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Thread: Maybe chill out a little

  1. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by sjclaeys View Post
    Had a runner this morning purposely shine their light into my eyes and yell out "How does that feel?!" I yelled back "Great!".
    Was this on the Custis, perhaps near Lee Hwy? Could be the same guy who said almost exactly the same thing as he ran me off the trail a few years back; we very nearly came to blows as he followed me into the verge yelling aggressively. (I picked up my steel bike and shoved it toward his face and he backed off.) Funny thing is, my helmet light had not been in his eyes until he ran me off the trail and came after me since I turn it away from people when riding.

    If the same guy, that dude is bad news and a problem waiting to happen--surprised it hasn't already.

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  3. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by run/bike View Post
    Honest question: how do you convey to the front strobers that they ARE a legitimate safety hazard on the trail after dark. I'm not advocating an expletive-laden tirade or anything, but a kind (and firm) "Please turn off the strobe!" in the roughly two seconds that you're passing them seems pretty reasonable to let someone know they're really not being cool to their fellow trail users. (I'll admit to deploying this a few times recently after dark on the Custis, where the strobe effect bouncing off the sound walls was completely blinding) Passive aggressive? I don't know. Again you only have 1.5-2 seconds of interaction in passing. You could always stop and block their path to convey your request, but that could be perceived as, you know, aggressive-aggressive.

    I'm also pretty sure strobers know exactly what they're doing. It only takes one encounter with someone running a front strobe for any normal person to be like, "yeah, definitely shouldn't do that to anyone". And a strobe being a strobe, there's no way for the operator to claim that they didn't know it was in that mode or forgot to switch it to solid. Dude, you KNOW.

    NOTE: When talking about strobes I mean legit bike lights operating in strobe/flash mode, not those 3 lumen planet bike blinky lights. Run those bad boys all you want in whatever configuration. We're cool.
    It's difficult to communicate anything in those few seconds in a way that might not be perceived poorly, at least for such as me, so I've pretty much stopped any efforts like that.

    I do think some strobers are oblivious. I have forgotten myself once or twice, including last year's FS finale when I pulled up at Hains Point. If they're oblivious, a word could make a difference, but if they know what they're doing and don't care, what are you going to do.

  4. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by SpaceJockey View Post
    2) Spoke-mounted color-changing light ($10) that is continuous and visibly "bounces" with my rear-wheel when moving, this indicates motion
    Got a link?

  5. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by huskerdont View Post
    Was this on the Custis, perhaps near Lee Hwy? Could be the same guy who said almost exactly the same thing as he ran me off the trail a few years back; we very nearly came to blows as he followed me into the verge yelling aggressively. (I picked up my steel bike and shoved it toward his face and he backed off.) Funny thing is, my helmet light had not been in his eyes until he ran me off the trail and came after me since I turn it away from people when riding.

    If the same guy, that dude is bad news and a problem waiting to happen--surprised it hasn't already.
    No, it was a woman on the W&OD near Bluemont. Since then, I've developed a number of witty yet calm responses.

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  7. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by huskerdont View Post
    I do think some strobers are oblivious. I have forgotten myself once or twice, including last year's FS finale when I pulled up at Hains Point. If they're oblivious, a word could make a difference, but if they know what they're doing and don't care, what are you going to do.
    Totally fair and of course I'm coloring this with my own perception. If someone were to point out to me that I was committing a faux pas, I'd be mortified/apologetic and would likely never repeat the offense. But as well all know, people handle perceived criticism in different ways...some more productive than other.

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  9. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by huskerdont View Post
    It's difficult to communicate anything in those few seconds in a way that might not be perceived poorly, at least for such as me, so I've pretty much stopped any efforts like that.

    I do think some strobers are oblivious. I have forgotten myself once or twice, including last year's FS finale when I pulled up at Hains Point. If they're oblivious, a word could make a difference, but if they know what they're doing and don't care, what are you going to do.
    There is a marketing rule that it takes nine times for a message to get heard.

    Thats my assumption. Ask politely. Ask continuously. And if a person hears a message enuf times it might sink in.

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  11. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by DrP View Post
    Cars, trucks, and motorcycles have non-blinking lights (aside from emergency vehicles - I will comment on them soon). To me as a driver, pedestrian, or cyclist, when I see a blinking light, then I think bicycle or maybe pedestrian. When I see a solid light, I think car, truck or motorcycle. In speaking with friends of both the cyclist and non-cyclist variety, they agree. So having a blinking light, even in combination with a solid light (as I do in the dark with my blinky "be seen" and my solid "to see" front lights), indicates a bicycle (I may be a slow rider, but usually fast enough to not be a jogger. A sprinter perhaps...). On a street, I think this is imperative. On a trail I think this is nearly imperative too, for a couple of reasons. First, it lets the others on the trail know that I am a bicycle. Second, it lets those drivers, who do not always realize that the trail is a trail (there are lots of examples in the archives and news) that at least there are bicycles here to worry about. There are legitimate motor-vehicle uses on the trail, e.g., cops and ambulances when there is an issue on the trail (I won't mention the short cuts) or standard patrols (this is standard in some localities), and they will have solid and flashing lights, usually in different colors than what the bicycles have. Thus everyone knows who everyone is.
    Also, as someone who commutes on a combination of trails and roads - and trails that cross roads - changing the rear light from blinking to solid and back as I transition between them is just ridiculous - and I can get migraines from blinking/flashing/strobe lights so I understand why people do not like them, but I find turning away occasionally works and allows the identification I mention above to work. I turn away for the bright headlights (of bicycles, pedestrians, cars, street lights, moon, and sun), and can do the same for the rear lights. And those other bright and flashing lights that so many people wear or have on their bicycles just to be seen.
    As the OP suggests, just chill on the lights and learn to look away from time to time.
    I have biked a lot for a long time, and I do not think a blinking light helps identify bikes. It just makes it hard to tell how far away you are.

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  13. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by run/bike View Post
    Honest question: how do you convey to the front strobers that they ARE a legitimate safety hazard on the trail after dark.
    You don't. If you have a chance to have a nice conversation, that may work, but you have no hope of convincing someone they're doing it wrong in 2 seconds, and, luckily, it's not your job.

  14. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by dasgeh View Post
    I have biked a lot for a long time, and I do not think a blinking light helps identify bikes. It just makes it hard to tell how far away you are.
    As a cyclist who is also a motorist, I have to disagree. This summer, for instance, driving along Shore Drive in Virginia Beach (where a bike lane sits right next to 55-mph traffic), I remember having my attention drawn to a cyclist by his blinky who turned out to be almost a mile away. Registered to me subconsciously before I was fully aware of it that there must be a cyclist ahead.

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  16. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by huskerdont View Post
    As a cyclist who is also a motorist, I have to disagree. This summer, for instance, driving along Shore Drive in Virginia Beach (where a bike lane sits right next to 55-mph traffic), I remember having my attention drawn to a cyclist by his blinky who turned out to be almost a mile away. Registered to me subconsciously before I was fully aware of it that there must be a cyclist ahead.
    I'm with huskerdont on this one. Sometimes I'll drive up behind 2 bikes. If they're solid lights, they can be mistaken at a distance for poorly shaped rear car tail lights. Blinky lights are always either peds or bikes so I recognize those quick.

    At the end of the day though when I'm driving, the first thing I consistently see are reflective things. The ones on the back of ortlieb panniers are AMAZING. I saw and noticed those wayyy in advance of any other red light on a bike I was driving behind earlier this week. Giant reflective patch = clearly not a car so I immediately knew I needed to up my caution level. I've also gotten comments from cars that they loved them when they saw mine while driving behind me at night.

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