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Public service announcement - LIGHTS!

RufusARufusA Posts: 500
edited September 2008 in Commuting chat
With winter fast approaching, I bring you the following public service announcement.

PLEASE GET SOME LIGHTS.

By the end of this month, it will be dark between 7PM and 7AM, and with an abundance of misted windscreens, and bleary eyed motorists it does no harm to have something bright and blinky outside of normal lighting-up times. Even if you aren't planning on working late always carry charged and ready to go lights, as the P******E fairy has been known to visit the foolhardy.

During October I will mostly be shouting at fellow commuters:

OI MATE - GET SOME LIGHTS.

And November:

OI DEATH WISH - GET SOME F'ING LIGHTS.

December's chant is sadly not repeatable in polite company!

Wearing a flourescent bib, or cycling on the pavement is not an excuse not having working lights!

Rufus.
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  • I mostly agree with this. As an occasional car driver, after dark it is near impossible to see cyclists who do not have lights.

    Im not sure about shouting obscenities to those who don't have any but hey ho to each his own.
  • Driving to work yesterday morning I noticed a few cyclists without lights and thought how stupid they were.

    Technically they did not need them at 07:10 but any light can make a difference and just make the drivers more aware of them.

    Having just bought lights for winter I was advised in the LBS to put the front white one on flashing mode rather than steady. Not sure I agree with that one. Thoughts please
    ============================================

    FCN is minimal as I don't see many bikes on the way to work
  • I see a guy out every morning - approx 05:45 - without lights on. I don't shout obscenities but do shout 'get some lights!'
    I'm not bothered about him - although I'm sure his family or friends would be. My thoughts are for both myself (as the 'all cyclists are ******** who jump red lights and don't use lights in the dark' mentality of some drivers gets further strengthened) and the poor sod who is pulling out of a side road, checks carefully to see if anything is coming and then gets a cyclist through their car door.

    Having just bought lights for winter I was advised in the LBS to put the front white one on flashing mode rather than steady. Not sure I agree with that one. Thoughts please
    my thoughts - if only one light - put it on constant beam. Flashing lights are good for saving battery and perhaps a little more attention-grabbing, but very difficult to judge distance....and what if the driver glances your way when the light is on the 'off' bit of the flash?
    A combination of one steady and one flashing may be an idea?.. that's what I do, anyway. Same on the rear.
  • girv73girv73 Posts: 842
    I've been running a flashing rear light @ 7.30am for the past month or so and will soon run the front (steady) as well (as soon as I get paid and order a Fenix :) )

    My personal rule is: any hint of not-full-days-brightness and the lights go on.

    I'd rather a driver noticed me and thought I was a gimp for lighting up when it's not fully dark, than not notice me at all until I was sitting beside him!
    Today is a good day to ride
  • I have two lights front and rear for exactly the reasons given by singlespeed. I have the choice of constant and / or flashing so I know that i am doing the best I can to make sure I am being seen.

    In fact I got shouted at to turn my cateye DOWN on Monday!

    The comment about the unlit cyclist is one I had personal (but fortunately non-impacting) experience once: Driving my car, I came to an unlit roundabout at dusk / night and was checking to see if anything was coming, the roundabout seemed clear so I started to pull out. At the last minute I realised that something was moving on the roundabout and slammed the brakes on.

    I was then met with a barrage of abuse from a cyclist wearing ALL BLACK, with one dinky little halogen light and worn out batteries strapped to the BOTTOM of his forks. I let him have his go, and then explained just how fecking stupid he was for even thinking about cycling with the ridiculous kit he had.

    I explained just how hard it is to see a BLACK clad cyclist on a BLACK road in the middle of a BLACK night (okay, so I used a bit of hyperbole... I was steaming mad at this point) and how it was only my constant checking that saved his neck. Just to add: there was a grass island on the drivers side that utterly obscured what tiny amount of light was coming out of his worn out front light.
    Chunky Cyclists need your love too! :-)
    2009 Specialized Tricross Sport
    2011 Trek Madone 4.5
    2012 Felt F65X
    Proud CX Pervert and quiet roadie. 12 mile commuter
  • RufusA wrote:
    ...

    December's chant is sadly not repeatable in polite company!
    I dread to think what you'll be saying in January!
  • IIn fact I got shouted at to turn my cateye DOWN on Monday!

    lol, I've had this happen a couple of times. TBH a dazzled driver is one that has seen you, which I think is a good thing!

    I explained just how hard it is to see a BLACK clad cyclist on a BLACK road in the middle of a BLACK night

    Just to throw the cat amongst the pigeons. I wear all black, on a black bike, on the black road, in the middle of the black night! ( although I do have 20 watts of retina scorching lights on the front!) There have been numerous threads/posts over the years relating to the benefits of cycling in black/dark clothing instead of hi-viz, but I''ll let you search for the threads rather than get into it!!! :wink:
  • I was told a while ago that flashing front lights are actually now illegal. Is this true?
  • biondinobiondino Posts: 5,990
    No it's not true!!
  • I broke out the lights today for riding home later - I felt I was a little too stealthy riding home last night.
  • biondinobiondino Posts: 5,990
    There have been numerous threads/posts over the years relating to the benefits of cycling in black/dark clothing instead of hi-viz

    Are they the same people who argue helmets are bad for you?
  • spen666spen666 Posts: 17,709
    RufusA wrote:
    ...

    December's chant is sadly not repeatable in polite company!
    I dread to think what you'll be saying in January!

    its ok, the mornings & nights are getting lighter by then, so he'll be back to the november abuse
    Want to know the Spen666 behind the posts?
    Then read MY BLOG @ http://www.pebennett.com

    Twittering @spen_666
  • biondino wrote:
    There have been numerous threads/posts over the years relating to the benefits of cycling in black/dark clothing instead of hi-viz

    Are they the same people who argue helmets are bad for you?

    Some. Although I wear a helmet.
  • It does seem to be the people who don't wear helmets who don't have lights, I just assumed it was some sort of experiment to see how long the average idiot survives.
    The gear changing, helmet wearing fule.
    FCN :- -1
    Given up waiting for Fast as Fupp to start stalking me
  • It does seem to be the people who don't wear helmets who don't have lights, I just assumed it was some sort of experiment to see how long the average idiot survives.

    no helmet, but lots of lights. Where do I fit in your sweeping generalisation?
  • Hi,

    Full lights today, came in half an hour early, that means in a few days they'll be on all the time (if I remember to charge the front one when it runs out!!) :?

    I have headlights on my car (let alone the bike) when the light gets anywhere near dim! - I'm always the one people pull out on :(

    Seen shed lods of twits with no lights already - damn fools, usually RLJ'ing/on pavements wearing black!

    Phil
  • mooniomoonio Posts: 802
    I've just bought some flashing wrist bands !!hurrah..will test them tonight

    thumb-4-ledarmband.gif
  • biondinobiondino Posts: 5,990
    moonio wrote:
    I've just bought some flashing wrist bands !!hurrah..will test them tonight

    thumb-4-ledarmband.gif

    Are you going to a rave :)

    Serious question - is it high viz at night which people are suggesting is a bad thing, or during the day? During the day, in good light, black is extremely visible, but at night there is no possible way it could be better because it's completely INvisible and whatever thew flaws of high viz, at least it's there to be seen.
  • biondino wrote:
    Serious question - is it high viz at night which people are suggesting is a bad thing, or during the day? During the day, in good light, black is extremely visible, but at night there is no possible way it could be better because it's completely INvisible and whatever thew flaws of high viz, at least it's there to be seen.

    It's not really down to the visibility. Obviously hi-viz is exactly that, hi-viz. It's about how drivers react to people wearing hi-viz/all black. I, amongst others on here have found that wearing dark colours (and LOTS of bright lights) is preferable due to drivers attitudes/reactions. I'm sure there was research done, but I wouldn't know where to find it. Bent Mikey would be able to tell you if he's still around on Bikeradar.
  • Most of the hi-vis jackets I've seen have contrasting black panels (both my Alturas do), so I guess I get the best of both worlds.

    I also wear a jet black t-shirt when wearing my hi-vis waist-coat thingy, so again I look like a HUGE bumble-bee on a bike.
    Chunky Cyclists need your love too! :-)
    2009 Specialized Tricross Sport
    2011 Trek Madone 4.5
    2012 Felt F65X
    Proud CX Pervert and quiet roadie. 12 mile commuter
  • LittigatorLittigator Posts: 1,262
    It does seem to be the people who don't wear helmets who don't have lights, I just assumed it was some sort of experiment to see how long the average idiot survives.

    no helmet, but lots of lights. Where do I fit in your sweeping generalisation?

    Half dead semi-idiot obviously!
    Roadie FCN: 3

    Fixed FCN: 6
  • mooniomoonio Posts: 802
    It's about how drivers react to people wearing hi-viz/all black. I, amongst others on here have found that wearing dark colours (and LOTS of bright lights) is preferable due to drivers attitudes/reactions. I'm sure there was research done, but I wouldn't know where to find it. Bent Mikey would be able to tell you if he's still around on Bikeradar.

    Thats interesting because on my route home I often see a cyclist wearing all black with 3 hi intensity red lights flashing in different sequences.
    But what I noticed most of all was the respect he got from car drivers, they seemed almost scared to go near him and held back quite a bit at the lights. He seemed very much in command of the road...
  • moonio wrote:
    It's about how drivers react to people wearing hi-viz/all black. I, amongst others on here have found that wearing dark colours (and LOTS of bright lights) is preferable due to drivers attitudes/reactions. I'm sure there was research done, but I wouldn't know where to find it. Bent Mikey would be able to tell you if he's still around on Bikeradar.

    Thats interesting because on my route home I often see a cyclist wearing all black with 3 hi intensity red lights flashing in different sequences.
    But what I noticed most of all was the respect he got from car drivers, they seemed almost scared to go near him and held back quite a bit at the lights. He seemed very much in command of the road...

    I'm probably going to be derided as an idiot for this but here goes...

    I have a hi-viz reflective jacket, and for a change bought a black one with reflective sections on it. I have 2 of those flashy flashy smart LED ones on my pannier rack, and one uber-bright cateye constant beam on the front.

    I was chatting to a colleague who doesn't commute due to living too close, but cycles a lot in the evenings who agreed with me when I commented that drivers seemed to give me a wider berth when I was wearing the black jacket than the hi-viz one.

    But why?

    Also, I don't wear a helmet, so I'm the semi-idiot... half dead... :shock:
  • daniel_bdaniel_b Posts: 9,489
    Last Autum i had an Cateye on the front fixed beam, and a cateye on the rear, flashing.

    I now have Ayup's on the front, proper floodlighting, but am planning to get a fixed light to compliment the flashing one on the rear.

    I however am barely on the road for more than about 5 minutes on my commute, the rest of it is a local park, canal paths etc etc

    My GF's commute is however far more road based, so although she also has Ayup front lights, we're planning on purchasing 2 good rear lights, one solid, and one flashing, and a flashing front light to compliment the Ayup.

    Just making the decisions now with regards as to what to buy, probably looking at smarts for the rear, front flashing ones seem a little thin on the ground though.

    Dan
    Felt F70 05 (Turbo)
    Marin Palisades Trail 91 and 06
    Scott CR1 SL 12
    Cannondale Synapse Adventure 15 & 16 Di2
    Scott Foil 18
  • Dan B, feel free to scoff but I have a *cough* Tesco light (ca £8 for set) that I use as the flasher on the front to complement the Fenix. It's still going strong since last winter and has a bit at the side to throw light back at me (advantage over just Fenix). I'd actually recommend it .... blimey, may have to sit down and have a word with myself
    R25

    Ridgeback R25 - 1% bike
  • moonio wrote:

    Thats interesting because on my route home I often see a cyclist wearing all black with 3 hi intensity red lights flashing in different sequences.
    But what I noticed most of all was the respect he got from car drivers, they seemed almost scared to go near him and held back quite a bit at the lights. He seemed very much in command of the road...

    Where do you live? That sounds like me!!
  • mooniomoonio Posts: 802
    I ususally see the cyclist at the lights near Grove Park station..
    Is that you??? :lol:
  • moonio wrote:
    I ususally see the cyclist at the lights near Grove Park station..
    Is that you??? :lol:

    lol, not unless my lights are really bright. I'm in NW London!
  • riding in black gets you much more room, because people assume you're a ninja and will flip out and kill people. FACT.
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