invisible bicyclists

Home Forums Open Discussion invisible bicyclists

  • This topic contains 0 voices and has 19 replies.
Viewing 20 posts - 1 through 20 (of 20 total)
  • Author
  • #605648


    Tonight 5pm, on 2d Ave near Cherry St. On the sidewalk, weaving through pedestrians at about 15 mph.

    You were in dark clothes, with no lights, just one little red reflector on your helmet. On a *recumbent* bike that puts you down out of the line of sight. I’m the one who shouted “Get a light” as you sped by.

    To everyone, especially the responsible bicyclists: this is in no way an attack on you all or an attempt to broadly smear, etc. It’s criticism specific to those who are irresponsible, dangerous, scofflaw, or just plain rude. Like the guy on the recumbent tonight.



    I ride a regular bicycle (not in this weather),but in bright daylight I am 6’3″tall and to some drivers I am invisible.

    I cannot imagine what a recumbent cyclist is thinking going down a sidewalk or a street in this kinda weather without decent lights. Yes, it is their right, but is it worth defending that right after getting hit or taking out a ped?

    my two cents. – J.



    freaking ninjas. hate ’em.

    i almost killed one with my car on dexter a couple of weeks ago. and when i hollered at him, he was ready to fight – as if i was in the wrong for not having night vision.







    a bicyclist riding during darkness and rain without lighting and reflective gear are suicidal.



    Ninjas, heh. Yep, just add a black scarf over the face. Have to check the case law to see just how large a sword has to be so they can’t accuse you of carrying it concealed.

    I didn’t follow to see how this particular ninja handled the street crossings – this took place mid-block on the sidewalk. A place where pedestrians behave erratically. People walking aren’t paying attention the way a driver is supposed to. Some of them are distracted, or influenced by this-or-that, or just plain dumb. Sidewalk’s the place for that.


    I totally agree. Whenever I make similar comments, some cyclists pounce and it is I who is in the wrong.



    JKB: yeah, but peds are dangerously suicidal, too. for a while i had to drive a flatbed truck around the city, and it always freaked me out how people waiting at crosswalks stood too close to the street. if i was turning, i had to take it extra-wide to avoid getting them between the front and rear wheels or clipping them with a mirror. and that made it uncomfortably close for the other drivers around me. and in general i find that peds don’t pay attention to how vulnerable they are to traffic. you might be on the sidewalk and clearly in the right, but if someone jumps a curb, you can still get seriously injured.

    i generally give cyclists deference and space, no matter what i’m driving. not because i think they’re awesome people to be admired and envied – they can ride just as badly as motorists drive. but they are far more vulnerable to injury than i am, and i don’t want either of our lives to be changed by a collision in which i have the advantage.

    i gotta run to the kitchen now and don’t have time to look this up. anyone know if cyclists can be ticketed for riding invisible?

    discuss, and be safe and aware out there.


    An operator of a bicycle riding at night is required to use a forward facing white light and rear red reflector or light.






    FWIW (to add to my previous post), I am on a bike daily, this time of year commuting after dark daily, and it’s been my experience that the large majority of folks on bikes are lit up above and beyond the legal requirement. In a similar manner to how the majority of people in cars are responsible drivers, it’s the ones in the minority who aren’t doing the right thing that make the whole group look bad. Kudos to the commuters who do the right thing, safely and intelligently, regardless of their chosen mode of travel.



    I have seen numerous cyclists in the early morning pre-daylight hours that do not have any lights or reflective gear, and they are always wearing black clothing from head to toe. It’s pretty mind-boggling to me as I’d be lit up like a Christmas tree if I decided to ride my bike at this time of year!



    About a year ago while out running I spotted a cyclist at a red light who had this ‘thing’ sticking up from the top of his helmet, when I inquired about it I learned it was a small video camera he (and others) wear to record his (their) rides.

    He does it in case there is an altercation between him and anything/anyone else so he’ll have documentation as to what happened, as long as it happened in the direction he’s facing.

    After thinking about it a while AND seeing all those videos of car accidents and the like, I purchased one that I (almost) always have mounted on my dash when I drive for the very same reason.

    Maybe someone could shoot video of these ‘invisible bicyclists’ and post it on here, YouTube, etc. so they can see/learn just how much we CAN’T see them.

    Dark clothing does not reflect much light, in fact it absorbs it, making it (them) blend in to the background.


    And then the inevitable piling on of hearsay and generalities occurs, no surprises here. Can’t help that us vs them mentality can you? Yes. Please. Provide us with that video showing legions of west Seattle cyclists swooping in and out of nowhere.



    Funny you should mention that grog, I’m actually in the market for one of those video cameras right now, and for the same reason that the cyclist you spoke to has one.

    I’ve narrowed my search down to the GoPro H3 and the Contour+2.

    If anyone has any input/recommendations about either one (or any other) PLEASE share.



    Guys, can you PLEASE CUT IT OUT?

    This is also a topic we’d asked to be put to rest a long time ago. The endless “cars vs. bicyclists” ranting. For no reason.

    If the OP here wanted to make a point, s/he has made one. Although the incident didn’t even happen in West Seattle. And you would probably have made more impact finding a bicycle board to post it on.

    Our experience has been more like #12, and we have to drive around West Seattle at all hours. Bicyclists with flashing lights on their bikes. On their helmets. Bright colored vests. Far more trouble than those of us who mostly drive motor vehicles have to go to before getting into/onto OUR modes of transportation.

    If you are really interested in making it safer for bicycles and cars to share the roads around here, as they needed, help West Seattle Bike Connections advocate for what is needed.

    And take extra care to look around when you are getting ready to cross a bike lane – if the road you are using has one and when you are about to open a car door, if you are parked adjacent to a bike lane. I will confess to not thinking much about that until we covered a couple incidents here a few years ago that led to injuries because the drivers just did not look. I do now.



    >>It’s pretty mind-boggling to me as I’d be lit up like a Christmas tree if I decided to ride my bike at this time of year!

    CMP, don’t dream it . . . BE it!



    Sigh…and we were so close to having had a calm discussion on the subject. Not a long one – it just wasn’t that deep to begin with – but a reasonable one.

    And the cameras… yeah, that wasn’t inflammatory at all when the stories first broke about there. I’d offer my opinion except (a) nobody listens to anybody at all on the topic, and (b) it has nothing to do with the starting point of invisible ninja bikes on the sidewalk at night.

    Could just close the thread at this point.



    FWIW – I don’t read bicyclist boards and I have never even thought about recumbant bikes until tonight and how hard they would be to see, especially at night. Thanks to this thread I will be more careful looking for them – I feel that has value.

    There are also many people who haven’t been around for the other endless conversations on this topic and may not realize that “culturally” speaking on this blog, some folks are sick of it. Those who don’t want to read about that topic any more will skip a thread with this title. That’s just my $.02.

Viewing 20 posts - 1 through 20 (of 20 total)
  • You must be logged in to reply to this topic.
WP-Backgrounds by InoPlugs Web Design and Juwelier Schönmann