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Thread: Maybe chill out a little

  1. #1
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    Default Maybe chill out a little

    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.

  2. #2
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    GRRRRR. I once had a runner simply LANCE into me (using very bad words) for my (low, facing down) front beam. I must admit that my reaction (cycling after him and teaching him MUCH worse words.) Not sure he ever knew what hit him. In retrospect I suspect he was imbalanced and angry at someone else. But I was pretty shook. I feel for your wife. Tell her to KEEP RIDING. Most people are nice but they are not the ones you remember.

  3. #3
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    They griped about a light during the DAY?

    I find another cyclist's headlight too bright or dazzling at night, I cover mine. That usually gets the message across without any Sturm und Drang.

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  5. #4
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    Crazy - just last night I had a bike commuter tell me my rear blinking light was inappropriate because it was distracting and bright and I should set it to steady/no-blink.

  6. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Smitty2k1 View Post
    Crazy - just last night I had a bike commuter tell me my rear blinking light was inappropriate because it was distracting and bright and I should set it to steady/no-blink.
    Really, you should, especially if on crowded trails. Blinking lights, even red ones, can cause visual disturbances and make it much harder for others to see. While I may not always have my rear set on steady, I usually have it on a slow fade since half of my commute is on roads.

    I can absolutely deal with bright steady lights, but strobes or blinking lights really mess with my eyes and it takes several minutes for them to re-adjust. (Yes, I know I have terrible night vision, yes I have seen several doctors about it, no I am not going to stop riding my bike at night.)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sunyata View Post
    Really, you should, especially if on crowded trails. Blinking lights, even red ones, can cause visual disturbances and make it much harder for others to see. While I may not always have my rear set on steady, I usually have it on a slow fade since half of my commute is on roads.

    I can absolutely deal with bright steady lights, but strobes or blinking lights really mess with my eyes and it takes several minutes for them to re-adjust. (Yes, I know I have terrible night vision, yes I have seen several doctors about it, no I am not going to stop riding my bike at night.)
    Totally agreed. Wife and I have trouble seeing in the dark, and blinking rear lights make things worse (to the point where we sometimes get headaches). I personally feel like really bright or blinking rear lights are unnecessary on bike paths where there is no chance of cars coming through, but to each their own.

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  9. #7
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    As a daily commuter, I'm always looking for tips on courtesy. I've always run my rear red light blinking, mainly for the portions of my commute that mix with cars, but didn't realize it was a problem for some on the trails. Should I switch to solid or slow fade even during the day? Thanks for the input.

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    dasgeh is offline Queen of Family Biking & All Things Kidical
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    Quote Originally Posted by buschwacker View Post
    As a daily commuter, I'm always looking for tips on courtesy. I've always run my rear red light blinking, mainly for the portions of my commute that mix with cars, but didn't realize it was a problem for some on the trails. Should I switch to solid or slow fade even during the day? Thanks for the input.
    There's no good answer -- it's definitely better to be blinking around cars, and better to be steady on the trail. You know what your commute is like and where the danger is. Do what's best for you, but think about others. It's the best you can do.

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  13. #9
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    My plan is to start blinking with the first mixing portion, dismount and switch to fade for the trail portion, and dismount to switch back to blinking for the final mixing portion. And research remote-controlled bike lights

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    Quote Originally Posted by buschwacker View Post
    My plan is to start blinking with the first mixing portion, dismount and switch to fade for the trail portion, and dismount to switch back to blinking for the final mixing portion. And research remote-controlled bike lights
    Usually my blinky is mounted on my seatpost, where I can easily switch it while riding. When it's not, I either dismount and change when I shift from road to trail and back, or I just leave it on steady the whole time. Problem with the latter is high/steady gives the shortest battery life.

    The end solution to this will be a dynamo hub and good German lights.

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