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Cyclists Need To Lighten Up!


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#1 Darth Lefty

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Posted 04 November 2013 - 09:14 AM

The end of savings time is a good opportunity to remind you all that cyclists out after dark are supposed to have head lights, tail reflectors, pedal reflectors, and wheel reflectors.

 

There are a lot of good options out there for lights.  Probably the best cheap thing you could do is get a pair of head strap flashlights (just an example) from any store.  You can strap these to head or helmet or bike, front and back, one set on bright white and one set on red.  If you want something specific to the bike there are sets that run on AAA batteries, that are really inexpensive.  If you want rechargeable I can recommend this Cygolite set.  It's what I use.  For the really committed there are sets that run off a generator in the front wheel.  Reflective stuff is also a good idea!  Day-glo colors don't do a thing at night.

 

(updated to correct requirements)


"I enjoy a bit of cooking, and this has always worried me. But it's OK. I only like it because it allows me to play with knives." - James May

Genesis 49:16-17
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#2 Steve Heard

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Posted 04 November 2013 - 09:40 AM

This is also a great time to make note of the fact that with the better weather and shorter daylight hours, there will be more people using the trails in a shorter time window. 

 

Walkers, runners and bikers please be alert and courteous, and share the trail.  


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#3 Darth Lefty

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Posted 04 November 2013 - 09:45 AM

Between lithium batteries and bright LED's, flashlights of any kind now seem fantastically better than they did when I was a kid.  And cheap!


"I enjoy a bit of cooking, and this has always worried me. But it's OK. I only like it because it allows me to play with knives." - James May

Genesis 49:16-17
http://www.active2030folsom.org

#4 Darth Lefty

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Posted 06 November 2013 - 01:08 PM

Further nerdiness... here is the relevant law.  I was wrong that you need a tail light - legally you're ok with a headlight and a rear reflector.  You also need reflectors on the pedals or ankles (if you use clipless then your shoes probably have reflectors) and on the sides (which usually means in the wheels).

 

Wheel reflectors are terribly dorky but they are very effective for visibility because they make such a weird hopping motion when you see them lit up.

 

 

 

§ 21201. Bicycle size and equipment requirements

(a) No person shall operate a bicycle on a roadway unless it is equipped with a brake which will enable the operator to make one braked wheel skid on dry, level, clean pavement.

(b) No person shall operate on the highway a bicycle equipped with handlebars so raised that the operator must elevate his hands above the level of his shoulders in order to grasp the normal steering grip area.

© No person shall operate upon a highway a bicycle that is of a size that prevents the operator from safely stopping the bicycle, supporting it in an upright position with at least one foot on the ground, and restarting it in a safe manner.

(d) A bicycle operated during darkness upon a highway, a sidewalk where bicycle operation is not prohibited by the local jurisdiction, or a bikeway, as defined in Section 890.4 of the Streets and Highways Code, shall be equipped with all of the following:

(1) A lamp emitting a white light that, while the bicycle is in motion, illuminates the highway, sidewalk, or bikeway in front of the bicyclist and is visible from a distance of 300 feet in front and from the sides of the bicycle.

(2) A red reflector on the rear that shall be visible from a distance of 500 feet to the rear when directly in front of lawful upper beams of headlamps on a motor vehicle.

(3) A white or yellow reflector on each pedal, shoe, or ankle visible from the front and rear of the bicycle from a distance of 200 feet.

(4) A white or yellow reflector on each side forward of the center of the bicycle, and a white or red reflector on each side to the rear of the center of the bicycle, except that bicycles that are equipped with reflectorized tires on the front and the rear need not be equipped with these side reflectors.

The reflectors and reflectorized tires shall be of a type meeting requirements established by the department.

(e) A lamp or lamp combination, emitting a white light, attached to the operator and visible from a distance of 300 feet in front and from the sides of the bicycle, may be used in lieu of the lamp required by paragraph (1) of subdivision (d).

Cal Veh Code § 21201

 

 


"I enjoy a bit of cooking, and this has always worried me. But it's OK. I only like it because it allows me to play with knives." - James May

Genesis 49:16-17
http://www.active2030folsom.org




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