Thursday, September 15, 2011


Tom, Late last night longtime friend, retired schoolteacher and motorcyclist Charles Noble of H'ville sent me an email which included this observation about a group of bicyclists he passed Wednesday evening on Long Hollow Pike headed toward G'ville.  I don't know if this group was our Wednesday evening Fogbee group but the time of day and route suggest that it probably was.  His comments about being visible at twilight provide food for thought and maybe a re-evaluation of what we can do to make ourselves more visible at twilight and at all other times.  If you were in that group that Charles passed, you may remember his mighty fine classic 1968 BMW boxer-twin motorcycle.  Here are his copied & pasted candid comments:

On another note, tonight, I was In my 68 R69US riding south on Long Hollow Pike a few miles north of Goodlettsville when I came upon a strung-out group of about 25 bicycle riders, working their way south.  It was just before dark and it was interesting to see the variation in lighting they the bikes employed.  Some had bright flashing LEDs, some had tiny lights, and some had no lighting at all, and of that group, one had a strip of retro-reflective material in the back of his bike. Several were wearing hi-vis, as I wear, and some even had bright white lights on the front of their bikes.  Some of the no-light people were riding with a buddy that had lights, and a few of the "unseen" were riding alone.  It looks like they all would be keyed into the importance of being seen by auto drivers.  When one is young, one tends to think that all drivers have vision as good as theirs.  I'll be doing the lens swap-out surgery before long since my opthamologist told me at my last visit that it is "up to me now".  There's got to be other drivers out there that can't see as well as I do.  Ride safe.  C

As Charles says, let's ride safe.

PS:  I never did hear or see anything more about the bicyclist hit by a car at 5:30am last week on Whites Creek Pike.  The car's windshield was smashed in so I assume the biker was badly hurt if not killed.


Blog Admin said...

Yes, with pleasure, you have my permission to pass it on. I even took another look at what I wrote below and added a missing "and then". I am not exaggerating about the problem of "rider lost in a deep shadow" problem. It happens all too often. I just don't understand the love that bicycle riders have of dark colors when there is such an average speed difference between the bikes and autos/motorcycles. C

Tom_E said...

The LAW from TN Code Annotated.
55-8-177. Bicycle lamps and brakes.

(a) Every bicycle when in use at nighttime shall be equipped with a lamp on the front which shall emit a white light visible from a distance of at least five hundred feet (500') to the front and with a red reflector on the rear of a type approved by the department of safety which shall be visible from all distances from fifty feet (50') to three hundred feet (300') to the rear when directly in front of lawful upper beams of head lamps on a motor vehicle. A lamp emitting a red light visible from a distance of five hundred feet (500') to the rear may be used in addition to the red reflector.