Minority Opinions

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Cycling Through Dusk

with 2 comments

This month has been a little more dangerous than usual for my daily commute.  Winter finally came, so the roads have had patches of ice and occasionally snow; fortunately, they haven’t lasted more than a few days at a time.  A utility company has been cutting tree branches along a narrow road, but their flaggers have been polite.  My current worry, though, is that I’ve sometimes forgotten to turn on my lights for the ride home.

I’ve been leaving the building just before sunset lately, heading east, and it’s frequently lighter than the inside of the office.  By the time I get home, night has fallen.  That leaves me to notice the approaching darkness sometime in the middle of the ride, if at all.  There are enough street lamps that I don’t really need my own lights at all; instead, they’re a measure of protection against motorized vehicles.

Sadly, I can only dream of the protection Dutch cyclists enjoy (also sadly, an important source of information on that topic has just been removed from the internet), so I rely in significant part on the ability of drivers to go out of their way when I’m in it.  That requires that they see me.  In low light conditions, that’s not at all guaranteed.

Granted, that problem isn’t limited to bicycles.  I’ve also been annoyed by the occasional car without its headlights on that blends into the road, particularly when I’m trying to turn left at a stop sign.  Almost any shade of gray has that problem at some point during the day, and certain other colors are almost as bad.  Perhaps it’s a good thing that our car keeps its lights on all the time.

Fortunately, I have gotten better about turning on my bike lights before it looks like I’ll need them.  Unfortunately, I’m almost certain to forget that lesson over the summer.


Written by eswald

28 Feb 2012 at 3:24 pm

Posted in Cycling, Lifestyle

2 Responses

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  1. What’s the source of information that went away?

    Also, I think wearing that day-glo safety yellow is pretty smart. It’s amazing how visible that stuff is.

    Daniel Reeves

    28 Feb 2012 at 6:11 pm

    • A view from the cycle path, by David Hembrow, with contributions from Mark Wagenbuur, was down for about ten days as a protest against plagiarism, misrepresentation, and requests for more free work.


      4 Mar 2012 at 7:23 am

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