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riding at night question again w/ more info (little long)(6 posts)

riding at night question again w/ more info (little long)Nomatt
Jun 6, 2003 4:53 PM
I asked the question a while back about whether or not i should ride 12 miles to my house at 1 a.m. on a regular basis (from my girlfriends house). i got mixed answers. some said dont do it. some said go ahead but get certain lights. here is some more info. as i said, it is 12 miles about. 1/4 mile is on a four lane highway (i can hear the groans now . . .) but you see, a four lane hwy in northern wisconsin has very few cars on it at 1 a.m. seriously, i VERY rarely see cars. the next stretch is about 3 miles on a little road that i have NEVER seen a car on at night in my 3 yrs driving on it. the next 2 miles is on a county hwy, 2 lanes. this is probably the worst stretch. again i VERY rarely see cars, but there are a few. finally, the last stretch is about 7 miles of backroads that are very well paved but never used at 1 a.m. i have maybe seen 10 cars total on this stretch of road in 3 years.
so, should i or shouldnt i. and if i should WHAT HEADLIGHT. i was thinking about either the cateye EL110 or the Nashbar Digital Dual 2 (w/rechargeable batteries). i want either a light that lasts a LONG time with batteries, or has rechargeable ones, and not too expenisve.this is very important. thanks a lot
re: riding at night question again w/ more info (little long)TWD
Jun 6, 2003 5:32 PM
You're the only one who can answer your first question about whether you should or shouldn't ride home at 1:00AM.

It all comes down to what your priorities are (nobody put a gun to your head and made you stay at your GFs till 1 am) and what risks you are willing to take (is it worth your life?).

You sound pretty determined to do the ride anyway (otherwise you wouldn't have asked again) so I'm not going to try to talk you out of it.

However, if it were me, you wouldn't catch my sorry butt out on a pitch black back country road or highway in Wisconsin at 1am with a $20 headlight. I grew up in Wisconsin, and have less than fond memories of the way cyclists get treated during the daytime.

So you don't see many drivers at night, but the one that are out there are probably either drunk (there's at least 1 bar on every corner in smalltown WI remember), half asleep at the wheel, or sure as heck not expecting to see a cyclist.

If you're gonna do it, get the right equipment. I don't have any experience with either lights you mention (can't find the nashbar one you mentioned on their website), however, the cheaper cateye LED versions probably won't cut it. They aren't meant to help you see on dark road, they are meant to help you be seen.

You're better off with a higher powered system (10 watt halogen minimum) that will help you be seen and help you see what's on the road). It'll probably cost you about $100 for a decent reliable system. I'm more familiar with stuff in the $300 range so I won't waste your time with opinions on stuff that is probably outside of what you're looking to spend.

At any rate, if you're going to do the ride, get a decent light system, red flasher and some reflective clothing (maybe one of those cheap reflective vests)or accept the fact that your taking the risk.

Be safe!
re: riding at night question again w/ more info (little long)powergyoza
Jun 6, 2003 11:00 PM
I can't offer any shopping advice for headlights, but I will suggest that you think about getting an extra bright and/or multiple tailights too.
I train at 5 a.m. during the week, and here's what I useshawndoggy
Jun 7, 2003 5:31 AM
I ride later/earlier than you so I can't comment to the general drunkenness of the driving population. What I can say is that night riding is fun (especially on a warm summer night) but much different from riding in the daylight. For my 5 a.m. assaults, here's what I use:

1. Niterider storm HID headlight. If you are diligent and use a performance.com coupon you can get one of these for about $260. If you are riding in pitch black you can SEE with this light, and motorists have frequently commented that they thought I was a motorcycle or a moped. The battery lasts 4 hours. Those cheap lights you are suggesting are good for about 8 mph. Anything over that and you are outrunning the light and will hit dumb things that you could easily avoid with a brighter light.

2. Tireflys. These are blinky leds that attach to your valve stems. I find that moving light is a lot more visible to cars than static. I got them at Radio Shack around christmas time for $5 a pair. They are designed for the slammed out Honda crowd, so you need to use Schraeder adapters to get them to work on your bike.

3. Blinky LED on helmet.

4. Blinky LED on bike.

5. Blinky LED on back of left (traffic side shoe). This one, again, gives some motion.

6. Reflective leg bands (motion again!).

7. Pearl Izumi Zepher jacket with big patch of reflective material across the back.

Overkill? Maybe, but I VERY rarely get buzzed by cars.
Here's what you need:Alexx
Jun 7, 2003 6:36 AM
At the very least, you'll need one of these:
http://www.nashbar.com/results.cfm?category=101&subcategory=1066&storetype=&estoreid=&init=y
But, if you really want to get serious, go here:
http://www.sheldonbrown.com/harris/lighting/index.html
what is it that i need, Alexx? :)Nomatt
Jun 7, 2003 8:34 AM
the link is to a page with light combos from nashbar . . . so are you saying that one of these HEADLIGHTS will suffice? i was under the impression that i need to pay upwards of 260 dollars for some 10 watt bulb. But will something like the Photon Digital Dual 2 actually suffice? thanks