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View Full Version : HEY! Springwater Trail riders with lights!


whiney
09-19-2007, 07:12 AM
This is a simple plea to the guys with 15W/HID huge lights on the front of their bikes riding down the Springwater Trail in the morning:

Can you DIM THE LIGHTS, please? Or at least lower the angle from straight ahead to aim at the trail instead of my dark-adjusted eyes? I am usually blinded when you approach me. All I can do is hold my line and hope I don't hit you or the side of the trail. Not much fun. I know those lights are great, but they are overkill when you are on a paved path with the sun on its way and can really make my morning a drag if I hit something immovable or you. PLEASE alter the angle of your HID headlamps or dim them and I think we'd all be a bit safer.

Rant over.

- Whiney

mizake
09-19-2007, 08:22 AM
This is a simple plea to the guys with 15W/HID huge lights on the front of their bikes riding down the Springwater Trail in the morning:

Can you DIM THE LIGHTS, please? Or at least lower the angle from straight ahead to aim at the trail instead of my dark-adjusted eyes? I am usually blinded when you approach me. All I can do is hold my line and hope I don't hit you or the side of the trail. Not much fun. I know those lights are great, but they are overkill when you are on a paved path with the sun on its way and can really make my morning a drag if I hit something immovable or you. PLEASE alter the angle of your HID headlamps or dim them and I think we'd all be a bit safer.

Rant over.

- Whiney

I try to look to the side a bit - away from oncoming cyclists - when I've got my light on in the morning. The bright lights that have other settings other than really-awe-inspiringly-bright are a bit too expensive for my budget, so I can't dim my light.

I was made particularly aware of how bright my light is this morning when someone passed me on the left without a bell, or other audible warning. Naturally I quickly looked to my left when something appeared there and the guy winced noticeably when the full force of my magnificent light nailed him point blank.

Anyway, sorry, whiney, that the lights bug you, but I like to see where I'm going in the dark.

And a big "thanks" to the guy who gave me the glueless patch! The glue-in-a-tube I had in my patch kit had evaporated. First time that's happened to me.

whiney
09-19-2007, 08:38 AM
Anyway, sorry, whiney, that the lights bug you, but I like to see where I'm going in the dark.

I like to see where I am going too, and therein lies the rub. Your need for a big bright light to see where you are going prevents me from seeing anything but that light for a few seconds. I joke, but I've actually felt dangerously close to crashing more than once because of them.

If you and your fellow lighted bicyclists could be aware that the safety you feel by being able to see every detail on the trail is somewhat compromised by the oncoming cyclists not being able to see much of anything at all, it might help us all a bit. If you can moderate its impact while still making it usable for you, I'd for one appreciate it.

mizake
09-19-2007, 08:56 AM
If you and your fellow lighted bicyclists could be aware that the safety you feel by being able to see every detail on the trail is somewhat compromised by the oncoming cyclists not being able to see much of anything at all, it might help us all a bit. If you can moderate its impact while still making it usable for you, I'd for one appreciate it.

I do try to be courteous: "I try to look to the side a bit - away from oncoming cyclists - when I've got my light on in the morning."

wsbob
09-19-2007, 09:11 AM
Why shouldn't it be possible to align a good quality, focused bicycle headlight just as with car headlights or any fixed headlight? Do this at night obviously. Focus the beam on something at whatever distance seems reasonable: 50'-60' away? The high point of the light shouldn't need to be higher than about 3.5' above the road surface.

There's no excuse to have the beam directed into the eyes of oncoming cyclists and pedestrians where illumination isn't needed anyways. The illumination should be focused on the side of the road ahead of the bike that the light is mounted on.

whiney
09-19-2007, 09:20 AM
I do try to be courteous: "I try to look to the side a bit - away from oncoming cyclists - when I've got my light on in the morning."

Then, thanks! :) I'm not trying to pick on you personally. Your responses reveal that you are reasonable and friendly. I posted as a way of trying to make people aware that their bright lights could cause a problem, even while they may think it makes them safer (which is probably true most of the time and on any _street_ in Portland).

mizake
09-19-2007, 10:41 AM
Why shouldn't it be possible to align a good quality, focused bicycle headlight just as with car headlights or any fixed headlight. Do this at night obviously. Focus the beam on something at whatever distance seems reasonable: 50'-60' away? The high point of the light shouldn't need to be higher than about 3.5' above the road surface.

There's no excuse to have the beam directed into the eyes of oncoming cyclists and pedestrians where illumination isn't needed anyways. The illumination should be focused on the side of the road ahead of the bike that the light is mounted on.

I agree with wsbob here. Aligning one's handlebar-mounted-kickass-lamp to reveal the road before you as opposed to the shocked faces of oncoming bikers is key.

mike_khad1
09-19-2007, 12:09 PM
I've seen those super-bright lights on the Springwater in the AM. And I've also been a bit blinded.

My approach to winter lights is two-fold.

On the front of the bike I have two blinkys mounted. They don't light up the road but hopefully they make me visible to cars turning out.

On the top of my helmet, I have a 10W Halogen light which does light up the road. But since it is on my helmet, I can angle it downwards when I'm approaching other cyclists. The battery for the light goes into my back pocket and the wire snakes up to my helmet. It sounds awkward but it works.

For what it's worth.