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View Full Version : Re: My crash last night ... (more on lights)


Joshua Putnam
August 24th 03, 09:44 PM
In article >,
says...

> I typically ride 3 - 4k miles per year with just under half that at night. When
> riding in the city, no headlight is needed really to see the road, so yeah, I
> suppose 3 watts will keep the police at bay.

Realistically, no light at all is needed to keep the police at bay, at
least around here. Even many police bikes don't have headlights on at
night, and I've never seen anyone ticketed for riding without a light.

> On dark roads at low speed or on
> dark trails, a 10 watt narrow beam or 20 watt flood is okay, but going downhill
> 20+ mph, it's very easy to out ride your light, a 35 watt spot high beam will
> allow you to ride 25mph down a hill with comfort. Even 20 watts is scary if
> riding a paved bike trail after a summer storm ... there isn't enough light far
> enough up the trail to detect fallen branches. (yes, even at only 12mph). A
> flick of the high beam will easily show if the path is clear. It depends on
> where you ride.

I find my SON generator at 3W adequate for 30 mph in the rain at night,
unless there's a lot of glare from oncoming traffic. I find it puts more
useful light on the road than the NiteRider dual-beam system it replaced.
The beam pattern is much narrower than the narrowest NiteRider bulb, and
it's shaped to fit a lane of traffic, rather than a simple round cone of
light.

But it isn't as good for off-road, it doesn't throw light up into the
trees so I don't see some head-height dangling branches as soon. For
off-road I add a helmet-mounted battery light.

I have a second lamp head for the SON that allows 6W operation at higher
speeds, but it's been sitting on the shelf for a few years, I've never
felt the need to install it.

> Another BIG advantage of the 35 watt high beam is the ability to attract
> attention. Drivers will often completely miss a single light comming at them
> (many drivers will miss seeing a car comming at them!), but being able to flash
> the high beam grabs their attention. This also works on bike paths with joggers
> and dog walkers on summer nights.

A lower-wattage lamp with good optics allows the same thing, except
instead of turning the light on and off, you just wiggle your existing
headlight at them and away from them -- the narrow beam makes this just
as effective as turning the light on and off. (Lighthouses don't turn
their lights on and off, it just looks like it -- they just rotate a
narrow beam.)

> One of the big advantages of "hardware store lamps" is the _relative_ ease of
> finding replacement bulbs (yet try to find a 10watt, MR16 spot bulb on the
> internet to order ... good luck !! ). Good optics are nice, but must you
> replace the entire assembly, or just the lamp?

Just the bulb, a dollar or two, and small enough that I keep three spares
in a 35mm film can, packed in cotton balls. Replacing the bulb takes a
minute or less, and no tools are required. Bulbs usually last me a few
years -- I carry multiple spares in case one spare is bad, or in case
someone else needs a bulb.

--
is Joshua Putnam
<http://www.phred.org/~josh/>
Books for Bicycle Mechanics and Tinkerers:
<http://www.phred.org/~josh/bike/bikebooks.html>

Frank Krygowski
August 26th 03, 03:41 AM
(J999w) wrote in message >...
> > It's not supported by
> >either the data on cycling's risks, nor the data on helmet
> >effectiveness. It's the currently fashionable superstition, nurtured
> >by styrofoam salesmen.
>
> Riiiiiight ...
>
> Hey, more power to 'ya ... the Neurosurgical ICU in the hospital I work at has
> been a little slow, come on over and I'll show you some great technical trails
> you can try ... and maybe boost the business for my employer as well.
>
> All are welcome in the ICU !!!

Please, go through your neuro ICU and see what percentage of the
patients got damaged on bicycles, as opposed to in autos, in their
homes, etc.

National data says it should be about 50% autos, 40% in-home falls,
and less than 1% bikes.

This has been confirmed by physicians and other brain-trauma
specialists with whom I've conversed or corresponded.

But please, do let us know if your facility is somehow different than
the rest of the nation!

- Frank Krygowski

Bill Z.
August 26th 03, 06:13 AM
(J999w) writes:

> > It's not supported by either the data on cycling's risks, nor the
> >data on helmet effectiveness. It's the currently fashionable
> >superstition, nurtured by styrofoam salesmen.
>
> Riiiiiight ...

Frank's been posting this stuff for years. Every so often, something
sets him off and he starts a helmet war. He has some deeply felt
need to disparage helmets, as do a few others. Some of them
regularly wear helmets while loudly putting the helmets down on
usenet.

Bill

--
My real name backwards: nemuaZ lliB

Chris B.
August 26th 03, 06:59 AM
On 25 Aug 2003 21:49:51 GMT, (J999w) wrote:

>> It's not supported by
>>either the data on cycling's risks, nor the data on helmet
>>effectiveness. It's the currently fashionable superstition, nurtured
>>by styrofoam salesmen.
>
>Riiiiiight ...
>
>Hey, more power to 'ya ... the Neurosurgical ICU in the hospital I work at has
>been a little slow, come on over and I'll show you some great technical trails
>you can try ... and maybe boost the business for my employer as well.
>
>All are welcome in the ICU !!!
>
>jw
>milwaukee
>(hope you have good insurance)

Do you wear a helmet while you are mopping the hospital floor?

--
Chris Bird

J999w
August 26th 03, 09:33 AM
It's a free country, ride helmetless, heck ride NUDE on the freeway, I don't
care ! You're all just a number to me while you're herniating your brain into
your brain stem.

HA !

John Wilke BA, BSN, RN
(Labor Day - it's an organ donor weekend ! )

Chris B.
August 26th 03, 09:05 PM
On 26 Aug 2003 08:33:29 GMT, (J999w) wrote:

>It's a free country, ride helmetless, heck ride NUDE on the freeway, I don't
>care ! You're all just a number to me while you're herniating your brain into
>your brain stem.
>
>HA !
>
>John Wilke BA, BSN, RN
>(Labor Day - it's an organ donor weekend ! )

Thank you for showing your true colours. <g>

--
Chris Bird

Bill Z.
August 27th 03, 03:38 AM
Dorre > writes:

> On 26 Aug 2003 08:33:29 GMT, (J999w) wrote:

> Perhaps the people most likely to suffer a head injury are those
> who have so much faith in bike helmets that they are tempted
> to ride on more dangerous roads or ride slightly faster because they
> are wearing one.

This is highly doubtful: the most likely cases are those who ride
at night without lights, run stop signs or red lights, ride
thw wrong way, or otherwise behave in a completely unpredictable
fashion. These people don't seem to be more likely to wear
helmets than everyone else.

Bill

--
My real name backwards: nemuaZ lliB

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