Pages Menu
RssFacebook
Categories Menu

Posted by on Dec 10, 2008 in Safety | 11 comments

Night Moves

I’m taking a short break from being a beach bum to bring you more great video from Dan & Brian:

Brian read a sillyass article in the Orange County (CA) Register and answered it with video! I want to be like him when I grow up.

Riding at night is easy. It’s not scary. It’s not dangerous. You need only proper lights and the same street smarts that make riding easy and safe in daylight.

11 Comments

  1. “…if you’re like me, you’ve also decided that no matter how many reflectors, headlamps and blinking red lights you use, the danger from traffic is just not worth it.”

    I guess this is how journalism works these days. You just decide on something without finding any data to support it.

  2. “I guess this is how journalism works these days. You just decide on something without finding any data to support it.”

    Watching local politics for a number of years, it seems to be the way staff works these days, too.

    Used to be they at least wrapped their position in decent studies, and presented at least two sides. These days, they take a position and use studies, no matter how flimsy, to support that position.

  3. Keri, please don’t grow up!

  4. I’d agree that night cycling is not especially dangerous, but all travel — no matter the mode — is riskier at night. I’ve done plenty of night riding over the years; I’ve experienced more conflicts, but not dramatically so.

    I do try to avoid biking solo on Friday and Saturday nights to avoid the drunks, though. (But I also try to avoid driving the car during those times, too.)

  5. Brock said: “Keri, please don’t grow up!”

    Fear not, my friend, it’s not likely to happen anytime soon 😉

    Mighk said: “I’ve experienced more conflicts, but not dramatically so.

    Same here. I’ve found that a helmet-mounted light (even the single-LED Spok light) really helps. There are a lot of times I’ve pointed that at a motorist and stopped him in the act of pulling out in front of me.

    That’s what “street smarts” is about… knowing where the potential conflicts are—what to look out for and how to avoid them.

    Mighk also said, “I guess this is how journalism works these days. You just decide on something without finding any data to support it.”

    Ain’t that the truth! People want to be emotional, don’t confuse them with the facts.

  6. Maybe it’s just the quality of the video at night, but it looks like Brian might be skimping on the “head turn before lane change” in favor of signaling. Take a look at the lane change around 1:58 of the video. I hope his peripheral vision is better than mine,

    That being said, riding at night has proved very pleasant for me as well. Twilight seems to be the worst – I get very nervous about crossing traffic that has to look into the setting sun to see me. It’s also made me more defensive at twilight when motoring than I might have been otherwise…

  7. Because Dan & Brian have cameras on their helmets, they rely on mirrors. A head turn would kill the video. Having ridden with Brian, I can say he knows what’s going on behind him.

    Twilight and sunset are definitely riskier than full darkness. I wrote a post about sunset hazards in September. When I stopped to take a photo into the sun for that post, I didn’t even know there was a cyclist coming toward me. I couldn’t see him.

  8. For dawn and dusk I’ve found the higher wattage headlights’ strobe settings really do a great job.

  9. That dayglo green material is good in low light, too. Cori was wearing a jacket that color at the Christmas lights ride last night and she glowed in the dusk as if the thing had its own light source.

  10. Some of my best rides have been at night. Since my commute IS at night, I have taken extraordinary care to make myself seen.

    I ride wearing a lime green reflective vest, four white lights up front and four red lights at the rear. My coworkers have called me anything from the “rolling Christmas tree” to the “Mothership”.

    I get friendly honks from coworkers and passersby. My lighting has been the source of many compliments and well wishes. It DOES make a difference!

    I will get a picture for the gallery soon.

  11. Hello everyone,
    I’m the “not Brian” cyclist in the video, and my experience in full darkness is that with good lights and reflectors, I’m passed less closely at night than in the daytime.

    The way I convey the basic concept of night riding visibility to students in our traffic skills classes is as follows:

    Your lane position is the primary source of your daytime visibility to other drivers, and you add lights and reflectors to keep that same lane position highly visible at night.

    – Dan –