The Chainlink

Last evening, driving home (in my car) westbound on Lawrence from Lincoln Square toward Milwaukee, it was already dark.  I was counting the bicyclists I saw, in both directions.  For a 20 minute ride in a car I counted 8 cyclists total.  Only one had lights on his/her bike.  The other 7 had no lights, none whatsoever.

I don't know how to get the message out.  We all know that we need lights in order to be seen.  It's very difficult to see a bike in the dark when it has no lights on, even when the driver is paying attention, let alone distracted.  The Chicago vehicle code requires a headlight, and a rear reflector, but for all practical reasons, on a city street, one really needs a tail light above all else.  

I really think the majority of those not using lights are not aware of Chainlink and do not communicate with other cyclists regarding bike safety.  I regularly ride down Lawrence at the end of the day, and rarely see anyone else with lights on.  

Just frustrated.

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Aaahh! YES!
Fo shizzle my ninja.

Here's a picture of me doing my part to lead by example.

By riding the wrong way on a one way street??

Or maybe the car is parked on the wrong side of the street? But it doesn't look good for you.

Ha! There would be a lot of cars parked on the wrong side of the street if that was the case. ;-)

Haha! It becomes a two way in a half block from that point. But yeah, it would be silly IMO to go the long way just to get to the point where it becomes a two way.

Every have anybody tell you the light's too bright and you should turn it down? 

Once while biking to Milwaukee at night on a dark trail because my friend preferred biking in dim light at night, for some reason. But the brightest light I have is the Philips light mounted just above my front fender and it's pointed at a downward angle and is designed not to be too blinding. The other brighter front lights are actually two USB rechargeable lights which have a less bright setting that I always use to extend the battery life, and the rest of the lights (on the front at least) are actually not bike lights at all but are made to be plugged into a laptop or desktop (they dont illuminate so much as make me visible- especially from the sides, two are angled towards the opposite side, the left facing right and the right facing left and center top facing straight ahead). The backlight, like the laptop lights and front light, is bike powered, it's also a Philips and is well designed like the front light (I also have a battery powered back light that I sometimes use plus two other rechargeable LED backlights which I sometimes use which also I keep on the dimmer setting). I got the Philips lights, dynamos and hub generator from Dutch bike bits, which I recommend.

I also have two mounts for two more battery powered Cat Eye lights which I sometimes use if I want to go that much more overboard.

With the combination of battery powered, rechargeable, and bike powered, I like this bike for traveling (plus it has heavy duty rims and tires) because even if a generator broke or a light fell off, I'd still be well illuminated on all sides.

By the way - a shout out to Uptown Bikes which installed all my bike power equipment and did a fantastic job.

I would imagine your Philips light meets European road regulations about the amount of light it cuts off vertically.  so if properly adjusted shouldn't blind anyone any more than a car headlamp.

Yeah the company I ordered them from is in the Netherlands, so sounds about right!

Has anybody thrown a rock at you because your blinkin' light is too bright? YouTube video.

One of the finest things I own is this jobbie, a dynamo headlamp.  Shaped beam like a car headlight. 

Sadly, it's a lost cause. Just like you'll never convince some idi... I mean, some people to stop (or at least slow down) at stop signs, yeild to pedestrians (even with children), obey red lights, or wear helmet. Because freedom! A very, though not uniquely, American (collective) personality trait: I do whatever I want, and if what I do inconveniences you, go fuck yourself.


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