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night trail riding

This topic contains 25 replies, has 11 voices, and was last updated by  Benzo 11 mos, 3 weeks.

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cowchip

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Nov 9 2013 at 11:22am #

I often ride the local bike trails at night, i have decent lights and with the reduced or almost barren trail , i feel it is safer than the roads if you stay in your lane. 1/2 of the people i cross have no lights. either walking with a dog or a late stroll. others jogging usually have reflective strips. which is fine. Most of the trail is very dark and would be most helpful if there were reflective tacks on some of the fence post so you can track the turns of the road and make it easy to stay in the lane. I have done a small section with reflective squares and like the results. i wish i had the funding to do large stretches because with more bike comuting this would be great ! I don’t understand why all trail mile markers and other trail obstructions don’t have any reflective marking. I guess i need to contact the trail council ?


Ahlir

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Nov 9 2013 at 6:21pm #

Cool. Which trail did you mark?

Cost is definitely an issue, but there are products that are likely to do what you need at maybe reasonable cost. In particular a clear reflective spray paint might be good for marking stuff without defacing it (I think, I’ve never used it).


cowchip

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Nov 9 2013 at 7:43pm #

Great allegheny passage trail going from southside toward waterfront is marked from mile marker 142 to rest area for eagle watchers . i cut 1/4” squares from good 3m tape


Ahlir

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Nov 9 2013 at 8:05pm #

I’d have to get going by 5-6am tomorrow to check it out (then I leave town again).

Wait.

Maybe I could skip that after-party tonight…
Are the markers bi-directional?


cowchip

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Nov 10 2013 at 1:25am #

no
i only did one direction . right had side of trail heading from barges into scap yard / sandcastle . small stickers you would not see in daylight. Placed one every 18 foot .


edmonds59

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Nov 10 2013 at 7:34am #

Your thoughts, though, bring up a broader and more over-arching issue – bike riders and their advocates need to keep it right in the front of mind of policy makers and the general public that these “trails” can be and should be 24/7/365 functional transportation mechanisms and need to be outfitted as such. I’m sure it is stuck in the minds of too many non-riders that biking is just an 8 month a year, sunny day fun time activity, and not a real way to get places. Maybe some trails need reflective side lines or center dashes, or little reflective doo-dads in the pavement, who knows. Something to think about.


cowchip

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Nov 10 2013 at 12:14pm #

I wonder the same thing , there is a sign in the south side that says the park closes at 11 pm
. Is the trail even open ?


buffalo buffalo

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Nov 10 2013 at 8:47pm #

Asked a friend who works for a City Council office, and he got this answer from Friends of the Riverfront:

as of now, the three rivers heritage trail segments all technically close at dark. the reason is that police will not patrol them without lighting, and because they are not able to be patrolled by police, they close at dark. groups are looking into finding ways to improve lighting along the trails to change this state of things, and it seems to be a dynamic issue right now.


edmonds59

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Nov 11 2013 at 7:18am #

buffalo buffalo wrote:as of now, the three rivers heritage trail segments all technically close at dark. the reason is that police will not patrol them without lighting, and because they are not able to be patrolled by police, they close at dark.

The police don’t patrol the roads, so how is that a sticking point? (snark)


Kordite

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Nov 11 2013 at 7:32am #

“police will not patrol them without lighting”

The cops are more afraid of the dark than we are. Maybe they should, I don’t know, bring lights with them. We are required to have lights on our bikes, aren’t they? It strikes me that these dark places are exactly the places we need cops the most and they are keeping to the most lighted areas for their own safety. Aren’t we paying them for our safety?


edmonds59

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Nov 11 2013 at 8:47am #

Not to mention that discouraging the public from using public places is exactly the way to make them more dangerous.
“Those who fail to remember history are doomed something something something…”


cowchip

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Nov 11 2013 at 10:35am #

So as i take this it is a ride at your own risk !


Steven

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Nov 11 2013 at 11:31am #

We can just use semantics until we can manage to install some lights. The police currently patrol with a frequency that varies considerably. How about they switch to an every-12-hours frequency for the trails when it gets dark? Then they won’t be due for another look-see for 12 hours, yet they’re now “patrolled” and OK to bike on.

But seriously, the reason given seems dumb. Bike cops should have lights. Do cops stop patrolling in rural areas at night because those roads don’t have lights?


cowchip

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Nov 11 2013 at 11:31pm #

I don’t care if the city police patrol the trail or not , as long as they don’t tell me the trail is closed . If they do they can chase me and we could patrol it together > lol


pistat

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Nov 12 2013 at 10:03am #

I have an unused roll of this stuff if you want to keep marking dark sections of trail. Personally I like to see the trail surface as much as where the trail is or isn’t, but I can see how it would be helpful if you were left with only a small light.


Mick

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Nov 12 2013 at 11:25am #

cowchip wrote:I have done a small section with reflective squares

BRAVO!

This is great!

If you would like any volunteer help for this kind of things, I would be eager to join in.

As would many others – I think if you posted here for volunteers, you would be overwhelmed.


cburch

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Nov 12 2013 at 11:46am #

cowchip “closed” is a legal technicality to cover the city’s ass in case of an incident. its not a practical reality and you shouldn’t see it as an obstruction to your use of the trails at night.


cowchip

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Nov 12 2013 at 12:07pm #

Ok i will keep everyone posted on this and maybe have a sticker ride. We just need more reflective tape. I had a roll that was 1/2” wide and i cut that in half and cut 1/4 ” squares . found the best way was to cut tape and leave it connected to backing on long strips so i did not have to peel each one . then i used a flat head screwdriver to peel and install at Knee height . 1 sticker on every 4th pole /


pistat

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Nov 12 2013 at 3:32pm #

How visible are they at that size? Similar to trail tacks? Those seem to be pretty visible in dark woods but are they bright enough to compete with point sources of light behind the reflector?

With the roll I have you could yield: 16 squares per inch times 12 inches per foot times 15 feet equals… 2880. At a sticker per 18ft., you could mark 9.8mi. Or 4.9mi. in each direction. Either way that’s a whole lot of stickering.

Maybe a size increase is in order, if not for visibility then for your own sanity.


cowchip

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Nov 12 2013 at 6:10pm #

the tape i had was 3/4” so actual size was 3/8 ”
good 3m tape was used. i think 3/4 squares would be perfect.
but i don’t have much tape. some parts of the trail don’t have fence but what does would be awsome !


cowchip

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Nov 12 2013 at 6:31pm #


Pierce

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Nov 12 2013 at 6:48pm #

Um, isn’t the fence a marker in itself, if I’m understanding correctly?

If you can’t see the fence, I’d recommend brighter lights

What is more annoying to me is that it’s not always clear where the trail stops and the gravel begins with leaves on the ground. A similar situation occurs by the Panther Hollow Trail when there’s snow on the ground


cowchip

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Nov 12 2013 at 7:38pm #

ride this section and see ?
Tacks are awsome !!


Benzo

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Nov 13 2013 at 12:41pm #

Trail tacks seem like a good way to cause flats.


cburch

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Nov 13 2013 at 2:47pm #

Benzo wrote:Trail tacks seem like a good way to cause flats.

Only if you don’t put them in trees the way they are intended to be used. In spiderweby or really long mtb trails at night they are AWESOME.


Benzo

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Nov 14 2013 at 2:00pm #

Yeah, I can definitely see those things being awesome on MTB trails. Hell, I’d feel a bit spoiled using them, but I can’t say I wouldn’t love it.

I would hate to see those tacked in to the ground though. So easy to get unseated and run over.

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