Urban Tribe - Ride with your kids in front.

Get seen for less, thanks to PDOT

Posted by on November 27th, 2007 at 10:20 am

Print this coupon and save
some cash on a new light!

As part of their See & Be Seen safety campaign, the City of Portland Office of Transportation (PDOT) wants to encourage more bicycle riders to use lights.

In addition to a marketing campaign and special events, now they’ve got a bike light coupon program that makes it easier to get a deal on a new light. You can print out the coupon yourself (links to PDF) and then take it to a list of 13 participating local bike shops for 15% off lights and reflective equipment.

You can also clip the coupon from an ad in the Portland Mercury (a See & Be Seen partner) through December 27th.

“Glo Glovs” from

In other bike-light-purchase-encouragement news, Hillsboro-based safety products retailer Pedigreen is currently running their own “See and Be Seen” promotion. During the month of December, they’re giving $1 of every sale to the Northwest Bicycle Safety Council, a local non-profit that promotes “safety and harmony between cyclists and all others who use the roads.”

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  • Cecil November 27, 2007 at 10:52 am

    The Glo Gloves are an essential part of my biking gear –

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  • Siobhan November 27, 2007 at 11:55 am

    Is it just me, or does it seem strange that lights aren\’t part of the bike?

    If you wanna, upgrade go for it, but it seems like it should be an essential safety feature, like brakes.

    Those gloves! I know what I\’m askin\’ santa for!

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  • Anonymous November 27, 2007 at 12:04 pm

    As a motorist and not a cyclist, last night\’s weather makes me very glad to see this post. Lights on your rear would help us drivers see you enormously – I know it\’s not required by law, but honestly those little reflectors are often blocked and very hard to see until we come up very close behind you. Please also check the strength of your headlights too – alot of them are very very weak out there and are also very hard to see.

    Thank you

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  • tonyt November 27, 2007 at 1:01 pm

    Perhaps they can pass some on to \”Team Awesome.\” By the looks of the last pic on their front page . . .

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  • Lynne November 27, 2007 at 1:52 pm

    The gloves are great. I don\’t commute without mine, day or night.

    Bikes do come with the legally required reflectors (most folks don\’t ride at night, I\’m guessing), which many riders promptly trash.

    I\’m up to 3 blinkies in the rear, plus a reflector; two lights (BRIGHT ONES) in front…

    Plus reflector strips on the jacket.

    Quality reflective tape is good stuff – put it on your crankarms!

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  • Tasha November 27, 2007 at 2:19 pm

    Even if you don\’t ride \”at night\”, it gets dark around 4:00 in December, so lights would seem neccessary. They are also helpful in the rain, etc. I agree with Siobhan that lights should come with the bike. At least really cheapy basic ones and then one can upgrade as they wish. I also love those gloves!

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  • Christian November 27, 2007 at 2:31 pm

    I ride with lights front and rear every night and usually some reflective piping/patches on my body. I blink my headlight when I can see without it and run it solid when I need it to see.

    All that said, I think that some cyclists go overboard with their headlights. I ride the Springwater from downtown to the Sellwood five nights a week, and on a number of occasions I have found that oncoming cyclists with over-bright headlights will blind me.

    These extremely bright lights make some sense, but for me they are a hazard. Every time one of these cyclists pass I have to slow down and wait for my vision to return so that I don\’t run off the edge of the trail.

    Please don\’t take this as an endorsement for running without lights, as that\’s even more of a hazard, and seems to result in fatality far too often. I just wish that cyclists on the trail would show a little compassion and turn their headlights down to a reasonable level… and maybe just turn them down to illuminate the road and not just shine in my eyes.

    Be safe out there.

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  • girl on a bike November 27, 2007 at 2:51 pm

    Christian, I\’m almost relieved to read your comment. I ride the Sellwood trail to head downtown after work once in a while, and lately I\’ve had the same problem. Literally — I have to slow way down and give my eyes a little time to recover, since I usually see cartoon-like \”stars\” and all the other random visual crud you get after being momentarily blinded. At the very least, those really insanely bright headlamps could be angled DOWN, so they\’re not eye-level with oncoming riders. Maybe these riders think they can compensate for all the ninjas riding unlighted with dark clothes on the trail … but I almost prefer the ninjas.

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  • Stripes November 27, 2007 at 3:42 pm

    Those Glo Gloves are awesome! I am always worried folks won\’t see me signaling a turn at night. Now I will worry no more!

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  • Coyote November 27, 2007 at 4:38 pm

    Christian & girl, don\’t look into the lights. Look down and away. You will still get stars, but they will not be in the center of your vision. Try it it works for me.

    Closing one eye helps a little too.

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  • Anonymous November 27, 2007 at 4:39 pm

    Me the motorist again –

    I didn\’t think about the issues you guys might have with lights on some trails. All I know is that as a driver, the more lights you have on the better. The single lights are really hard to see when there are alot of cars behind you and it\’s raining out. I do actually look for you guys but I have to admit that sometimes no matter what I do, visibility isn\’t always the best!

    And to #9 – Glad to hear that you signal! A complaint I have about cyclists around here (and plenty of motorists too) is the extreme lack of signaling. It really does help motorists if you guys signal when you are making a turn. I rarely see anyone on a bike signal, and I admit that it is frustrating. Also, Although I\’m sure there are issues with how this is done for you guys, using the actual manual turning singles are much better for drivers than pointing, at least in my opinion. Honestly, sometimes I wish you guys had lighted blinkers…

    Thanks again!

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  • John Beaston November 27, 2007 at 5:00 pm

    I\’m one of those bright headlight people who regularly rides the Springwater and Esplanade as part of my commute. I know my light is ultra-bright. When I see an approaching rider, I cover my light with my hand as a courtesy. I encourage others to \”hand-dim\” their lights. I get lots of Thank You\’s from passing riders.

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  • joeb November 27, 2007 at 5:29 pm

    Anonymous, thanks for checking in and watching out.

    I feel like I can never have enough lights. I have front and rear lights on the helmet and front and rear on the bike. I don\’t trust that the rear lights, which I can\’t see while riding, are bright enough or working at all. And then the $120 rechargeable headlight I have doesn\’t even give me a round trip. Pretty disappointing. I\’ll keep the lights, but the reflective patch on the panniers work best, according to a driver who yelled out the window that the reflectors were really visible. So I want more reflectors. Pedigreen’s stick ons look like a good plan.

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  • Michael M. November 27, 2007 at 7:28 pm

    Hmm, I\’m encouraged by Christian and \”girl on a bike\”\’s posts that the bright lights make them slow down. This is a GOOD thing! Methinks I need to brighten up my headlight. I\’m all for encouraging anything that makes cyclists use more caution on multi-use paths, because goodness knows there are way too many that are reckless and inconsiderate.

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  • wsbob November 27, 2007 at 10:07 pm

    I mentioned on other threads some time back that it seems as though high end bike headlights should be able to be focused and set for a prescribed distance just like car headlights. This could help to eliminate the resulting blinded eyes of approaching cyclists. Not every owner of these kind of lights is likely to be thoughtful enough to screen the lights for approaching riders.

    Because they are presently so prohibitive in cost, perhaps not that high a percentage of bikes currently have them. If commuters deciding on bikes as their commute option of choice expands substantially beyond current levels, this could change, and bright headlights on multi-use paths could become a much more difficult situation than it is now. Maybe these lights could be fitted with eyebrows, or snoots or barndoors such as photographers use to control the direction of light.

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  • Jene-Paul November 28, 2007 at 4:08 am

    Glo Glovs are great, I\’ve been using the Sport model for years (specific for biking, pictured here on the Pedigreen site ), since the woman who makes \’em (in Oregon!) sent me a prototype pair to try. Day & night, they get comments from auto drivers. Well made, they fit over fleece winter gloves, too. Get \’em.

    Cheers for PDOT and the shops doing deals for lighting! And now to shamelessly plug my own Refunk bike lights which\’ll be available on Alberta for Last Thursday this week (I\’ll match the 15% the shops are giving for the See & Be Seen coupon).

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  • petenik November 28, 2007 at 10:43 pm

    I propose that bicyclists riding at night with no lights be pulled over and written up, then given a set of lights and a ticket that covers the cost of the lights.

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