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An Argument with My Girlfriend Help! also Headlight Question(14 posts)

An Argument with My Girlfriend Help! also Headlight QuestionNomatt
Jun 5, 2003 10:27 AM
I live about 12 miles from my girlfriends house and I ride TO her house during the day a lot. now i want to ride BACK home late ( 1 a.m.) at night. one problem - she claims it is unsafe and REALLY doesnt want me to go. she says that people will not see me and run me over, especially drunks. however, the ride is 75% on back roads that VERY RARELY see any cars at night. also, i am going to get a blinky light and a headlight, as well as liberal amounts of reflective tape :) so what can i say to convince her i should ride home? or am I the one who is wrong????!!!! Also,in case i do start riding late at night, how bright are LED headlights? I was thinking about getting the Cateye EL 110, but i am worried that i wont be able to see very well. thanks.
Sounds like a good excuse to sleep over !!PaulCL
Jun 5, 2003 10:33 AM
How do you get home now?? Does she drive you??

Personally, I don't like riding at night with or without lots of lights.
It safer to ride home than to sleep over. nmeddie m
Jun 5, 2003 11:51 AM
Back roads?filtersweep
Jun 5, 2003 10:33 AM
Like rural roads? Suburban roads? Both are super creepy at 1am. Let me ask you: would you "let" her ride this route at 1am?
best solutionmohair_chair
Jun 5, 2003 10:37 AM
Marry her! Can't you see that that's what she is really saying? She doesn't want you to go home, she wants you to BE home, with her, and 2.5 kids, a mother-in-law, a grey flannel suit, and a mortgage. What kind of punk slips out at 1AM? The low-down cheatin' kind, that's who! :)

It is unsafe to be riding at 1 AM unless you are on trails, and then you have bears to worry about. I've ridden at night on roads only up to about 9 PM, and that was scary enough. If you insist on doing it, light yourself up like a christmas tree. Lights and reflectors everywhere, and make sure some of them blink. Drivers will absolutely freak when they see you and go far out of their way to avoid you, because they don't know what the hell you are and what you are doing there. Unless they are drunk, in which case, they'll aim right for you.

I wouldn't do it.
Blinky lights, 10W halogen headlight, Illuminite ...Humma Hah
Jun 5, 2003 10:45 AM
... The blinky LED taillights can be seen for about a mile ... and they have great battery life. Get one.

I use a headlight with a NiMH battery (rechargable) and both a 10W and 5W headlight. Very happy with them. There are even better units available, even xenon lamps. I can ride over an hour on the 10W light and still have some reserve battery life.

Reflective clothing is great. Reflective tape is bright, but relatively little area. Performance carries "Illuminite" clothing, in which the fabric is reflective. It is not as bright as the tape, but there's a lot more of it.

When I ride equipped with an Illuminite jersey or jacket, my blinky, and my headlight, late at night, those few cars see me, change lanes half a mile back, and avoid me like radioactive waste.

Still, beware of cars approaching from the side. They will not see reflectors or reflective material, and might miss the little headlight or misjudge the distance to it.
cars approaching from the side, begs the question.....Tower
Jun 5, 2003 7:10 PM
Should we put our reflectors back on our wheels?
They don't help unless you're in the headlight beam ...Humma Hah
Jun 6, 2003 8:38 AM
Wheel reflectors are mandated by CPSC on all new bikes, and are required, if original equipment, in many jurisdictions if the bike is ridden after dark. They are highly visible, to the point of being distracting. Some drivers will see them cross their path, their eyes lock on, their hands follow their eyes, and they drift out of their lane. I'm not convinced they're a good ideal.

Reflectors are generally not to be trusted when dealing with traffic on side streets. Let's say a car is close to the intersection ... their headlights go straight across, and maybe 20 degrees of some light to either side. Your side reflectors (including wheel reflectors and reflective coating) do nothing until you are almost in front of the car, when it is too late to react. The driver looking either direction will NEVER see your front reflector or reflective clothing.

To be seen by this driver, you must have a light, preferably a nice bright one. But even then, they're not expecting a bicycle, may never have seen one lighted at night, and may not recognize the light, the distance to it, or its speed.

One thing that may help is to swing the bike and/or handlebars so you make the light the driver sees "flash". This is one case where steady, smooth riding may not be as safe.
Let her drive to your house, you stay at hers.dzrider
Jun 5, 2003 11:18 AM
simple solution: spend the night with her (nm)tarwheel
Jun 5, 2003 12:36 PM
maybe she's trying to tell you something. some women can be awfully circumspect
re: With a LED youll be seenjrm
Jun 5, 2003 12:57 PM
But they dont throw any kinda beam. I use a L & M Arc light which throws a strong beam as bright if not brighter than OE headlamps on a car.
re: But who is driving at 1 a.m. - might be the local drunkTommasini
Jun 5, 2003 1:20 PM
1 a.m. is bad timing for the occasional or habitual drunk to mow you down. For that reason I also am very selective about where I ride AND if I ride on a Friday afternoon.
re: An Argument with My Girlfriend Help! also Headlight QuestionTrent in WA
Jun 5, 2003 2:22 PM
Depends a lot on where you live, where you're riding, how you ride, what the local drivers are like, etc. I bike at night fairly regularly during our long, clammy Seattle winters and also did so for a while when I lived in Durham, NC. With proper lights and reflective gear, it's not a great deal more dangerous than biking by day. But if you do plan on riding at night on surface roads, don't even think about trying to get by with the EL 110--it's woefully inadequate, and I'm not even sure about the 5-LED EL-300 (which I use as a backup light). A decent generator setup would be a minimum, or a 10-watt battery unit. Give it a try and see how you like it.

re: An Argument with My Girlfriend Help! also Headlight QuestionYe Olde Balde One
Jun 6, 2003 7:20 AM
I live 25m away from my girl.

Tuesday I ride up in the late afternoon and stay the hight, sets me up for riding some wicked climbs Wednesday morning without having to fight through traffic and putting on another 25m (it's a 78m round trip as it is), plus I get to spend a night with her.

What's the problem?