Bike News Roundup: New day, same triple shot of bike news

We’re trying something new with the Bike News Roundup: Tuesdays! This way, you can open all the links and spend the rest of your work week simply reading bike stuff. Then you can work on Monday, and repeat!

First up, another inspiring video from the Path Less Pedaled:

What is Bicycle Travel? – PathLessPedaled.com from Russ Roca on Vimeo.

Pacific Northwest News:

It’s the motherfucking halftime show!

National & Global News:

This is an open thread.

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9 Responses to Bike News Roundup: New day, same triple shot of bike news

  1. Jessie K. says:

    Thanks for the link, Tom, and thanks as usual for a great roundup!

  2. Gary says:

    “one less bike!” gotta love that bumper sticker!

  3. Gary says:

    The tail light comparison missed the gold standard for tail lights, Dinotte 400R. Water resistant, rechargeable, unbelievably bright. (or should I say, “blindingly bright”)

    • Tom Fucoloro says:

      I believe they were avoiding the really pricey stuff on purpose. I found it useful for those trying to get the most bang for their buck. I know I can buy a great high end light, but what’s the best cheapo one? My friends ask me what lights to buy all the time, and I know they would scream when they saw the Dinotte price tag. Especially if they are just “ride every once in a while” kinds of people whose bikes cost less than that tail light.

      • Gary says:

        My response to the expense question:

        If you got hit by a car, and you were laying in the emergency room and a guy came up to you and said “What would you be willing to pay, to not be here?” what would you pay?? I’d pay over a $1,000 to not be there, maybe even more.

        So when you think of it that way, it’s cheaper to pay $209 upfront and not get hit.

        http://store.dinottelighting.com/400r-red-taillight—seat-post-seat-stay-chain-stay-or-rack-mount-p91.aspx

        But of course a reflective vest for $35 is dorkier but better than a light that is too weak to be seen above the street lights.

        I used to wonder whether 4 $50 lights were brighter than 1 $209 and I got a chance to test that out, because I passed a guy on Mercer Island who had been hit, and had bought 4 plant Bike $50 lights and they are not as bright. No where near as bright.

      • Tom Fucoloro says:

        Though for the economics of that to work out, we would need to prove not only that expensive lights do, in fact, lead to fewer injuries, but also that the rate at which they decrease injuries is sufficient enough to make up for their 5x normal cost…

        Oh economics.

        But seriously, another reason I don’t have expensive lights is because I don’t like having expensive things on me (and obviously I wouldn’t leave them on the bike). Convenience for me means being able to leave them on when I just run into a store or shoving them in a pocket and not worrying if they fall out, etc.

        This is also why I don’t want an expensive bike. I think the added stress of worrying about my investment locked to a pole outside would be more of a burden than my added energy expended by climbing a hill with a 30-year-old heavy steel frame. And I’m not about to lug around a monster u-lock or mega-heavy chain. But that’s just me.

      • Gary says:

        “Are brighter lights worth it?”

        So being a geek at heart, when I drive I try to see when it is I “see” a bicycle in front of me, vs when did I “see” their lights. I also do this when I bicycle. On a bicycle if I can, I ride up the rider and look at the type of lights and memorize the flash pattern. Most of these lights are pretty distinctive. Then I analyze the data.

        My conclusion is that with most bicycle lights, you can see the bicyclist at the same time as you see their lights. That their lights don’t help at all. With the Dinotte lights, and there’s one other brand, you can see the lights about a mile ahead, and the bicyclist at the same distance as all the rest.

        With a reflective vest, you can see the bicyclist about 2x before you see one not wearing a vest.

        On the economics of tail lights at all, fortunately for us “Effective Cycling” did that study. And since 5% of crashes are from the rear, rear lights are not cost effective. However rear reflectors with the 2x improvement of sight are. And AFAIK, a type III highway reflective vest is the cheapest way to get that reflectivity.

        Now if you are one of the 5% you’ll wish you added that light.

        My own experience is that with the light, I give motorists approaching more time to evade me. So I hear “thump-a, thump-a as they pass far to my left hitting the center lane bumps. In the daytime that vest does a similar thing, I can see motorists in my rear-view mirror moving over before they otherwise would.

        So if you only have $40 buy a vest. If you want to commute in March in Seattle on streets with traffic, spend the $200, mount the light on your helmet if you want to park your bike outside. And put a white light on your helmet for flashing drivers in front of you as well.

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