Author Topic: Lights and safety on the Merrifield loop  (Read 1251 times)

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Offline Sal Atticum

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Lights and safety on the Merrifield loop
« on: August 08, 2008, 10:57:21 am »
Hi guys, I wanted to point out some things being said about our visibility while riding, specifically on the Merrifield loop, but also in general.  I know I was talking to Toaster back in March and he said he wasn't using the frog lights because cars couldn't see him at night.  I know generally we don't have a problem with getting hit out on the roads, especially if we're riding in a group, but it also applies in town (where we're more likely to be riding in the dark anyway).  I'm not saying we have to put big orange triangles on the back of our bikes, just that we might want to discuss visibility. 

What sort of lights does everyone run, and how well do you think they look?

The discussion is going on here, I've copied the relevant criticism below.

Quote
C. Y. said...

    I'd like to see the bike paths extended alongside Columbia Rd south to Co Rd 6 (Merrifield road), then west to Co Rd 5 (airport road) , then north to Demers and into Grand Forks. It should lessen the chance one of the bike riders will get hit by a truck, etc. Driving into the sun in the evening and coming up on a bike rider that isn't smart enough to wear bright clothing id pretty scary. Although I did see one last night wearing a bright lime green shirt that could be seen for a ways down the road.

    A couple of nights ago one was riding when it was almost dark with a couple of little flashing red lights. They could not be seen far enough away to be really safe.

    The first time one of them gets run over they are going to scream holy hell and yet they won't take the initiative to make themselves safe.

    Put as much money into safety items as you do those neat clothes and bikes.

    9:19 AM, August 08, 2008

Quote
C. Y. said...

    Matthew said:
    "Most of us do wear bright clothing and, as you already said, run lights. "

    What is bright to you standing in a parking lot getting ready to ride is waaaay different than what a driver sees as he comes up on you at 55 mph.

    It doesn't matter how bright your shirt is if you are hunched over while you ride.

    Blaze orange, bright lime green like Carhart t-shirts, etc. Make flags out of them and make yourself very obvious. If it's moving like a flag it'll be seen even more.

    I saw that home of economy had a very bright magnetic LED amber flashing light for farm equipment and a field cultivator is a lot more obvious on the road than a single bide rider.

    10:37 AM, August 08, 2008

This is the second mention of Carhartts and bicycles in two days.  Coincidence?  I think not.
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Offline Toaster

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Re: Lights and safety on the Merrifield loop
« Reply #1 on: August 08, 2008, 03:49:49 pm »
generally, off street bike paths are a bad idea because they cross intersections at a point where drivers do not look for other fast moving vehicles. They are also impractical for cycling with a club due to the fact that they are too narrow, and often are in a state of disrepair that is not conducive to riding at high speeds. The only bike paths that have worked well in my experience are on street bike lanes. These work well because they are treated (or should be) as another lane of traffic. Off street bike paths treat cyclists as pedestrians (which they are not), pedestrians do not move at 15 to 30 MPH.

Most blinking lights made for cyclists are very obvious in traffic if you are paying attention while you are driving. However, if you are talking on your cell phone while drinking a big gulp while playing your music at full blast while not using your turn signal, it would be unlikely that an industrial spotlight would get your attention. And if you should happen to hit me while I am using my lights (which are in full compliance with ND traffic laws) I will raise holy hell, and you will have a lawsuit on your hands, and you will pay for my new bike, and your insurance will go up.

And what do you mean when you say "one of them". Essentially, cyclists are in the same category as motorists (or horseback riders). To quote the ND century code:

"39-10.1-02. Traffic laws apply to persons riding bicycles. Every person riding a
bicycle upon a roadway is granted all of the rights and is subject to all of the duties applicable to
the driver of a vehicle by this title, except as to special regulations in this title and except as to
those provisions of this title which by their nature can have no application."

That means that in the eyes of the law, we are all vehicles, with the same rights and responsibilities.

Just try and step to UND Cycling if you wanna test your luck.

Offline Plantains

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Re: Lights and safety on the Merrifield loop
« Reply #2 on: August 09, 2008, 12:43:39 pm »
The planet bike 7 LED rear dominates.

Yost nailed it for bike paths. I use bike paths here as shortcuts from one area to another, but not to ride. Also bike paths here in NY have a max speed limit of 15mph (which isn't ever enforced).

When motorists discuss such things as "taking initiative to make ourselves safe" its a joke to me. Why? Because what they're essentially saying is, they don't care enough to pay attention and shouldn't have to be responsible for watching slash not hitting cyclists.

Here's a good policy for visibility... ride with ur lights. Ride with them ON.

Motorists... try paying attention. People have no excuse... especially in ND where the roads are mad straight and flat and you can see a cyclist 10 miles up the road.
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