Discussion in 'Commuting' started by Carwash, 19 Feb 2008.

  1. Carwash

    Carwash Señor Member

    I'm not normally one to rant, so please indulge me this once.

    It was very misty this morning in York as I rode in to work, thick white mist. I imagine conditions were similar elsewhere in the country. Visibility when I set out was about 100-150m, although it had cleared up a little by the time I arrived.

    I passed a lot of cyclists on my way in, but despite the poor visbility less than a third of them had lights on!

    I'm sure this comes as no surprise to any of you - we're all used to cyclists at night without lights, and if they don't have lights on in the dark it's hardly likely that they're going to have lights on for mist or fog.

    But what surprised me was that most of the cyclists I passed had lights on their bikes - they just weren't using them. I wonder if any of them actually gave it a second thought... or is it so hard-wired into people's brains that 'lights are for when it's dark, innit?'

    No, lights are so that other people can see you before you come billowing out of the fog bearing down on them like a bat out of Hell. Look! Look at the cars! They have their lights on! Care to guess why? Because it's fscking misty and they can't see!

    </rant> Apologies.
  2. Tynan

    Tynan Veteran


    I run my lights day and night these days, even the half decent ones are so bright now that they're useful and it's not like any of us don;t need more visibility is it

    after a month or two of it seeming like more people were using some sort of light, it seems to gone the other way, I think people ahve decided that it's not dark anymore
  3. I've got a pair of Reelight flashers on my bike that are 'always on'. But I have to admit I bought them more for the novelty of 'powered by magnetic induction', that appealed to my inner garden-shed-inventor, than any safety aspect.

    That said, ADULTS riding without lights always surprises me. We've all driven cars, so we know how important they are.
  4. Maz

    Maz Guru

    Definitely needed the lights on in this morning's fog.
    Essential on the 70 dual carriageway of my commute.
  5. magnatom

    magnatom Guest

    A couple of days ago it was dark and slightly misty at the time, I saw a mother and daughter (probably about 5) riding on a side road (they looked like they were actually going somewhere not just riding up and down).

    Great. The kid had a nice fairly bright front light. The mother didn't. What sort of logic is that ? :wacko::blush:
  6. swee'pea99

    swee'pea99 Legendary Member

    People are mad. It's the only possible explanation for the number of 'invisible' cyclists I encounter daily on my commute into London. Mad.
  7. Arch

    Arch Married to Night Train

    Salford, UK
    I wonder if you saw me? I have lights fitted, but didn't have them on. I felt perfectly visible - but then I had my hivis coat and waistcoat, and I don't think the visibility was that bad when I set out - perhaps if I'd been down by the river it would have been worse and I'd have felt the need to have them on. As it was, I didn't the benefit of having them on outwieghed the effort of pedalling against the dynamo (which I'm getting replaced soon by something better)

    Also, of course, at least half my tiny ride in is on traffic free route...
  8. OP

    Carwash Señor Member

    I doubt I saw you, I don't think my route in and yours coincide at all. And it may well have been worse by the river; it was pretty bad for most of my way in, but became better as I neared work. Cold too - my hair and beard were frozen stiff when I arrived and, I kid you not, my front light had a think film of ice over the glass!
  9. Amanda P

    Amanda P Veteran

    My glasses had a thin film of ice over the glass this morning...
  10. Jacomus-rides-Gen

    Jacomus-rides-Gen New Member

    Guildford / London
    It is crazy - I got caught out without my front light a while ago, my ride home in the dark was all on off-road shared paths, but I wasn't comfortable.

    Running lights in the daytime (assuming good visibility) actually makes it more likely that cagers will hit you. There has been evidence showing that DRLs on motorbikes make cagers focus on the light not the bike itsself, and the total lack of brain activity induced by the cage further clouds their judgement. They pull out and some poor biker gets spread across the road after "coming out of nowhere"
  11. I always have the rear standlight on and run the front light if it starts raining or getting dark.One flashing one steady on the front.
  12. 4F

    4F Active member of Helmets Are Sh*t Lobby

    Sorry but I think that is bollox. I always used to ride with lights on on my motorbike and the only reason drivers would pull out in front of you would be a mixture of impatience, underestimating the motorbikes speed or lack of correct and long enough checks.

    To suggest that just because you are in a car clouds your judgement is plain barking mad.
  13. wafflycat

    wafflycat New Member

    middle of Norfolk
    Cycled into town & back today. Visibility due to freezing fog down to less than 100yds in places. Me, sur velo in acres of fluorescents & reflectives (on self & velo), two lights up front (on) five lights at back (on).

    I gave up on counting the number of motor vehicles with no lights on when I ran out of fingers & toes. I kid you not. You get morons on cycles, you also get morons in charge of a tonne or more of metal moving at speed through thick fog.
  14. Cycling Naturalist

    Cycling Naturalist Legendary Member

    It was bright enough in Llangollen this morning, but as it was very cold (hard frost overnight) and I'm still suffering from a cold, I decided to drive. I'm glad because there was thick fog outside Llangollen which is only just starting to clear now.
  15. tdr1nka

    tdr1nka Taking the biscuit

    Since getting the Ay Up lights I have been using them day & night and certainly feel that cars have better noticed me on the bike.

    It is my opinion that there will always be drivers that don't pay enough attention no matter if you are entirely lit and 3M reflective or covered in radar absorbing stealth black paint.
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