The not-so-invisible man

Commuting, Day rides, Audax, Incidents, etc.
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Revolution
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The not-so-invisible man

Postby Revolution » 26 Oct 2018, 1:40pm

I always use 2 rear lights so that if one fails during a ride I still have one to get me home safe.
On my main bike a continuous red is fitted to the rear rack and a flashing light on the seat post.
On my fixed gear which has no mudguards or rack I have the seatpost light and have attached another light to my rucksack.
The other day I was made aware that the rucksac light was pointing up at the sky and so not effective so as a temporary measure I attached it yo my helmet.
Since doing this I have found that cars coming up behind, slow down and pass with much more space. Obviously I do get those who carve past at speed and too close but there has definitely been a change, with a larger proportion of motorists passing with more care.
I don't know why this should be the case - has anyone else experienced similar?

kwackers
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Re: The not-so-invisible man

Postby kwackers » 26 Oct 2018, 1:45pm

Revolution wrote:I don't know why this should be the case - has anyone else experienced similar?

Anything out of the ordinary causes peoples brains to switch back in.
When everybody does it then it'll be business as usual.

To paraphrase:

In the kingdom of the flashing light the static light is king.

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mjr
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Re: The not-so-invisible man

Postby mjr » 26 Oct 2018, 1:58pm

Revolution wrote:The other day I was made aware that the rucksac light was pointing up at the sky and so not effective so as a temporary measure I attached it yo my helmet.
Since doing this I have found that cars coming up behind, slow down and pass with much more space. Obviously I do get those who carve past at speed and too close but there has definitely been a change, with a larger proportion of motorists passing with more care.
I don't know why this should be the case - has anyone else experienced similar?

Well, whenever you look behind you, you'll be showing a red light to the front, which would be illegal if the light was attached to the vehicle rather than you ("No vehicle shall be fitted with a lamp which is capable of showing a red light to the front [...]" - RVLR section 11). I think motorists take extra care when passing a vehicle showing illegal lights because its operator will often do other daft and illegal things, in my experience.
MJR, mostly pedalling 3-speed roadsters. KL+West Norfolk BUG incl social easy rides http://www.klwnbug.co.uk
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Postboxer
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Re: The not-so-invisible man

Postby Postboxer » 26 Oct 2018, 2:15pm

Maybe it moves around more than the light on the bike, highlighting subconsciously to the drivers that you're a human or giving the impression that you are wobbling around the road, even if you're not.

reohn2
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Re: The not-so-invisible man

Postby reohn2 » 26 Oct 2018, 3:18pm

Revolution wrote:.......Since doing this I have found that cars coming up behind, slow down and pass with much more space........


That's a surprise,some years ago I had a helmet with a light clip so clipped one on only to find I got more close passes than without.
The difference was marked and I remember posting about it on the forum.
However clipping the same light to an elastic arm band just above my elbow had better than good effect and reduced close passes to a minimum.
The only thing I could think was that with a light central on the rack and one on the back of my head made me look taller and narrower,whereas one on the rack and one on the elbow made me look even wider than I actually was.
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Revolution
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Re: The not-so-invisible man

Postby Revolution » 26 Oct 2018, 10:18pm

mjr wrote:Well, whenever you look behind you, you'll be showing a red light to the front,

I am not an owl !!! I recon I can turn my head about 80degrees not 180 ! if you are able to turn your head to that extent you should go to A&E

:roll:

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mjr
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Re: The not-so-invisible man

Postby mjr » 26 Oct 2018, 10:34pm

Revolution wrote:
mjr wrote:Well, whenever you look behind you, you'll be showing a red light to the front,

I am not an owl !!! I recon I can turn my head about 80degrees not 180 ! if you are able to turn your head to that extent you should go to A&E

:roll:

Bicycle rear lights don't only shine directly backwards! :roll: yourself!
MJR, mostly pedalling 3-speed roadsters. KL+West Norfolk BUG incl social easy rides http://www.klwnbug.co.uk
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tim-b
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Re: The not-so-invisible man

Postby tim-b » 27 Oct 2018, 5:39am

Hi
...has anyone else experienced similar?

Yes, my theory is that you appear to be a cyclist from a distance, taller and narrow, although R2's experience is different. Maybe an elbow-mounted light as well?
There's one thing for sure though, good drivers will always give you space
Regards
tim-b
~~~~¯\(ツ)/¯~~~~

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Re: The not-so-invisible man

Postby tim-b » 27 Oct 2018, 5:51am

Hi
I think motorists take extra care when passing a vehicle showing illegal lights because its operator will often do other daft and illegal things, in my experience

The vast majority of cyclists that I see have "illegal" lights, and of those the vast majority ride sensibly and without incident.
Based on the many motorists who apparently can't see a cyclist in daylight, the majority of motorists wouldn't see a flash of rear lamp to the front as Revolution (or anyone else for that matter) checked behind
Regards
tim-b
~~~~¯\(ツ)/¯~~~~

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Mick F
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Re: The not-so-invisible man

Postby Mick F » 27 Oct 2018, 5:54am

kwackers wrote:In the kingdom of the flashing light the static light is king.
Off topic.
The Country of the Blind is a very good short story by HG Wells.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Country_of_the_Blind
Mick F. Cornwall

kwackers
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Re: The not-so-invisible man

Postby kwackers » 27 Oct 2018, 9:42am

Mick F wrote:
kwackers wrote:In the kingdom of the flashing light the static light is king.
Off topic.
The Country of the Blind is a very good short story by HG Wells.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Country_of_the_Blind

It was a deliberate misquote.

Drivers are people, people get used to stuff. When everyone does it and it becomes the norm then it no longer consciously registers. By being different you stand out and peoples brains kick in to figure out whats happening.

The static front light on my bike is so effective it's embarrassing. Time and time again I see cars stop at a junction 100 yards in front and wait for me to pass. In contrast my stupidly high powered flashing light was almost pointless other than brightly illuminating the side of their head as they pulled out on me.
Trouble is you see more and more bikes now with static lights, eventually I'll have to go back to flashing lights... :lol:

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Mick F
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Re: The not-so-invisible man

Postby Mick F » 27 Oct 2018, 10:07am

Yep! :D
Stand out from the crowd. Look different and you'll be seen.
Mick F. Cornwall

Postboxer
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Re: The not-so-invisible man

Postby Postboxer » 27 Oct 2018, 10:39am

kwackers wrote:
Mick F wrote:
kwackers wrote:In the kingdom of the flashing light the static light is king.
Off topic.
The Country of the Blind is a very good short story by HG Wells.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Country_of_the_Blind

It was a deliberate misquote.

Drivers are people, people get used to stuff. When everyone does it and it becomes the norm then it no longer consciously registers. By being different you stand out and peoples brains kick in to figure out whats happening.

The static front light on my bike is so effective it's embarrassing. Time and time again I see cars stop at a junction 100 yards in front and wait for me to pass. In contrast my stupidly high powered flashing light was almost pointless other than brightly illuminating the side of their head as they pulled out on me.
Trouble is you see more and more bikes now with static lights, eventually I'll have to go back to flashing lights... :lol:



Which light do you use? Is there anything special about it, eg. large lens, or do you think it's just because drivers are used to cyclists using flashing lights?

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Revolution
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Re: The not-so-invisible man

Postby Revolution » 27 Oct 2018, 11:33am

mjr wrote:Well, whenever you look behind you, you'll be showing a red light to the front, which would be illegal if the light was attached to the vehicle rather than you ("No vehicle shall be fitted with a lamp which is capable of showing a red light to the front [...]" - RVLR section 11). I think motorists take extra care when passing a vehicle showing illegal lights because its operator will often do other daft and illegal things, in my experience.

gorik-backwards.jpg

kwackers
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Re: The not-so-invisible man

Postby kwackers » 27 Oct 2018, 3:30pm

Postboxer wrote:Which light do you use? Is there anything special about it, eg. large lens, or do you think it's just because drivers are used to cyclists using flashing lights?

I used to have an expensive Hope light - think it was 2 x 5w LED. In bright flashing mode it made no difference despite lighting up the world.

I switched to a B&M lumotech(?) dynamo front.
Nothing special about it at all, lights the road well enough but it has a 'proper' beam pattern so doesn't throw light up at the driver, isn't particularly big and is mounted much lower down (to the front brake bolt).

Everything about it says it should be far worse, except immediately I went out tentatively expecting problems exactly the opposite happened.
I reckon it's a combination of static, the low position and the beam pattern - all of those make me look more like a small motorcycle than a bicycle.