I was on the road this morning at 5:45 a.m. It was cold, dark and rainy. As I heard the approaching car from behind me, I repeated my breathy mantra while pumping up Wilson Blvd, ” Please see me, please see me”.
On days like this, the escape velocity to get out of the orbit of my warm bed inside my warm house is off the charts and feels nearly impossible.
Against all odds, I made it out and you know what? It sucked. Just a little but then once I made it to the gym, I felt proud. It wasn’t really as bad as I thought it would be.
The irony of biking to a spin class is often hard for me to overcome but is it really any less ironic to drive a short distance to exercise at a gym?
Thankfully, the rain stopped while I was inside the darkened cycling studio that feels like a post apocalyptic training center for those who are to compete in some kind of stationary TRON-like sporting event. Don’t get me wrong, I love these classes. Perhaps that is obvious to you based on what I am willing to do to attend one.
As I suited back up for the outside world, I put on all my reflective, hideously bright gear, turned on my lights and headed out for the trail. Back on the multi-use trail, I often notice or rather my vision is accosted by something.
Some people have insanely bright lights. Too bright. And they have them flashing. The rear light flashing, I get that. I do that. But why do they insist on turning my ride into a potentially seizure inducing, blinding rave from hell?
More is not always better. I know that you want to be seen and be able to see. Good idea! But if the other cyclists are blinded and the drivers annoyed, you may actually be more dangerous than the ninjas who like to go without lights and wear dark colors.
Virginia law requires that you have one headlamp that is visible at 500 ft. I am actually not sure how bright that needs to be. I intend to get scientific about it and investigate. Does anyone know if those cute little lights Bike Arlington & other organizations give out meet this requirement? I hope so because I love those lights!
I am fairly certain that the lights I have seen far exceed that requirement. I could be wrong.
But I stand firm in my assertion that a blinking front light is a terrible idea.
My final plea to my bright-lighted cycling compadres… Please consider the eyes of those that you will cross paths with and point those lights towards the ground and make them steady.