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Bikes with NO lights when it's dark!

LowrideLowride Posts: 214
edited September 2010 in Commuting chat
Can somebody please explain to me why some cyclists don't have lights on their bikes when its dark?

I can understand why chavs with hoodies on bmx's don't i.e because their too gangsta but not commuters. I worked earlies last week, on the way to work at 5.30am on a dual carriageway I drove past a guy wobbling along on a bike, no lights at all. I barely saw him, he just appeared from nowhere out of the shadows..

You can buy a front and rear light for a few quid. They don't have to be top of the range one's, just good enough for you to be seen. The bottom line is, they are risking loosing their lives because they are too stupid to buy a couple of lights

It makes no sense to be whatsoever, we`re talking grown ups, not kids
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  • jds_1981jds_1981 Posts: 1,858
    Best chance of a good answer is to ask them directly? Post the results of your survey on here? :)
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  • [quote Can somebody please explain to me why some cyclists don't have lights on their bikes when its dark? [/quote]


    Because they have no value for their lives or the people attached to them
  • [quote Can somebody please explain to me why some cyclists don't have lights on their bikes when its dark? [/quote]


    Because they have no value for their lives or the people attached to them
  • People are idiots
  • Hi,
    I would guess it's at least partly because they reckon they'll get away without- most cars have headlights and most drivers will see them.

    While it's maybe a bit foolish, they are mostly right. I bet if the bodies were stacking up in casualty there would be a bit more of a fuss being made.

    Remember folks.. cycling is a safe activity.

    It's also worth bearing in mind that the statistics we love to bandy around include these guys, the RLJers, the newbies and the faux-courier/ride-like-nutters crowd... So if you ride competently you're already well away from the hump of the injury bell-curve!

    Cheers,
    W.
  • You hit the nail on the head when you said, "because they are too stupid to buy a couple of lights".

    The stupidy of people is unbelievable. And then they blame everyone else when they get hurt.
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  • AidyAidy Posts: 2,015
    I've been caught out occasionally.

    Leaving work later than I expected/darker sooner (rain clouds)/batteries dead/forgot to reattach lights post fettling.

    I do tend to try and have at least an emergency rear on my keyring, but still, I can understand that people do get into situations where they don't have lights when they should.
  • GussioGussio Posts: 2,452
    There are four bright lights on my commuter and it often doesn't feel like enough...
  • ValyValy Posts: 1,321
    Maybe they don't cycle often enough to feel the need for lights, maybe they ride on payments, they rely on reflectors...

    While I see how you came away amazed as to why some people have no lights not all people have "cycling gear" at the forefront of their minds, even though it may seem like lights should be an elementary thing to consider.
  • squiredsquired Posts: 1,216
    At this time of year there are also far too many people with lights that are either not turned on or with virtually dead batteries.

    I remember saying to a woman one evening a few years back that her batteries were almost dead and her light barely visible (she said thanks, as she hadn't realised). I saw her a few times over the next couple of weeks and she clearly didn't bother replacing the batteries. I saw another one with a red light at the front and white at the back. She said it was too much hassle changing them over, so was going to leave them as they were... Each to their own I guess.
  • unixnerdunixnerd Posts: 2,864
    I suppose it's one way of thinning out the gene pool, Darwin would approve.........

    I was once stopped by a Policeman for having no lights in the late 80s. I actually did have some (horrid, useless, heavy Pifcos that went off whenever you hit a bump) in my panniers but it wasn't that dark yet and he stopped me 200 yards from home. I really should have been using them but it was light when I set off and I didn't stop to fit them as it got darker.

    I remember a few weeks later leaving uni at 8pm instead of the usual 4pm and having no lights with me. I pushed the bike through town and cycled on the pavements when it got quieter. Very naughty.
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  • t0pc4tt0pc4t Posts: 978
    I'd think it's people digging out lights from last year and being unaware that the battery has gone flat over summer
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  • back in the ni-cad days I was stopped by a policeman for cycling with no lights. The temperature was something like -8 to -10 that night and the batteries had basically frozen.

    The thing is: the roads, pavements and EVERYTHING was covered in this blanket of snow. I stood out like a sore thumb and it was something 3 in the morning (student.. late night, girl involved) so I was the only thing on the roads.

    I managed to convince the policeman of my good intentions by defrosting the batteries in my armpits for a couple of mins (farrk they were COLD!) and they worked again, for a bit.

    He was very understanding and asked only that I stop whenever a car was coming so I was safer getting back. :D

    Nowadays I'm lit up like nothing else and this thread has reminded me to get everything on charge when I get home this evening.
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  • unixnerdunixnerd Posts: 2,864
    The thing is: the roads, pavements and EVERYTHING was covered in this blanket of snow. I stood out like a sore thumb and it was something 3 in the morning (student.. late night, girl involved) so I was the only thing on the roads.

    I love mountain biking at night when there's snow lying, it's a different world :-) Until it gets too deep and the skis come out of course.
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  • ValyValy Posts: 1,321
    Talking of "lit up" bikes - I saw one or two over a few months where they had 10s of lights on the bike. on the fork, handlebars, seatstays and so on.
  • Who knows is the answer, many times people get caught out, not expecting to be out when dark especially at this time of the year when we are in transition in terms of light evenings. A mechanical failure, low battery, some one pinching your lights.

    Remember cars are the problem not the actions of people around them. If we created or used another product which kills a couple of thousand people a year it would be banned.

    And you've not lived till you have ridden half cut with no lights 8miles cross country
  • CafewandaCafewanda Posts: 2,788
    surreyxc wrote:
    And you've not lived till you have ridden half cut with no lights 8miles cross country

    One for my bucket list 8)


    As much as I hate winter, riding with as many lights/reflectors on the bike as I can get makes it bearable :)
  • surreyxc wrote:

    Remember cars are the problem not the actions of people around them. If we created or used another product which kills a couple of thousand people a year it would be banned.
    y

    Done mean to be rude but that is utter bolox. I have come across people day in day out(same ppl) without lights on my commute dressed like a ninja,no reflectors or lights in blatant darkness.

    Are you telling me when they get hit by a car they have made no contribution to their demise and it is ALL the car drivers fault ?

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  • On my eight mile ride yesterday morning: 7am and dark, I overtook 12 bikes none with lights on. Indeed, I don't think more than a couple had any fitted. Yes, I was checking as it really gets on my tits!

    The only bike to outpace me (I got him back after the roundabout!) had lights on but they were so faint a car driver would struggle to see them.

    People without lights: Morons.
  • "Are you telling me when they get hit by a car they have made no contribution to their demise and it is ALL the car drivers fault ?"

    To an extent yes, why do we need curbs, why do we need street lighting, we have society which has been constructed around cars which are inherently dangerous to the people around them, not just to cyclists but to all people. Do you propose people on foot should also wear dayglo and carry torches, that children should not walk to school or play outside.

    Certainly it is prudent to be highly visible but that is because cars are dangerous not the activity of cycling.

    What I object to is people continually finger wagging and the desire to remove common sense and risk evaluation with rules, it would be refreshing for people to think for themselves rather than doing something because they are told they should.
  • ValyValy Posts: 1,321
    surreyxc wrote:
    Who knows is the answer, many times people get caught out, not expecting to be out when dark especially at this time of the year when we are in transition in terms of light evenings. A mechanical failure, low battery, some one pinching your lights.

    Remember cars are the problem not the actions of people around them. If we created or used another product which kills a couple of thousand people a year it would be banned.

    And you've not lived till you have ridden half cut with no lights 8miles cross country

    I cycled in kind of.. .err - pitch dark on a cycle path [C2C around Newcastle/Chester-le-Street). I had some lighhs on my bike, but it was very close to pitch dark - so I could barely see a thing. Was going about 40km/h as well as it's a quite gradual but long decline - about 10kms or so.
  • well you have to have the right conditions, heavy frost and moonlight rocks. Mind I remember walking back from the pub when I was younger through the woods you just had to stick your hands out in front of you.
  • ValyValy Posts: 1,321
    surreyxc wrote:
    well you have to have the right conditions, heavy frost and moonlight rocks. Mind I remember walking back from the pub when I was younger through the woods you just had to stick your hands out in front of you.

    When it was snowing last winter (09-10) I was on the aforementioned path and had the same light + a similary powerful headlight - more spread though and damn, quite a difference with the snow around - I could actually see where I was going! :P
  • hope it snows again this year
  • ValyValy Posts: 1,321
    surreyxc wrote:
    hope it snows again this year

    Hmm... as long as I can fit wid-ish tires on Allez '10.
  • surreyxc wrote:
    we have society which has been constructed around cars

    No we don't! Our society was more or less in place as know it by the Victorian era - and there were no cars. I would admit to a certain amount of retrofitting to accomodate the car, and a huge centralisation of services, but society is much older than a few buildings and roads.

    Or are you American or Australian?
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  • surreyxc wrote:
    "Are you telling me when they get hit by a car they have made no contribution to their demise and it is ALL the car drivers fault ?"

    To an extent yes, why do we need curbs, why do we need street lighting, we have society which has been constructed around cars which are inherently dangerous to the people around them, not just to cyclists but to all people. Do you propose people on foot should also wear dayglo and carry torches, that children should not walk to school or play outside.

    Certainly it is prudent to be highly visible but that is because cars are dangerous not the activity of cycling.

    What I object to is people continually finger wagging and the desire to remove common sense and risk evaluation with rules, it would be refreshing for people to think for themselves rather than doing something because they are told they should.

    If cars were a recent thing like iPods and had not been around for 100 years I could understand your sentiment. With no car I could not visit my brother who lives 70 miles away whenever I wanted. Cars and lorries have broadened peoples horizons and create a hell of a lot of jobs.

    If you choose not to have one then good for you but why disapprove of people who do?
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  • surreyxc wrote:
    ...why do we need street lighting, we have society which has been constructed around cars which are inherently dangerous to the people around them, not just to cyclists but to all people. Do you propose people on foot should also wear dayglo and carry torches, that children should not walk to school or play outside.

    I get your point with this paragraph even if society should be crossed out and roads put in it's place although when I was at school I lived in a village down a road with no street lights and in the winter I carried a torch everyday, it hardly put me to much convenience.
    surreyxc wrote:
    Certainly it is prudent to be highly visible but that is because cars are dangerous not the activity of cycling.

    Have you also considered the possibility of being visible for pedestrians, bikes travel quite a lot faster so as far as i'm concerned it should be up to every discerning cyclist to make themselves visible to whoever is around, not just for whoever is around who poses the biggest threat.
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  • secretsamsecretsam Posts: 4,612
    I go totally Daily Mail on this.

    One of the greatest advances in cycling over the 20 or so years that I was off the scene (c.1988-2008) was the improvement in bike lights. These days lights are remarkably cheap, lightweight and effective. Others have referred to the Pifco/Never Ready/Wonderlight horrors we used to have to tolerate.

    No lights = no brain. Frankly, if people want to kill themselves by having no lights, jumping reds, etc. then fine, but I object strongly to my hard-earned taxes being used to clear up the mess, and frankly the emergency services have better things to do. Perhaps they should introduce an RTA charge at A&E for cyclists like you get for car accidents.

    I think a lot is down to education. An advert showing what an unlit cyclist in dark clothes looks like out on the road would be instructive. And Plod should stop unlit cyclists more.

    And parents should damn well make their kids use lights - at the end of the day, it's their responsibility.

    It's just a hill. Get over it.
  • secretsam wrote:
    One of the greatest advances in cycling over the 20 or so years that I was off the scene (c.1988-2008) was the improvement in bike lights. These days lights are remarkably cheap, lightweight and effective. Others have referred to the Pifco/Never Ready/Wonderlight horrors we used to have to tolerate.

    No lights = no brain.

    I have to agree with this. I remember using those lights and they were total rubbish. Looking back now I'd totally forgive a car driver for not seeing me when I was using those monstrosities.

    Anyone who wants to blame a car driver 100% for hitting an unlit cyclist is mad. When the roads are quiet and lit it's not a problem but an unlit cyclist would easily fade into the background if the traffic was heavy. I've been known to miss seeing them until it's almost too late myself (even when riding a bike). As for those that do it on unlit roads/cycle paths that takes a special kind of madness. :cry:

    Mike
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