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  1. #5041
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    Quote Originally Posted by huskerdont View Post
    If you would use a blinking light on a road to be seen by car drivers, why not on a trail to be seen by other users, including car drivers at intersections?
    First of all, I'd like to say I'm not going to give anyone a hard time about a blinkie on the trail. It rates low on the list of grievances, but it's still an annoyance, and I think that on most trails, it's unnecessary. It's also distinguishable from road use in that on the road, there are typically lots of lights present, and one more isn't much of a factor. Also, unless it's a two-way bike lane, you're usually not aiming it directly at another cyclist. On the trail, our eyes adjust to the lower ambient light levels. A blinkie is jarring and mildly uncomfortable. But still, again, it's a matter of being extra polite, not being safe or unsafe.
    Last edited by Crickey7; 07-27-2018 at 01:43 PM.

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  3. #5042
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    Quote Originally Posted by huskerdont View Post
    If you would use a blinking light on a road to be seen by car drivers, why not on a trail to be seen by other users, including car drivers at intersections?.
    Standard width of a road lane, 10 feet minimum (but plenty of undieted lanes wider than that though). Standard width of a "lane" on a trail, about five feet I guess. Or narrower where the trail (or two way PBL) is not that wide. I am thinking that is the difference. Not to mention that some popular trails are twistier than a typical road. Due to both of these things, an oncoming bike headlight on a trail has a greater chance of getting into the eyes of a cyclist, than an oncoming bike headlight has of getting into the eyes of a car driver (or for that matter, another vehicular cyclist in the opposite direction general travel lane) . I think.

    Am I wrong?

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  5. #5043
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    Quote Originally Posted by Crickey7 View Post
    First of all, I'd like to say I'm not going to give anyone a hard time about a blinkie on the trail. It rates low on the list of grievances, but it's still an annoyance, and I think that on most trails, it's unnecessary. It's also distinguishable from road use in that on the road, there are typically lots of lights present, and one more isn't much of a factor. Also, unless it's a two-way bike lane, you're usually not aiming it directly at another cyclist. On the trail, our eyes adjust to the lower ambient light levels. A blinkie is jarring and mildly uncomfortable. But still, again, it's a matter of being extra polite, not being safe or unsafe.
    I get that visibility is more important and more difficult on a roadway than on a trail. In retrospect, I think I'm more concerned about trail/road intersections, such as the IoD (and the two before it, which can also be dangerous). In the mornings I end up sometimes at that intersection with my light off because I was not successful in holding down the damn button for 10 seconds while bouncing down the hill with one hand on the handlebars.

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  7. #5044
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    Quote Originally Posted by Crickey7 View Post
    First of all, I'd like to say I'm not going to give anyone a hard time about a blinkie on the trail. It rates low on the list of grievances, but it's still an annoyance, and I think that on most trails, it's unnecessary. It's also distinguishable from road use in that on the road, there are typically lots of lights present, and one more isn't much of a factor. Also, unless it's a two-way bike lane, you're usually not aiming it directly at another cyclist. On the trail, our eyes adjust to the lower ambient light levels. A blinkie is jarring and mildly uncomfortable. But still, again, it's a matter of being extra polite, not being safe or unsafe.
    JMHO. Blinkies are fine on trails. I am overjoyed when pedestrians have them and happy when bikers use them. I have a problem with high-powered lights operated in blinking mode especially those that strobe.

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  9. #5045
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    Quote Originally Posted by huskerdont View Post
    I get that visibility is more important and more difficult on a roadway than on a trail. In retrospect, I think I'm more concerned about trail/road intersections, such as the IoD (and the two before it, which can also be dangerous). In the mornings I end up sometimes at that intersection with my light off because I was not successful in holding down the damn button for 10 seconds while bouncing down the hill with one hand on the handlebars.
    When trails cross roads often (like the Custis in Rosslyn), I'm more forgiving about having blinkies. And yes, it's unrealistic to expect people to switch from blinkie to solid quickly. But if you're headed to EFC on the Custis, there's probably time to switch it over.

    But also, a front/rear blinkie doesn't help you if you're heading west bound on the Custis in Rosslyn. The drivers who can't see you are the ones also heading westbound and turning right, northbound onto Lynn (or the side streets). You need side lighting to get their attention.

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    Re: " You need side lighting to get their attention."

    Modern high-end lights are include the sides. Also a coming to a stop or low speed and turning the wheel left or right gets the attention of motor vehicle operators at trail intersections. Every ride I see traffic stop for flashing daytime lighting. Also see pedestrians with their backs facing me take note--in many cases turning their heads, waving, or saying thank you as I pass. Made up local rules on a website are no substitute for actual safety. The price of these lights have come down in the last two years. Everyone should get them and it's only a matter of time before manufacturers make them standard equipment on high-end bikes.

    In 50 years of cycling, flashing lights turned out to be one of the best pieces of low cost equipment that has certainly made my rides safer, and not just for myself. There is no way that even a strobe light in broad daylight even at 5 meters could impair someone's version even if a person looked directly into it. But how do I know that? Because I see many more people with strobe lights on the trail--the number has probably increased eight fold and for good reason. Police strobe lights (even school bus strobes) have much more power on and off the trail. Why it is that we never this complaint during the day? These imaginary pains and complaints should just end.

    New cyclists--don't let these strange ideas distract you from taking the necessary steps to protect your safety and the safety of others.

    This discussion reminds be of the helmet arguments back in the day.
    Last edited by VikingMariner; 07-31-2018 at 11:10 AM.

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  12. #5047
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    I thought about posting something witty/snarky/etc., but I figured I'd get people to do something more constructive. It's over on this thread: http://bikearlingtonforum.com/showth...903#post179903

    I have done this before, and I recommend folks try it out. We might all learn something.

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  14. #5048
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    Quote Originally Posted by VikingMariner View Post
    Re: " You need side lighting to get their attention."

    Modern high-end lights are include the sides. Also a coming to a stop or low speed and turning the wheel left or right gets the attention of motor vehicle operators at trail intersections. Every ride I see traffic stop for flashing daytime lighting. Also see pedestrians with their backs facing me take note--in many cases turning their heads, waving, or saying thank you as I pass. Made up local rules on a website are no substitute for actual safety. The price of these lights have come down in the last two years. Everyone should get them and it's only a matter of time before manufacturers make them standard equipment on high-end bikes.

    In 50 years of cycling, flashing lights turned out to be one of the best pieces of low cost equipment that has certainly made my rides safer, and not just for myself. There is no way that even a strobe light in broad daylight even at 5 meters could impair someone's version even if a person looked directly into it. But how do I know that? Because I see many more people with strobe lights on the trail--the number has probably increased eight fold and for good reason. Police strobe lights (even school bus strobes) have much more power on and off the trail. Why it is that we never this complaint during the day? These imaginary pains and complaints should just end.

    New cyclists--don't let these strange ideas distract you from taking the necessary steps to protect your safety and the safety of others.

    This discussion reminds be of the helmet arguments back in the day.
    So many things wrong with this post. On side lighting - the little bit of light coming through slits on front facing lights isn't enough. You need something more substantial, lighting up your sides.

    Yes, strobes can impair someone's vision, and of course it's worse on a dark trail at night. Our eyes work by adjusting to the amount of light they're taking in at any given time. When that changes dramatically and quickly, our eyes can't see well while they're adjusting. That's why you don't hear complaints during the day. And that's why strobes are worse than steady on a dark trail. These aren't imaginary pains and complaints.

    At the same time, yes, you should take appropriate steps to protect yourself. There isn't an easy answer, and you should be aware that high powered lights, particularly on the blinky setting, can impair the vision of other trail users. You've got to balance the options at hand, the risk of not being seen and not being able to see yourself with the risk of blinding others. Be considerate of others while protecting yourself and you'll get it right eventually.

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    There's a good reason why front blinky lights are simply illegal or regulated (e.g. 200+ blinks per minute) in more cycling-progressive countries.

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  18. #5050
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    Harden up.

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