Do I really need the headlight in the morning now?- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Do I really need the headlight in the morning now?

    I was using my headlight last fall and earlier this spring, simply because I needed it to see. But now that it's brighter in the morning when I leave (around 5:45 am), I can see just fine, the sun is starting to come up, but I've still been using my headlight for added visibility to others. My question is, do I really need the headlight in the mornings when it's not dark, but not daylight yet? Does it really help others see me that much more? I mean, I'm sure it does, but I just start wondering because there isn't a whole lot of traffic at that time in the morning, and I'd love not to have to use it if I didn't need to.

    So what do you think? At this point, I actually end up turning it off for the last 5 or 10 minutes of my ride anyway becuase it's so light out.
    I need it up, you need it down. You don't see me complaining when you leave it down.

  2. #2
    pain don't hurt
    Reputation: TurboasT4's Avatar
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    I like using a headlight even when I don't need it to see. 545am is pretty early, and all it takes one jerk who hasn't had their morning coffee yet. At that time, people are pretty groggy, and drivers aren't expecting other people on the road--especially cyclists.

    I am particularly weary of cars coming in from side streets to turn left or right onto whatever road I'm on. They may perform a cursory stop (and "stop" is pretty optimistic in itself) before turning or crossing into your path.

    I would consider the downside to using a headlight, which is probably minimal. Why not use it, since it can only add to your visibility?

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by TurboasT4
    I like using a headlight even when I don't need it to see. 545am is pretty early, and all it takes one jerk who hasn't had their morning coffee yet. At that time, people are pretty groggy, and drivers aren't expecting other people on the road--especially cyclists.

    I am particularly weary of cars coming in from side streets to turn left or right onto whatever road I'm on. They may perform a cursory stop (and "stop" is pretty optimistic in itself) before turning or crossing into your path.

    I would consider the downside to using a headlight, which is probably minimal. Why not use it, since it can only add to your visibility?
    All good points. I'm not really a weight weenie or anything, if anything I think, more weight makes for a harder workout. I guess it's just the use and longevity of the light and batteries. It's really not a huge issue, but wondered what you all thought. You make some great points.
    I need it up, you need it down. You don't see me complaining when you leave it down.

  4. #4
    I'm SUCH a square....
    Reputation: bigpedaler's Avatar
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    For now, I'd continue to use it; another month, you can probably re-evaluate. But keep that flashing LED taillight! I use mine year-round, for the visibility to others reason. It works -- and the more aggressive the flash pattern, the more noticeable it is, and the more the jackholes leave you alone.
    A bike is the only drug with no bad side effects....

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by bigpedaler
    For now, I'd continue to use it; another month, you can probably re-evaluate. But keep that flashing LED taillight! I use mine year-round, for the visibility to others reason. It works -- and the more aggressive the flash pattern, the more noticeable it is, and the more the jackholes leave you alone.
    Most definitely. I never turn those suckers off. Well, I guess I don't turn them on during the day on my way home. I guess they're kind of useless during the day anyway.

    Now, you don't have a blinking tail light on your handlebars do you, pointing forward? I've seen a couple people do that, perhaps I could do that as well.
    I need it up, you need it down. You don't see me complaining when you leave it down.

  6. #6
    Bloody Bastard
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    For the same reason why I opted to keep my dayrunners activated on my bimmer (and sometimes just use the xenons), there can never be too much visibility. Call it being overly safe or uber paranoia, but I'd rather run through a shite ton of batteries than have someone potentially hit me because they weren't paying attention or nodding off behind the wheel. At least a flashing light catches the eye and makes potentially deviant drivers more aware of you when you're on the road. I've been in the military too long I guess.

  7. #7
    Bikeoholic
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    I've recenlty been reading a book called "BICYCLING AND THE LAW". I'm a slow reader so I'm only like 1/4 of the way through it, but it has alreay told me some stuff I didn't know / never considered.

    For instance generally the law requires you to have on lights durring "darkness" this isn't defined as night or when the sun isn't up. It just says "darkness". In addition to this if you get into an accident at any time of day the more lights / reflecters / bright clothing you have on will greatly help your case to say that you were very visable and indeed obeying the laws and exceeding them. This would undermine the driver's case if they said they didn't see you.

    All of this works out to a bigger reward for you / less of a fight to get it.

    Durring the morning ( I leave at 4:20am so I need a light) I run a head light and front blinky (yellow), a helmet mounted tail light and a rack mounted tail light. In addition to this I try to wear bright and reflective clothing. (I still need to get the reflectors put back on my bike)...

    Maybe its overkill but if I ever get hit, I'm sure it will pay off.
    -Palek
    Ride Today...
    ...You might not be able to tomorrow

  8. #8
    mtbr member
    Reputation: Ka_Jun's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by paqman
    I was using my headlight last fall and earlier this spring, simply because I needed it to see. But now that it's brighter in the morning when I leave (around 5:45 am), I can see just fine, the sun is starting to come up, but I've still been using my headlight for added visibility to others. My question is, do I really need the headlight in the mornings when it's not dark, but not daylight yet? Does it really help others see me that much more? I mean, I'm sure it does, but I just start wondering because there isn't a whole lot of traffic at that time in the morning, and I'd love not to have to use it if I didn't need to.

    So what do you think? At this point, I actually end up turning it off for the last 5 or 10 minutes of my ride anyway becuase it's so light out.
    I have a headlight & a white blinky. Just using the white blinky at this point. > visibility isn't a bad thing.

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