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  #1  
Old 11-01-2010, 01:09 PM
David David is offline
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Default Why Don't You Use Lights at Night?

Inspired by the 3-year-old helmet thread: same idea, just lights instead of helmets.

We all see tons of people riding in the dark without lights. I don't get it. Is this a "it's your job to see me" type of high-horse issue? Is it logical at all, or people just don't really care if they're visible?

If you don't ride with lights, I'd be curious to hear why!
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  #2  
Old 11-01-2010, 05:48 PM
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Simple Nature Simple Nature is offline
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I'm not one of those... I like being seen!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pfkBKxumaoU

...but I agree, I've seen some pretty scary situations on the streets at night.
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Old 11-02-2010, 07:58 AM
OnTheRoad OnTheRoad is offline
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Proposing a corollary question to if you don't use lights at night.

Why do you wear black or dark clothes at night?

The two watchwords I've used to keep me safe cycling are Visibility and Predictability.
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Old 11-02-2010, 09:02 AM
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A similar question, true, but I suspect that the answers may be a bit simpler and (hopefully) less contentious. For myself, I always use lights at night (and during the day, as well, in the dim overcast Pacific Northwest light), but there was a time when I did not. It was years ago, and the lights avaialble were pure crap, or worse. Generator sets were better than what battery lights there were at the time, but they weren't great, and not all my bikes were set up with them. Even the dim and somewhat draggy sets that could be found then were not cheap, and could be problematic to install (give thanks for modern dynamo hubs and capacitors). When riding dark, I always assumed that I was completely invisible, and never expected anyone to see me. If you're going to be a ninja, you must learn the proper ninja technique. Now, of course, there is really no excuse - LED lights are cheap, bright, ubiquitous, and easy to use. So I do.
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Old 11-02-2010, 11:25 AM
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Spiffy Spiffy is offline
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sorry, I use a light, but I'm going to give what I feel are excuses...

I've been out without a light a few times before I bought one... my philosophy was, as Val says, that I was invisible and responsible for myself and to stay out of the way of anything that might want to use the same space...

it's another obstacle for poverty stricken people that can't afford lights... and batteries aren't that cheap either...

it's extra luggage that you have to take with you whenever you park... I hate taking my lights into the bar with me just so nobody will steal them...

I really have no problem with the dark ninjas with no helmet, as long as they stay invisible... which means out of everybody's way...

it's more of a liability for those with cars, since your insurance will go up from running over a ninja... but your car will get repaired via uninsured motorist insurance (or property if the ninja has their own insurance)...

bikes are nearly common enough for even the most poorest of people to have one, but helmets and lights are added expenses... some day all our bikes will have dyno lights like Amsterdam and everybody will have a built-in light.... except the bare-bones fixie crowd...
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  #6  
Old 11-02-2010, 02:33 PM
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rainperimeter rainperimeter is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OnTheRoad View Post
Proposing a corollary question to if you don't use lights at night.

Why do you wear black or dark clothes at night?

The two watchwords I've used to keep me safe cycling are Visibility and Predictability.
i wear black at night because i wear black during the day. i buy black clothes (and camo shorts). i think little of fashion beyond what color something is. but if this makes me a fashion-y guy or you think i have a death wish, so be it. i do ride with lights, always. and one bike has a generator light and hub on it. i'm into visibility but i don't think i need to run down and start buying all the neon green and yellow stuff i get my hands on. i bike in the clothes i walk around and hang out in.

despite the lights i still ride like i figure i'm not seen, even on bike with the headlight. not trying to downplay the importance of lights, because i do think you should ride with them, but i think they give people a false sense of security. same with the neon green jacket.
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Old 11-05-2010, 11:09 AM
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beelnite beelnite is offline
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Default sometimes it seems safer

Seriously - I use lights on major streets - when I'm in the bike lane or bike route... my normal commute, but...

yes there are places in outer SE where I feel safer without my lights on.

I am DEAD certain I can see THEM before they see me. I act accordingly with the situation and my environment.

Nuff said.
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Old 11-05-2010, 11:53 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by beelnite View Post

yes there are places in outer SE where I feel safer without my lights on.

I am DEAD certain I can see THEM before they see me. I act accordingly with the situation and my environment.

Nuff said.
how are your lights negatively impacting your ride? i'm not trying to be flippant. are you suggesting that if drivers see you they are gunning for you? if so, say it outright. i'm with you in that some assholes might mess with you, *occasionally*, but i think very very few people really want to hit you. but i'm not sure what you're trying to say, so i'll stop there.

this isn't what you would do if you were driving a car, safety is safety, so i don't know what you're meaning.
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  #9  
Old 11-06-2010, 09:40 AM
David David is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rainperimeter View Post
how are your lights negatively impacting your ride?
This is what I'm wanting to hear too.
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  #10  
Old 11-08-2010, 02:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by beelnite View Post

Nuff said.
he was serious about that i guess.
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