Beating the system - the cycling commuting section
Yep, it's not going to impress the fashionistas.
However, I might be imagining this, but with lights on while commuting I seem to seize the lane with less complaints from motorists, as if I'm wearing a "You'll have to forgive me, because I'm a safety obsessed tool" T-shirt.
I see the result of some incredibly incompetent driving in my work so I use mine out of objective realism . I tend to wear bright colured clothing and take the lane where required. I have modified my commute to include more climbing and wide, less congested roads.
+1 on the front lights. Drivers often check with fraction-of-a-second glances to see if something is coming down the road. That glance is long enough, mostly, for the brain to visually register the presence of car-size objects.
A hundred-odd lumens announcing your presence might help avoid a dreaded SMIDSY incident.
Give 'em all the help you can.
I've found my SMIDSY's have almost dropped to zero since I've been running a front flasher during daylight hours... and I believe the rear has also lowered the incidence of 'near passes' on multi-lane roads, as traffic can see me from far back enough that they have time to think about changing lanes before coming up behind me.
I use a rear flasher in daylight for two reasons. Firstly, more likely that people will notice me. Secondly, even if they would have noticed me anyway, I think it sends a message to drivers to take care.
2010 Charge Plug, 2011 Genesis Equilibrium 20, 2012 Giant TCR Advanced SL
On my Oppy I have my front and rear flashers running whenever I'm on my bike.
On my Gazelle E-Bike I do not have flashers at all. I've only been rolling on the Gazelle for about 5 weeks now (commute to work 7 days a week... It's an awesome life working 7 days ). Anyways when I'm commuting I'm in my work clothes high vis shirt and I"m sitting upright. I don't have anything to back this up but I feel that perhaps motorists recognise me as a human being. Also the speed I commute at on the Gazelle is less than what I'm capable of on my road bike so maybe that's got something to do with it?
2012 Oppy A4 | 200x Hard tail Kona Blast Deluxe
Interesting; my wife and I both felt that we are safer in our daily commutes now that we use cyclocross bikes instead of flat bars as rain/cargo bikes. We have independently decided that the superior ability to quickly accelerate close to traffic speed, and perhaps some driver perception, leads to less aggro from drivers than when we used flatties.
Obviously perceptions differ!
There are many types of racing cyclists. There is the sprinter, the rouleur, the stagiaire, the danser, the descender.... sadly, I'm a mediocre.
2003 Cervelo P2K time trial bike
2010 Merida Cyclocross 4
2008 Giant SS/track
2008 Vivente Como roadie
So the next question is HOW MANY tail lights do you operate?
Me, only one when on the road but seriously considering getting another - I'm paranoid that my tail light may not be working (or as recently experienced, fallen off!)
Four on the commuter: Niteflux Redzone4 ghettomount on the seatpost, Radbot 1000 on the RH stay, Radbot 500 on the LH stay and a Kathmandu 2led blinkie on the back of the lid. The roadie and the MTB each have a single PB Superflash on the post.
...whatever the road rules, self-preservation is the absolute priority for a cyclist when mixing it with motorised traffic.
London Boy 29/12/2011
The two Cateye Cherrybombs I use are the 1 watt variety, although they suck the AAA's dry fairly quick I'm overall very satisfied with them. They conveniently clip neatly and securely straight on to the back of my Cannondale brand rear rack.
I also have an old PB super Flash on my seat bag, she's been following me around for a long time now and it wouldn't seem fair to leave her home after the years of dedicated service she's provided me.
just upgraded to 2.
my main is a radbot 1000
my second is a dealextreme $5 cheapy
if one fails, I still have one (plus the radbot also has the integrated reflector)
Dropping back from 4 to 3, or possibly even 2 soon. I was fortunate enough to test one of these: http://www.bicycles.net.au/2012/10/knog ... ike-light/
I reckon you only need the one. They are very intense, in a good way. I run the Knog, plus a couple of little single-LED blinkies on seat stay and helmet, which gives me fail-safes (albeit lesser intensity) and offset patterns of flashing, which aids in visibility. I might just use the Knog plus a helmet blinkie for height awareness.
MY RIDES: My Velospace Profile
I have a very similar setup - Radbot 1000 on rear rack and a cheapy (although it cost me a whole $7 from Torpedo) on the back of my helmet. When it's dark, I have them both on, during daylight hours I just have the Radbot on. Use rechargeable batteries in both.
Always a rear light
In daylight an electron rechargeable and in duller conditions an additional Smart (8 years old believe it or not)
On the front a white electron in the am and dull conditions and a Smart Citylight in rain and murk.
I'm convinced that most cars give you comfortable clearance with lights blinking (on major and arterials anyway)
Zebralight H51r on seat post (this is as bright or brighter than even the dinoittes mentioned on here).
Radbot 1000 also on seat post. It *pales* in comparison to the zebralight (at night the zebralight can light up my entire back yard in red).
At night, things change. H51r goes onto 1/8th power or gets aimed straight up at some reflective foil under my seat so that I have a nice red glow all over the rear of the bike and my legs, and I add a 2nd radbot 1000.
Cannot have too much power during the day IME, I'm more scared of not being seen during the day than at night. However the zebralight does help rearward visibility a lot during the day (as does fluoro shirt), and from watching rear facing videos, it helps drivers recognise a bike ahead a lot earlier, which gives them a lot more time to plan a lane change or whatever. Except for the psycho ones...
Obviously I have coverage to the front as well - 500 lumens handlebar + 200 lumens helmet of daytime blinkiness... The 200 lumens helmet mount is actually useful at night because I usually have the most incidents with cars approaching me from the side at intersections, which is not covered well by forward facing lights when you are travelling fast.
Is this what you are referring to?
Yep. Well, there's lots of different models that all look identical until you turn them on, but it looks like that. H51r is red. H51Fr is floody red. H51 is cool white. H51w is warm white. SC51 is same as H51 except the light comes out the end like a torch instead of the side like a headlamp.
I mount it either using its clip straight onto my radbot mount, or in a twofish lockblock when its under the saddle.
Waterproof to 2 meters.
I feel the same way with regards to your last point. In the perfect world all riders would be treated the same but something like a light on during the day is still a good visual reminder to drivers that we care about our safety.
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