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Observations from first commutes after the clocks change..

redddraggonredddraggon Posts: 10,862
edited October 2007 in Commuting chat

Light at 0650, very little cars about, normal journey.

Loads of cyclists with very poor lights (if they had any at all), black clothes and bloody slow.
I was all kitted out with my flouro jacket and decent lights front and back, but I still suffered from paranoia - really afraid that some idiot in a car wouldn't see me.
Cars seem to give even less space when overtaking in the dark.

I'd prefer my return journey was lighter - my morning journey in the dark is OK and has been for the last month or so. I wish they wouldn't censored about with the clocks.

You slow moving idiots on bikes - get some proper lights and be seen. Perhaps it's just that they were caught unawares after the clocks were put back, but that's not a good excuse when you could be killed.

How did everyone else find it?
I like bikes...



  • Eat My DustEat My Dust Posts: 3,965
    I wear nothing but black!! (although I do have bright lights)
  • Mog UkMog Uk Posts: 964
    I'm surprised just how many people have stopped cycling round here. Over the summer I used to see a good 10+ regulars every morning and night, that's now dropped to 2....!

    It was strange leaving the office in the dark, a sure fire sign that winter is upon us. Found myself being a little more cautious than usual and riding a little more defensively, it will get easier as the week progresses..

    Safe riding peeps....
  • BentMikeyBentMikey Posts: 4,895
    I wear nothing but black!! (although I do have bright lights)

    Me too!!
  • T800T800 Posts: 672
    Yep. One of those evenings.

    I was going through a junction tonight, at which I had priority, when I nearly ran into the side of a little silver Diahatsu that went straight across in front of me. The very satisfying sudden-swerve-and-brake manoeuvre on the part of the driver in response to a blast of the AirZound (as well as the look on her face :o :shock:), almost made it worthwhile! :D

    I was pretty well lit, I thought, but I knew right away that I should have made time yesterday to put the Dinotte back on the helmet.

    Christmas shopping season will be upon us soon -- the cagers are really distracted and careless 'round then, so watch out.
    So, after a lot of thought, I'd like to reconsider. Please, if it's not too late, make it a cheeseburger.

    Just a pic of my bike.
  • most, if not all, black cycling clothing has plenty of reflective strip. what's the problem?
  • tardingtontardington Posts: 1,379
    edited October 2007
    It's nice having the extra light in the morning, but yeah, I never really twigged about the hour earlier darkness. I always carry my lights with me anyway, so that was cool, but saw a few people lightless.

    I often finish work at ten pm, so have two lights at each end - and I find it safer on the roads, than at say 7 or 8.

    Must get one of those v loud horns, though! An air zound you say?
  • AidocpAidocp Posts: 868
    Tonight I seemed to get more room, I think my lights scared some drivers and it was dark enough for them to be effective. I hope it continues, but I doubt it.
  • fossyantfossyant Posts: 2,549
    I went out like Blackpool Illuminations tonight on the way home... be careful as I used to see loads of accident's on the motorways for the next few weeks as people got used to the dark.... glad I'm bike commuting now...
  • This year was petty OK though perhaps the dry and clear (here in t'Midlands)weather is helping. Last year was carnage, with 4 car smashes, that I counted through Leamington. I remember vaguely it was damp and slippery.

    Two cyclists with no lights in very fetching, but very dark clothing. I saw 'em but did others???
    One more cheeky climb....
  • ash68ash68 Posts: 320
    must admit I feel safer riding home in the pitch black, than the semi-dusk of the last few weeks.I'm sure my lights and reflectives stand out more in the dark.Trouble is it's semi-light in the mornings now when I set off, but the commute to work is always quieter, with very few cars about.
  • Drfabulous0Drfabulous0 Posts: 1,539
    I worked the late shift today, wasn't expecting having to ride 2 miles with the sun right in my eyes on the way to work and forgot my glasses, Doh!
  • TeuchterTeuchter Posts: 102
    Was on the motorbike yesterday due to a need for a 60 mile trek at lunchtime (I'm not that fit!). The M8 going home was wet, dark and gridlocked though filtering in the dark is easier than filtering directly into a barely-above-the-horizon sun so no probs there!

    Cycling again today though as I've had to work later a few nights over the last few weeks I've had occasion to test out my lights in pitch darkness already.

    Like some others I do feel a little more vulnerable cycling in the dark until I think rationally and realise that my bright lights with less distractions for the drivers probably makes me more visible than in daylight - certainly more than at dusk.

    FWIW I don't wear fluorescent gear unless it's raining (my waterproof jacket). Makes no difference in the dark - for that you just need lights and reflective stuff.
  • t4tomot4tomo Posts: 2,643
    It still surprises me how many peolpe ride (this is in central london) without lights or with very dim or obscured lights.

    I also have tire flies on my valve caps which are good as they move & flash and can be seen from side on (which might have been a factor in your junction near miss T800).

    To be honest I've had the lights on for a few weeks before the clocks went back so didn't make much difference to me yday
    Bianchi Infinito CV
    Bianchi Via Nirone 7 Ultegra
    Brompton S Type
    Carrera Vengeance Ultimate Ltd
    Gary Fisher Aquila '98
    Front half of a Viking Saratoga Tandem
  • spasypaddyspasypaddy Posts: 5,731
    yeah ive had my lights on my bike for the best part of a month already. Today was an absolutely glorious day so i rode in on my brand new Planet X. Didnt want its first journey to be to work but its been done now so im going to go out on it at lunch for a quick 50min spin!

    Woooooo :D:D:D PLANET X!
  • jedsterjedster Posts: 2,004
    I like the clocks going back. Until this weekend both legs were in the dark. Now at least the morning is light
  • A - WA - W Posts: 253
    Nice couple of rides this week so far. Lovely chill in the air with plenty of sunshine to keep it warm enough.

    Plenty without lights on on my commute although the numbers appear to have dwindled.
    FCN 10
  • My observation is...why the hell is Horse Guard's Ride (London) so dark? I have a fairly bright front light that is more than adequate for most of central London's roads, but I still couldn't see the road as much as I'd like on Horse Guards, why isn't it lit properly like the rest of the city?
  • secretsamsecretsam Posts: 4,786
    BentMikey wrote:
    I wear nothing but black!! (although I do have bright lights)

    Me too!!

    The Dark Lord reveals himself once more...but agree with the main post, noticed lots of wallies doing 3mph with no lights, which is insane, because even though you're on bike lanes other cyclists still have to see you... :roll:

    It's just a hill. Get over it.
  • spasypaddyspasypaddy Posts: 5,731
    just been out on my lunch hour, went a bit further than expected (ie i got lost...) was good though. I love my new bike!
  • AidocpAidocp Posts: 868
    t4tomo wrote:
    It still surprises me how many peolpe ride (this is in central london) without lights or with very dim or obscured lights.

    They do it in Edinburgh too.
  • spasypaddyspasypaddy Posts: 5,731
    i did my bit for the community this afternoon, on my commute home i pulled up alongside an elderly gentleman who had quite clearly been caught out by the change in time!

    He had one rear light on his bike (think it was a hybrid with panniers) and i couldnt see him until i was really close. So as i pulled alongside him i slowed right down to his pace and had a word, i was really polite.

    He genuinely didnt realise that his lights couldn't be seen until i was almost on top of him. We stopped, he adjusted it so it wasnt being obscured by the panniers as much anymore and commented that he'd look into getting some new brighter lights, even commented on how bright my back one was which made me very happy as i was never completely convinced by it as i cant see it when im riding!

    We said our goodbyes and continued on our seperate journeys, i really hope i've helped him and he gets some more lights as he was a genuinely nice man.
  • ash68ash68 Posts: 320
    good on ya spasypaddy, he's a fellow cyclist after all. He was probably very pleased for the advice from you and your kind attitude. If only a few more people had time for others the world would be a better place IMO.
  • BentMikeyBentMikey Posts: 4,895
    Respect Spasy!!
  • On my first commute after the change, I was convinced I was late for work, because it was light. First journey home was terrifying!! My journey consists of 80% unlit country lanes, 20% minor b roads. The journey to work in the dark in the morning was fantastic, clear roads fresh cool air etc etc, but the journey home is horrible. I probably just need to get used to it but I'm convinced I'm going to get rear ended!! I have 2 cateyes on the front, 1 on flash the other on full. On the back I have a very bright flashing LED and also 2 flashing bar end lights, which I have been told are very eye-catching. Yet I still cant get it into my head that I'm very visible. I think it would be better for me if I could see myself to put my mind at ease, but that ain't gonna happen!!

    BTW, on our local news tonight, a story of a father of 7 who was killed cycling to work early this morning by a hit and run. I know its a rare occurrence but it makes you think doesn't it!!!
  • spasypaddyspasypaddy Posts: 5,731
    dave what you could do is lock your bike up (or get your wife/gf/child to stand holding it) at the end of your road with all your lights on as you would ride with them and walk until you cant see them or are happy with the distance that you can still see them. Get the person holding the bike to turn it around and do the same with the front lights
  • Speaking of visibility from behind, If you're wearing a high-viz or reflective jacket, I wonder how useful it might be to mount a light on your rack pointing up at your back...?

    (Not counting BentMikey, of course :wink: )
  • secretsamsecretsam Posts: 4,786
    Speaking of visibility from behind, If you're wearing a high-viz or reflective jacket, I wonder how useful it might be to mount a light on your rack pointing up at your back...?

    (Not counting BentMikey, of course :wink: )

    I'm not doing anything that draws attention to my enormous ar5e :lol:

    It's just a hill. Get over it.
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