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  #1  
Old October 29th 19, 03:57 PM posted to rec.bicycles.misc
Joy Beeson
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Posts: 1,428
Default Being Seen



I've gotten to page 35 in _Cyclecraft: North American Edition_, which
contains a quite-sensible discussion of the difference between being
noticed and being recognized.

This hits home with me: during my attempt to ride the double century
one September, I nearly ran down the riders who had left me behind
because I mistook the nearby cluster of small lights for a cluster of
pole lights a mile farther away.

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.

--
joy beeson at comcast dot net
http://wlweather.net/PAGEJOY/
The above message is a Usenet post.
I don't recall having given anyone permission to use it on a Web site.
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  #2  
Old October 29th 19, 05:31 PM posted to rec.bicycles.misc
NFN Smith[_2_]
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Posts: 28
Default Being Seen

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.

Smith
  #3  
Old November 3rd 19, 06:07 PM posted to rec.bicycles.misc
Frank Krygowski[_4_]
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Posts: 7,919
Default Being Seen

On 10/29/2019 10:57 AM, Joy Beeson wrote:


... 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.


Regarding getting off the road when you stop:

YES! And that rule should apply even to Multi-User Paths - which, sadly,
are places where people think _no_ rules apply.

In our bike club, I've become the grumpy old man who too frequently
tells people to do something differently. One recurring topic is to not
block the road when we stop.

But I recognize the difficulty. The problem arises most often when a
group of riders hits a stop sign, then decides to wait for whoever is
last. At the moment of stopping, the country road is empty. The problem
comes when motorists arrive before the last rider.

And the other problem comes when the grumpy old man says "We should stop
off the road." I'm sure many riders think "Why is he always complaining?
There are no cars." ... yet!


--
- Frank Krygowski
  #4  
Old November 3rd 19, 06:14 PM posted to rec.bicycles.misc
Frank Krygowski[_4_]
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Posts: 7,919
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
  #5  
Old November 3rd 19, 11:33 PM posted to rec.bicycles.misc
jOHN b.
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Posts: 1,348
Default Being Seen

On Sun, 3 Nov 2019 12:14:38 -0500, Frank Krygowski
wrote:

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.


Bright orange knee socks are the answer. I have recounted the event
where I was passed by someone wearing bright orange knee socks and was
able to see those socks going up and down nearly a kilometer away. And
while the guy and the bicycle were not particularly noticeable at a
distance those orange "things" going up and down, up and down, really
did attract attention. :-)
--
cheers,

John B.

  #6  
Old November 4th 19, 06:01 PM posted to rec.bicycles.misc
NFN Smith[_2_]
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 28
Default Being Seen

Frank Krygowski wrote:

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.


I'm ambivalent on that one.

On the other hand, just a few days ago, I saw a rider with a blinking
headlight in the daytime. That definitely got my attention, but only
because it piqued my attention as a cyclist. He was on the other side
of a hard median. I can't think of any reasonable use case for a
blinking headlight, unless riding against traffic. And if I remember
correctly, those aren't legal under the Vehicle Code.


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.


Interesting description. I'd love to see what it actually looks like.


Smith
 




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