't have 2 front lights).

I always wonder about the "be predictable" advice though.

I understand its intent, but one of the tips that stuck most in my mind from my motorcycle course was to intentionally make yourself appear unpredictable in specific situations: eg. where cars may be preparing to cross your path (left turns), you should weave back and forth in your lane on approach. Your apparent side to side movement (from the opposing driver's perspective) makes you "pop" out of the background, particularly if you've got vehicles behind "masking" you.

Anecdotally, I would say it works, and I used it regularly where left turners threatened.
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Old 12-14-2007, 08:12 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I'll have to find it... A friend of mine sent me a link...

Blinking lights versus chasing lights....

Blinking lights attract inebriated drivers - chasing lights don't...

I have a 10W halogen headlight and a red LED tail... Front/Rear/Pedal/Wheel reflectors and the rear of my helmet is reflective.

When making a left - and some asshat decides he's going to pull in the middle of the road with me, and wait for traffic to clear.... I yell, a lot, just before and as I'm pulling out - to prevent this other car from pulling in front or into me while I get over to the right.

Visibility is good - being noticed even better. I've been riding the 'bent recently - and I'm less visible as far as frontal area is concerned... but much more noticed
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Old 12-15-2007, 12:32 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by trebuchet03 View Post
I'll have to find it... A friend of mine sent me a link...

Blinking lights versus chasing lights....

Blinking lights attract inebriated drivers - chasing lights don't...

I have a 10W halogen headlight and a red LED tail... Front/Rear/Pedal/Wheel reflectors and the rear of my helmet is reflective.

When making a left - and some asshat decides he's going to pull in the middle of the road with me, and wait for traffic to clear.... I yell, a lot, just before and as I'm pulling out - to prevent this other car from pulling in front or into me while I get over to the right.

Visibility is good - being noticed even better. I've been riding the 'bent recently - and I'm less visible as far as frontal area is concerned... but much more noticed
What's a chasing light?
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Old 12-15-2007, 12:33 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Like the christmas lights that run around the string rather than blink. Chaser bike lights usually twirl around counter clockwise and then clockwise a bunch, right?
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Old 12-17-2007, 02:16 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by SVOboy View Post
Like the christmas lights that run around the string rather than blink. Chaser bike lights usually twirl around counter clockwise and then clockwise a bunch, right?
Mine goes back and forth Think K.I.T. from night rider... Or Cylon eyes
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Old 12-17-2007, 05:16 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Now I got it.

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Old 01-10-2008, 06:38 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Wierd trivia.

Both Battlestar Galactica and Night Rider had the same producer, Glen A Larson. He liked the Cyclon eyes so much, he re-used them for KITT.

Also both shows are now re-makes! (Night Rider coming soon!)
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Old 03-29-2008, 09:55 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MetroMPG View Post
I always wonder about the "be predictable" advice though.

I understand its intent, but one of the tips that stuck most in my mind from my motorcycle course was to intentionally make yourself appear unpredictable in specific situations
I actually happened upon an old Rivendell catalog in the garage which has the following to say about bicycle safety:

"1. Be Seen. Lights and reflectors, the normal stuff
2. Be predictable most of the time. Signal, obey the signs, and so on.
3. Be unpredictable some of the time. As a car approaches from the rear and you can't move over any further to the right, and the car is still well behind you (in other words, not about to smack you), a quick but obvious swerve to the left -a foot and a second at most- will call attention to you & make drivers think you're slightly unsteady, so they're less likely to skim you as they pass. Don't swerve into traffic, but a well-timed "safety wobble" may encourage drivers to give you a bit more room, and where's the harm in that?"
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Old 03-30-2008, 02:24 AM   #10 (permalink)
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I say carry a hand gun! people are idiots, if you meet someone who clearly is in that class... then remind your self that the planet is over populated, of course if you agree with this, then don't argue if someone else has this mind set and labels you as an idiot because they might be correct.

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