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Winter Sunlight Danger

simon44simon44 Posts: 52
edited November 2009 in MTB beginners
I wanted to share a terrifying experience that happened to me this morning on an early morning training ride on my road bike. Cycling uphill into the low sunshine I was hit by a bus. I am ok but bruised and in some shock. The driver didn’t see me. I was wearing all the right kit including a bright red outer jacket, rear lights on the seat post and on the rear of my cycle helmet. As I cycled uphill into the sunshine I was aware of the brightness of the sunshine and that the low sunshine might cause visibility issues for other road users, but I was not aware that I might be invisible to other road users. I am now. Never again. I hope that sharing my awful experience will help other fellow cyclists when planning their cycling routes and cycling in autumn/winter sunshine.




  • .blitz.blitz Posts: 6,197
    GWS fella. Noticed some people were having problems with leaves on the road this morning :roll:
  • AnonymousAnonymous Posts: 79,667
    Thats terrible, hope your not hurt at all? If your unharmed you did well against a bus. I dont ride on the road much but will remember that when visibility is low.
  • missmarplemissmarple Posts: 1,980
    Thank you for the heads up mate, glad to see you're ok.
  • saltymansaltyman Posts: 472
    :shock: dont get many chances with a bus.....glad your ok.
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  • diydiy Posts: 6,473
    as a motorcyclist I'm well aware of that risk - note also that when the road is wet it is even worse.

    obviously for urban riders you also need to be aware when passing a queue or junction, if you have the sun behind you, as people wont see you pass them.

    You can increase your chances of being seen by moving across the field of vision (i.e. drifting), but I'm not sure how practical that is for cyclists

    glad you are ok btw - must have been scary
  • dave_hilldave_hill Posts: 3,877
    A friend's father was killed in similar circumstances a few years ago - he was working at the back of a council wagon near the brow of a hill when a car ploughed into the back of it at 40mph. He died instantly.
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  • KonaKurtKonaKurt Posts: 720
    These are terrible incidents. It proves that even if you are wearing all the correct visability gear, it still may not be enough to keep you out of harm. Sometimes the weather or circumstances are still against you.

    As someone who has also been hit hard by a bus but survived, I'm glad to hear you are alright simon. Well done for posting here, making others aware of the problem.

    Solar glare is especially dangerous when hard ground surfaces (like tarmac) are glistening wet, acting like a mirror. I got mirror blinded twice last week, so just dismounted and walked bike for a bit.

  • lol
    hope ur ok tho...

    yeah i drive for a living and the winter sun is a real priblem at times
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  • drabfursdrabfurs Posts: 188
    Buses are a nightmare full stop, their general awareness from what i have witnessed commuting to work is terrible. Glad your ok mate. Where about's did it happen?
  • Could have been Nasty, Glad your ok,

    Is there a claim going for a new bike now :mrgreen:
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  • wordnumbwordnumb Posts: 847
    Glad you're ok and hope your bike wasn't damaged.

    On a similar note - I was cut up, or rather forced into the middle of a busy road, by a bus a few weeks back. He pulled out of an indented bus stop right on top of me. No question of visibility, he'd passed me futher back down the road and we had eye contact in his mirror.

    So I wrote the bus company a polite email. A week later they replied saying that they had identified the driver and were going to covertly monitor the quality of his driving. If there is an issue with him driving dangerously they will take action, if there is no evidence of a problem they'll have a word, possibly give a warning.
  • gaz047gaz047 Posts: 601
    glad your ok, can be a nightmare just after dawn and just before dusk
    get well soon
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