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Thread: Maybe chill out a little

  1. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by SpaceJockey View Post
    I'm pretty sure bright lights in blinky mode is what people do in tactical situations to disorient the other person. Never understood the benefit of having a blinky headlight.
    In the city, it's to make sure drivers notice you. Typically something with an irregular blink mode so it's as obvious as possible that you're an obstacle to not run over.

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  3. #22
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    If I know I'm going to be riding in the dark I like to ride my bike with a generator dynamo which powers both the front and rear lights. They are German, so no option for flashing. If one wants a rear lignt that that you can easily switch, I highly recommend the Princeton Tec Swerve. It has good run time on two AAA batteries, is bright without be obnoxious, a good clip fpr my Bell Citi helmet (discontinuedm but the Hub and Annex have the rear mount that works), and its switch and be easily operated with gloves (even PI Lobbsters!).

    Click image for larger version. 

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  4. #23
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    The theory I use to support my use of blinky lights is that they grab attention better than solid. Solid lights, however, are better at conveying proximity and movement. Therefore, I use both on front and back - a solid light and blinky one.

    Best of all, I think, is a big, moving light, which is why illuminated ankle bands are so effective.

  5. #24
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    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.

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  7. #25
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    The best things I’ve found for rear and side visibility are the Nox Gear vests or spoke lights. Rear blinkers aren’t bad, but I pick up the vests a quarter mile away.

    Front blinking lights in strobe mode are the worst IMO and can cause medical episodes for some people. Bright lights in front can be dangerous on trails as oncoming riders have to take their eyes off the trail. A couple times when I’ve accidentally left my headlamp in high mode transitioning to a trail, I’ve been told about it quickly, and not always in polite manner.

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  9. #26
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    Cool Two Dudes who complain a lot about bright light

    Quote Originally Posted by tejdev View Post
    To the two dudes (surprise, surprise) who separately yelled at my wife for having a too-bright headlight (even though you were wearing sunglasses) and for having the wrong color tail light while she commuted on the Custis Trail today, please think about your choices.

    I honestly don't know where to start. She was so excited to ride today after taking most of the cold months off and this entirely (and badly) colored her experience. Don't we want to encourage people to ride? Also, maybe you don't have to worry about your personal safety, but as a small woman, she sure does, and if her being able to see her surroundings comes at the price of you having to slightly avert your eyes, that doesn't seem very unreasonable.

    I commute every day by bike. The vast majority of bike commuters make up a terrific and supportive community. But behavior like this reflects poorly on us all.

    I have in the past come across these two dudes. In fact, they were yelling at me for having a bright headlight (80 Lumen) last month. I yelled back at one of them with sunglasses and told him to F-off and get a life! I do come this heckler once in a while between Gallows and Sheridan. When I see this man from the distance, I always "No" before he says anything to me.

    I have been told by one of the lady commuter that she was being harassed by the same man and luckily her husband was commuting with her at that time. Long story short, her husband called the FCP and reported the harassment. I don't know the final outcome though.

    I would encourage your wife to continue riding and ignore the bullying. The way I see it's really a male narcissist personality disorder. Keep on riding!

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  11. #27
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    Had a runner this morning purposely shine their light into my eyes and yell out "How does that feel?!" I yelled back "Great!".

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  13. #28
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    Ok, I'm about due for a new headlight (the Cygolites last only a few years of regular use before their batteries go bad). After reading this thread, I've just gone ahead and purchased a battery-powered headlight that I hope will allow me to run my light reasonably bright without causing discomfort to others. Having my light on low was a contributing factor in a thankfully minor crash on the CCT a few years back.

    Behold the IXON IQ Premium! https://www.bumm.de/en/products/akku.../1922qmla.html

    At around 5hrs of battery life on high, it should comfortably get me through nearly all of my nighttime rides, and because it uses removable AAs, I don't need to worry about degradation of a difficult-to-replace internal lithium ion battery.

    It doesn't have blinky/strobing modes but I've pretty much stopped using those anyway.

  14. #29
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    The method I use that has worked pretty well for me employs the following 3 items:
    1) Bike-mounted blinky red tail-light to show passing drivers I'm there
    2) Spoke-mounted color-changing light ($10) that is continuous and visibly "bounces" with my rear-wheel when moving, this indicates motion
    3) Helmet-mounted solid white light to serve as my headlight which I control simply by turning my head. This allows me to illuminate a dark path, avoid blinding oncoming traffic, and move the light naturally towards whatever draws (or rather demands) my attention. Additionally, the light that I use attaches directly to the GoPro mount already on my helmet since I never record at night.

  15. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by TwoWheelsDC View Post
    Yelling at fellow cyclists about lights is just super unnecessary and like the most passive-aggressive thing you can do as a trail cyclist...it's the car honking of trail usage. You're a bully if you do it and I always make a wish that people who do it to me ride over shards of glass immediately after.


    To the light issue...Front strobes on the trail are really the only thing that bothers me.
    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.

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