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Before dawn and no lights

Old 10-09-19, 07:30 AM
  #1  
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Before dawn and no lights

The weather has gotten cooler in Houston and the number of riders on the shared use trails has increased exponentially. This morning i saw three cyclists, two of them commuting, and one getting exercise with no lights or reflectors. Another with no tail light and a front light of about 10 lumen.

Aside from the fact that they are putting their own lives at risk at intersections they are also endangering pedestrians and other cyclists.

Boggles the mind. Why?
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Old 10-09-19, 07:42 AM
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I've given up trying to guess why people do stupid stuff, except as an intellectual exercise in speculation. (So sometimes I will talk politics...)

Perhaps, this early in the season, their lights gave out halfway through their rides. Battery capacity has decreased since last spring, or they don't have their charging schedule firmed up. Perhaps they have better night vision than you, and they can see fine, so they figure everyone else can see them. Perhaps it was well lit in front of their house or apartment, and they didn't realize until they were on the MUP how dark it was away from street lights. Perhaps they're just stupid. Perhaps you had your sunglasses on.

See, wasn't that fun?
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Old 10-09-19, 08:10 AM
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Lights get forgotten, or aren't charged...some people roll the dice on whether they need them wrongly...some people are dumb.
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Old 10-09-19, 09:47 AM
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Cat people?
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Old 10-09-19, 09:55 AM
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Originally Posted by Tombaatar View Post
TThis morning i saw three cyclists, two of them commuting, and one getting exercise with no lights or reflectors. Another with no tail light and a front light of about 10 lumen.

Aside from the fact ...
Also aside from the fact that you did see them, how could that possibly be? Perhaps the OP has cat vision to see allegedly invisible cyclists, or it wasn't that dark outside.
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Old 10-09-19, 09:59 AM
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I gave up worrying about them years ago.
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Old 10-09-19, 09:59 AM
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Originally Posted by I-Like-To-Bike View Post
Also aside from the fact that you did see them, how could that possibly be? Perhaps the OP has cat vision to see allegedly invisible cyclists.
Is it your goal to just be snarky or do you just like to make dumb and irrelevant comments? I did see them once they were about 30 feet away.
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Old 10-09-19, 10:04 AM
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No one really needs to answer the question "Why?" It was rhetorical. It just amazes me how dumb people are. I feel sorry for the driver that plows into him at an intersection and then has to live with taking him out. A good percentage of the trail has no light at all. I actually had one dude yell at me for killing his night vision when I didnt even see him coming until he was 20 - 30 feet from me.

People are dumb.
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Old 10-09-19, 10:36 AM
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Originally Posted by Tombaatar View Post
The weather has gotten cooler in Houston and the number of riders on the shared use trails has increased exponentially. This morning i saw three cyclists, two of them commuting, and one getting exercise with no lights or reflectors. Another with no tail light and a front light of about 10 lumen.

Aside from the fact that they are putting their own lives at risk at intersections they are also endangering pedestrians and other cyclists.

Boggles the mind. Why?
I saw the same situation a month ago driving down Washington Ave. (4 lane street) to a downtown customer at 6:30am. It was dark out.

One guy on a road bike in road gear with only a rear red light. He was invisible from the front. He was riding in the left inbound lane for many blocks. I don't know what he had against riding in the right inbound lane, which caused traffic to pass him on the right.

Another guy on a MTB commuter with no lights whatsoever. He was invisible in all directions.

Both were going toward downtown. An HPD SUV passed both without even mentioning a thing to them, and that cruiser had a full size rear window graphic stating/showing the safe passing distance law for cars passing bicycles on the roadway.

And what I mean by invisible is you don't see the bicyclist until you are right on top of them in your 3500 to 5500 pound vehicle. Especially invisible because your eyes are being blasted by car head lights and your night vision is blown.

Last edited by FiftySix; 10-10-19 at 07:21 AM. Reason: one typo of many
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Old 10-09-19, 11:59 AM
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I almost got t-boned by one of these guys about two weeks ago. I was at a stop sign turning left and about to head up a pretty good hill. I looked very carefully as I always do and saw no cars, no lights, no movement, no nothing. 5 o'clock in the morning and still little overall traffic out. I eased forward and clipped in. Then, suddenly, out of nowhere, a road bike screams past my front tire perpendicular to me, doing maybe, I don't know, 20 mph. We literally just missed each other. He said nothing, didn't stop, and just continued on down the street. He had no headlight of any kind, no reflectors, no rear lighting, and no reflective clothing. Riding in the pitch black. I had to stop just to catch my breath. Terrified.

Here, these guys usually ride against traffic, making it a bit easier to potentially see them from across the street as you pass them by. This one was in the bike lane like any other normal rider. He just couldn't be seen. With no reflectivity and no illumination, I had no shot. I was very lucky.
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Old 10-09-19, 04:13 PM
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Originally Posted by Tombaatar View Post
No one really needs to answer the question "Why?" It was rhetorical. It just amazes me how dumb people are. I feel sorry for the driver that plows into him at an intersection and then has to live with taking him out. A good percentage of the trail has no light at all. I actually had one dude yell at me for killing his night vision when I didnt even see him coming until he was 20 - 30 feet from me.

People are dumb.
I've had a few mention that to me too, I tell them I need lights to see them.
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Old 10-09-19, 04:23 PM
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Originally Posted by no motor? View Post
I've had a few mention that to me too, I tell them I need lights to see them.
My lights irritate people all the time (yes, they are aimed down, they're just bright). I sometimes say I'm sorry but really, I'm not. I absolutely am in love with my lights. They keep me alive.
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Old 10-09-19, 04:30 PM
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Perhaps these people just have more faith in other people than the rest of us. Some close calls, but no mishap. No harm no foul? Whadya gonna do? I see a few of them too, sometimes going the wrong way. I'm always tempted to yell at them too when they pass, but I'm sure my words would be jumbled, much like idiot motorists and passengers who yell out their window at me sometimes.
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Old 10-10-19, 06:32 AM
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Originally Posted by bpcyclist View Post
My lights irritate people all the time (yes, they are aimed down, they're just bright). I sometimes say I'm sorry but really, I'm not. I absolutely am in love with my lights. They keep me alive.
Some lights are intended for night time mountain biking. Anything more than 1,000 lumen on a MUP is pretty inconsiderate i think. If you are on a road, go as bright as you wish.
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Old 10-10-19, 07:06 AM
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Old 10-10-19, 10:06 AM
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What are the local laws regarding lights? Most if not all of Phoenix and its suburbs require front light and at least a rear reflector, and generally it seems that most people do have some lighting on their bikes. Maybe if there isn't a law people just don't have the common sense to realize that being invisible is a good way to get run over by somebody who can't see them?
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Old 10-10-19, 12:10 PM
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Here in Oregon, the law requires cyclists to have a white light in the front and either a red reflector or light to the rear in what it refers to as 'limited visibility conditions.' We have what I would term limited visibility conditions for a significant portion of the year because we are so far north and because it is so gray and dreary here during 'daylight,' which often doesn't look like daylight at all.
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Old 10-10-19, 12:20 PM
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Originally Posted by RoadKill View Post
What are the local laws regarding lights? Most if not all of Phoenix and its suburbs require front light and at least a rear reflector, and generally it seems that most people do have some lighting on their bikes. Maybe if there isn't a law people just don't have the common sense to realize that being invisible is a good way to get run over by somebody who can't see them?
Here in Texas, the law is:

A person may not operate a bicycle at nighttime unless the bicycle is equipped with the following.
  1. Headlamp – a lamp on the front of the bicycle that emits a white light visible from a distance of at least 500 feet in front of the bicycle.
  2. Red Reflector/Red Lamp – A bicycle must be equipped with either a red reflector which is visible from a distance of 300 feet from the rear of the bicycle, or a red lamp visible from a distance of 500 feet from the rear of the bicycle.
https://transport.tamu.edu/Alternati.../statelaw.aspx
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Old 10-10-19, 02:42 PM
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I believe it's called "natural selection in action". Possibly the same reasoning cagers use (whatever it is) to drive with their lights off early in the morning. Grey vehicle on grey pavement in grey light; what could possibly go wrong?
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Old 10-10-19, 02:48 PM
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Originally Posted by FiftySix View Post
Here in Texas, the law is:

A person may not operate a bicycle at nighttime unless the bicycle is equipped with the following.
  1. Headlamp – a lamp on the front of the bicycle that emits a white light visible from a distance of at least 500 feet in front of the bicycle.
  2. Red Reflector/Red Lamp – A bicycle must be equipped with either a red reflector which is visible from a distance of 300 feet from the rear of the bicycle, or a red lamp visible from a distance of 500 feet from the rear of the bicycle.
https://transport.tamu.edu/Alternati.../statelaw.aspx
So the next question is how is nighttime defined in Texas law?

Compare the California Vehicle Code, which requires lights and reflectors during darkness, which is defined:


“Darkness” is any time from one-half hour after sunset to one-half hour before sunrise and any other time when visibility is not sufficient to render clearly discernible any person or vehicle on the highway at a distance of 1,000 feet. (Cal. Veh. C. § 280)
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Old 10-10-19, 03:02 PM
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Originally Posted by caloso View Post
So the next question is how is nighttime defined in Texas law?

Compare the California Vehicle Code, which requires lights and reflectors during darkness, which is defined:


“Darkness” is any time from one-half hour after sunset to one-half hour before sunrise and any other time when visibility is not sufficient to render clearly discernible any person or vehicle on the highway at a distance of 1,000 feet. (Cal. Veh. C. § 280)
Sec. 541.401. MISCELLANEOUS TERMS. In this subtitle:

(1) "Daytime" means the period beginning one-half hour before sunrise and ending one-half hour after sunset.
. . .

(5) "Nighttime" means the period beginning one-half hour after sunset and ending one-half hour before sunrise.

https://statutes.capitol.texas.gov/D...htm/TN.541.htm

I didn't see a reference to darkness.
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Old 10-10-19, 06:04 PM
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1,000 lumens on a MUP? Must be the Mupastrada! I tone my headlamp down to 300 L when I’m on my bikeway if it’s average weather

Originally Posted by Tombaatar View Post
Some lights are intended for night time mountain biking. Anything more than 1,000 lumen on a MUP is pretty inconsiderate i think. If you are on a road, go as bright as you wish.
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Old 10-11-19, 06:33 AM
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I am more worried about the 3 cars I saw this morning driving in the dark with no lights.
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Old 10-11-19, 06:44 AM
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Originally Posted by RoadKill View Post
What are the local laws regarding lights? Most if not all of Phoenix and its suburbs require front light and at least a rear reflector, and generally it seems that most people do have some lighting on their bikes. Maybe if there isn't a law people just don't have the common sense to realize that being invisible is a good way to get run over by somebody who can't see them?
Front like rear reflector is the law. Not sure if that is a state law or a city ordinance.
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Old 10-11-19, 06:53 AM
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Originally Posted by Archwhorides View Post
1,000 lumens on a MUP? Must be the Mupastrada! I tone my headlamp down to 300 L when I’m on my bikeway if it’s average weather
My light is 700. I put it on low through the heavy pedestrian areas or divert the beam altogether.
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