Riding a bike with no lights in poor visibility...

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Riding a bike with no lights in poor visibility...

Postby elStado » Thu Jan 27, 2011 1:17 am

Ok.. so I've been on a bit of a tirade for the past few months. Basically I have noticed that there is a seemingly increasing amount of people riding bikes and BSO's with no lights in conditions of poor visibility (night, dawn/dusk, overcast/stormy etc). What I have been doing is saying to them "where's your lights?" or "LIGHTS!!???".. normally they just give me a strange look and keep on riding, I even had one guy reply back to me tonight with "where's yours?" (I was walking on the footpath home).

I was wondering if this is making any difference... I honestly have no idea why people would put themselves at such a high risk of being injured or killed for the sake of a $8 set of lights. I am hoping that maybe if another cyclist tells them that they are in the wrong they might realise that they aren't as visible as they thought they are and go buy some lights and use them. I've almost had a few prangs with people on bikes with no lights and dark clothes, cycling, walking or driving, on separate occasions. I feel as if it is within my right to say something to them as they put me at risk of being injured or injuring them. For example almost took one guy out riding a BSO, no lights and dark clothes at 11pm as I was driving a Land Cruiser. He cut across the road in front of me and was almost cleaned up, if I hit him at the speed I was doing I would have killed him. I think it was fairly reasonable that I slowed down as I drove past him as told him to get some <expletive> lights and watch how he was riding.

So.. people riding on a bike during low visibility... no lights and often dark clothes.. is yelling out/saying something about getting some lights/obeying road rules worth it, or am I wasting my time? Maybe all us cyclists who actually know the importance of being visible and obeying road rules while riding (especially at night) should all start harassing anyone who is being a muppet and giving us all a bad name?

Your thoughts/comments.
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by BNA » Thu Jan 27, 2011 5:10 am

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Re: Riding a bike with no lights in poor visibility...

Postby Max » Thu Jan 27, 2011 5:10 am

I had a similar conundrum a while back - see this thread. In the end, I decided to say absolutely nothing about it. My thoughts are that the people who do this actually don't really care about their own safety or that of others, and that advice will probably fall on deaf ears.

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Re: Riding a bike with no lights in poor visibility...

Postby il padrone » Thu Jan 27, 2011 6:41 am

They're really like the skydiver with no parachute, plummeting past you - "So far, so good!" :P
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Re: Riding a bike with no lights in poor visibility...

Postby ireland57 » Thu Jan 27, 2011 8:22 am

I ride with workmates from time to time starting in the pre-dawn.

They always wear dark clothes, one wears black shirt and pants and has a light which is so weak you've got to light a match to see if it's going.

They are intelligent people but it hasn't sunk in yet.

I ride in high vis gear with good helmet lights so I can "spot" the driver if required. It's saved me a few times from a near miss.

I nearly it a cyclist wearing black with no lights in a dark area. Saw him 3 metres away; lucky man. :shock:
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Re: Riding a bike with no lights in poor visibility...

Postby Uncle Grumpy » Thu Jan 27, 2011 8:25 am

I've yelled out similar, normally when some clown on a bike or BSO pulls some suicidal move at night and I nearly take them down.

Normally it is a dockyard worker's version of "You should purchase some lights because as it is, you are a danger to yourself and those around you and I question your intellect and genetic makeup."

Hmm, I cleaned that up, but the actual version is only about 6 words long. :twisted:

The worst is the motorised BSO, because obviously adding the weight of a light is going to kill the fuel efficiency or something.

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Re: Riding a bike with no lights in poor visibility...

Postby Oxford » Thu Jan 27, 2011 8:28 am

When I was training for 24hr racing a few years ago, every Tuesday and Thursday I would leave at about 3:30am to meet with my training partner for a 100km ride before work. We would ride through this industrial area and every Tuesday and Thursday we would come across this person on a BSO, wearing black, cap with no helmet and NO LIGHTS. Despite that we knew he would be there, the number of times we would be caught out by him and nearly hit him was astounding, he was the pure definition of ninja.
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Re: Riding a bike with no lights in poor visibility...

Postby russellgarrard » Thu Jan 27, 2011 9:34 am

It's kind of funny explaining to pedestrians that 'I have a light, it's in my pocket'...I can't exactly test all of my chinese equipment all at once can I?

Last one, the clip failed with-in a few minutes, hit the ground, shattered. Oh well!

Got another one (different type) on express order. About to go into the shops today and pick up a light just to fill the time in.
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Re: Riding a bike with no lights in poor visibility...

Postby jet-ski » Thu Jan 27, 2011 9:53 am

You're wasting your time Elstado... would have thought most people would understand that.... you're preaching to people who don't care...
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Re: Riding a bike with no lights in poor visibility...

Postby russellgarrard » Thu Jan 27, 2011 10:13 am

Thanks Kalgrm
Last edited by russellgarrard on Thu Jan 27, 2011 10:25 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Riding a bike with no lights in poor visibility...

Postby Kalgrm » Thu Jan 27, 2011 10:22 am

bendertiger wrote:Jet-ski, if somehow your referring to me ...

He's not. You're getting paranoid.

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Re: Riding a bike with no lights in poor visibility...

Postby elStado » Thu Jan 27, 2011 1:15 pm

jet-ski wrote:You're wasting your time Elstado... would have thought most people would understand that.... you're preaching to people who don't care...


Yeah I was kind of thinking that. But on the other hand I also think that maybe some people are genuinely ignorant as to how invisible they actually are, and having someone else tell them to get light might just make then realise that they need some.

It's tough as well, as yelling something at a person on the wrong is always going to be pretty ineffective. But when they ride past you with no lights at full speed and you don't see them until the last minute, you can't exactly pull them up for a friendly chat about the life saving benefits of being visible at night...

I think I'm going to keep yelling "LIGHTS!?" to people in the wrong, as maybe it might make a difference, even if it's just 1 in 100 people.
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Re: Riding a bike with no lights in poor visibility...

Postby r2160 » Thu Jan 27, 2011 1:24 pm

Personally I think they are nuts.

I have a responsibility to myself to make myself as visible as I can. There are enough fools driving cars as it is. The last thing I want to give them is an excuse to hit me.

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Re: Riding a bike with no lights in poor visibility...

Postby Oxford » Thu Jan 27, 2011 1:49 pm

r2160 wrote:Personally I think they are nuts.

I have a responsibility to myself to make myself as visible as I can. There are enough fools driving cars as it is. The last thing I want to give them is an excuse to hit me.

cheers
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or an excuse to not be responsible for hitting you.

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Re: Riding a bike with no lights in poor visibility...

Postby trailgumby » Thu Jan 27, 2011 1:51 pm

+1.
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Re: Riding a bike with no lights in poor visibility...

Postby il padrone » Thu Jan 27, 2011 2:25 pm

elStado wrote:I think I'm going to keep yelling "LIGHTS!?" to people in the wrong, as maybe it might make a difference, even if it's just 1 in 100 people.

Go right ahead, but try to yell "LIGHTS, MR (MS) INVISIBLE" to add the fact they are hidden to traffic.
Riding bikes in traffic - what seems dangerous is usually safe; what seems safe is often more dangerous.
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Re: Riding a bike with no lights in poor visibility...

Postby elStado » Thu Jan 27, 2011 3:15 pm

il padrone wrote:
elStado wrote:I think I'm going to keep yelling "LIGHTS!?" to people in the wrong, as maybe it might make a difference, even if it's just 1 in 100 people.

Go right ahead, but try to yell "LIGHTS, MR (MS) INVISIBLE" to add the fact they are hidden to traffic.


Yeah that sounds a bit better.
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Re: Riding a bike with no lights in poor visibility...

Postby Ross » Fri Jan 28, 2011 11:27 am

Max wrote:I had a similar conundrum a while back - see this thread. In the end, I decided to say absolutely nothing about it. My thoughts are that the people who do this actually don't really care about their own safety or that of others, and that advice will probably fall on deaf ears.

Max


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Re: Riding a bike with no lights in poor visibility...

Postby elStado » Fri Jan 28, 2011 11:51 am

Just think. Every time there's a ninja riding around, they are giving us all a bad name.

Every time a person is injured/killed in an accident because they are invisible, it makes cycling seem more dangerous to the general public, further discouraging potential cyclists and therefore making cycling less safe and receive less support/funding than it could.

With this in mind, I think it is imperative that any responsible cyclist/person should remind any ninja cyclists that they are invisible and need to be seen.
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Re: Riding a bike with no lights in poor visibility...

Postby human909 » Fri Jan 28, 2011 12:31 pm

Cyclist ride without likes because;
they didn't plan on riding at night,
the lights got stolen,
the lights got damaged,
the light fell off,
they forgot them,

Most people realise it unsafe, but they still ride regardless.

BV did surveys regarding light and they still didn't ask the right questions. http://www.bv.com.au/general/bikes-&-riding/91407/
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Re: Riding a bike with no lights in poor visibility...

Postby elStado » Fri Jan 28, 2011 1:04 pm

human909 wrote:Cyclist ride without likes because;
they didn't plan on riding at night,
the lights got stolen,
the lights got damaged,
the light fell off,
they forgot them,

Most people realise it unsafe, but they still ride regardless.

BV did surveys regarding light and they still didn't ask the right questions. http://www.bv.com.au/general/bikes-&-riding/91407/


None of those are good enough excuses.

Anyone who has more than two brain cells to rub together should have a spare set of emergency/backup lights. I personally have about 5 rear lights and 4 front lights. You can buy awesome little LED backup/secondary lights for as little as 5$, so there's no excuse. I always have at least two lights of each colour (white/red) on each of my bikes, so in the circumstance of one breaking or running out of battery I will have a good chance of having the other one working to get me home. I also keep a couple of spare LED blinky lights at home in the spare parts "bike box", just in case I have them stolen.

It's Dawinism at it's finest, but the fact is that these ninjas are giving all cyclists a bad name in the process, something that really irks me.
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Re: Riding a bike with no lights in poor visibility...

Postby gorilla monsoon » Fri Jan 28, 2011 4:21 pm

I have learned, as i go through life, that the only person I should really worry about is me.

Whenever i ride I choose to have bright lights front and back, I choose to have a blinkie on my helmet and riding glasses that have LEDs either side, I choose to wear a high-vis vest when I'm riding pre-dawn anywhere and I pretty much wear it anytime I'm riding on the road unless it is a big, organised ride event.

But if others choose not to do these things then that is there issue to deal with.

I did actually say something to another rider once, a long time ago, and was told in no uncertain terms to "pull your f---in' head in, d---head!" so now I don't say anything.

Yes, they are dangerous, yes, they give us a bad name but yes, they have their own justifiable reasons for doing it. I know because i have read some of their thoughts in posts to this very forum.

So while I understand and appreciate the sentiment expressed by the OP I suggest you save your breath for riding and look after yourself. :cry:
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Re: Riding a bike with no lights in poor visibility...

Postby russellgarrard » Fri Jan 28, 2011 9:38 pm

Well...decided to take the plunge and punch a hole in the webbing on my Limar...so I could fit my helmet light to it. Had to do it...

Wondering when this chinese supplier is going to pull their finger out though!
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Re: Riding a bike with no lights in poor visibility...

Postby Nate » Sat Jan 29, 2011 5:52 am

Carry a torch in your car, if there's a ninja just ride along him & shine the light on them ;)
"I'm helping you - you're welcome"

"I look after myself"... always a hard one...
If "we" cyclists are actively seen trying to clean up the other cyclists - it could really help our image

Do motorists clean up other motorists image? no
do pedestrians clean up other pedestrians image? no

but hey... cant hurt can it?
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Re: Riding a bike with no lights in poor visibility...

Postby human909 » Sat Jan 29, 2011 7:25 am

elStado wrote:
human909 wrote:Cyclist ride without likes because;
they didn't plan on riding at night,
the lights got stolen,
the lights got damaged,
the light fell off,
they forgot them,

Most people realise it unsafe, but they still ride regardless.

BV did surveys regarding light and they still didn't ask the right questions. http://www.bv.com.au/general/bikes-&-riding/91407/


None of those are good enough excuses.


They are not excuses they are reasons! And unless they are addressed then they people riding without lights will continue to happen. Fining cyclists is not a constructive action and it clearly doesn't work.

At least down here in Melbourne government has been spending millions on the bike share. Throwing money towards subsidies for helmets for tourists. It would make far more sense to supply 7-elevens and vending machines selling bike lights for $2 rather than selling cheap helmets. Make cheap bike lights available at night and I'm sure you'll see less ninjas. A huge purchase should get the price of these down to $2.

So if you have energy to devote to this issue why not direct it towards encouraging solutions rather that bitching about it. :idea:
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Re: Riding a bike with no lights in poor visibility...

Postby il padrone » Sat Jan 29, 2011 9:22 am

And get a stock of this tail-light - the batteries would be twice the cost of the light :shock:
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