Commuting befoe daylight

Discussion in 'Travelling, Commuting & Safety' started by beachcruiser, Feb 1, 2009.

  1. beachcruiser

    beachcruiser Member

    I had a chance to talk to a very nice gentleman
    from west-central Indiana yesterday about motor-
    ized bicycles. He was telling me about his commute
    by car to Lafayette Ind. to work. He became very
    irrate describing one motorized bicycle he has to pass
    every morning. It seems that this motorized bicycle
    has the blinky red light and strobe light on when he
    comes upon it. The gentleman says there is something
    about those lights that want you to pull over and tell
    the motorized bicycle rider to get that thing off the
    road. I asked, if the motorized bicycle was riding on
    the highway shoulder out of the way and the gentleman
    said yes, and become irrate again about pulling over and
    telling the motorized bicycle rider to get that thing off the road.
    There is something about those lights that drive me insane.
    So I did not push the conversation any further.
    What is your thoughts about this.....?

  2. psmcd

    psmcd Member


    We all know people become enraged at cyclists impeding their way. Couple that with some form of physiologic neural trigger and they just might go off on you. Reminds me of the show "The Incredible Hulk" and what would trigger his transformation. Seems flashing lights were a trigger. People become annoyed when you disturb their trance.

    Not a recommendation but at times stealth feels safer than visibility.
  3. bluegoatwoods

    bluegoatwoods Well-Known Member

    I'd say that psmcd's description sounds convincing.

    You'll notice that even nice, even-tempered cagers, those not prone to true road rage, become annoyed at, and sometimes rude to, bicyclists.

    And I've noticed (I think this is common) that my night vision is less great than it used to be. Bright flashing lights tend to overwhelm my eyes. I can't see anything else.

    I do a lot of night riding. I usually run one steady and one blinking rear. Maybe I ought to go with two steadys and save the blinking for bad visibility conditions.

    I really should have thought of that on my own. But I'm glad the subject came up; gave me a chance to drive a mile in their shoes.
  4. beachcruiser

    beachcruiser Member

    Yes, I agree with you. Two steady lights and a blinky for
    bad visibility makes for common sense- also the use of some
    bicycle reflective tape.
  5. loquin

    loquin Active Member

    The blinky lights are annoying.
  6. Mountainman

    Mountainman Active Member

    my boodie flasher a flashing !!!

    yes -- they sure are
    I guess that's what's so good about them

    while driving my car to work years ago
    I would pass a co-worker each morning in the dark riding his bike
    his flashing on his rear end light seemed to bug me
    I called it his boodie butt flasher

    he would walk into work and in front of everyone I would say
    there's the boodie butt flasher
    everyone would laugh including him
    that was a fun group where I worked

    yes - on my rear end today when I ride in the dark
    I also have my boodie butt flasher a flashing !!!

    as I ride that THING

    HERPER Member

    i personally use regular red lights steady, no flashing... the flashing even for me, a 22 year old kid, is incredibly annoying.

    i think the break between the blinks might even make it more mezmerizing then anything else, and the last thing i want when riding at night is some guy coming home from work tired just getting lost in the flashing red light.

    i also have reflective tape on my backpack which i always wear and on my bike..... so its not just a light but all sorts of good sh*t
  8. bikebum1975

    bikebum1975 Member

    I agree I personally don't do a lot of night riding but I can't stand the flashing lights either. I feel as for looks it takes away from the bike but to each his own on that. As far as the slug in the car I don't bother starting with them I also rarely have any problems with them around here I think partly cause I don't wear cycling clothes just normal every day street clothes when I ride. But some people are just ignorant they think they own the roads when they get behind the wheel. I find I have more problems with motorists when I go for a walk then riding.
  9. mikem

    mikem Member


    I'm glad I read this thread. I never used them but I always thought those flashing lights were a good idea ... in theory anyway. Never thought of how annoying they might be but I can understand how they might.

    When I was riding my motorcycle I always worried if that "little" factory tail/brake light was enough. So, I added several more stop lights to the rear and wired them in with the brake switch. That way I had "normal" running lights but when I hit the brakes I had extra brake lights ... more noticible. Sometimes, especially in heavy traffic, I'd hit the brake pedal a few times before coming to a full stop ... for a little flash effect.

    Hate to say it but riding at night is always risky.
  10. ZnsaneRyder

    ZnsaneRyder Member

    By what was said in the first post, it looks like the guy had a problem with the motored bicycle, and not just the blinking light. Some people in cars get egos and think they have the authority to tell bikes to get off the road. That's just pure disrespect and is intolerable IMO.

    I have a TON of lights, and I had some ignoramus shout at me while blaring the horn to get off the road, and I was not in anyone's path, but I was in the opposite lane. Some people think they are so tough inside the shelter of their vehicles. When I followed him to his house, there attitude changed, and they were afraid to come outside, HAHAHA.

    People need to stop being so mean and rude, and realize that everyone has to make their own way, and stop hating on others for not conforming to their ways. I'm sure if he was the one riding the bicycle, he wouldn't be such an idiot.
  11. That's why I dont want to drive. You just get stuck in this little box zooming around all day long and you never get to talk to anyone except for when your filling up the tank. On a bike at least you have the open air around you. You can see anyone as you pass them, and they see you! Much less anonymity. In a good way. :D Heck I can't wait to be known as "that crazy kid with the mb." (there aren't many mb's here, just 1 old guy I have seen around town that's it, and almost everyone I talk to has seen him hehe)
  12. bluegoatwoods

    bluegoatwoods Well-Known Member

    And the worst part about driving a car these days is that everywhere you go you're stuck "standing" in line here, then there, then there, etc.

    I spent my teen years in a very rural area. (Very rural). No waiting in line there. But now I visit and I look around and see the cars (a bit more numerous) driving so terribly fast on roads that weren't meant for it that it scares me.

    The cars are much, much better. But driving just isn't as much fun as it used to be.

    Though the interstate highways, away from the cities, are still ok in most places at least.
  13. SirJakesus

    SirJakesus Guest

    I must say that I make use of normal bicycle lighting combos on some of my bikes. I find the blinky settings work best at getting drivers attention during the day since these lights are very low wattage and would easily disappear during a sunny day. Once it gets dim I turn them to constant. I believe this is how they were meant to be run anyway. You can run a blinky head and taillight with 3 AAA batteries a piece for a whole summer to keep yourself more visible during daylight hours. At night turn those things to steady and turn on your high-powered headlight to avoid road hazards.
  14. mlcorson

    mlcorson Member

    Good advice. We appear to be more vulnerable when riding a bike and I believe people take advantage of that by being mean sometimes.

    The blinking lights do create a depth perception problem for drivers. I myself can't judge the distance of a red blinker at night until I get very close. A steady light along with a blinker is probably the best solution.
  15. augidog

    augidog Banned

    "depth" perception, yes...

    but it's in the mind, not the eye, where things go wrong, imo.

    they see bicycle-lights, they think bicycle, a slow 8-12mph bicycle...but "for some reason, i'm not gaining on those blinky things, this is making me noivous" or "oh, a bicycle, i have plenty of time to pull out...oh, carp, what was that?"

    but we're usually topping 25mph or more...we're hard to get used to at first.

    i'd be a bit irate, myself, being put on edge...cagers have a lot to worry about, insurance and liability not the least of...

    i use a fulltime 55W halogen headlamp, 10W trailer marker tail...
    Mvc-512f.jpg Mvc-513f.jpg
    the cager sees a "vehicle"...

    i get lots of room ahead and behind as the cager is "fooled" onto the side of caution. seeing me clearly seems to make them a bit more relaxed about sharing the road, maybe they realize i'm doing my part, too.

    besides, search out how state troopers feel about blinky-lights & the "moth syndrome."
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2009
  16. echotraveler

    echotraveler Member

    great thread!

    now that i think about it there most be something neurological about it....

    my experience with stage lighting has shown that leds are very distracting for humans....its almost like the "electric light for flys" you know the one that zaps them.
    It hurts to looks at them but you cant get your eyes to look away...and flashing them could cause zeisures!
  17. Mountainman

    Mountainman Active Member

    a good thread to touch bases with
    heading out early in the dark tomorrow morning on the THING motor bike

    noticed THINGS a little different in augi's post above
    is he ok ?
    looks as if he may have jumped off a very tall building
    good THING he has a motor
    not sure if those little legs will make it to the pedals !!!

    came back to share
    just checked my boodie flasher light
    new batteries were dead again
    seems that carrying it in my backpack -- switch must get hit -- turned on ??
    now I am a ready to flash that THING

    always fun to ride those THINGS
    Last edited: Feb 17, 2009
  18. seanhan

    seanhan Member

    yea I have a Blinkey too but I also have a Smith & Wesson In case any motorist have a problem with my lights !!!
  19. echotraveler

    echotraveler Member

    sir, how can you power such fine light on your bike???
  20. azbill

    azbill Active Member