Thread: Being Seen
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Old November 3rd 19, 05:14 PM posted to rec.bicycles.misc
Frank Krygowski[_4_]
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Default Being Seen

On 10/29/2019 12:31 PM, NFN Smith wrote:
Joy Beeson wrote:



Which would give me a topic for a column:* When you stop GET OFF THE
ROAD.* Never mind that it's three in the morning and this road has
almost no traffic during rush hour.


I think there's definitely something to that.* If you stop, then you
become an impediment, in the same way as anything else stationary, such
as a traffic barricade, or even a stopped vehicle.

Some depends on what kind of lighting that you have.* I know that here's
a lot of riders that always use a blinking tail light (and some that use
blinking head lights), even in the daytime.* During day hours, a
blinking tail light is effective and appropriate to communicate "slow
moving vehicle". As a parallel, there are several mountainous roads that
I drive that have long grades, and it's common for semi trucks that are
significantly slower than car traffic to have their flashers on.

Night is a different situation, and as a motorist, I don't like seeing
bikes with flashing tail lights.* I get that the flashing helps identify
a slow moving vehicle, but one of the things that frustrates me about
those is that the flashing doesn't allow easy tracking of distance and
relative speed.* And I've never seen a rider do both, of having one
blinking light and another steady light.

On my own bike, a couple of years ago, I came across a light (and I
don't remember brand/model) that allows for several settings -- not only
traditional steady and traditional blinking, but where there's
additional settings of slower low-to-high pulsing.* For the controller,
instead of a square wave (on or off, but no in-between), using a
sawtooth wave of starting low, and increasing to high, before reverting
to off, and restarting the cycle. I've never seen what this looks like
as a motorist, but it does have the feel being able to better allow
communication of distance and speed, while still having enough animation
to attract the necessary attention.


I'm far from convinced that blinking taillights are effective in any way
in daylight. I've watched their popularity grow for many years now. I
almost never see a daytime taillight before I see the cyclist
himself/herself. And even in the few cases where I've seen the light
first, it's never come close to making a practical difference.

Regarding the differences in flash modes: On one bike I still have a
very early Vistalight taillight, powered by two AA batteries. I'd
describe it as twinkling, rather than flashing, because the on-off
frequency is so high. I think this is probably adequate for getting
night time attention, and without the (theoretical?) problem of being
hard for motorists to accurately locate.


--
- Frank Krygowski
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