Free lights

Free lights

Postby Ross » Thu May 02, 2013 7:58 am

http://www.canberratimes.com.au/act-new ... z2S4l4Ft4w


As season closes in it's time to light up the night
DateMay 2, 2013

Larissa NicholsonJournalist at The Canberra Times.

As the temperature drops and the days get shorter, more Canberrans are heading home from work in the dark.

And for cyclists frozen hands and faces are not the only challenges the changing seasons bring.

Volunteers for local advocacy group Pedal Power ACT will take to the streets of Canberra on Thursday night, handing out hundreds of free, flashing lights to bicycle owners without one, to help cyclists stay visible after the sun goes down.

Pedal Power Executive Officer John Armstrong said the idea of distributing free lights to cyclists came last year when one of the organisation's council members noticed that after daylight savings ended some cyclists on Canberra's roads were riding without adequate lighting.

''The flashing lights can be incredibly effective in providing notice, in fact probably more effective than the standard lights of a car for people coming up behind cyclists,'' he said.

David Medlock is the manager of Nitelights, a lighting manufacturer which is owned by health business Capital Health Care.

A keen cyclist, he said he donated 250 dual flashing LED lights for Pedal Power to distribute because he had seen too many local cyclists risking their safety by riding without them.

''Front lights are getting really good, but rear lights are a problem, people don't have them or don't realise they need them in traffic,'' he said.

Mr Armstrong said a count of cyclists in March showed cycling had increased in Civic, and anecdotal evidence suggested there were more people on the capital's bicycle paths.

''Is it because there are more bicycle paths being built? Perhaps, but this has been a very mild autumn, so that might have something to do with it as well,'' he said.

Territory and Municipal Services Minister Shane Rattenbury also supports the initiative.
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by BNA » Thu May 02, 2013 9:33 am

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Re: Free lights

Postby find_bruce » Thu May 02, 2013 9:33 am

Excellent to see an advocacy group taking a positive approach to improve the safety of cyclists - Not only will 250 extra cyclists have lights to ride with, it should help spread the message wider & kudos to nitelights for supporting the initiative.
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Re: Free lights

Postby WestcoastPete » Thu May 02, 2013 11:16 am

I've often thought about doing this sytematically. You can get lights really cheaply on the old eBay, but I've found they don't tend to last very long, and I have a problem with that. Whenever people have ridden to my house and go to leave after dark without lights, I've given them some. And I've given the odd one to people I meet when I'm out after dark, if I've got a spare in my bag.

The idea is a great one. I hope the lights will last, but even if they don't, it gets the message out that lights are so important at night time.

Perhaps this thread might be better and get more coverage in the cycling safety and advocacy heading?
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Re: Free lights

Postby twizzle » Fri May 03, 2013 1:12 pm

And there should be an Aus standard for lights. I keep seeing people with BS ripoff copies of the Superflash using some dim led's that can't be seen from more than about 2m away. And the number of riders on the road who are too dumb to change batteries also astonishes me.
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Re: Free lights

Postby cp123 » Fri May 03, 2013 3:46 pm

twizzle wrote: And the number of riders on the road who are too dumb to change batteries also astonishes me.



and so say all of me.
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Re: Free lights

Postby FXST01 » Fri May 03, 2013 5:01 pm

Strange that the members of pedal power don't get given one. Not saying I want one, my magicshine 818 is doing just dandy.
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Re: Free lights

Postby trailgumby » Fri May 03, 2013 5:50 pm

cp123 wrote:
twizzle wrote: And the number of riders on the road who are too dumb to change batteries also astonishes me.


and so say all of me.

Make that three. :P
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Re: Free lights

Postby FXST01 » Fri May 03, 2013 7:33 pm

trailgumby wrote:
cp123 wrote:
twizzle wrote: And the number of riders on the road who are too dumb to change batteries also astonishes me.


and so say all of me.

Make that three. :P


I think when they turn them on, they are bright and off they go on their ride, but five minutes later the battery is losing it's battle and they never check the light when they finish riding.
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Re: Free lights

Postby twizzle » Fri May 03, 2013 7:59 pm

Having driven Northbourne in the morning peak period, I had trouble spotting bikes in my left mirror that I *knew* were there. And dark clothed cyclists in the shadows as you approach from behind are pretty easy to miss as well.

But part of me knows that making lights mandatory means that car drivers will stop looking and it would become just another excuse for not paying attention.

So... keep it up you Ninjas, but I will have nil sympathy it a driver doesn't spot you as you pass on the inside.


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Re: Free lights

Postby ironhanglider » Fri May 03, 2013 10:56 pm

twizzle wrote:Having driven Northbourne in the morning peak period, I had trouble spotting bikes in my left mirror that I *knew* were there. And dark clothed cyclists in the shadows as you approach from behind are pretty easy to miss as well.

But part of me knows that making lights mandatory means that car drivers will stop looking and it would become just another excuse for not paying attention.

So... keep it up you Ninjas, but I will have nil sympathy it a driver doesn't spot you as you pass on the inside.


Sent from my iThingy...


I presume you mean daytime lights. In reduced visibility conditions lights are already mandatory.

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Re: Free lights

Postby twizzle » Sat May 04, 2013 8:50 am

Yes - like the motorbike laws.
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Re: Free lights

Postby jcjordan » Sat May 04, 2013 9:35 am

twizzle wrote:Yes - like the motorbike laws.

Twizzle the Australian road laws removed the mandatory on lights for motorcycles.

Now just need to find the reason
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Re: Free lights

Postby twizzle » Sat May 04, 2013 10:29 am

ADR not ARR.


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Re: Free lights

Postby Ross » Sun May 05, 2013 5:30 pm

I wonder if lights should be compulsary on a bike when sold new (like reflectors and bells are supposed to be) but I guess it would be a bit silly having them on a child's 16" bike that would never be ridden at night.

Judging by the amount of Ninja commuters I saw the day after this light giveaway there were many that didn't take advantage of the giveaway or there weren't enough lights to go 'round.
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Re: Free lights

Postby cp123 » Mon May 06, 2013 12:33 pm

FXST01 wrote:Strange that the members of pedal power don't get given one. Not saying I want one, my magicshine 818 is doing just dandy.



err - some of us got one. 8) :lol: They commented very favourably on my blue flashing light too. The same one i've had for 6 or 7 years that some people say are totally illegal as I'm "impersonating a copper" which i'm not, :roll: but just use it as an added extra to my reds. And given I ride past Julia's joint every night and have had multiple cop cars pass me in the last few years, i don't think they give a fluff either.
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Re: Free lights

Postby wombat 23 » Mon May 06, 2013 6:14 pm

I was one of the Pedal Power volunteers handing out free lights the other night. The most surprising thing was the large number of cyclists who rode past in the dusk who had no lights at all. Some cyclists had good lights front and back, high-vis clothing etc, but many had nothing. Amazing.
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Re: Free lights

Postby cp123 » Tue May 07, 2013 11:58 am

and that makes me spit. maybe they have xray vision and can see all of us oncoming riders, but sometimes its bloody hard to see them. i've probably got close to $1000 worth of lights on my bike and even a $50 cheapie would be better than nothing.
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Re: Free lights

Postby twizzle » Tue May 07, 2013 1:13 pm

Three Ninja's on the unlit sections of the shared pathway around lake ginninderra yesterday evening, two of them sans helmets, not even reflectors to show me that they were coming. Given they would have their night vision compromised by my lights, I have no idea how they could see where they were going.
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Re: Free lights

Postby m@ » Tue May 07, 2013 5:23 pm

Ross wrote:I wonder if lights should be compulsary on a bike when sold new (like reflectors and bells are supposed to be) but I guess it would be a bit silly having them on a child's 16" bike that would never be ridden at night.

Would make more sense than having to include wheel reflectors imo... I guess retailers wouldn't like it as it would be harder to sell more expensive lights if they had to include cheapies with each bike sold.

Mind you, if someone is too stupid to realise they need lights they're probably not smart enough to change the batteries anyway...
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Re: Free lights

Postby Ross » Thu May 09, 2013 10:06 am

From PP

Pedal Power ran out of bike lights on Thursday night -- all 400 of them -- so they're ordering more (probably 500) and will do the same again in a few weeks. Not surprisingly, the busiest place to hand out was at ANU where the line-up for something free and useful was long.
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Re: Free lights

Postby x8pg2qr » Thu May 09, 2013 11:19 am

I'll just say that my investment into dynamo lighting was ≈$400. Per bicycle. It's a bit easier for me as I use one bicycle for everything. For my use, I wouldn't have it any other way.
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Re: Free lights

Postby Ross » Mon May 13, 2013 2:36 pm

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