Rant about lack of lights

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Rant about lack of lights

Postby markh405 » Thu Jul 14, 2011 5:28 pm

Hopefully, I'm preaching to the choir, but I need to get this off my chest. Given that it is so hot right now, I'm sure more and more of us are getting in some early workouts. I did just that this morning and was dismayed at the lack of common sense and courtesy seen from the others out on the road - and no, I'm not talking about drivers!

I took a ride along 33rd to the I-35 service road (at 5am), and then went up and down the service road on either side making right turns between Memorial & 15th (then back home along 33rd - about 6.40am) and I came across / saw / barely saw two runners and two other cyclists - and NONE of them had lights, front or rear. Sun up was not until about 5.45am, I'd already had my scares with the lightless runners at that point.

I truly almost hit one of the runners, male, no shirt, tanned, with brown shorts on - running against traffic (totally fine with that, best way to do it) but he was damn near invisible at 5.40am! I know I shouted & cursed as he seemed to just appear in front of me, and to his credit he jumped up on the grass verge. I guess my lights were visible! The lady runner wearing white wasn't much more visible, maybe a car would see her, but maybe not until it was pretty late (as it was for me) and it would sure surprise a driver and very likely piss them off.

Anyway, beyond the obvious "you could have caused an accident with me" reaction, it pisses me off that car drivers saw four examples of what NOT to do pre-dawn and one example (me, hopefully) of making oneself as visible as possible to other road users. I had front white light, rear red strobe, & a flourescent yellow jersey. The bikes were lightless, albeit with bright clothing, but also not on the road until a little later - still they had to GET to the service road somehow and all the cars still had their lights on even when I finished.

People, it is just plain stupid, irresponsible and maddening that you should go on the public roads (or even your neighborhood) without lights on. How much does a strobe light vest for running cost - $30? The lights on my bike were less than that. And if you don't want to get lights, stay off the road!

Rant over, thanks interweb for listening! :)
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Postby Tanya » Thu Jul 14, 2011 11:03 pm

one morning a few years ago I almost ran over a runner in my neighborhood in winter. It was dark and he was wearing dark clothes. Scared the crap out of me (and him, too, I would imagine). yeah, the reflective piping on your shoes isn't nearly enough...

In the winter when I commute I'm lit up like a damn Christmas tree. You can't MISS me. If you hit me, you were aiming for the pretty blinking lights...
There is something uncanny in the noiseless rush of the cyclist, as he comes in to view, passes by and disappears.
- Popular Science, 1891
Ultra Iron Athlete
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