Tuesday, November 10, 2015
Bike Lights Once Again
In the morning, say 430 AM when Mary and I are riding to work I prefer to have the brightest possible lights to spot deer and objects on the trail. Survival. We both arm ourselves with a headlamp of at least 90 lumens, a cheap AA flasher on the handlebars, and NiteRider's Newt or Mini-Newt on the low setting. We are bright as UFOs. The headlamps run on 3 AAA's and are used to check out the forest around us for the betraying eyes of deer. Having a friend spend 9 days in a hospital makes this even more important. Whenever I see another bike or pedestrian I cover up the NiteRider so I do not blind them. If they are running superlights and do not reciprocate I put my hand back on the handlebars I'm shitty that way.
On the way home I try to go as long as possibly without turning any lights on. The headlamp is usually stowed away in my panniers. Most of the time I am wearing my sunglasses. Sometimes I actually need them.
I think bikers like to play with their toys. There really is no reason to turn on lights when on a well lit trail until it is almost dark especially when heading west into the sunset. Now those heading east should probably turn theirs on a bit early because westbound riders have reduced vision due to the sun being low on the horizon and blinding people. But it's always the westbound riders that have their lights on.
It's like this. I can see the bike coming at me 2 miles away. Bright flasher or solid beam. I have to look away even though it is daylight in order to save my retinas. Never get to see their faces. Another impersonal experience.
Tonight I was really digging the November warmth and sky. But then these bright lights kept coming at me. I'd turn mine on for a second or two to let them know I was there even though it was daylight and I had high viz clothing on. If their lights were uber bright I fire up the NiteRider. Mega flash would have me hold the button down until mine flashed, too.
Now I understand that some, well a lot of people have that dynohub generator light system. These run all the time the bike is in motion. A good thing. Unless they are too bright. Unless they are mounted where the rider cannot be polite and cover the light when they encounter a human coming toward them on the trail. We got to be polite.
Below is an article about this problem. Well, the bright flasher problem but I want you to apply it to all bright lights.