Pages Menu
RssFacebook
Categories Menu

Posted by on Sep 21, 2009 in Safety | 10 comments

Your Biannual Equinox Reminder

longshadows

When you are riding in the morning and evening, your shadow points
to the other travelers who might have trouble seeing you in the glare
of the rising or setting sun.

—A tip from LCI Bob Bayn, Cache Valley, UT

Today was the last day of summer, though you’d never know it by the temperature. Ugh.

This time of year brings the sun a bit lower during commute times and that requires some special safety considerations. Rather than reinvent the wheel, I’m just going to link up the previous two posts we’ve done on the subject:

The Blinding Sun

Beware the Equinox

Ride safe!

10 Comments

  1. Hey, thanks for those Keri. I have an east/west commute that really poses some of those problems. There is one spot in particular that has been scaring me badly in the morning, one in which I have to stop in the centre lane and wait for a break in traffic to turn left, with the sun blinding me and the drivers coming up behind me.

    I’m not doing that particular spot any more in this dangerous season… I’ll adjust my route a bit. Thanks for the reminder that even the “best” way you’ve found to do something has to change with conditions.

  2. One nice thing about my current commute is the sun at my back. It’s still a threat from drivers on side streets, however.

  3. Great tips–I’m going to adjust my route a bit, too. I’m turning left (heading east) on SR50 at sunrise. I can sometimes beat ALL the cars between my green light and when it switches to put them all behind me, but the big problem there is that they don’t see me for a while. If they don’t see me until they’re right up on me, and then I’m turning, giving them a wide potential contact (since I’m sideways), and then on top of that there’s a glare, we’ve got a dangerous recipe.

    I think I’ll be crossing Old Cheney completely over 436 instead of taking 436 to 50. Old Cheney all the way to 50. Then from Old Cheney I’ll hike back up 50 (west) until the road breaks and cross over at that point, then go through the Home Depot parking lot to some smaller roads leading to Colonial High. I go into all this detail because it is a good way to get from Cady Way Trail pleasantly to the other side of 50 and to that part of town (all areas surrounding Colonial High School). Or you could just take 436. But some people don’t like that. Some days I don’t. :)

  4. Although the equinox warning obviously applies to east-west grid systems, a solstice warning for northeast/northwest highways can also be useful to keep in mind. The last few summers I have bicycle commuted in the very wee hours of the morning to bird survey sites; unfortunately one major route I often took pointed northeast directly toward the rising sun in June, and this was a problem on the occasional cloudless mornings. I opted for the “leave a bit earlier” solution, even though this meant leaving at 3:00 am (rather than say 3:15 am) so I could reach my field site before sunrise.

    Another (not-so-serious) solution is to move “where the sun don’t shine” – I suspect I have to deal with this problem much less often as other readers here; see this map showing the “black hole” of northwest Pennsylvania:
    http://www.azsolarcenter.com/arizona/images/solmap.gif

  5. It has already claimed it’s first victim:
    http://www.orlandosentinel.com/news/local/breakingnews/orl-bk-cyclist-fatal-accident-092509,0,4921037.story

    UMATILLA – A cyclist was thrown from his bicycle and killed this morning when a vehicle struck the rider from behind while traveling eastbound along County Road 450 toward Umatilla, Florida Highway Patrol said.

    Ann Ugolini, 49, of Umatilla, was killed in the collision, which occurred at about 7:27 a.m. at C.R. 450 and Peru Road.

    Charges are pending against the driver of the Toyota that struck the cyclist, Marlon Walker, 55, of Umatilla.

    The right front of Walker’s vehicle struck the bicycle in the rear and Ugolini was ejected, according to an FHP report by Kim Montes.

    Walker said “he could not see the bicycle due to the glare from the sun,” according to the report. The crash is still being investigated.

  6. I wonder if the driver will be charged with driving too fast for conditions.

  7. Prediction:
    Unless he has a bad driving record: careless driving citation; perhaps a couple hundred dollar fine, a few points on the license; “go and sin no more my child.”

    • What you said. As you know, the president of the WPB Bicycle Club (now defunct) was participating in the Mt Dora Bicycle Festival about 10 yrs ago (this time of year coincidentally) and was killed while standing on the shoulder of the road. The driver said the sun was in his eyes. Nothing happened other than an $80 fine and several points on the driver’s license.

  8. I made the mistake of reading the comments. I ought to know better by now…

  9. Here is a map of the section of road where Ann Ugolini was killed. It is rural. I’ve ridden on it many times on long routes to Emeralda Island. Motorists drive too fast on it, as they do on all the rural roads in Florida. They are the center of the universe and nothing could possibly be around that next bend, or obscured by the glare of the sun.