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Thread: My Evening Commute

  1. #1651
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    Quote Originally Posted by SolarBikeCar View Post
    The trail patrol asked me to run my lights during the day because approaching riders might not see me. ....
    ...Not see you? Now that funny. 4 foot wide 5 foot tall 9 foot long pumpkin is so much harder to see than a human on foot or a bike.

    I ride every week day on some of the same sections of the W&OD as you drive on and the % of folks that un-dim their lights early is small overall. Way better to do that than have you entire field of vision stopped down. Even more so by two much brighter than normal lights as the Elf car is equipped with. I have had walkers hidden in oncoming lights.

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  3. #1652
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    Quote Originally Posted by SolarBikeCar View Post
    The trail patrol asked me to run my lights during the day because approaching riders might not see me. (Go figure!) I haven't ridden in the dark for at least a month so perhaps this comment is about trips last January and February. I find those who dim their lights with their fingers until a dozen feet in front and then bam full light to be unappreciative at how dangerous that is to oncoming traffic. Better to have a steady light that illuminates the trail consistently so one can train the eyes not to look into it like a deer but to focus on the edge of the trail so one doesn't drive off the path. But I realize this is the place to vent and hopefully you'll appreciate not having to worry about my lights until next November.
    Yes, it was a couple months ago. But you've got insanely bright lights and it's impossible to tell what's coming at me--whether it's your electric car, a regular car with a crazy driver on the path, a park maintenance vehicle driving slowly, or two bikes side by side. I rode into the gravel because I literally had no clue what was coming at me in time to protect myself. Please consider others when driving your electric car on the bike trail where it's not supposed to be anyway (but I won't rehash why your arguments are wrong).

    Again, I love the idea of your ELF, but not on a bike or multi-use trail.

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  5. #1653
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    Quote Originally Posted by kcb203 View Post
    Yes, it was a couple months ago. But you've got insanely bright lights and it's impossible to tell what's coming at me--whether it's your electric car, a regular car with a crazy driver on the path, a park maintenance vehicle driving slowly, or two bikes side by side. I rode into the gravel because I literally had no clue what was coming at me in time to protect myself. Please consider others when driving your electric car on the bike trail where it's not supposed to be anyway (but I won't rehash why your arguments are wrong).

    Again, I love the idea of your ELF, but not on a bike or multi-use trail.
    I'm not sure if this is an attempt to pick last year's scab and I should ignore you or if you have a valid point that I can do something about. I'll assume the latter for now and see where this goes.

    I have the lowest watt lights on the ELF. There is a brighter light option. So I think "insanely bright lights" is hyperbole. I don't think riding in the dark is a reasonable option so suggesting one should turn off the lights when encountering others is crazy talk. More light is generally better than less. I'm also not sure why cyclists are looking at an approaching light instead of where they are going. Auto drivers learn this. Deer never did.


    I could try designing a reflective housing that reshapes the beam by trimming off the top of the light cone. The fact the my lights are already much lower to the ground than a typical cyclist lights and lower powered should make them friendlier.

    I often leave a light on inside the vehicle to illuminate the shell to provide some context for those who want to know what they are approaching. Does that help?

    Did you have cataract or laser eye surgery that gives you poor night vision? I have stood 10, 15, 25 feet in front of my bike with the lights on and have not seen the problem you are describing.

  6. #1654
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    Steve O is offline I really need to log off the internet and go for a ride.
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    Quote Originally Posted by SolarBikeCar View Post
    I have stood 10, 15, 25 feet in front of my bike with the lights on and have not seen the problem you are describing.
    If the closing speed of the two vehicles is 35 mph (you 20, kcb 15), that 25 feet represents slightly less than 1/2 second. By then kcb was probably already in the gravel. At 100 feet, you are still less than 2 seconds from passing and he is already well into determining his avoidance maneuver.

    The design of the beam and where it is aimed are at least as important as brightness. Car headlights are much brighter than bike lights, but a 600-lumen bike light aimed right at my eye is much worse than a car with properly aimed beams.

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  8. #1655
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    Darn, another thread needlessly derailed and spoiled.

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  10. #1656
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    Quote Originally Posted by SolarBikeCar View Post
    I'm not sure if this is an attempt to pick last year's scab and I should ignore you or if you have a valid point that I can do something about. I'll assume the latter for now and see where this goes.

    I have the lowest watt lights on the ELF. There is a brighter light option. So I think "insanely bright lights" is hyperbole. I don't think riding in the dark is a reasonable option so suggesting one should turn off the lights when encountering others is crazy talk. More light is generally better than less. I'm also not sure why cyclists are looking at an approaching light instead of where they are going. Auto drivers learn this. Deer never did.


    I could try designing a reflective housing that reshapes the beam by trimming off the top of the light cone. The fact the my lights are already much lower to the ground than a typical cyclist lights and lower powered should make them friendlier.

    I often leave a light on inside the vehicle to illuminate the shell to provide some context for those who want to know what they are approaching. Does that help?

    Did you have cataract or laser eye surgery that gives you poor night vision? I have stood 10, 15, 25 feet in front of my bike with the lights on and have not seen the problem you are describing.
    I'm not sure if you had the light on inside the car or not. I didn't see it. I truly had no idea what was coming at me. I hadn't seen you in a while and wasn't thinking it could be you. I really didn't know whether it was a car, two bikes side by side, or something else. And the lights did seem much brighter than most bikes, though not as bright as the supernovas that some people use.

  11. #1657
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    Riding on Army-Navy Dr westbound (or whatever direction it is at that point, south? Away from Pentagon City towards 4MR) and I can hear a car behind me speeding and getting ready to pass. And I mean speeding. Seemed like well over 50mph (most are doing over 40). At least you gave me more than 3 ft, but I was concerned as I heard you coming.

  12. #1658
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    Riding home on the MVT last night, I came up behind another cyclist at the northern airport bridge and waited to pass as usual since it is a blind corner. Another pair of cyclists pull up behind me waiting for a clear line of sight too. Then suddenly, a fifth cyclist starts passing us all just as a northbound cyclist comes flying around the blind corner. Luckily, everyone avoided each other but man, I don't remember an uptick in jerk cyclists this time last year. But in the past few weeks, it seems some folks act just like bad drivers!

  13. #1659
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zack View Post
    Riding home on the MVT last night, I came up behind another cyclist at the northern airport bridge and waited to pass as usual since it is a blind corner. Another pair of cyclists pull up behind me waiting for a clear line of sight too. Then suddenly, a fifth cyclist starts passing us all just as a northbound cyclist comes flying around the blind corner. Luckily, everyone avoided each other but man, I don't remember an uptick in jerk cyclists this time last year. But in the past few weeks, it seems some folks act just like bad drivers!
    My theory is that it has to do with the rising popularity of spin classes and Zwift and other virtual riding indoor training methods. So you have a growing set of fit, fast cyclists who either don't know, or have forgotten, how to ride in the real world.

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  15. #1660
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zack View Post
    Riding home on the MVT last night, I came up behind another cyclist at the northern airport bridge and waited to pass as usual since it is a blind corner. Another pair of cyclists pull up behind me waiting for a clear line of sight too. Then suddenly, a fifth cyclist starts passing us all just as a northbound cyclist comes flying around the blind corner. Luckily, everyone avoided each other but man, I don't remember an uptick in jerk cyclists this time last year. But in the past few weeks, it seems some folks act just like bad drivers!
    That same scenario has happened to me before, just that that one time nobody was coming from the other direction, my heart stopped for a second because if somebody was coming the other way it would have been a bad accident.

    I crashed at that site about a year ago. A slow cyclist was trying to pass a family at the blind corner, I was going downhill close to 20mph and had nowhere to go. I avoided the hit, but I braked with such force, that my handle bar twisted and I crashed 100ft after. Always be careful at that section, slow down and have your brakes ready.

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