I see you now

Ranting about cyclists on the road is more usually the reserve of the 'small of compute', the blinkered, the more Daily Mail amongst us. However, over the last week, I had to vent about a cyclist that was pretty much invisible as I approached them. I was left wondering what the oval apparition in front of me was, with ... *peers* ... what appears to be the dullest of lone LED lamps, steady not flashing, in the middle... CHRIST ITS A BIKE *swerve*!

The initial rant went a little like this:

"Mountain biker this evening. Rucksack with the smallest of weak ass LED lamps on. Front lamp casting no noticeable light to be silhouetted against. I (only just) saw you because of your reflective piping. FFS dude - if you cannot be bothered for you - be bothered for all the people who get judged through you."

As much as I would have loved to have pulled alongside and said something constructive - stifling my inner Tourette's at this point and making with something like "I think your backlight has failed mate" ... then I realised for all the black, they had a helmet with a camera on it. "oh, you are one of those" - and went on my way.

*In my defence - mine are mounted to the bike.

Two things in my experience make cyclists visible in the dark.

  1. Silhouette of the cyclist against the white light;
  2. Point of light to draw your attention to it.

The colour you wear at night really does not make a jot. Any piping can help you pick out what shape the object is, and your brain then stops wondering and starts acting.

So sure - there is an arms race on how many lumens you can kick out - and be combining that with size, weight, life, can result in fair old price tags - but something that works, well, is not something that has to cost the earth.

Broken backs, crushed pelvis and so on - high on my list of things to avoid... so be safe, be seen people!

So from one extreme to another - an unlit road on my commute home....

..and a view over my shoulder...

... "sorry guvnor I didn't see ya!" really isn't going to stand up to much, is it?

With modern backlights having a daytime mode (which I completely approve of as long as it does not become law)... get something that makes you seen... give me less grey hair... make me not hate you for doing something I love in a way that is going to adversely affect attitudes towards me, my friends, stuff.



Lumen count bought to you by Four4th Sodom, Four4th Scorpion, Lezyne StripPro (yes, two backlights in case one fails).

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