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Thread: Maybe chill out a little

  1. #51
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    Do I dare stick my beak in...?

    I come at this from a motorsports-influenced background. Many decades ago, I was something of an outlaw and ran European Code headlights from the legendary French automotive lighting manufacturers CIBIE and S.E.V. Marchal. In defiance of the sealed beam requirements in this country at the time. For more downward range and better light distribution *without* blinding an oncoming motorist. DOT eventually allowed and adopted that technology in the 90's. I am also influenced by the kid's bike my Dad bought for me while we were in Frankfurt, West Germany, 1960. A 20 incher from Rixe that was unlike *anything* sold in the U.S., even from Schwinn. I am unsure if Mel Pinto ever imported one of these. Fully lugged and brazed frame, cool smoked oyster paint highlights, cottered crank, fully pneumatic Continental tires- a downscaled German commuter bike, right down to a generator powered light setup with the StVZO "squiggle" & alphanumeric approval code. Good enough to actually see the road in front of me.

    So by now I am probably famous/infamous for the businesslike and powerful dyno lights I run on both my 40 year old Trek and the rescued Kettler CityShopper. The beauty of the Busch + Muller headlights on both bikes is that they are like a good automotive low beam light- usable light on the road *without* blinding the oncoming cyclist. Properly and precisely aimed of course. You may thank the German StVZO traffic regulations for this. Also powering a tail light that is bright enough to safely be a part of street traffic. My wife's Breezer Uptown did not come wired for dyno lighting, so I installed the battery & rechargeable equivalents on hers, so we can be romantic and ride into the night safely. To me, a bike is not complete until it is set up for night work. How I roll...

    On blinkies [braces for impact]... I have always, from the first VistaLites on, considered blinkies a *defensive* gesture, ranging from "Gee I hope they see me" to "See me DAMMIT!", depending on how bright it is. I mourn that we actually *need* to have to protect ourselves on the road like this, but that's where it is. But on the W&OD, you no longer have to worry about dump trucks turning across your bow. *You* are now the biggest meanest MF'er on the trail, and can terrify joggers if you chose (we hope you don't). A defensive mode is no longer necessary here. I have had my share of misadventures with blinkies- when I commuted along the W&OD before dawn, an oncoming rider took exception to my B+M IQ-X headlight, even though my lamp's cutoff was well *below* his eye level, and I was met with his flashbulb of a strobe square in my face. "Dude!" Another misadventure as a driver reminded me that blinkies are harder to gauge closing distances with. No, I did not hit the cyclist- it was simply a close call.
    Last edited by Starduster; 08-12-2021 at 12:21 PM.

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  3. #52
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    Quote Originally Posted by Starduster View Post

    So by now I am probably famous/infamous for the businesslike and powerful dyno lights I run on both my 40 year old Trek and the rescued Kettler CityShopper. The beauty of the Busch + Muller headlights on both bikes is that they are like a good automotive low beam light- usable light on the road *without* blinding the oncoming cyclist. Properly and precisely aimed of course. You may thank the German StVZO traffic regulations for this. Also powering a tail light that is bright enough to safely be a part of street traffic. My wife's Breezer Uptown did not come wired for dyno lighting, so I installed the battery & rechargeable equivalents on hers, so we can be romantic and ride in the night safely. To me, a bike is not complete until it is set up for night work. How I roll...
    Agree, love my dynamo-powered B+M Luxos-U and taillight. The setup can also serve as an auxiliary power source for the Wahoo if I forget to charge it.

    As I approach oncoming cyclists at a different angle, I've decided that a "too bright" headlight or strobe is my problem, not their's, so I shield my eyes with my hand. Frankly, I'd rather do this and know where the oncoming rider is than have them go entirely dark by covering or killing their light. And if my headlight is too bright for your knees (where the beam cut-off hits), that's probably your problem, too.

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  5. #53
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    Quote Originally Posted by bentbike33 View Post
    And if my headlight is too bright for your knees (where the beam cut-off hits), that's probably your problem, too.
    Well, we *do* have a segment of our community running 2 and 3 wheel recumbents, and they've always been polite to me.

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  7. #54
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    Quote Originally Posted by Starduster View Post
    Well, we *do* have a segment of our community running 2 and 3 wheel recumbents, and they've always been polite to me.
    Hey! I resemble that remark!

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  9. #55
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    We are getting into the headlight required part of the year again for both sides of the commute and there are noticeably more bike commuters on the W&OD and Custis trails this year over 2020. I noticed something this year that I haven't in previous years.

    Early morning commuters (generally between 5am and 6:30am): These cyclists seem to have shaped beam headlights, cover their light with their hand, or turn it off as we approach. This seems almost universal minus a few users (like one has three or four headlights and another who has a blinky red light on the front of their bike).

    Evening commuters (generally between 5:30pm and 7pm): A MUCH larger percentage of cyclists with ultra bright headlights and/or strobe flashing lights especially between Rosslyn and the W&OD on the Custis trail. There are some cyclists who cover or turn off their light but many keep that high beam on full blast/strobe even in areas where the trail is well lit.

    I thought this was an interesting observation.

  10. #56
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    It feels like Im seeing a lot more front strobes on the MVT this year.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  11. #57
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    Quote Originally Posted by Judd View Post
    It feels like Im seeing a lot more front strobes on the MVT this year.
    Some may not be aware, but CaBi bikes have strobes by default.

  12. #58
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    Quote Originally Posted by GP_Slowride View Post
    We are getting into the headlight required part of the year again for both sides of the commute and there are noticeably more bike commuters on the W&OD and Custis trails this year over 2020. I noticed something this year that I haven't in previous years.

    Early morning commuters (generally between 5am and 6:30am): These cyclists seem to have shaped beam headlights, cover their light with their hand, or turn it off as we approach. This seems almost universal minus a few users (like one has three or four headlights and another who has a blinky red light on the front of their bike).

    Evening commuters (generally between 5:30pm and 7pm): A MUCH larger percentage of cyclists with ultra bright headlights and/or strobe flashing lights especially between Rosslyn and the W&OD on the Custis trail. There are some cyclists who cover or turn off their light but many keep that high beam on full blast/strobe even in areas where the trail is well lit.

    I thought this was an interesting observation.
    This year I have noticed that in the morning there are a lot more ninja pedestrians and cyclists on Custis and the MVT than there used to be. No lights or reflective bits, in fact, usually wearing black or dark gray (and the recent set of full-pack camouflage troops walking on the MVT is particularly bad, although a few have taken to wearing a small red light keeps their night vision but I can see them before I run into them), and yes a few cyclists too. I have come close running into them, which is especially a problem because so many coming towards me have decided that walking (or biking in one case) in my lane is just fine. I also find a lot of cyclists who turn into ninjas, especially on the Custis. I see that there is a cyclist coming towards me on a curve way ahead of me. Then the light disappears and so I assume they left the trail, but suddenly they are in front of me with a completely covered light.

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  14. #59
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    Quote Originally Posted by ginacico View Post
    Some may not be aware, but CaBi bikes have strobes by default.
    Interesting. At one point they had always on lights. I can't imagine that the strobes on the CaBi bikes are particularly bright though. More of a low powered blinky as opposed to a high powered bring the dance club to the trail light.


    Quote Originally Posted by DrP View Post
    This year I have noticed that in the morning there are a lot more ninja pedestrians and cyclists on Custis and the MVT than there used to be. No lights or reflective bits, in fact, usually wearing black or dark gray (and the recent set of full-pack camouflage troops walking on the MVT is particularly bad, although a few have taken to wearing a small red light – keeps their night vision but I can see them before I run into them), and yes a few cyclists too. I have come close running into them, which is especially a problem because so many coming towards me have decided that walking (or biking in one case) in my lane is just fine. I also find a lot of cyclists who turn into ninjas, especially on the Custis. I see that there is a cyclist coming towards me on a curve way ahead of me. Then the light disappears and so I assume they left the trail, but suddenly they are in front of me with a completely covered light.
    I have also noticed more ninja pedestrians on the Custis in the evenings this year. Last year I mainly ran into them on the W&OD west of East Falls Church metro.

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