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Commuters are a dying breed.

capt_slogcapt_slog Posts: 3,531
edited November 2014 in Commuting chat
Or at least they will be around where I live.

I passed five last night in the space of as many miles where I saw them and their bikes, and then if I looked carefully I sometimes managed to see their lights. Two or three had one light only, and the rest were such poor quality that they might as well not have bothered.

What is wrong with these people?


The older I get, the better I was.

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  • veronese68veronese68 Posts: 24,131 Lives Here
    I think they have some sort of memory problem. Every year as the nights draw in and then the clocks change they are taken by surprise as they would appear to have forgotten this annual occurrence. I think there may be something wrong with me as I always have lights on my bike in case I go to the pub or am delayed somewhere. This weekend before the clocks changed I checked my larger lights were charged and ready to go and fitted them to my bike ready for Monday.
  • They assume tacitly that it won't happen to them. They assume that because cars keep passing by without hitting them, they are adequately visible. Of course, none of that is a conscious thought process.

    Most of them get away with it, most of the time, simply because most car drivers are looking where they're going most of the time. So there's a fairly low probability of getting hit.

    Also, most people are very bad at considering the very bad outcome of a low probability event.

    You can sum all this up very simply: most people are farkin eejits.
    Is the gorilla tired yet?
  • ai_1ai_1 Posts: 3,060
    Most non-drivers seem to over-estimate how visible they are to drivers and don't realise how much of a difference lights and reflectors can make.
  • veronese68veronese68 Posts: 24,131 Lives Here
    Ai_1 wrote:
    Most non-thinkers seem to over-estimate how visible they are to drivers and don't realise how much of a difference lights and reflectors can make.
    Sorry, had to amend that. I think a lot of people are just plain thoughtless.
  • capt_slogcapt_slog Posts: 3,531
    It's surprising the amount of difference 'proper' reflectors make, as opposed to relying on the built-in reflection that is present in some lights to make the legal requirement. I have a proper one on what I term my commuting bike, but I think I will have to do the same for my other bike, legal is not necessarily the same as safe.


    The older I get, the better I was.

  • Capt Slog wrote:
    Or at least they will be around where I live.

    I passed five last night in the space of as many miles where I saw them and their bikes, and then if I looked carefully I sometimes managed to see their lights. Two or three had one light only, and the rest were such poor quality that they might as well not have bothered.

    What is wrong with these people?

    Country lanes or in lit up cities/villages?
  • whoofwhoof Posts: 756
    Someone came out of the darkness travelling toward me with no lights last night. He started to whistle a tune when we about 10 m apart. If I was going to use whistling as a system allowing me to be noticed by other vehicles at least I would learn to whistle in tune.
    I also noticed a pedestrian travelling in the same direction on an unlit lane wearing a black jacket, trousers and shoes. He was brilliantly camouflaged until I was really close to him. Luckily I had smelt him before a saw him as he was smoking.
    Perhaps there is a market for other sensory detection systems for road users, this would allow blind people to cycle/drive. Extra long cat's whiskers?
  • capt_slogcapt_slog Posts: 3,531
    Capt Slog wrote:
    Or at least they will be around where I live.

    I passed five last night in the space of as many miles where I saw them and their bikes, and then if I looked carefully I sometimes managed to see their lights. Two or three had one light only, and the rest were such poor quality that they might as well not have bothered.

    What is wrong with these people?




    Country lanes or in lit up cities/villages?

    Down the side of a busy road along the cycle path (I don't consider that an excuse, they'd have to rejoin the road a short distance on). Unlit road. 60mph limit falling to 40.

    Second few along a busy road through a village, lit road,30mph limit to 40.


    The older I get, the better I was.

  • PituophisPituophis Posts: 1,025
    On a slight tangent, and in daylight this morning...... :oops:
    Saw a middle aged commuter waiting patiently for the lights to change at a busy junction. His foot carefully balancing him on the central bollards, for he was obviously turning right.
    Except he was on the wrong side of the road!!! :shock:

    How do they stay alive, and is it any wonder the general car driving public think WE are mostly f**kwits?
  • Stevo_666Stevo_666 Posts: 45,503
    The worst offenders I see on my commute are usually the local 'yoof' who often have no lights at all but tend to offset the danger by cycling on the pavement. If anyone hits me they probably should be registered blind as I now do a passable impression of a Christmas tree.
    "I spent most of my money on birds, booze and fast cars: the rest of it I just squandered." [George Best]
  • whoof wrote:
    Someone came out of the darkness travelling toward me with no lights last night. He started to whistle a tune when we about 10 m apart. If I was going to use whistling as a system allowing me to be noticed by other vehicles at least I would learn to whistle in tune.
    I also noticed a pedestrian travelling in the same direction on an unlit lane wearing a black jacket, trousers and shoes. He was brilliantly camouflaged until I was really close to him. Luckily I had smelt him before a saw him as he was smoking.
    Perhaps there is a market for other sensory detection systems for road users, this would allow blind people to cycle/drive. Extra long cat's whiskers?

    I see your idiot and raise you the bloke on an unlit country lane wearing full camo gear - it works but he had forgotten to black his face and hands.

    Also the jogger in a bright red t-shirt was well visible as he jogged across the middle of the giant jct of Westferry and Limehouse link - it actually made me laugh
  • veronese68veronese68 Posts: 24,131 Lives Here
    Stevo 666 wrote:
    If anyone hits me they probably should be registered blind as I now do a passable impression of a Christmas tree.
    A colleague told me I should have a hi viz on Monday as I was clipping the lights onto my bike. With an Exposure Strada on the bars, a joystick on my helmet (oooh err) and similar levels of light on the back I did point out that it really wouldn't make me any more visible. :roll:
    I have the light on my crash helmet now so that when I smell deer in the park but can't see them I can look around to see where they are. I find it really disconcerting when I can smell them but not see them.
  • Veronese68 wrote:
    Stevo 666 wrote:
    If anyone hits me they probably should be registered blind as I now do a passable impression of a Christmas tree.
    A colleague told me I should have a hi viz on Monday as I was clipping the lights onto my bike. With an Exposure Strada on the bars, a joystick on my helmet (oooh err) and similar levels of light on the back I did point out that it really wouldn't make me any more visible. :roll:
    I have the light on my crash helmet now so that when I smell deer in the park but can't see them I can look around to see where they are. I find it really disconcerting when I can smell them but not see them.

    their smell really is in inverse proportion to their nightime visibility
  • slowbikeslowbike Posts: 8,498
    Veronese68 wrote:
    Stevo 666 wrote:
    If anyone hits me they probably should be registered blind as I now do a passable impression of a Christmas tree.
    A colleague told me I should have a hi viz on Monday as I was clipping the lights onto my bike. With an Exposure Strada on the bars, a joystick on my helmet (oooh err) and similar levels of light on the back I did point out that it really wouldn't make me any more visible. :roll:
    I've had that too - then I turn on the rear lights and ask if they have any excuse for not seeing me ...

    Heck, with my Smart R2 I've had TTers complain that they can see me for ages (in daylight) but never seem to get closer ... :D
  • Daz555Daz555 Posts: 4,040
    Cyclists without lights are a real pain on the darkest cycle lanes/paths.

    However my real dislike is the idiots with the 50 billion watt searchlights strapped to their handle bars that point up right into your eyes (and that of drivers) so as to strip you of your night vision for the next 5 hours. Very selfish behaviour.

    Standard for bike lights need to re-examined I feel - especially with regards to flashing - certain frequencies make it almost impossible to see past the rider coming towards you as the on off on off prevents your eyes from being able to adjust.
    You only need two tools: WD40 and Duck Tape.
    If it doesn't move and should, use the WD40.
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  • I've been thinking that having a flashing light should be compulsory as it instantly lets other road users know it is a cyclist
  • I've been thinking that having a flashing light should be compulsory as it instantly lets other road users know it is a cyclist
    The German traffic standards say that flashing lights aren't allowed, due to the fact that they have a tendency to mesmerise tired or drunk drivers. Also, I certainly wouldn't fancy having a flashing front light on some of the unlit parts of my commute - I like to be able to see where I'm going all the time.
  • I've been thinking that having a flashing light should be compulsory as it instantly lets other road users know it is a cyclist

    Commuting though a dark park, no thanks have enough folks with flashing lights, which is fine if they are either low powered or pluse but even moderatly lights are a) painful to face, b) hard to work out distance/speed.
  • floreriderflorerider Posts: 1,112
    Stevo 666 wrote:
    The worst offenders I see on my commute are usually the local 'yoof' who often have no lights at all but tend to offset the danger by cycling on the pavement. If anyone hits me they probably should be registered blind as I now do a passable impression of a Christmas tree.

    Wot, green and prickly with a fairy on top?
  • EKE_38BPMEKE_38BPM Posts: 5,980
    I've been thinking that having a flashing light should be compulsory as it instantly lets other road users know it is a cyclist
    The German traffic standards say that flashing lights aren't allowed, due to the fact that they have a tendency to mesmerise tired or drunk drivers. Also, I certainly wouldn't fancy having a flashing front light on some of the unlit parts of my commute - I like to be able to see where I'm going all the time.
    I thought it was because only emergency vehicles are allowed to have flashing lights (except indicators, obviously).
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  • itboffinitboffin Posts: 19,935
    I almost took a cyclist out tonight whilst ultra slow speed filtering odd really because both of us were on the wrong side of the road in an empty lane, I was only going walking pace and well lit up, so why didn't he see me?

    No blame here but I suspect he might not have been focused on a wet dark London rush hour commute.
    Rule #5 // Harden The censored Up.
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  • I've been thinking that having a flashing light should be compulsory as it instantly lets other road users know it is a cyclist

    I go with the opposite. I want a driver to see *light, question what it is, work it out and react accordingly rather than see flashing light and immediately know it is a cyclist.


    * I run three solid lights in a triangle
  • EKE_38BPMEKE_38BPM Posts: 5,980
    I've been thinking that having a flashing light should be compulsory as it instantly lets other road users know it is a cyclist

    I go with the opposite. I want a driver to see *light, question what it is, work it out and react accordingly rather than see flashing light and immediately know it is a cyclist.


    * I run three solid lights in a triangle
    I can't remember where I read it, but apparently the best configuration of lights for attracting attention and determining range is three lights in a triangle, with two flashing at the same height and a higher solid light.

    Two flashers on your handlebars and a helmet mounted solid light would be oerfect if what I remember is correct.
    FCN 3: Raleigh Record Ace fixie-to be resurrected sometime in the future
    FCN 4: Planet X Schmaffenschmack 2- workhorse
    FCN 9: B Twin Vitamin - winter commuter/loan bike for trainees

    I'm hungry. I'm always hungry!
  • At night your cycle MUST have white front and red rear lights lit. It MUST also be fitted with a red rear reflector (and amber pedal reflectors, if manufactured after 1/10/85). White front reflectors and spoke reflectors will also help you to be seen. Flashing lights are permitted but it is recommended that cyclists who are riding in areas without street lighting use a steady front lamp.
    So, front white light (flashing or steady), rear red light (flashing or steady), amber rear reflector and amber pedal reflectors. Anybody without these essential safety items may be pushed off into a ditch.
  • Manc33Manc33 Posts: 2,157
    Argos's bike department won't be going out of business anytime soon.

    Cyclists I respect the most - ones that are old and ride in all weather.
  • PufftmwPufftmw Posts: 1,941
    The slightly larger woman with large jiggly boobs wearing a dayglow pink strappy lowcut top, skintight 3/4 bottoms, stripey elbow warmers and orange trainers in this morning's gloom...

    Not sure if that look was intended quite for cycling but it was certainly noticeable and no, it wasn't pleasant
  • EKE_38BPM wrote:
    I've been thinking that having a flashing light should be compulsory as it instantly lets other road users know it is a cyclist

    I go with the opposite. I want a driver to see *light, question what it is, work it out and react accordingly rather than see flashing light and immediately know it is a cyclist.


    * I run three solid lights in a triangle
    I can't remember where I read it, but apparently the best configuration of lights for attracting attention and determining range is three lights in a triangle, with two flashing at the same height and a higher solid light.

    Two flashers on your handlebars and a helmet mounted solid light would be oerfect if what I remember is correct.

    I did not mean only have a flashing so that makes sense to me
  • jedsterjedster Posts: 2,004
    Personally I reckon flashing lights are a good supplement to solid lights (not alternative) if they are low power. Even moderate power flashing lights are very dazzling and wreck night vision. They are also not good for a) seeing and b) people judging distance off. That's why a solid is important - much easier for an approaching raod user to judge how far away you are if they have a solid light as a reference. Flashing lights are good at alerting people that there is a cyclist ahead - be careful! Solid lights make it easier for them to safely avoid you.
  • Sirius631Sirius631 Posts: 1,015
    I've been thinking that having a flashing light should be compulsory as it instantly lets other road users know it is a cyclist

    I go with the opposite. I want a driver to see *light, question what it is, work it out and react accordingly rather than see flashing light and immediately know it is a cyclist.

    The problem here is that motorists see static lights all the time, assume that they are cars or other motor vehicles, and do no further processing of the information until they are right on top of the unexpected cyclist. A flashing light tells the motorist early that it's a cyclist up ahead, so they have more lead-time to plan a proper manoeuver to overtake the cyclist safely.
    To err is human, but to make a real balls up takes a super computer.
  • pastryboypastryboy Posts: 1,385
    I have loads of lights and still have to deal with cars pulling out on me at roundabouts or junctions.

    Then I see someone pootling along, no lights, headphones on not a care in the world and wonder, why always me?
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