Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Lights

Safety is KEY, especially at this time of year as we head into a few months of dark and wet conditions. Sigh. You probably have a bunch of safety gear and rules that you follow already. But, there's always more to learn!

I drive a car as well as ride a bike. Yeah, I know. It's not sustainable or green or community friendly or eco blah blah blah. I can tell you why I need it and how I try to limit its use but nah.

Anyway, driving the car has given me a whole new insight into cyclists' visibility. I actively look for cyclists and still often don't see them if they are, say, wearing dark colors and don't have lights on their bike.

My recent favorite was a guy in black toting his two young kids on a sustainable cargo bike with no lights and no reflectors. And his helmet in his basket. Yeesh.
A simple reflective ankle strap or pedal reflectors would've made a big difference as one of the most visible things from inside the evil death-mo-bile is the unmistakable movement of a pedal stroke.

The almost-incident that really taught me something, though, was the guy with a really nice bright head light and tail light mounted on his helmet. They are at a height beyond visibility from the driver's seat of a sedan. He had no other reflective gear or reflectors or lights and was wearing all black. So, even with a keen eye out for bikes, I had a near-miss because his lights literally went "over my head". Just sayin.

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