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Flashing lights

Old 05-10-22, 06:40 AM
  #26  
livedarklions
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Originally Posted by Paul Barnard View Post
The issue of excessively bright lights on the path is becoming more prevalent. I have a high power, compact handheld light that can really concentrate the beam. I am not far from taking that with me to help some riders understand why it's a problem.

I think you may end up with a literal "blind leading the blind" situation.

I advocate saying something to the strobe offenders on MUPs. I honestly think a lot of them are unaware that they're creating a problem.
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Old 05-10-22, 06:58 AM
  #27  
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As much as the bright lights were a problem for me on the busy Burke Gilman Trail, it's a trifle compared to when motorists have keep high beams on because I'm not a car, while they approach from the other direction.
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Old 05-10-22, 07:06 AM
  #28  
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Originally Posted by livedarklions View Post
What can I say? The damn thing really is right in my face impairing my vision. I've never yelled at someone on a MUP for going too slow or otherwise impeding my speed, but I have yelled at people who suddenly change lanes to set up the head-on so they can veer back (hopefully).. I think those are the equivalent of the legitimate warning honk from a car.

And just to be clear, I don't think this is anything like yelling at people from a car window for being in the wrong lane or whatever. If somebody is blinding me, I am under a direct threat.
I hear you, man. Hate those uses of lights.
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Old 05-10-22, 08:03 AM
  #29  
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Originally Posted by Comfort is King View Post
As much as the bright lights were a problem for me on the busy Burke Gilman Trail, it's a trifle compared to when motorists have keep high beams on because I'm not a car, while they approach from the other direction.

That may be true (although I still think it's more than a trifle), but just because there's potentially bigger light problems doesn't mean we should be willfully subjected to these flashing lights in situations where they're making people less safe.


I must be lucky, I don't think I've ever encountered high beams while riding a bike.
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Old 05-10-22, 08:16 AM
  #30  
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Originally Posted by livedarklions View Post
I advocate saying something to the strobe offenders on MUPs. .
To be clear, these are the same (generally speaking) people who don't acknowledge a hello when I pass them. But they are going to hear me, engage in self-examination and make a positive change to be considerate?
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Old 05-10-22, 08:31 AM
  #31  
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Originally Posted by Paul Barnard View Post
To be clear, these are the same (generally speaking) people who don't acknowledge a hello when I pass them. But they are going to hear me, engage in self-examination and make a positive change to be considerate?

Not sure what one has to do with the other, but have you tried saying something?

Also, maybe their aversion to social interaction works as a deterrent. They might stop the flashing just so no one talks to them about it.

Sure beats shining a light in someone's eyes and hoping they'll divine the message.
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Old 05-10-22, 09:00 AM
  #32  
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Originally Posted by livedarklions View Post
Not sure what one has to do with the other, but have you tried saying something?

Also, maybe their aversion to social interaction works as a deterrent. They might stop the flashing just so no one talks to them about it.

Sure beats shining a light in someone's eyes and hoping they'll divine the message.

I have lived enough life to know when I am likely wasting my time. It is generally a waste of time to try to reason with dumb people. People who ride on the path with blindingly bright lights are dumb. They shouldn't need anyone to tell them that they don't need lights on a path in broad daylight or that their light is too bright.

They are much like people who let their dogs run loose or have dogs that bark incessantly. Those people are neither courteous, concerned or smart. I am 0 for dozens on verbally persuading those owners to eliminate the nuisance. I am much more successful using more extreme measures.
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Old 05-10-22, 10:55 AM
  #33  
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Originally Posted by Paul Barnard View Post
I have lived enough life to know when I am likely wasting my time. It is generally a waste of time to try to reason with dumb people. People who ride on the path with blindingly bright lights are dumb. They shouldn't need anyone to tell them that they don't need lights on a path in broad daylight or that their light is too bright.

They are much like people who let their dogs run loose or have dogs that bark incessantly. Those people are neither courteous, concerned or smart. I am 0 for dozens on verbally persuading those owners to eliminate the nuisance. I am much more successful using more extreme measures.

I think it's perfectly reasonable that you and I have had different experiences in this context and have drawn different lessons from those experiences. Along the lines of the kind of person you're describing, I did see a rather large bully berating a frail-looking old man because the old man complained about his headlight, and I took quite a bit of pleasure from screaming at the bully quite obscenely about his light myself and clearly startling him. The old man enjoyed the show and thanked me. Bully and me were heading in opposite directions, but I doubt he made any adjustments.
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Old 05-10-22, 11:01 AM
  #34  
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Originally Posted by soloman View Post
I wouldn't be complaining if the lights weren't flashing in my eyes. I ride a Catrike and lights on handlebars are at my eye level and most people point them straight ahead... which is in my eyes. I have been blinded and the best I can do is stare down at my right front wheel, put it as close to the edge of the road/trail, and hope I don't run into anything.
So the issue is the bright lights are poorly aimed rather than that they're flashing?

Though with you choosing to place your eyes at the same level as most people's lights, you are somewhat creating a portion of the problem for yourself. Just as a small/low-slung sporty car driver puts their eyes at/below the level of a lot of other vehicles headlights, and can find even properly aimed/cutoff lights pretty bright at times.
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Old 05-10-22, 11:10 AM
  #35  
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Originally Posted by gpburdell View Post
So the issue is the bright lights are poorly aimed rather than that they're flashing?

Though with you choosing to place your eyes at the same level as most people's lights, you are somewhat creating a portion of the problem for yourself. Just as a small/low-slung sporty car driver puts their eyes at/below the level of a lot of other vehicles headlights, and can find even properly aimed/cutoff lights pretty bright at times.
The issue for me is that they are so bright that I see spots if I continue to look straight ahead, and I wear sunglasses. I have never been on a path where I needed someone to display any lights at all during daylight hours to see them. Why someone thinks they need high intensity lights is completely beyond me. It's counterproductive to safety.
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Old 05-10-22, 11:35 AM
  #36  
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Originally Posted by indyfabz View Post
I rode on an MUP last weekend during my overnight trip. On the way back on Sunday two guys were coming towards me with big azz flashing lights. "Why?' I thought to myself. It was a sunny day without a cloud in the sky.
Originally Posted by Paul Barnard View Post
The issue of excessively bright lights on the path is becoming more prevalent.
I think this is becoming more common now that eBikes are becoming more popular; many of them come with built-in headlights, and are used by many people who wouldn't previously have even added headlights to their bikes - if they had bikes. With these riders, a little gentle education might go a long way.

This is mostly speculation, but on my MUP (where the wife and I walk on weekends - I rarely ride it) I have noticed more people on eBikes with headlights on during the day.
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Old 05-10-22, 11:41 AM
  #37  
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Originally Posted by Koyote View Post
I think this is becoming more common now that eBikes are becoming more popular; many of them come with built-in headlights, and are used by many people who wouldn't previously have even added headlights to their bikes - if they had bikes. With these riders, a little gentle education might go a long way.

This is mostly speculation, but on my MUP (where the wife and I walk on weekends - I rarely ride it) I have noticed more people on eBikes with headlights on during the day.

Where I ride, I see more acoustic bikes misusing the lights than electric ones.
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Old 05-10-22, 11:42 AM
  #38  
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Originally Posted by livedarklions View Post
Where I ride, I see more acoustic bikes misusing the lights than electric ones.
Yeah, I'm sure that's true. But I wonder if the cumulative effect is growing due to eBikes.

I could be wrong. I have nothing beyond anecdotal perception.
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Old 05-10-22, 11:45 AM
  #39  
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Originally Posted by Paul Barnard View Post
The issue for me is that they are so bright that I see spots if I continue to look straight ahead, and I wear sunglasses. I have never been on a path where I needed someone to display any lights at all during daylight hours to see them. Why someone thinks they need high intensity lights is completely beyond me. It's counterproductive to safety.
I think the combination of rapid blinking and high intensity is a problem no mater where it's mounted on the bike. Your pupils are going to be too wide open for the light half of the time and too constricted for the other half. That problem might even be worse with sunglasses.
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Old 05-10-22, 12:13 PM
  #40  
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Originally Posted by Koyote View Post
Yeah, I'm sure that's true. But I wonder if the cumulative effect is growing due to eBikes.

I could be wrong. I have nothing beyond anecdotal perception.

Part of it is the cost of batteries, high intensity LEDs and the like has plummeted over the last several years so it's a very cheap accessory.

Part of the problem is that people have no idea of optics and the effect of the inverse square law. A lot of these lights are advertised as being visible a half a mile away or more, and from experience it's not false advertising. You start doing the math on a light that's visible at a half mile and figure out how bright it is 10 feet away, and it's absurdly over-powered for people to have in front of them.
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Old 05-11-22, 08:19 PM
  #41  
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Originally Posted by Paul Barnard View Post
I have never been on a path where I needed someone to display any lights at all during daylight hours to see them.
The Mississippi River Trail is rather tree free.

-mr. bill
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Old 05-14-22, 02:46 PM
  #42  
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Originally Posted by Paul Barnard View Post
The issue for me is that they are so bright that I see spots if I continue to look straight ahead, and I wear sunglasses. I have never been on a path where I needed someone to display any lights at all during daylight hours to see them. Why someone thinks they need high intensity lights is completely beyond me. It's counterproductive to safety.
Utility will depend on the lighting, on the reflections/shadows that can obscure others' view of a cyclist, etc.

On a number of roads where I frequently ride, the strange lighting along some stretches means an unlit cyclist can effectively blend in and seemingly "disappear." Bad news, if the approaching folks are vehicles, on those roads at those spots. Invariably, though, whenever I encounter a cyclist who's got a mid-intensity (or greater) flashing headlight it's instantly apparent there's a cyclist at that spot of the road.

Can't speak for the roads and paths many others experience, but clearly certain light conditions can be overcome via the simple expedient of having effective lights that negate such effects.

Myself, I've got a multi-mode front light setup where I can select the intensity and flashing pattern depending on conditions. Same with the rear lights. Makes a difference, along such stretches, when I'm attempting to visually identify cyclists on those roads when driving them; IMO it'll make a similar difference when I'm the cyclist having similarly-obvious lighting on those same stretches. For me: better safe than sorry, by a country mile.

Of course, use of lights presupposes a person has selected an appropriate light, appropriate intensity, has it properly aimed, etc. (Which, as we all know, often isn't the case.)
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Old 05-14-22, 03:05 PM
  #43  
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Originally Posted by Clyde1820 View Post
Utility will depend on the lighting, on the reflections/shadows that can obscure others' view of a cyclist, etc.

On a number of roads where I frequently ride, the strange lighting along some stretches means an unlit cyclist can effectively blend in and seemingly "disappear." Bad news, if the approaching folks are vehicles, on those roads at those spots. Invariably, though, whenever I encounter a cyclist who's got a mid-intensity (or greater) flashing headlight it's instantly apparent there's a cyclist at that spot of the road.

Can't speak for the roads and paths many others experience, but clearly certain light conditions can be overcome via the simple expedient of having effective lights that negate such effects.

Myself, I've got a multi-mode front light setup where I can select the intensity and flashing pattern depending on conditions. Same with the rear lights. Makes a difference, along such stretches, when I'm attempting to visually identify cyclists on those roads when driving them; IMO it'll make a similar difference when I'm the cyclist having similarly-obvious lighting on those same stretches. For me: better safe than sorry, by a country mile.

Of course, use of lights presupposes a person has selected an appropriate light, appropriate intensity, has it properly aimed, etc. (Which, as we all know, often isn't the case.)
I don't need you to display any lights on any path during daylight hours...none. It's that simple.
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Old 05-14-22, 03:54 PM
  #44  
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Originally Posted by Paul Barnard View Post
I don't need you to display any lights on any path during daylight hours...none. It's that simple.
Well you'd have to show me that the path isn't included in what Mississippi law will consider as being covered by the rules contained under Title 63.

Specifically 63-7-13 (4)

(4) Lamps on bicycles. — Every bicycle shall be equipped with a lighted white lamp on the front thereof visible under normal atmospheric conditions from a distance of at least five hundred (500) feet in front of such bicycle and shall also be equipped with a reflex mirror reflector or lamp on the rear exhibiting a red light visible under like conditions from a distance of at least five hundred (500) feet to the rear of such bicycle.

Not making certain that I follow all the rules and have all the required stuff makes me more vulnerable to the other person legal team if I ever am unfortunate enough to be involved in something requiring the courts.

If we aren't in Mississippi, then I'd have to see what is required by that jurisdiction.
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Old 05-14-22, 06:18 PM
  #45  
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Originally Posted by Iride01 View Post
Well you'd have to show me that the path isn't included in what Mississippi law will consider as being covered by the rules contained under Title 63.

Specifically 63-7-13 (4)




Not making certain that I follow all the rules and have all the required stuff makes me more vulnerable to the other person legal team if I ever am unfortunate enough to be involved in something requiring the courts.

If we aren't in Mississippi, then I'd have to see what is required by that jurisdiction.
That chapter applies to bicycles being operated on a "highway". "Highway" in the code is property used for vehicular traffic, but is a MUP a highway or a sidewalk for purposes of Title 63?
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Old 05-14-22, 06:41 PM
  #46  
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Originally Posted by Iride01 View Post
Well you'd have to show me that the path isn't included in what Mississippi law will consider as being covered by the rules contained under Title 63.

Specifically 63-7-13 (4)




Not making certain that I follow all the rules and have all the required stuff makes me more vulnerable to the other person legal team if I ever am unfortunate enough to be involved in something requiring the courts.

If we aren't in Mississippi, then I'd have to see what is required by that jurisdiction.

That is an equipment requirement, not a requirement to burn it during the day.
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Old 05-14-22, 07:14 PM
  #47  
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Originally Posted by soloman View Post
Why do people think that shining a bright flashing light in my eyes as we pass is making them safer? Point the damned things down.
Totally agree A guy in our group used to run his front blinker during the club ride and it's annoying and hugely inconsiderate. The guy worked for an insurance company (No Poop) and stated that it made us all safer, as far as I know he's still doing it. Some people are just mental pygmies.
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Old 05-14-22, 10:14 PM
  #48  
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Originally Posted by Paul Barnard View Post
That is an equipment requirement, not a requirement to burn it during the day.

Not so fast--"Every bicycle shall be equipped with a lighted white lamp". "Lighted" sure reads like it's supposed to be on.
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Old 05-15-22, 12:46 AM
  #49  
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Originally Posted by Paul Barnard View Post
I don't need you to display any lights on any path during daylight hours...none. It's that simple.
But other drivers and riders will sooner see such a cyclist, on the roads I experience. The shadows and lighting characteristics at those spots simply become non-issues with proper lighting on bikes. The physics (of the light) is fairly simple, irrespective of what people prefer.

Had another cyclist along such a stretch, just yesterday. Same thing: sketchy lighting, with many shadows mixed into the dappled sunlight coming through the foliage above. Very, very hard to see, without lighting. The cyclist had a mid-intensity headlight that had a random flashing pattern. It was instantly visible from about 500yds away. Wasn't overpowering. Wasn't in people's eyes. But it did instantly show there was a cyclist there. Couldn't see the bike or the guy directly, but clearly with that sort of light there was (in those shadows) a cyclist.

You might not need it. He did. And on that road, which has zero shoulder and barely enough room for the two lanes that exist, his front+rear lighting choices likely kept him from being struck.
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Old 05-15-22, 08:13 AM
  #50  
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Originally Posted by livedarklions View Post
Not so fast--"Every bicycle shall be equipped with a lighted white lamp". "Lighted" sure reads like it's supposed to be on.
That is to distinguish it from the white reflector that bikes may come equipped with and the red reflector that is authorized on the rear.
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