Riders in the mist...

johnnyh

Veteran
Location
Somerset
To set the scene, we set off this morning to drive to Lyme Regis, the kids to play on the sand, fish and chips for lunch, and all that good stuff...

About 6 miles out the fog/mist was really heavy, to the extent that visibility was probably 50 yards at best. So fog lights on and suitably speed for the conditions...

We ended up following a very slow moving 4x4 who appeared to start driving down the middle of the road... odd... but no, as we followed on we saw why, a group of cyclists, 20 or more, strung out and heading towards Lyme. Now the 4x4 was very careful around them, given that they were invisible until you were 15 yards off the back (no lights at all), but this didnt stop a few hand gestures from the 'roadies' towards the driver.

We overtook the first group, and I couldn't believe not one of them had at least a rear light. It seemed almost suicidal behaviour.

Anyhow, a few yards further on we came up behind another group of 5 or so, and again no lights, and practicably invisible until 10-15 yards behind.

I drove alongside the rear rider, and window down said "chaps, you are really invisible" .. this was met by a gesture to sod off - but I thought I'd try once more and highlight the danger they were putting themselves in... this time I got a reply at least - "it was clear when we set off 30 miles ago, what are we meant to do about it", along with another hand gesture.

Now I don't want to sound clever, but I always have a rear light on my saddle pack as in this country you never know what the weather will do, and many times on the commute it gets used. Again, at the weekends when riding with the club I have a rear light attached so if it rains or gets dark I can at least give drivers an idea I am there.

I'm not sure if these fellas were trying to win a Darwin award, but their attitude and stupidity does little to endear cyclists to other road users, and given the fact the weather and conditions were as forecast, they can have no complaint at getting "caught out" by it.

I hope none of them got hurt, but I really hope they think long and hard about their future conduct on the roads and at least give themselves a chance of making old bones!

So if you are out there, if one of you chances across this post... for goodness sake, be safe and make sure you can be seen!
 

Pat "5mph"

A kilogrammicaly challenged woman
Moderator
Location
Glasgow
Totally agree: why take lights off your bike anyway?
 

Herr-B

Senior Member
Location
Keelby
Even on a sunny lunchtime commute I have a rear light attached to my saddle bag, it adds nothing and is worth everything. They are to abide by the laws of our highways, and I'm sure that means lights when in bad visibility!

From dog and bone, using Tapatalk2.
 

Octet

Veteran
I always have a rear light on my bicycle, and sorry to state the obvious but as the Scouts have always said, 'Be Prepared'.

In terms of the law, I think it calls for lighting etc. when visibility is less then 100 meters.
 

Accy cyclist

Legendary Member
I noticed how dark it suddenly turned last night while i was out. I have to admit that i thought i'd be back home before twilight, so i didn't take my lights. I was caught out, but i have high viz shoes, shorts, gloves,jersey,even a high viz label on my helmet, so i hope they can see me. But i do feel a bit like i'm letting the side down because i didn't have lights which are required by law.
I wonder if the chav dressed in black, without lights or high viz on his bmx, who i overtook feels the same(?):rolleyes:
 

youngoldbloke

The older I get, the faster I used to be ...
Always a rear light either on the bike or the saddle pack. In case of bad visibility, as above, but also in rain, and when riding into a low sun, and conditions leading to dark shade patches. Just common sense.
 

Sandra6

Veteran
Location
Cumbria
Totally agree: why take lights off your bike anyway?
I haven't got round to putting lights ON my bike yet.:shy: It is on my to do list, but I could easily be caught out like those cyclists.
My wet weather bike has a rear working light, but needs a new front light as the cheapy one I bought fell off.
 

Andrew_Culture

Internet Marketing bod
This is why I like those knog lights; they're really diddy!
 

Pat "5mph"

A kilogrammicaly challenged woman
Moderator
Location
Glasgow
Just googled them, they look neat.
Also found them on halfords website - and in stock in my branch - for just £12 for a pair, and with staff discount that'll be about a tenner.
I will hold you responsible if they're rubbish mind.
They are ok, Sandra: I had a set the whole of last winter (9 months here :laugh:) One is still going strong, but I will change the battery just in case, the rear one's rubber grip snapped, probably because I kept unhooking it to put it on another bike.
 

theclaud

Openly Marxist
Location
Swansea
It's certainly advisable to carry a rear light, and with the weather as it is it isn't rocket science to to know that visibility might reduce over the course of a ride. It does seem remarkable that in a group of 20 no-one had a rear light! But the bottom line is that people drive far too fast - for all conditions, but they rarely slow down anything like enough when it is misty or foggy. Drivers should be going slowly enough that they can stop safely in the distance they can see to be clear.
 

sidevalve

Über Member
It's certainly advisable to carry a rear light, and with the weather as it is it isn't rocket science to to know that visibility might reduce over the course of a ride. It does seem remarkable that in a group of 20 no-one had a rear light! But the bottom line is that people drive far too fast - for all conditions, but they rarely slow down anything like enough when it is misty or foggy. Drivers should be going slowly enough that they can stop safely in the distance they can see to be clear.
Er No, the bottom line is you're BOTH breaking the law if you're riding without lights in poor visibility. I agree, you are correct, drivers SHOULD slow down BUT if a cyclist has no lights he SHOULD dismount. Sorry to say,as the OP found out there are a fair number of cyclists out there with a massive chip on their shoulder who don't believe the rules apply to them.
 
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