Feeling more comfortable riding at night?

Its the ame here. Its illegal, but there is always some people. but what can you do. Its a guy from my neighborhood. I really felt like going over and tell him, but that won’t help me.

Telling those people rarely helps. The best outcome you can get is a “I know I shouldn’t” and then they go on as before.

I don’t have handlebars, and I attached a regular, old bike lamp on my frame a few years ago… It was working but it broke after a few days or week. :sweat_smile:

2 Likes

I have a front and beck like on my seatpost. But I want a lamp in my helmet. Any recommendation for helmet and lamp that fit together?

I got a NiteRider Lumina 700 and a helmet mount that was sold separately some years back. It’s pretty good. The mount is just a strap that fits through the holes on any bike helmet. I think for muni especially, you need a fairly bright light to see bumps clearly. I found that in the dark with the helmet light things seem to come at you fast because you can’t use your peripheral vision to see as far ahead. If I were you I wouldn’t go much lower than 700 lumen.

Hey Brian87 and Canapin,

For a tail light, I go red LEDs with erratic light pattern. Serfas is the brand and it’s super bright as well.
For a main nighttime light I use a CYGO-LITE EXPILION 850 USB light. It mounts on my helmet and turns the dark into daytime.
The Cygolite is by far the best light I’ve used.

I also have a Cygolite Zot mounted on my handlebars to create some shadows for better depth perception.

Both charge by USB and the Expilon 850 has a battery so I can carry a spare for super long rides.

1 Like

Some of my favorite rides were solitary night rides on hardpack snowmobile trails with the only sounds the crunch and squeak of snow under the tire and wolves in the distance.

I highly recommend a good powerful flood light mounted on the frame or handlebar and a less powerful spot beam mounted on your helmet.

4 Likes

I have tried various solutions including making a headlight bracket to hang beneath a T bar, and including head torches. I have found the best solution is also the simplest: I mount the light on the fork crown. That puts it as far as possible from my eyes and as near as possible to the various axes of rotation. A slight change of the angle of my back and hips can throw the light a bit closer or farther from the wheel. If all else fails, I can reach down to adjust it physically with my hand. Simples.

I got caught in the dark coming back from a late afternoon ride last week. There were only two major streets I had to cross on the way home, and in both cases, I was nearly run down by cars making left turns. It is unclear whether the cars didn’t see me or if they thought they could outmaneuver me. In each case, I was walking my uni across the intersection while the white, lighted pedestrian crossing flasher was active. I had no reflective equipment on. Both drivers seemed to be in a hurry. Near the end of my ride, at the crest of a steep hill and unable to see an uneven patch in the asphalt, I wiped out. At that moment, my wrist guards paid for themselves. I need to start my rides earlier!

Yesterday I went for an evening ride on one of my regular muni trails (an easy one) and did exactly this, because that’s what I usually do on the mountain bike. Worked very well. On the road I generally only use the helmet light because contrast isn’t as important.

In Australia, drivers are supposed to give way to pedestrians crossing a street they are turning into. However most drivers consider they own the road and don’t even know this law. Unicyclists are pedestrians and although we can’t ride on the road at night we can ride across a road at night and the driver should still give way.

I had an incident one night where a driver stopped as I approached the street he was turning into on a shared pathway and waited until I started crossing. I thought he was giving way to me. Once I started crossing, he drove at me. He didn’t understand that I was a pedestrian or that he should give way to pedestrians crossing a road he was turning into.

The “shared path” I was on was nothing more than the footpath (sidewalk) along the side of the road with a sign indicating the dual use but it did have a give way sign facing me. The driver believed the sign applied to all cyclists and pedestrians. I argued that it didn’t apply to pedestrians.

I sought advice from Roads and Maritime about whether my normal status as a pedestrian was forfeited in that situation but they would not make a ruling.

Instead they worked with the local council and decided to remove the give way signs on the shared path and the path border markings on the road where the path crossed that road. Their explanation was that in some situations it was better that nobody assumed anything and were cautious. However there is now no doubt the driver should give way to me and other pedestrians at that intersection.

In my letter I also noted that there was nothing about give way signs on shared paths in the Road Rules and the status of the sign was questionable. I suspect this had more to do with the sign being removed and they were trying to avoid opening a can of worms as the give way signs on shared paths where they cross streets are common in NSW. The only reference to shared paths and give way signs in the Road Rules is about drivers having to give way at the sign facing them when approaching a shared path.

Probably time I raised the issue again with cycling and pedestrian advocate groups. It seems ridiculous that a pedestrian should forfeit their rights because the footpath has been converted to a shared path.

Attitudes by drivers to cyclists in Australia are among the worst in the world. Many believe that cyclists should not even be allowed on the road. It is one of the reasons I ride a unicycle because, unlike a bicycle, I can legally ride it on the footpath.

Agree that drivers do not know/realise/care pedestrians have right of way when they are walking along, vehicle traffic must give way if they are crossing that path. It doesn’t happen…

The other thing I don’t like is if I’m riding on the street and coming up to an intersection on my uni, some cars like to give way to me even though I’m not even on the roundabout and I am waiting for them to go through… because they stop, I end up having to dismount… ok, maybe on a 24 I might be able to hop while waiting, but I couldn’t do it otherwise so it means I have to dismount, walk across then freemount again…

I know exactly what you mean. It was better once I realised they actually have stopped so they can watch me ride past. I just try to speed up a bit and look in my best form.

We used to notice this whenever we found ourselves running at night. Even more shocked that while we felt like we were crushing the pace we actually were running no faster if not slower than normal upon checking the watch. All despite feeling better and the like described above.

Someone suggested it might just be that going out at night to run, or in this case ride, tended to always be an accident on our part and we’d spend more time thinking about things not related to the task at hand and instead more time embracing the ridiculousness of the fact we had waited too long or couldn’t see anything. Suddenly it became less of a tiresome task where we were waiting to get tired just to tell ourselves to ignore it and more of a “just keep rolling with the crazy.”

Perhaps there are more endorphins involved.

As to my night riding, I started going to a 5.5k paved path around a reservoir after dark when they close to public (cars can’t get in but people can still access it from the adjacent fire roads). The later riding was both attributed to the lost daylight in the winter as well as reducing my time around others on the path (which at peak time is chaos) and got super into it. There was one day I actually waited until it was dark before starting the ride. I found there were fewer distractions in the dark (no people, nothing to draw my focus) and cars aren’t allowed on the path. I could just focus on the ride, appreciate the stars and moon and the water of the reservoir, and pretend I was in the Olympic Finals of some cycling event and narrate myself coming around every turn and such. Really helps to forget about the hills, fatigue, and mental exhaustion of constantly being hyper aware of all your surroundings and while it finished much faster than I anticipated the 30k ride to end, I don’t believe it was much faster than I’d normally ride.

Yes true, but a “wheeled recreation device” may be a pedestrian but we have to keep clear and give way to everything, ie the lowest form of life on the roads/footpath. In regards to drivers giving way to pedestrians crossing a side road (you are me are probably the only drivers who do) that certainly is a grey area for unicycles. In the spirit of the road rules, yes the car should give way, but see point about the lowest form of life so I doubt the law allows for it. Would love to hear the ruling from RMS, good luck with that! The same question could be asked does the car have to give way to a bicycle on the footpath crossing the road, kids can ride bicycles on the footpath but they are not pedestrians. Not well planned rules, I wonder how many cops know they anyhow.

If however, that car is crossing the footpath, which would include a shared path, then bugger them. Anything on a footpath must be given right of way. Footpaths are for people, cars are just guests. Unless you live in Sydney’s north shore.

We both could easily die proving we are in the right.

Especially riding at NIGHT I learned to be the first to give way.
I’m hoping not to be an example of — ”DEAD RIGHT!”

I try to make eye contact with the vehicle’s driver AND get a head nod first before proceeding on to accept right away. Otherwise I expect to get hit or run into their vehicle.

I’ve left unicycle tire marks on vehicles, bumped, rear ended, been sideswiped, or been hit over a dozen times. Only once have I had bad consequences. They ran over my unicycle and totaled the poor 24” Norco with an early KH saddle. Not a single part wasn’t bent and twisted.

I just learned the hard way to yield even when I have legal right-away. Even in crosswalks we aren’t safe walking the unicycle across a street. And don’t assume anyone sees unicyclist. Especially at night, not even when you flash a headlamp in their eyes. And all those flashing lights and reflectors I wear, just the “Bull’s-eye” of their target…

I agree. The same rule applies for motorcycles, bikes, unicycles and on foot, you have to assume that you are invisible to all motor vehicles.

3 Likes

You guys make it sound like everyone is driving at you - do you live in Rome, or something?

Me-1st Street, Selfishville USA

With Covid, there are more delivery drivers on the roads, looking down at their phones to navigate.