Commuters with No Lights - Why?- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Commuters with No Lights - Why?

    So I can't call myself a commuter because I basically work out of my house, but when I didn't work out of my house I did commute. I do ride every morning and see a few commuters out there daily.

    I'm out the door between 5:45-6:00 and it's dark out. This morning I passed two commuters dressed all in black with no lights - what gives?

    I see this more and more, you can buy a rear light for under 10 bucks and it's a lot cheaper than the hospital bills. Front lights are more, but the rear is more important if you are going to be out riding in the dark.

    I know it might be the time of year, but go buy some lights.

    We need to be SEEN out there,

    Woody

  2. #2
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    The reason people ride bikes in the dark with no lights and dark clothing is because they are stupid. Unfortunately, there is no shortage of stupid people out there. I would argue that having lights on your bike at night is way more important than wearing a helmet. After all, lights will prevent someone from running over you, while a helmet does nothing until you crash. Yet, I see people all the time who care enough about their safety to put on a helmet, but are too stupid to put lights on their bike.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Thor29 View Post
    The reason people ride bikes in the dark with no lights and dark clothing is because they are stupid. Unfortunately, there is no shortage of stupid people out there. I would argue that having lights on your bike at night is way more important than wearing a helmet. After all, lights will prevent someone from running over you, while a helmet does nothing until you crash. Yet, I see people all the time who care enough about their safety to put on a helmet, but are too stupid to put lights on their bike.
    +1

    One day I was biking home from the office, and saw a friend walking his dog in a park along my route. I stopped to say hello, and he commented to me, "you have so much **** on your handlebars" referring to my headlight and my airzound horn. He also rides bicycles...he has a 29er mtb and a road bike, and he spends more time on the roadie. I am sorry that my taste in safety equipment is offensive, but I do prefer not to be hit by cars in the first place.

    Of course, the best I can tell, he doesn't own any safety equipment for bicycling. I can't say I've ever seen him wear a helmet on the mtb or otherwise.

  4. #4
    weirdo
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    Quote Originally Posted by Thor29 View Post
    The reason people ride bikes in the dark with no lights and dark clothing is because they are stupid. Unfortunately, there is no shortage of stupid people out there.
    That pretty well sums it up.

  5. #5
    It's about showing up.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Thor29 View Post
    they are stupid
    I'm not sure I can improve on that.
    I don't rattle.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Thor29 View Post
    The reason people ride bikes in the dark with no lights and dark clothing is because they are stupid. Unfortunately, there is no shortage of stupid people out there. I would argue that having lights on your bike at night is way more important than wearing a helmet. After all, lights will prevent someone from running over you, while a helmet does nothing until you crash. Yet, I see people all the time who care enough about their safety to put on a helmet, but are too stupid to put lights on their bike.
    +1

    Saw a guy yesterday morning, nice bike (Cannondale I think) and all the gear, helmet, shoes, lycra, etc. Couldn't tell if he was out training or commuting, but he didn't seem to be short on cash and so at 5am he should have some lights on too.

    Maybe lights are too heavy.
    It's not enough that we do our best; sometimes we have to do what's required.

  7. #7
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    Yes we're smarter than that. Preaching to the choir for the most part. See "Another commuting thread about lights". I rest my case.

    I almost hit a Ninja rider who blew a stop intersection (I was launching) and entered the one way the wrong way on the other side so wasn't even predictable. Also wrote a post here a while back about a conversation over a black ninja bike under a car: "But doesn't the bike look cool?!"

    Darwinian selection in action. I find night seems safer because your lights really single you out as a cyclist and drivers (as long as they are sober) share the road better.

  8. #8
    since 4/10/2009
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    Quote Originally Posted by BrianMc View Post
    I find night seems safer because your lights really single you out as a cyclist and drivers (as long as they are sober) share the road better.
    I have noticed the same. at night drivers tend to give me FAR more space when passing than they otherwise do during daylight hours.

  9. #9
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    Then there are teh people who run lights that are so dim that they might as well not be there. I almost hit one bicyclist a while back at an intersection, he had ROW, because I couldn't see him until he was maybe 10-13m away. I was letting off my clutch to start moving from my stop sign when I saw him; he was doing a good 10-15 MPH too.

  10. #10
    Still want a fat bike....
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    I often wonder about this too.... especially when I see people flying down a sidewalk. That, to me, is just trying to get hurt. I have lights, but not enough, I know. I have told my wife that if she gets me anything for xmas, it should be something for commuting safety - mainly lights.

  11. #11
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    Because they've got reflectors...duh!

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by woody.1 View Post
    This morning I passed two commuters dressed all in black with no lights - what gives?
    Ahhhh, now you know why they're called "ninjas".

    These folks also have a tendency to ride on the wrong side of the street, hence the title "ninja salmon"

    Idiots.

    On my route home yesterday I damn near had a head on with a jackass riding the wrong way, in the bike lane, on a busy street. I was craniking along in my normal way, and had to hit the brakes and move over to avoid him. I was pretty pissed, because at about the same time, a wave of traffic was passing, so I was getting buzzed on the left with the idiot on the right - I yelled "dude, please don't ride on the wrong side". His reply "I don't care!".

    The thing that really got me was about this time (with an obvious near miss in the bike lane) a cop passed.
    Nothing why am I not surprised)?

    There are fools out there, and this time of year, you've really got to keep your eyes peeled in those dark mornings (and soon enough, evenings).

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dalton View Post
    I have lights, but not enough, I know. I have told my wife that if she gets me anything for xmas, it should be something for commuting safety - mainly lights.
    If you haven't take a look in the "Lights and Night Riding" section. Tons of good info on lights and with the chinese lights out there some inexpensive light choices.

    http://forums.mtbr.com/lights-night-riding/

    Woody

  14. #14
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    They are saving their batteries for the expensive medical equipment they're going to need soon.
    You have no excuse for driving to work
    (unless you don't have studded tires)
    (no excuse for that either)

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by canyoneagle View Post
    Ahhhh, now you know why they're called "ninjas".

    These folks also have a tendency to ride on the wrong side of the street, hence the title "ninja salmon"

    Idiots.

    On my route home yesterday I damn near had a head on with a jackass riding the wrong way, in the bike lane, on a busy street. I was craniking along in my normal way, and had to hit the brakes and move over to avoid him. I was pretty pissed, because at about the same time, a wave of traffic was passing, so I was getting buzzed on the left with the idiot on the right - I yelled "dude, please don't ride on the wrong side". His reply "I don't care!".

    The thing that really got me was about this time (with an obvious near miss in the bike lane) a cop passed.
    Nothing why am I not surprised)?

    There are fools out there, and this time of year, you've really got to keep your eyes peeled in those dark mornings (and soon enough, evenings).
    This is why I always force the other guy towards traffic.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by jseko View Post
    Then there are teh people who run lights that are so dim that they might as well not be there. I almost hit one bicyclist a while back at an intersection, he had ROW, because I couldn't see him until he was maybe 10-13m away. I was letting off my clutch to start moving from my stop sign when I saw him; he was doing a good 10-15 MPH too.
    At least you didnt get smacked this time.

  17. #17
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    Right now the sun is just at the right level to blind drivers heading east in the morning...

    Without a light car dirvers, bike drivers, anyone can't see what is out front...unless it has a tail light.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by jseko View Post
    This is why I always force the other guy towards traffic.

    heh heh..... yeah, I tried taking the right side of the lane but relented when I could see that he was just going to try to squeeze between the parked cars and me.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by woody.1 View Post
    If you haven't take a look in the "Lights and Night Riding" section. Tons of good info on lights and with the chinese lights out there some inexpensive light choices.

    http://forums.mtbr.com/lights-night-riding/

    Woody
    I'm still waiting on my Chinese made XM-L led light I bought from DealExtreme. As for now, I'm using a Cateye HL-EL530 as a headlight.

  20. #20
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    Very Dangerous indeed

  21. #21
    A God Without A Name
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    speaking on the crammed handlebars... I expect mine will soon look hilarious.

    cupholder, bell, MP3 dock, A my little pony and a headlight. not counting whats normally on there.

    I may soon also add a cargo basket up there.

  22. #22
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    Bordering off topic, unless someone's excuse for no lights is a lack of room on the bars. Baskets, and bags can make a fork crown light mount impossible, especially on smaller frames. You can get knobs o mount to fork blades, but then the switch access might be an issue.

    The late Sheldon Brown used 2 level bars on a threadless headset bike with a high stack height. The same stacked stem idea could be used to support a short straight handlebar to carry a basket and move things off the bars. It you weren't going to put a basket and cargo, there are less robust light extenders and the Nitto system. Check www.PerterWhiteCycles.cm for a nice discussion/pictures of those options.

    As for stupid, yes some Ninjas probably are. Others are not so much stupid as unthinking or lacking in imagination about what could happen. Selectively stupid, if you will. It isn't so much bravery in the face of high risk, as much as simple non-recognition of the dangers. This is more understandable up to a certain age when we think we are invulnerable.

    BrianMc

  23. #23
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    More than 95% of my night rides are illuminated or over-illuminated.

    My personal excuse list for the other less-than-5%:

    I've been caught out on a longer-than-expected ride or after working later than expected.
    I've forgotten lights on a ride that deployed from a car/bus.
    I've had batteries go dead (of course).
    I've had rainwater water-induced short-outs and other malfunctions (majority of incidents).
    I've had lights fall off and I didn't notice (rear only).
    I've had lights fall off and break on impact.
    I've had tail lights mud-over and didn't notice.
    I've brought a 25.8mm handlebar bracket for a 31.8mm handlebar (usually improvise something)
    I've just said "screw it" after fruitlessly searching the basement for a light or mounting bracket (very short rides only)
    I've tuned lights off for a few seconds because some driver was acting so nutty I didn't want to be tracked.
    I've briefly turned off very bright lights in areas of sufficient ambient illumination to avoid blinding people or scaring animals.
    The above statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration

  24. #24
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    I just got the cygolite hotshot. Its awsome. USB rechargable! And you can remove it from the mounting bracket during the day so thieves have less to look at.

  25. #25
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    Bike ninjas!

  26. #26
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    Spokeshirt front light is first class.

  27. #27
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    Sometimes I don't like to be seen, and am willing to be responsible for my own safety. It is possible to ride without lights during hours of darkness in a way that is not inconsiderate of others or reckless. I'd worry more about the bikers who have lights on but aren't paying attention, riding erratically, or can't handle their bikes.

    Of course, I have been known to ride trails at night without lights, so I may just be too hardcore for you people.

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