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Cyclists of the Night

By cring - 31 August 2008 47

As a Canberra driver and cyclist, I’d like to briefly remind other cyclists to wear bright clothing if they’re going to be cycling on the road.

On Saturday evening, I was about to drive into Belconnen Way (what the street exactly was I can’t remember for the life of me). It was about 6:30PM at this point, so it was rather dark. What seemed to be from out of nowhere, a cyclist road across the road very, very slowly, to the point where I had to go from 60km/h to a near standstill over 400-500m. If I had not been paying enough care or had poor eyesight, I could have easily hit the cyclist, as they were plodding along very slowly and wearing completely black clothes, no helmet and didn’t have so much as a light on their bicycle either. It could have been a very dangerous, nasty incident had it not been for my headlights – this isn’t the first time this has happened to me either. I personally felt that there was no risk to the cyclist at the time, but I felt it was my duty as a citizen of this city that loves to cycle to make this reminder.

So, just a quick shout out to Canberra cyclists – if you’re going to be riding in the early evening or the night, please have the appropriate clothing and/or equipment that makes you stand out so drivers are aware of your presence on the road. If you’re leaving before it gets dark but think it’ll get dark by the time you reach your destination, wear the appropriate gear before you set out and think ahead so you can pull over safely to turn on the lights on your bicycle.

Thanks for reading; have a happy and safe trip!

What’s Your opinion?


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47 Responses to
Cyclists of the Night
hetzjagd1 3:09 am 01 Sep 08

ahh that should be ‘city’, not town

I said I would shut up but I just can’t help myself

hetzjagd1 3:07 am 01 Sep 08

RuffnReady said :

No, I’m also a cyclist and driver and see morons with dark clothing and no lights on roads after dark all the time… and people not wearing helmets everywhere. Please, cyclists, obey the rules and behave with a modicum of intelligence or you give us all a bad name and are far more likely to end up a grisly statistic.

No lights, dark clothing – have to ride somewhere – try riding on the footpaths instead where you are far less likely to come into contact with 1.5t metal objects doing 60-80kmph!

I just figure they probably know they could be more visible but don’t care. And also I can’t imagine how many cyclists, a minority group, in a town as relatively small as Canberra, that aren’t doing the right thing, are also just going to happen to read this site. Just seems like a bit of a whinge post rather than anything constructive but I guess the same could be said about my contribution here. So I’ll shut up now, it doesn’t matter.

Davo111 2:23 am 01 Sep 08

Horrid said :

much genuinely interested in cyclist safety as in eliminating cycling – their real objective behind the fake ‘concern’ for cyclist welfare is to progressively add so many mandatory requirements before one can legally get on a bicycle that it just becomes too much trouble,

You wouldn’t happen to own and wear an aluminium foil hat?

kris 12:02 am 01 Sep 08

Horrid – that would be fine if they law regarding helmets and lights was enforced. I’m a cyclist and am continually amazed by how many other cyclists I see at night who ride without lights and/or helmet. The police would catch an amazing number of people if they just sat at one end of commonwealth bridge a couple of evenings a year.

The best case I’ve seen is a guy riding home at night without lights or helmet with a slab of beer balanced on his handlebars. Not surprisingly he wasn’t exactly cycling in a straight line either.

RuffnReady 11:55 pm 31 Aug 08

hetzjagd1 said :

Yeah lets hope that one guy reads this post or his friends do and tell him..

No, I’m also a cyclist and driver and see morons with dark clothing and no lights on roads after dark all the time… and people not wearing helmets everywhere. Please, cyclists, obey the rules and behave with a modicum of intelligence or you give us all a bad name and are far more likely to end up a grisly statistic.

No lights, dark clothing – have to ride somewhere – try riding on the footpaths instead where you are far less likely to come into contact with 1.5t metal objects doing 60-80kmph!

Pandy 11:34 pm 31 Aug 08

Horrid is upset that we dont all ride bikes.

cring 11:08 pm 31 Aug 08

? Someone PLEASE tell me that Horrid’s just trolling…

Horrid 11:05 pm 31 Aug 08

People who propose this and similar measures as mandatory are not so much genuinely interested in cyclist safety as in eliminating cycling – their real objective behind the fake ‘concern’ for cyclist welfare is to progressively add so many mandatory requirements before one can legally get on a bicycle that it just becomes too much trouble, hence one less cyclist on the road. If the people proposing mandatory fluro vests got their way, they would still not be satisfied- they would immediately be demanding yet another encumberance of one form or another for cyclists.They understand that it is the best way to ensure that new potential cyclists never take up cycling. Sorry mandatory fluro vest advocates, but we see through your real intentions.

Cyclists already have to ride a roadworthy bicycle in a legal manner, wear a helmet and show lights at night. That’s fair enough, and that’s also where the line should be drawn. People pushing this arguement should simply acknowledge they don’t like cyclists on roads, rather than pretending to care about their safety.

ant 10:56 pm 31 Aug 08

I am amazed by cyclists without lights! It beggars belief. I got me a 50 buck mountain bike at Walmart in the US, and then spent another 20 bucks getting me the biggest light array, batteries, and a Hunting vest. certainly worked. Nothing hit me, except cars splattering me with buckets of slush as they roared past. Even on my midnight ice-cream runs to walmart, nothing got me.

Davo111 10:47 pm 31 Aug 08

I always wear a high vis vest, and front/back lights when cycling at night.

Lights can be purchased really cheaply – bigW, ANU green, Kathmandu (especially during the half price sale). there really isn’t an excuse to be riding without lights.

Pandy 10:30 pm 31 Aug 08

Run the cyclist down. Worth 20 points in Death Race 2000

Jonathon Reynolds 10:21 pm 31 Aug 08

A (dayglo/flouro) reflective vest should be made mandatory for any cyclist on the road after sundown and before sunrise (on top of the standard helmet and light requirements). Any party or candidate willing to champion that as a cause?

Morgan 10:02 pm 31 Aug 08

I was 20m behind a cyclist (I was on a bike too) who was hit by a car turning onto northbourne ave in Turner. The cyclist didn’t have their lights switched on, and in amongst all the other light pollution at 9PM the motorist cold not have been expected to see them. The first question the Policeman asked me was if the cyclist had her lights on (which she didn’t).

Canberra motorists are very good at watching for cyclists, it seems only the interstate motorists try to kill me when I;m on the road. But as cyclists if we are to be taken seriously we need to be responsible and observe the road rules and spend $50 on a set of front and rear lights.

I find myself that when riding at night I have almost run into other cyslists because they have no lights.

cring 9:54 pm 31 Aug 08

Well, the intention was that everyone could benefit by making sure they easily stand out on the roads; it’s something that we all tend to forget a little too easily on occasion.

hetzjagd1 8:48 pm 31 Aug 08

Yeah lets hope that one guy reads this post or his friends do and tell him..

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