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Thread: I love my commute from Bethesda to DC now, but what happens in the fall/winter?

  1. #11
    mstone is offline I really need to log off the internet and go for a ride.
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    Quote Originally Posted by cvcalhoun View Post
    But reflectors are much more effective at being seen during that ride through DC. An ANSI class 2 safety vest is cheap, and will make your whole torso, not just one little light, visible. A reflector on your ankle is also particularly effective, because it draws attention to your pedaling. I have several tail lights on my bike. But after biking behind someone using both, I would prioritize reflectors over lights.
    And pedal reflectors--they're incredibly visible and distinctive for approaching cars, and hard to forget to bring along. They're one of my requirements for pedals on a commuting bike.

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  3. #12
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    One more thing to be aware of: Even if you never use more than 300 lumens on your headlight, you may want to get a headlight that is capable of being much brighter, and then just use it on a medium or low setting. The reason is that typically, the battery on a light is intended to run for half an hour or an hour on the highest setting. So if you get a light with 300 lumens as the highest setting, it may not last all the way home. However, if you get one with 600 or more lumens as its highest setting, and just run it at a 300 lumen setting, you're more likely to have it run as long as you need it to.

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    I wanted to thank everyone for all of the great information, and for being so welcoming to what I know is a question that's been asked and answered many times before! I don't want summer to go by too fast, but I'm definitely looking forward to a cool fall/winter commute on the CCT.

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  7. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by ab20854 View Post
    I wanted to thank everyone for all of the great information, and for being so welcoming to what I know is a question that's been asked and answered many times before! I don't want summer to go by too fast, but I'm definitely looking forward to a cool fall/winter commute on the CCT.

    Glad to have you aboard. Come by to one of the many bicycling coffee clubs or group rides that can always be found on the Google Calendar at:
    https://freezingsaddles.com/

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    Quote Originally Posted by Judd View Post
    Glad to have you aboard. Come by to one of the many bicycling coffee clubs or group rides that can always be found on the Google Calendar at:
    https://freezingsaddles.com/
    Thank you. I absolutely will try to make one of them.

  10. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by ab20854 View Post
    What about the ride through DC and Georgetown when the only part of me that's visible to cars is my light?
    What makes you think they see you in the daytime? Most of them don't. You're not in their direct line of sight, or their brain has categorized you as a static vertical landscape feature, like a sign or a tree that's not likely to move and get in their way.

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  12. #17
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    I've been bike commuting year round for about ten years now and this is something I've noticed that a great many riders don't get about riding at night in urban areas. You can't carry enough lighting power on your bike to compete with the street lights, store lights and car / truck lights. What i do and suggest to everyone who rides on city streets is to light up your bike and yourself in addition to front and rear lights. There are many solutions including lights that weave into your spokes. I make a point of buying light colored bikes that reflect light and then Velcroing ( spell check is not pleased with that ) cheap Costco LED flashlights set to the strobe function to the bike frame pointing down at the street. I ride in a flashing pool of light with my frame and legs brightly lit. I've had more than one motorist comment on how easy I am to be seen in traffic. Music to my ears. A helmet light is also a handy thing for spotting potholes so yea I ride with four lights minimum at night.

    One thing to watch out for if you're switching from driving to riding regularly is that eventually you'll only know the bike route to many places and having to occasionally drive will perplex you to no end. Parking lots will become particularly vexing. l-)


    Quote Originally Posted by ab20854 View Post
    ... What about the ride through DC and Georgetown when the only part of me that's visible to cars is my light? ...

    Thanks in advance for the help.
    Last edited by Riley Casey; 07-17-2017 at 09:36 PM.

  13. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Riley Casey View Post
    I've been bike commuting year round for about ten years now and this is something I've noticed that a great many riders don't get about riding at night in urban areas. You can't carry enough lighting power on your bike to compete with the street lights, store lights and car / truck lights. What i do and suggest to everyone who rides on city streets is to light up your bike and yourself in addition to front and rear lights. There are many solutions including lights that weave into your spokes. I make a point of buying light colored bikes that reflect light and then Velcroing ( spell check is not pleased with that ) cheap Costco LED flashlights set to the strobe function to the bike frame pointing down at the street. I ride in a flashing pool of light with my frame and legs brightly lit. I've had more than one motorist comment on how easy I am to be seen in traffic. Music to my ears. A helmet light is also a handy thing for spotting potholes so yea I ride with four lights minimum at night.

    One thing to watch out for if you're switching from driving to riding regularly is that eventually you'll only know the bike route to many places and having to occasionally drive will perplex you to no end. Parking lots will become particularly vexing. l-)
    Don't forget the obnoxiously reflective jackets from Sugoi, Proviz, Specialized, Showers Pass, etc. If I commuted by bike, I'd most likely be wearing one of these.


  14. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Riley Casey View Post

    One thing to watch out for if you're switching from driving to riding regularly is that eventually you'll only know the bike route to many places and having to occasionally drive will perplex you to no end. Parking lots will become particularly vexing. l-)
    This happens to me a lot. I bought a new bike at Bikenetic a few weeks ago and when I got in the car to go pick it up I suddenly realized that I had no idea at all how to get there in a car. It turns out that I can get there by bike in about the same time as a car.

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  16. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Riley Casey View Post
    I make a point of buying light colored bikes that reflect light and then Velcroing ( spell check is not pleased with that ) cheap Costco LED flashlights set to the strobe function to the bike frame pointing down at the street.
    I rode with a string of outdoor LED Christmas lights taped to my bikes most of the winter. Made the bike really easy to see and people seemed to get a kick out of it.

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