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View Full Version : Can you see me NOW.....


eltonbalch
08-19-2011, 10:50 AM
So...after returning to road biking after a long hiatus, I had my first REALLY close call. I was on a moderately travelled flat road on a sunny day dressed in bright red when I heard a truck coming up behind me. Turns out it was a large County dump truck (think big snow plow vehicle). No one was coming the other way but he didn't move over. The initial air dam first pushed me sideways and then when he was next to me, the vacuum sucked me towards the truck!! Trust me--if it had been any closer I wouldn't be here posting this now. I live in a rural county (more cows than people) and after visiting the local highway garage someone was able to identify the specific vehicle (but not the driver). The next day, I went online and bought this:

http://www.amazon.com/Planet-Bike-Superflash-Turbo-Light/dp/B004U5PV5A/ref=pd_sbs_sg_1

Yesterday, I was on the same road with my new toy attached to the bike when I heard a large truck coming up behind me. Well...he was so far left of me that he was on the opposite shoulder when he passed me. It was another county truck and I'm guessing HE GOT THE MEMO!!!

So...my two points are don't let anyone get away with a brushback and get yourself one of these lights. I'm told by a friend who saw me go by that I looked like an emergency vehicle with this light on the back. Is it "dorky"...maybe...but they can see me now!!

rugbysecondrow
08-19-2011, 10:57 AM
I use one of these and it was the first thing I put on my wife's new bike...well worth it.

I also have a blinking light on my helmet which I really like (thanks to the schwag bag), I am not sure why that is not a more prevalent item. I have the lights on day and night.

Glad you are safer.

bumknees
08-19-2011, 11:25 AM
I use the PDW Radbot 1000, which is similar in power, but also has a reflector,. In addition, I have another low power blinky. So far, no close calls. Stay safe!

Bud_E
08-19-2011, 01:35 PM
Is there a down side to using one of these super turbo blinkys ? Could it cause a car - not knowing what it is - to react in a dangerous way ? I'm just curious if anyone has had a bad experience.

Nooch
08-19-2011, 01:51 PM
I use the Radbot 1000 and the PDW DangerZone (1/2 watt) (Not Together), and have gotten decent responses on both -- I prefer the DangerZone's flash pattern, but they've updated the Radbot so it's got a more random strobe.

Buddy of mine just picked up the Dinotte combo... Talk about bright! Can't ride behind him for too long, that's for sure.

Ozz
08-19-2011, 01:56 PM
... and after visiting the local highway garage someone was able to identify the specific vehicle (but not the driver). ...
BS, if they knew the truck, they know who was driving it, on that road, at the time it passed you.

Glad the message got thru to the next driver though.....

false_Aest
08-19-2011, 01:59 PM
Is there a down side to using one of these super turbo blinkys ? Could it cause a car - not knowing what it is - to react in a dangerous way ? I'm just curious if anyone has had a bad experience.


You bring up a good point.

But I think that the driver that doesn't know how to react to a bright flashing red light probably doesn't know how to react to passing a cyclist anyways.

And at that point, you're effed no matter what.

Kevan
08-19-2011, 02:00 PM
Is there a down side to using one of these super turbo blinkys ? Could it cause a car - not knowing what it is - to react in a dangerous way ? I'm just curious if anyone has had a bad experience.

I've often thought that of the strobing headlights, that they just might get the better of a driver and cyclist. I think they are very distracting. Early Wednesday morning, I had some pals come riding down the hill I live on and to be honest I found it hard to gage his speed and it really is annoying, bordering on painful to watch.

Bruce K
08-19-2011, 03:44 PM
Those lights are great and I have 2, 1 for each bike.

Just don't ride anywhere but last if you're in a group or you will: a) blind everyone behind you, and b) piss off everyone in the group who is behind you.

BK

illuminaught
08-19-2011, 03:50 PM
Glad you didn't get hurt, and I hope new brights are fantastic for you.
That being said, I genuinely believe that bike lights and reflective/bright clothing don't help as much as we'd like to think. I use lights and bright clothing while commuting... but I never make the mistake of thinking a car/bus will see me. It's too big a risk to assume anyone on the road sees you.
People driving are distracted and some are too fat to turn their heads (my favorite type). If they are looking at their phone or their fat bellies they will never see you, no matter how bright you are.

The best you can do while riding is remember your ninja training.

eltonbalch
08-19-2011, 03:55 PM
BS, if they knew the truck, they know who was driving it, on that road, at the time it passed you.

Glad the message got thru to the next driver though.....

The town deputy highway superintendent was a little "uncomfortable" when I pressed him. Their town budget situation is such that they are terrified of even a nuisance law suit. It was also very clear that the message had been passed on to the drivers so I'm happy about that at least.

eltonbalch
08-19-2011, 04:10 PM
Glad you didn't get hurt, and I hope new brights are fantastic for you.
That being said, I genuinely believe that bike lights and reflective/bright clothing don't help as much as we'd like to think. I use lights and bright clothing while commuting... but I never make the mistake of thinking a car/bus will see me. It's too big a risk to assume anyone on the road sees you.
People driving are distracted and some are too fat to turn their heads (my favorite type). If they are looking at their phone or their fat bellies they will never see you, no matter how bright you are.

The best you can do while riding is remember your ninja training.

I have been cycling on and off for 45 years and this is not my first close call. The light is a worthwhile addition, but it is no substitute for being hyper aware. It is also not the first time I have expressed my concern to someone who has gotten a bit too close to me on the road and (sadly) it probably won't be the last. The light is pretty cool though :D .

FlashUNC
08-19-2011, 04:19 PM
I use a Knog Boomer light. Same effect. Its worth it.

oldfatslow
08-19-2011, 06:27 PM
I got it for my wife's commuter and we used it on our tandem.

I read a story a few weeks back about a couple being killed on their tandem on a clear day on a straight road and decided that the $200 investment for the brightest tail light short of a shuttle rocket booster was a good one. We live and ride in Austin and there was another couple killed in San Antonio about a year ago leaving their daughter without her parents.

The 300R is so bright it is highly noticeable at 1000 meters in day light (and when you are within 200 meters of it if you close your eyes after focusing on it you still see it flashing).

I don't care what people think it is coming up behind us as long as they see us and take a wide berth around us.

My only fear on the tandem is that both of us could be killed leaving our kids in the lurch. It's terrible to have to have these thoughts and having the super bright Dinotte light helps ease it for me.

Bruce K
08-19-2011, 06:56 PM
BTW....

There was a recent study done into the possible causes of why the number of law enforcement officers who are hit during traffic stops or traffic details is on the rise.

One theory that came out of it was that the brighter strobe flashers now in use are contributing as an unintended consequence. Apparently while the bright lights attract a driver's attention they also cause them to veer in the direction the are looking (similar to bicycle handling) and thus create more accidents rather than reduce them.


I'm not sure I believe it but it was on our local news a couple of weeks ago.

BK

false_Aest
08-19-2011, 08:02 PM
BTW....

There was a recent study done into the possible causes of why the number of law enforcement officers who are hit during traffic stops or traffic details is on the rise.

One theory that came out of it was that the brighter strobe flashers now in use are contributing as an unintended consequence. Apparently while the bright lights attract a driver's attention they also cause them to veer in the direction the are looking (similar to bicycle handling) and thus create more accidents rather than reduce them.

I'm not sure I believe it but it was on our local news a couple of weeks ago.

BK

Hrm.

I think that if that's found to be true humans should really consider just how brilliant we are and give up motorized vehicles.

noflysonme
08-19-2011, 08:27 PM
Originally Posted by Bruce K
BTW....

There was a recent study done into the possible causes of why the number of law enforcement officers who are hit during traffic stops or traffic details is on the rise.

One theory that came out of it was that the brighter strobe flashers now in use are contributing as an unintended consequence. Apparently while the bright lights attract a driver's attention they also cause them to veer in the direction the are looking (similar to bicycle handling) and thus create more accidents rather than reduce them.

I'm not sure I believe it but it was on our local news a couple of weeks ago.

BK



Does this mean the officers were hit outside their vehicles, because distracted drivers are looky-loos and are watching the accident scene or are the vehicles being hit?


BTW the new superflash turbo is now 1 watt, has an irregular flash pattern and kicks butt.

Bruce K
08-19-2011, 10:12 PM
Officers were being hit while outside their vehicles.

I think that is the exact inference. People look at the lights and the incident, drift over and end up hitting the people standing there.

BK

that guy
08-20-2011, 01:49 AM
I have two Superflash lights on the back of my commuter. The new Turbo version is even brighter.

ckamp
08-20-2011, 01:57 AM
I have the exact same light as OP. Its great day or night.