(Yehuda Moon is always worth a read.)I was cruising through a thin fog this morning (Is there anything more fun than riding in fog?) when a dark silhouette appeared ahead of me, illuminated by the portable lights at a nearby construction site. It was the dreaded Bike Ninja.
Bike ninjas are those riders who are too cheap or stubborn to use lights, making them more dangerous to everyone—motorists, cyclists, even themselves. On routes with plenty of ambient light sources, they’re little more than an annoyance to other riders, but in really dark areas, they’re a freakin’ menace. Most of us who have spent any time commuting know the shock of seeing another rider suddenly appearing in our headlight beam as we swerve to avoid a head-on collision.
Being a bike ninja is selfish and dangerous, and there's really no excuse for it. For about $12 at a Fred Meyer supermarket, anyone can buy a pair of flashing be-seen lights. Last winter, they were charging $6 for a red, blinkin’ butt light, and the same price for a white light you could tape or zip-tie to a handlebar. And these aren’t the crappy, single-LED things that are often given away as promotional freebies. These thins have multiple LEDs and bright flashing sequences.
If you’ve been running in stealth mode, stop by the store and grab a couple. Please.
They’re far cheaper than medical bills.