100 Ninja Cyclists "Ticketed"- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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  2. #2
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    Good article, and nice to see people making an effort educate riders and gives cycling a better image. That "engineering professor" was a piece of work. You would think someone who works with hard numbers and physics laws would be more receptive to the ideas of over-engineering and safety redundancy (ie: lights/reflectors at night).
    The ridiculousness of cycling clothes increase exponentially in relation to the distance from your bicycle.

  3. #3
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    I personally prefer freedom including the freedom to compete for the Darwin award.

    We have way to many laws as it is and if someone wants to trust their xray vision and the power of gods to keep them safe my feeling is all the better.

    Having these guys with no lights helps keep the drivers on their toes and as such makes my commute safer because after almost hitting a few ninjas they will see my blinky reflective ass and give me a little extra room.

  4. #4
    weirdo
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    Very cool program.

    Marginalizing? How can he not grasp the difference between a helmet and a light? I suppose neither are needed on New Haven`s vast system of non-motorized canal paths.
    Recalculating....

  5. #5
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    That should have been police out there handing out real $250 tickets, sorry, Darwin awards to those idiots.
    Quote Originally Posted by Harold
    You're doing mtbr wrong, you're supposed to get increasingly offended by the implications that you're doing ANYTHING wrong.

  6. #6
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    IMO lights are more important (and less weird) than helmets.
    Ride more!

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by febikes View Post
    I personally prefer freedom including the freedom to compete for the Darwin award.

    We have way to many laws as it is and if someone wants to trust their xray vision and the power of gods to keep them safe my feeling is all the better.

    Having these guys with no lights helps keep the drivers on their toes and as such makes my commute safer because after almost hitting a few ninjas they will see my blinky reflective ass and give me a little extra room.
    That works, until you realize that the costs of an accident are paid by all of us; the emergency responders, the damage to the car and bike, your injuries (auto insurance), etc. I'd rather not pay for that kind of idiocy when it may be easily prevented.

    And the part about keeping car drivers on their toes seems laughable to me.

    Dan

  8. #8
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    I'm of two minds on this. WA state law requires a forward facing light (white) and a rear facing reflector for minimum night time riding requirements. On one hand, I agree - lights are important. On the other, I would be in the crowd that would receive a ticket, because I elect to run active light sources rather than a passive reflector (mostly due to limitations of where to mount a reflector.

    It's on my to-do list to pick up some reflective tape, but until then... I'll have to rely on the generosity of the Seattle Police Department not to ticket me for doing the right thing the wrong way.

  9. #9
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    I've never liked the argument that ("specialized"?) safety equipment = lower ridership. A helmet and a $10 blinking light are neither expensive nor complicated. Yes, they do cost money but so does all transportation.

  10. #10
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    Could be argued that a driver coming up on a stealth rider might swerve out of suprise or avoidance and cause an accident. Or if they do smash into you your head is gonna dent the hood of their car.... so you're not just endangering yourself.
    I personally just don't like riding on roads day or night, lights or not. Sharing the road with distracted drivers in speeding tons of steel gives me the heebee geebees. I try to ride with my fiance, who is a avid road biker, but I'm just always nervous and uncomfortable when there is any traffic.
    I prefer to stick to the trails... trees and rocks are unforgiving but they never run you over from behind and only rarely jump out in front of you.
    I meant to do that.

  11. #11
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    I agree that local police should be doing it if it's a local or state traffic law that requires lights.

    My local police do stop people for being unlit, but they don't get all of them.

    That engineering professor is an idiot. Cheap blinkies go a long way to improving visibility and are hardly extreme. It would be fine to leave the ninjas to their own devices if their actions didn't affect anyone else and the costs weren't absorbed by the rest of us.

    I don't want to run someone over and the chances of that are pretty high where there are a bunch of ninjas. Especially ninja salmon. Eventually, I won't see one in time and they will become a hood ornament. Not long ago there was a ninja salmon bombing downhill at close to 20mph. The only reason I didn't hit him was because I was in the left lane. I didn't see him until he was alongside me.

  12. #12
    weirdo
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    Quote Originally Posted by FullyTorque View Post
    Could be argued that a driver coming up on a stealth rider might swerve out of suprise or avoidance and cause an accident. Or if they do smash into you your head is gonna dent the hood of their car.... so you're not just endangering yourself.
    Absolutely! Not to mention the fact that innocent pedestrians can also be seriously injured or even killed by a bicycle collision.
    Recalculating....

  13. #13
    CB of the East
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    It doesn't take a rocket scientist to know that being lit at night is pretty important but I guess it takes more than a :Professor of Chemical & Environmental Engineering & Biomedical Engineering (Email address included)

    I guess the big problem with the Darwinism theory is that the person that hits and kills them is going to be scared knowing that they have ended someones life. I know I'd feel bad even if I did hit a dumbass Engineering professor with no lights.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by hunter006 View Post
    I'm of two minds on this. WA state law requires a forward facing light (white) and a rear facing reflector for minimum night time riding requirements. On one hand, I agree - lights are important....snip... I'll have to rely on the generosity of the Seattle Police Department not to ticket me for doing the right thing the wrong way.
    A careful reading of Indiana statutes says a front light and rear reflector are 'minimal requirements'. So an actual rear light is clearly more effective than a reflector, so would be more than minimal.

    Quote Originally Posted by rodar y rodar View Post
    Absolutely! Not to mention the fact that innocent pedestrians can also be seriously injured or even killed by a bicycle collision.
    Ever been hit by a cyclist? I was: once as a pedestrian, another as a cyclist. One of those was unlit at night. Both assaulters ended up much worse for the wear than I did. Still, at 15 mph I pack the kinetic potential of nearly a ton of force. Two like me head on would be a major ouch time.

    Quote Originally Posted by bedwards1000 View Post
    It doesn't take a rocket scientist to know that being lit at night is pretty important -snip- I guess the big problem with the Darwinism theory is that the person that hits and kills them is going to be scared knowing that they have ended someones life. I know I'd feel bad even if I did hit a dumbass Engineering professor with no lights.
    Some of the dumbest people have Ph.D.s They are so focussed on their narrow area of study that they can be Mr. Magoo-like in their blindness to the world around them. Some have Asperger's Syndrome and some are similar. He may leave a wake of crashed cars behind him that he is oblivious to. I drove a colleague who did not understand why I turned the windshield wipers on before meeting a truck which spewed road snot across the windshield. After half a dozen trucks I would have thought he reason was intuitively obvious. Not for this brilliant engineer. So there are different kinds of dumb.

    OK I get riding in street clothes, but at least make them light-colored ones. It looks like a black or dark brown jacket. Has he not observed in driving how hard it is to see cyclists like him? He has money. My backup crawl home light is a 9 led $3 triple AAA powered flashlight that I O-ring to the bars. Minimal weight. meets the code. Way better than the old generator headlamp or D cell lights of yore which are legal. (Seventies bike lights were pathetic, barely better than no lights at all.) Besides it is the law. If I were the local law enforcement I would lie in wait and write him up with a fine that would have covered many lights. Civil disobedience has its costs.

    BrianMc

  15. #15
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  16. #16
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    he's a professor at Yale, why would anyone be surprised that he's arrogant and out of touch? They're all led to believe that they're the stars in our sky.

    the thing about helmet use in the NYT article linked is interesting though. Even though I'm an avid helmet user and have the broken helmets to prove their use, requiring cyclists to use them by law is a good way to prevent people taking up cycling, either through the additional cost/ hassle/ helmet hair scares or the implicit risk of injury that they conjure. Given the enormous individual and societal health benefits to cycling, anything that acts as a barrier to entry should be minimised, even though that may slightly increase the individual risk.

    I've tried explaining that to people who think I'm crazy for taking my kids to school by bike (currently tag-a-long or trailer). Although there's a slight but present risk of them being injured in an accident, there's a far far higher risk of them having heart or obesity problems later in life if all they ever do is travel by car.

  17. #17
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    The college I attended here in Illinois is located in a very active cycling community, and this time of year they always send out the mass email reminding people that lights are the law and I have heard of police enforcing the rule. I think that lights are essential to night riding not just so cars see me but because here in illinois our tax dollars get spent on everything except fixing pot holes. nothing like hiting one of those doing 20mph and doing and endo into a semi.

    I dont understand what that professor was saying. I commute and I dont wear my work clothes but i dont wear anything different than what i would wear to the gym. I like to be comfortable and im fat so i sweat alot. As far as other safety gear i think thats up to the rider if you want to wear a helmet and reflective clothing so be it but at minimum put a dam light on your bike.

    I do see people who like to spend money wearing all sorts of bike specific clothing but its not required by law. do what you want dont be an ass but please follow the law.

    end rant.

  18. #18
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    I could care less if he wears an orange jumpsuit and no helmet but lights are for the safety of others. AND it gives us considerate folk a bad image.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by bedwards1000 View Post
    I could care less if he wears an orange jumpsuit and no helmet but lights are for the safety of others. AND it gives us considerate folk a bad image.
    exactly what i was trying to say in less words.. thanks

  20. #20
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    Didn't read the article and while I don't do it all that often (except after frequent late evening trailbuilding sessions), I have never had lights and never used them. Over the years I have done some silly things like having to discuss my 2AM slalom down the middle of a road with the cops who turned out of a side street, but as with all riding (esp road), I presume no-one sees me and no-one cares about me, so I just make sure I am nowhere near any vehicle. The cops were 100m away when they saw me, but closer when they sggested I should know better and to go home.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ridnparadise View Post
    ..., but as with all riding (esp road), I presume no-one sees me and no-one cares about me, so I just make sure I am nowhere near any vehicle.
    You must be in paradise if you can make sure you are nowhere near any vehicle. How do you make sure they are nowhere near you?

  22. #22
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    my friend got a real ticket for riding without lights on his college campus!

  23. #23
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    Anyone who rides at night without lights probably hasn't been hit by a car. That would change your outlook in a big hurry, I suspect.

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  25. #25
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    It always seemed counterintuitive to me that I encounter so many cyclists who wear black clothing and ride at night without lights, but wear a helmet. Wouldn't it make more sense to not get hit by a car than to hope that a little styrofoam on top of your head will protect you? People are weird. And stupid.

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